Sermon: Never Forget
Summary: As Christians, there are things we need to be reminded of, especially in times of crisis and tragedy. We need to remember that even though we live in a fallen world due to sin, we need to trust in God as the one who has the power to make it right and carry out our purpose of redemption
1. It has been ten years since 9-11
a. TV has had many stories of that day
b. Do you remember what you were doing that day? Feeling? Thinking?
2. Commentators have talked about the various ways 911 changed the world
a. More vigilant, more security conscious
b. More aware of and supportive of public servants, such as police,
military, rescue workers, etc.
c. Aware that there are people that hate us and our way of life and are
extremely devoted to our destruction
d. World is not a safe place
3. Really, nothing has changed
a. There has always been evil, destruction, and wars in the world
b. Sin has held sway and dominion in the world since the garden
c. USA has been a big improvement
- Nation whose government is established on Christian principles
- Has provided a haven for many oppressed people
- Not perfect, but a vast improvement
d. Evil is still present
- Were reminded of presence of evil & its destructive power on 9-11
- Some in disbelief that something of this magnitude happen here
- Some could not understand why people could hate us so much
- Some appalled human beings could be capable of such atrocity
4. One of the saying you keep seeing is, "We will never forget"
a. In other words, don't be lulled into complacency again
b. But what about us as Christians?
- What does "Never forget" mean for us?
- Will reflect on some things we should never forget
I. We live in a fallen world
A. Sin is always present whenever you do something good
B. Sin has twisted and corrupted everything
1. In the beginning, it was very good
a. Man lived in paradise
b. God was the ruler
c. There was no sin, death, war, all was well
2. Then sin came into the world
a. I could list and describe how sin has corrupted us
- Isa 59:2 - Separated us from God
- Jas 1:15 - Sin brought death
- Rom 1:21 - Sin twisted our minds and intellect
- Rom 7; Phil 2:13 - Sin weakened our moral will
- Rom 8 - Sin enslaved the world to corruption
b. Could go to Genesis and show how this happened
- There was increase of jealousy, hate, murder,
arrogance, revenage, war, from Gen 4 onward
- Gen 6:5 - Every thought and intent of man's heart
was on evil continually
- Gal 5:19 - Deeds of flesh - immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, & things like these.
- So bad, that God was grieved that he made man
c. What a scary place to live
C. ILL: I remember touring the city of Khatyn in Belarus in 1994
1. Until 1943, typical Belarussian village northeast of Minsk
a. Nazis circled the village, rounded up the entire population
b. Put them all into a barn, burned everyone alive
c. One survivor, 56 year old Joseph Kamisky
d. Found his son, but could not save him
2. What happened at Khatyn was not unusual
a. During WW2, Nazis burned 628 villages alive
b. 186 of them were never rebuilt
3. Khatyn was made into a memorial
a. First thing is statue called, "The unconquered man"
b. Large granite slab where the barn once stood
c. Markers were streets used to be, and chimneys where
houses once stood, and plaques of families killed there
d. Soil from the 186 villages brought there as graveyard
4. Remember thinking, "How could humans do such a thing?"
a. Were they crazy? No. Intelligent, methodical, with a goal
b. Were they evil? Most definitely
D. 9-11 reminded us that we live in a fallen world due to sin
1. Man cannot fix the sin problem because man is enslaved to sin
2. For man to try to fix it on his own would be like blind leading
blind, or paraplegic teach another how to walk
3. Need a rescuer who is not enslaved to sin, a savior - Jesus
4. Trying to fix our problems without God is futile and foolish
II. We need to trust God and not man
A. First response should always be prayer. Need to keep alert in it
B. Israel needed to learn this lessen in times of crisis
1. (Isa 31:1-5) - Woe to those who turn to Egypt
a. Kings concerned about rise of hostile foreign power
b. What would you do in the face of a threat?
c. Several kings made alliances with the nations
d. What is the problem with doing this?
