Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - God's Investment Strategy - Part 2

Allen Jackson - God's Investment Strategy - Part 2

Allen Jackson - God's Investment Strategy - Part 2

It's an honor to be with you today. We're talkin' about God's Investment Strategy. You know, I've spent my life in church world, and one of the biggest challenges in churches just in general is low morale. Now, we don't think of the great accomplishments of our life typically being associated with church. They come from corporate settings, or business settings, or places where our hobbies matter to us, but the truth is God gave his Son for his people, the church. Jesus said, "I'll build my church and hell itself won't be able to stop it". The more we can align our imagination with God's investment strategy, the more significance we will attach to our faith and our relationship with the living God. You matter to him. You are a tremendous significance in his purposes in the earth today. Grab your Bible and a notepad. Open your heart.

God's strategy is rooted in an idea, and I gave you the menu of the words. "Redeem" is a verb. It's an action. "Redemption" is a noun. "Redemptive" is an adjective. It means it's something that we would act upon. But that idea of being redeemed, or redemption, or redemptive activity is the answer to the problem that we face. To be redeemed is to be bought out of someplace. You redeem something that you have pawned. You redeem your jacket or your coat that you've given to someone at a coat check. You give them the ticket and you get it back. You redeem your car if you've parked it someplace and they've exchanged a ticket, and you give it to somebody to go get your car while you wait for it.

Well, the Bible says we've been redeemed from an empty way of life. We've been redeemed from a pathway to destruction. We didn't redeem ourselves. We didn't outthink evil or outwork evil. We didn't accumulate enough assets that God said, "Well, in your case, you come in". God intervened on our behalf. In Jeremiah 15, and verse 21, it says, "I will save you from the hands of the wicked and redeem you from the grasp of the cruel". Is there any question that cruelty is growing in the earth? What are we gonna do about that? A new politician, a bigger army, more weapons? How 'bout the redemptive power of the Creator?

In Colossians chapter 1, and verse 13, "He's rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption". It's a noun. It's something that has been extended to us. The redemption, the forgiveness of sins, not those that need to be forgiven by us, the recognition that we need to be forgiven. Most of us are far more aware of the transgressions of others than we are our own. Very few of us march, or protest, or express our voices because of our own transgressions. And redemption comes to us when we could acknowledge our need of forgiveness.

I have a question and it's an important question. We spent the previous session on it entirely. Do you believe the gospel is enough? I sit with Christian leaders frequently and I'll give you my assessment of that. No, we don't. It's not a question for the unbelievers. We know the unbelievers don't think the gospel is enough or they would be believers. The question is, do those of us that imagine ourselves to be God's people, do we believe the gospel is enough? Is the redemptive power of God sufficient to change the course of human destiny? God made a very precious investment.

In Isaiah 52, and verse 3, he says, "This is what the Lord says: 'You were sold for nothing, and without money you'll be redeemed.'" We weren't redeemed with gold or silver, not diamonds, not nations. God didn't bargain or barter for us. In 1 Peter 1, and verse 18, "You know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ," of a Messiah. Christ is not the family name of Jesus. And I don't mean that disrespectfully, but for a casual listener sometimes we hear the words go together. It's a title attributed to Jesus.

There were many people named Jesus in Israel in the first century. He's often referred to as Jesus from Nazareth. He was the Jesus that came from Nazareth. But when when it became aware of who he was, the title was attached to his name. He's Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Son of God. We were redeemed with the precious blood of the Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect. Hebrews 9, and verse 12, "He didn't enter", it's speaking of the Holy of Holies in the heavens. The Bible tells us that what we see on earth is just a representation of the greater reality which is spiritual. That's another day's discussion. "He didn't enter by means of the bloods or goats or calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all by his own blood".

He had to shed his blood. You see, the high priest would come into the Holy of Holies once a year with a basin, and in it was the blood of the sacrificial lamb to be sprinkled on the mercy seat as an atonement, a covering for the sins of the people. But Jesus didn't come to atone for our sins, he came to pay the price for them, to redeem us, to pay the ticket, to get us out of a future condemned to separation from the Creator. Hebrews 13, "Jesus suffered outside the city gate". You couldn't be crucified by Jewish rules inside the city gate, so he suffered outside the walls of the city. Why? "To make the people holy through his own blood".

It took Jesus's shed blood, the sacrifice of his life, in order for you and I to be redeemed. See, that demands respect. If it's treated casually, if it's treated with a marginal indifference, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that. What's the big deal"? Excuse me? Excuse me. Just that emotion reflects such an ignorance of scripture that it's startling. This isn't about me. If there is a God, and I believe there is, and if he's the Creator of all things, and I believe he is, and if he saw the condition of humanity and decided to intervene inexplicably, which is what the scripture says, he didn't intervene on behalf of the third of the angels who rebelled against him. They're doomed. He intervened on behalf of humanity who had rebelled against him in the midst of his creation. He intervened, and the only possible pathway was to send his Son to become one of us, the incarnation, to show us the kingdom of God.

