A Boat in a Tsunami — Lord’s Day 15
// February 15th, 2012 // Sermons
(Start with clip from Evan Almighty, showing when the dam burst and everything was destroyed except the boat.)
It wasn’t too long ago that I showed this clip while talking about Noah but tonight we aren’t talking about Noah. Tonight we are talking about something else that this clip illustrates perfectly. As we on with the message, I want you to remember this clip. Remember what it looked like. Remember what happened. Remember what you were feeling. I want this clip to be playing in the back of your head throughout this message.
Tonight’s message is an important one. It’s one that I feel many people have ignored lately and as a result our faith has become week and fragile. If you haven’t paid attention to any of my messages so far this year, pay attention to this one. Here what God’s word has to say to you tonight. Not only hear it, but feel it. Make sure this knowledge moves the eighteen inches from your head to your heart. I don’t just want you to understand it, to be able to explain it, or even be able to defend it. These are all good things but tonight I want you to feel it in your very soul. I want this to burn inside you in a way that you have never experienced it before. If that happens tonight, everything will change. Everything! I pray that your hearts are softened enough that you can hear this message.
Tonight we are going to be looking at 1 Peter 2:24-25 but we are going to be doing it a little differently. I’m not going to be showing you the passage as I work through it and I’m going to start at the end of the verse and work backwards. At the end of the message you will understand why I’m doing that but for now just be in the moment and hear what God is speaking to you tonight.
Peter says “For you were straying like sheep.” Isaiah says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” To stray like sheep is to go our own way. To think that we have a better way, or even to know that God’s way is better but still choose our way. There is something inside of us that knows God’s way is better and yet we turn the other way. We reject his leading and guiding in our lives and go our own way.
I have been asked before what the definition of sin it and I used to give a variety of answers but I have come to the conclusion of the best answer. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” This defines for us what sin is. This verse commands us to do everything to the glory of God, everything. Therefore, anything that we do that is not for God’s glory is sin. Now, take a look at your life and look at the motivation behind what you do. Is it for God’s glory or your own? Are you getting ready for school in the morning for God’s glory, or your own? Are you playing sports for God’s glory, or your own? Are you eating your meals to God’s glory, or your own? How about church? Are you coming to Ignite for God’s glory or your own? Pretty convicting stuff isn’t it? Every time we do anything to our glory, rather than God’s, we sin.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death…” As sheep who are straying, you are constantly piling one sin upon another, upon another, upon another, earning death for every one of them, weighing yourself down more and more, filling up God’s wrath toward you more and more. Romans 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Each day our guilt increases, filling higher and higher.
Some may try to comfort themselves because they don’t realize their present condition is like this. They, like those in the movie, feel that since their present condition isn’t bad they shouldn’t worry. You are right to realize that your present condition isn’t as bad as it could be, but it is only by the grace of God that it isn’t. It is by God’s grace that the waters of His wrath are held back. His hand acts like a dam holding them back, and daily water is added, growing higher and higher. All it would take is for God to remove His hand and the water would come rushing forth, consuming everything. You are unable to stop this on your own. You are utterly helpless to save your self. You are like a house in the wake of a tsunami. You don’t stand a chance. There is complete destruction.
What are you feeling right now? What is going on inside you? Take a couple seconds to begin understanding what you are feeling. Are you feeling lost? Are you feeling condemned? Are you confused? Hopeless? Maybe you are completely unfazed by any of this. Why is that? Why are you feeling the way you do? Is your heart that hard? Is God convicting you of change, convicting you of sin?
Romans 5:8 “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” While we were in this hopeless state, Christ died for us. Even though everything we do stores up more and more wrath, Christ died for us. We have been sinning so long, living our own way so long, and the dam is ready to break. Are we oblivious to it? Are we taking advantage of it? Romans 2:4 “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” The fact that your life hasn’t crumbled to pieces, hasn’t been washed away in the flood shouldn’t give you comfort. God has held back His wrath so that you would repent and turn to Him. Don’t take His patience and kindness for granted. Thank Him for it and turn to Him.
Here is our passage, 1 Peter 2:24-25, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” If you are outside of Christ, straying from His flock, everything that has been said is true for you. There is now way to sugarcoat it or dance around it. It is all true, but there is another way. God is calling you back to His flock. He has given you the ability to come back. He doesn’t leave you hopelessly stuck in your sin.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.” What do you see in this picture? I see the gospel. Everything is annihilated by the tsunami, except the boat. Unless you were on the boat, there was no hope, but the boat remains. Jesus Christ bore all of your sins in His body on the tree so you could get on the boat. It doesn’t matter how much wrath was stored up for you, Jesus has saved you from it.
Why did He do this? For what purpose? “..that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” He died so that we can die to sin. He died so that we can be free from the tyranny of the devil. He died so that we could live free lives, so that we could be slaves of righteousness, rather than sin. He died so that we can have peace. Isaiah 57:20-21 “But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked.’”
When God rescued Israel from Egypt, they eventually found themselves in a desperate situation. In a place where they felt there was no hope. They were backed up against the Red Sea with the Egyptian army coming full force at them. It was God’s hand that held back the water so that His people, His flock, could pass through safely. It was also God’s hand that was removed so that those who were not His people were destroyed in the water.
Hear the words of Joshua tonight and let them land on you with force. “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
(End with clip from Evan Almighty)