The God Test- Side B (Believers)

Notes for October 3, 2015
Sermon by Pastor Shibu Cherian

Listed are the 10 questions of the God Test that we can ask people who identify themselves as believers in God. The answers below are what we believe the Bible teaches us about each of these questions. These answers can help you in your God Test conversations.


1. Do you believe in God?
-even satan believes in God and trembles
 
2. How would you describe God?
– creator
– holy
– law giver
– just
– loving
 
3. What does God expect from us?
– keep His commandments
 
4. How are you meeting those expectations?
– on a scale of 1-10
– Romans 3:23 (no one meets the expectations)
– Isaiah 59:1-2 (sin has separated us from God)
– Ephesians 2:1-3 (we are dead in sin)
 
5. Do you believe in heaven?
– Matthew 6:9 (our Father is in heaven)
– Psalm 14:2 (God looks down to see if there are any who seek Him)
 
6. Does everyone go to heaven?
– Matthew 7:21 (only those who do God’s will)
 
7. Do you believe you will go to heaven?
– must have an inner assurance
 
8. Why or why not?
 
9. Would you like to know what the Bible says about these questions?
– After listening to their answers, you give your own here
– John 3:16
– Romans 5:8-10 (reconciled through Christ)
– John 3:3 (must be born again to enter heaven)
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 (in Christ, we are new creation)
 
10. Are you willing to follow Jesus and trust Him with your life?
– believe
– turn (repent)
– follow Jesus
– Acts 2:36-38
– Acts 26:17-18

GOD’S PROMISES ARE YES IN CHRIST

2 Corinthians 1:20:
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

All the promises we received from God are ‘Yes’, no matter how many they are.

Hebrews 7:22 says “Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.”

So Jesus is our guarantee.

God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:1 – 3:

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,..”

God said to Abraham that He will make him into a great Nation when he was really old and had no children. From Human thinking it is impossible for this promise to get fulfilled. But Abraham believed and at the age of 100 God gave him a son, and through him God fulfilled his promises.

Isaiah 43: 19 says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”.

‘Way in wilderness and streams in the wasteland’ is absolutely unbelievable in our knowledge and thoughts. But nothing is impossible for our God.

And in Isaiah 55: 8, 9 God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

So all the promises that God gave us are always ‘yes’ even though it seems unbelievable in our sight and knowledge.

When we look into the life of Joseph and David, we can see the promises of God getting fulfilled. They both had very difficult times in their life, which might have been because of the promise, but God was faithful enough to fulfill them. And those troubles they went through prepared them to be effective when they finally reached the promise.

Psalms 119:140 says “Your promises have been THOROUGHLY TESTED, and your servant loves them.

Over thousands of years, God’s Bible promises have been“ thoroughly tested” and found to be true.

Jehovah Rapha healed Abraham’s wife’s barrenness. Five centuries later He still healed (the snake bitten Israelite s in the wilderness) 1,500 years later He still healed (Gospels, Acts…). Another 2,000 years later He still heals today!

Over the space of 4,000 years (from Abraham to now), God’s promises in the Bible have been thoroughly tested and found to be trustworthy.

You can trust on God’s Bible promises because Jesus is saying, “YES and AMEN” to them on your behalf.

The Ocean Before and the Army Behind

Exodus has always been one of my most favorite books of the Bible, especially when I was a kid. To me there was no other book in the Bible where God was more awe inspiring. The story is epic.
Little old stuttering Moses in front of the great and powerful Pharaoh.

Moses requests, “Let the people of God go.”

“Never!” Responds the stubborn, pig-headed King.

So God reaches down and starts shaking things up. Water to blood. Flies. Dead livestock. Boils. Hail. Frogs. Locusts. Darkness. One after another, calamity is heaped upon Egypt. Yet Pharaoh is still not ready to let them go. So God lays down his trump card. The angel of death sweeps over the land and steals every firstborn Egyptian for his own.

The cries of despair rip through the land, and Pharaoh’s voice mingles with them. He’s through with the Israelites and their God, “Leave us alone!” He exclaims, “Get out of here! Take everyone! Go!”

The Israelites leave Egypt as conquerors! Their neighbors weigh them down with silver and gold, they take food and animals. They leave victorious!