- Alliances involved a covenant
- Covenant involved honoring gods of foreign nation
- Instead of trusting Yahweh, they trust foreign nations
and their gods
2. (Jer 10:1-11) - Assessment of foreign power
a. The nations are deluded
b. They rely on a god that amounts to a scarecrow
C. ILL Have you ever seen a scarecrow?
1. They are so powerful aren't they? They scare all the birds away
2. Usually they are covered in birds. They not speak, move, act
3. Pagan gods are like that. They are impotent, can do nothing
4. Ps 118:6 - The Lord is for me, whom shall I fear?
D. Trust in the living God
1. Don't be so afraid, that you turn away from the living God
2. Think of Daniel
a. Served under both Babylonian and Persian Kings
b. Daniel served the living God
3. Daniel remained faithful to God, even under threat of death
a. Caused friends of his to be thrown in firey furnace when
refuse to bow down to a statue
b. Caused himself to be thrown into den of lions when he
still prayed to Yahweh when law was passed prohibiting it
c. They knew God was able to deliver them
d. Even if God didn't, they were still going to be loyal to God
4. God revealed that his kingdom would put an end to all the
kingdoms of the world and fill all creation in Dan 2
a. Nothing can thwart God's plan
b. Even when they killed Jesus, that didn't stop God's plan
c. In fact, they unwittingly were carrying out God's plan
d. Trust in God
III. We have a role and purpose
A. Our purpose is larger than any one nation
B. As Christians, we live as exiles in a foreign land
1. Bible reminds us of this in several ways
a. Jn 18:36 - My Kingdom is not of this world
b. Phil 3:20 - Our citizenship is in Heaven
c. (1 Pet 2:9-12) - We are strangers and aliens here
2. What is our role here? God defines it. (2 Cor 5:16-20)
a. We are ambassadors for Christ
b. We represent a foreign nation, Heaven
c. We have been entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation
3. This means we are called TO the world
a. We are not called to become hermits away from the world
b. Preachers used to make this point with "ekklesia"
- Etymology - Ek=out of, kaleo=called out, "called out"
- Problem, don't define words by etymology, but use
- Etymology tells more about origin of word more than
- It was a good secular word that meant, "assembly"
c. We are called to be holy ambassadors
4. Jesus said you are the light of the church right? Wrong
a. Mt 5:13-16 - You are salt and light of the world
b. This means we are called to the world
C. ILL: How many of you have salt in your kitchen?
1. Where do you keep your salt?
a. Do you ever sprinkle it on anything?
b. In right amount it brings out the best of the flavor
c. Also use it to preserve food
d. Does no good unless it comes out of the salt shaker
2. How many of you own a flashlight?
a. Ever use it when power is out and it gets dark?
b. Does no good if you leave it in closet
c. Power went out due to sin
d. We are God's flashlight to lead people to God
3. As ambassadors, salt and light, we are called to engage the
world with the Gospel
D. How do we carry out our purpose as ambassadors, salt and light?
1. We carry out our purpose in the way Jesus modeled it
a. Jesus was focused on people
b. He had genuine compassion for them
c. He touched their hurts, he fed the hungry, comforted the
afflicted, even afflicted the comfortable
2. Ask ourselves, what are some ways we can be ambassadors
right here in our neighborhood?
a. Look for the needs we are capable of helping with
b. Brainstorm ideas
c. What can we do to demonstrate compassion of Christ?
d. When demonstrate compassion, people see Christ in us
3. Most of all, Jesus taught them the Gospel of the Kingdom
a. He understood the bigger picture
b. Man's problems went much deeper than poverty,
oppression, sickness, and things like this
c. The root of the problem is sin
4. If root of worlds problems are sin, need to deal with it at the root
with the Gospel. That is what Jesus did.
a. Jesus died for our sin
- We were created in God's image, but sin twisted it
- Jesus took care of our sin problem
- He begins to transform us into the image of God
b. He was buried
c. He rose from the grave
- Jesus defeated sin and death
- He reunites us with God
- We united with life, wisdom, harmony, & all the
things that come from God
1. Yes, never forget - We live in fallen world, trust God, we have a purpose
2. Jesus died for you. Have you accepted his gift? (inv)
3. If you have, then trust God as you carry out his purposes