For weeks they witnessed the hand of God at work on their behalf. They saw the might of Lord fighting for them, in all sorts of ways. But at the first sign of trouble, at the first point where it seemed as if the tide was against them, they forget everything.

They forget the water to blood. The flies. The dead livestock. The boils. The hail. The frogs. The locusts. The darkness. The firstborn.

All they see is a raging ocean before them, and a furious army behind.

This is the point in the story where I think, “Stupid Israelites. God’s been on your side this whole time. How could you doubt Him now?”

And then, if I’m really honest with myself, I realize that I am no different than the shifting Israelites. How easy it is for me to forget God’s might. How quick am I to forget His mercies, His power, and every way that He has brought me.

I look at the sea before me, and the armies coming behind me, and I forget to look above and call on the name of my God. I forget that He has delivered me in ways that no one else is capable of. I simply forget. Why do I forget?

Then, for the time in 21 years, I took notice of this verse- Exodus 14:3-4

“Pharaoh will think, ‘The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.’ And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
God planned it. God wanted the Isrealites between the ocean and the army. He wanted them to see the power of His hand. He wanted the world to see how mighty He is. The parting of the Red Sea wasn’t just God responding to a situation. It was a conflict that He himself had orchestrated. It was the final act to one of the most epic stories told in the Bible.

So why do we doubt God’s power and His ability to deliver us, when it is He who began the good work in us? The moment you truly submit your life, your heart to God, is the moment that He begins to orchestrate a story that is impossible and that shows how desperate we must be for His power.

The point of our lives is to glorify God. So if you are standing before an immovable ocean, and if there are vicious armies coming behind, rejoice! Now is the time for God to do something impossible.

Philippians 1:6
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

by Christal George

Voila!

A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.

Matthew 8:2-3

Many times in my life I am reluctant to ask for grace because I somehow convince myself that God doesn’t want to forgive me. That I’ve done something so awful, that I’m the worst person in the world, and God can’t possibly want to forgive me. I convince myself that He’s angry with me, and that He can’t forget what I’ve done, that He doesn’t want to waste His time because I’ll just make the same mistake again tomorrow.

The Devil is a liar. And he’s so good he doesn’t even have to lie to me anymore- he’s got me telling myself those lies.

In reality, God is so desperate to forgive you- in fact every time someone repents, there’s a party in heaven! But you’ve got to take the first step. The man with leprosy went to Jesus, knelt before him, and said with confidence,”Jesus, you can do this. I have no doubt you can make me clean. This infectious skin disease is nothing to you. Do you want to do it?”

Jesus said, “Of course I want to! I live for this stuff! Voila! You’re healed!”

Don’t be afraid to kneel before Him. He’s waiting for you to do it. He needs you to ask,wants you to ask. It’s His favorite thing to do, to welcome a child home, to throw a party with His angels, to rejoice over YOU.

Never let the Devil tell you otherwise.

by Christal George

E B E N E Z E R

Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD.” And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah. When the Philistines heard that Israel had assembled at Mizpah, the rulers of the Philistines came up to attack them. And when the Israelites heard of it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it up as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. He cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him. While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites. The men of Israel rushed out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, slaughtering them along the way to a point below Beth Car. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7: 5 – 12

The Old Testament church that finally inherited the Promised Land soon started losing their hope and heritage because of the enemies that surrounded them. The devil had brought the church to a situation where it thought that all the avenues of divine protection and providence have been blocked forever.

They did not realize the truth that it was their disobedience and discord, transgression and trespass, which had delayed their deliverance. The marching and the going, shouting and the dancing before the Ark of the Covenant did not work; they never knew that the presence of the Lord was not with them though the Ark was there.

In the battle, they lost to their enemy. More than thirty four thousand youths, the promises of the future were killed mercilessly. At the end, they lost the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy presence of the Lord. The enemy carried the Ark to their land and placed it in their Temple.

Dear friend, you may be in a similar situation today where you think that the Lord has forsaken you. You must be in a siege and you think that the enemy has closed all the doors behind and before you. The devil may be asking where your God is.

Like the psalmist, you are crying,

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent”.

Please know, the Lord does not want you to loose to your enemy even if the situation is grave and beyond control. Leave the comfort zones and go to Mizpah for a time of personal encounter with God. If you are ready to confess your sins and the sins of your father’s house, God will bring the enemy to your footstool; victory will be yours.