And the differentiation between the kingdom of God and our own earthly kingdoms was so great and threatened our own authority so much, we killed him. And if we respond to that casually, or with indifference, or with a complete rejection, there's very little left for us. Forget the pagans. Forget the people that have said the gospel is not enough. We're focusing in this particular talk about those of us that said, "Yeah, we think there may be some credence to this gospel thing". What's the respect we give it? There was a legal exchange, a legal exchange, not a theological debate. We were purchased out from under the authority of Satan, the kingdom of darkness, so that we could participate in the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6 says, "Do you not know"? And when it starts with that, the answer is, "No, I probably don't". "Don't you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You're not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body". We treat this really cheaply. All you have to do is say a prayer. No, really, that's all you gotta do. Nothin' to it, everybody's welcome. Well, that's true. Everybody's welcome, but there's something to it. Your future's in the balance. And once you've received it, you're not lord anymore. It's no longer your life, and your time, and your calendar, and your checkbook, and your resources, and your job, and your dream. Lose that notion. It's deceptive.

If we call Jesus "Lord," he's Lord of the whole thing. Well, Pastor, you know, I don't want to be a fanatic. Oh really? When you're gonna see the Boss, say, "Look, I was just lookin' to see how close I could get to the line. I won't go over it. I mean, I appreciate what you did for me and all, but you know, I didn't want to, like, go all in". I don't think so. I don't think so. We were bought at a price. Acts 20, "Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood". Did you hear that?

Be careful how you treat the church. I'm not asking you to treat me with kid gloves, I'm telling you the church is Jesus's idea. He's the head of the church. He said he would build his church and hell itself wouldn't stop it. And it required the shedding of his blood, the offering of his life in order to establish the church. The church matters. Oh, in all of our brokenness, we're filled with people. If only perfect people got into the church, we'd be in the parking lot today. And church is not about buildings, or architects, or theological statements. We understand that. It's comprised of those men and women who've named Jesus as Lord of their lives. He bought with his own blood.

Watch the next sentence, "I know that after I leave," this is Paul, "savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock". That's a savage wolves. You ever been around a bad dog? My father was a veterinarian. From time to time, they'd bring a dog into the clinic that was a little too aggressive. That's the way the owners would describe them. "Well, you know, Fluffy's a little aggressive". And I worked the counter sometimes, say, "Well, tell me about Fluffy". "He's a Rottweiler". "Okay, you know how much Fluffy weighs"? "Yeah, about 90 pounds". "When you say he's aggressive, why would you say that"? "Well, he went through a plate glass window to get to the UPS delivery person". True story. Yeah, aggressive. "Savage wolves will come in among you to destroy the flock". Not from outside.

See, the same people who lie, cheat, and steal Monday through Saturday show up at worship on Sunday. Look at the person on your right and say, "I think he's talking about us". Now, we're in process. I didn't just call you a thief, exactly. "Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw disciples after them. So be on your guard"! But the foundation of it all is we were bought with his own blood. Revelation 5, "They sang a new song. They sang a new song: 'You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God.'"

What an interesting phrase. "With your blood you purchased men for God". That is the literal explanation of redemption. What was the price that we could be in the kingdom of God? The precious blood of Jesus. "From every tribe, and language, and people, and nation. You made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and to reign on the earth". How did that happen, because we joined the church? Uh-uh. 'Cause we read our Bibles? Nope. 'Cause we're better than our neighbors? Uh-uh. Because there was a price paid that we couldn't pay. We had nothing with which we could respond.

Revelation 14, "These are those who didn't defile themselves with women, but they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men". Again, the language is intriguing to me. It wasn't the men who volunteered. It wasn't the kind people. There'll be kind people in hell. There'll be generous people there. There'll be people who do good things. The difference is have you been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb? Have you acknowledged Jesus as Lord of your life? Do you serve him as Lord of your life?

Do you know we'll be judged by our response? It's not a particularly popular message these days. It doesn't fill the shelves in the top ten best sellers in the Christian stores, but we'll be judged by our response. Hebrews chapter 10, and verse 28, "Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses". We read that and we think, "Wow, the Old Testament's harsh," but thank God we got the New Testament, right? I mean, when God finished Malachi, he got Adderall and he wrote the Gospels. "Anyone who ignored the law of Moses died on the testimony of two or three witness. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot"?

Wait a minute, this is Hebrews. This is the New Testament. "Who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace"? This is written to believers. This wasn't written to the Pagans. It was written to the church, distributed throughout the empire. Have you thought about the punishment of treating the purchase price, your redemptive price, disrespectfully? Just walking over it like it doesn't matter. Walking over it to do what you wanna do. Walking over it to be indulgent. Walking over it to be carnal. Walking over it to be selfish. It's a sobering thing.

Revelation chapter 14, "The angel swung his sickle on the earth, and he gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God's wrath". I think, Revelation, that's New Testament, right? Okay, I thought so. "They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and the blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as a horse's bridle for a distance of 180 miles". I don't think that's just metaphorical. The judgment of God. Folks, we've been a little casual. We're watching liberties and freedoms be set aside. We're watching family be redefined. We're watching sexual confusion being introduced to our children in the most wholesale of way. And we're reluctant to say anything because it might have implications for us.

Some knucklehead with a microphone says, "Follow the science," and you can't even follow their train of thought. What can we do? It's a very important question. I would submit to you the answer is not as complex as we would like to make it. 'Cause if we can get the answer into some realm of complexity that is beyond us, then we're not responsible for it, but I don't find God to ever interact with us in a way that is beyond us. He gives us the insight we need to do what's pleasing to him. In its simplest expression, I would submit to you we need to act redemptively. That's the adjective. You have been redeemed, you're the beneficiary of redemption, but we are called to act redemptively.

Tell your Jesus story. Tell your Jesus story. "Well, I don't know how to say it". Learn. I mean, just stumble all over yourself just like you learned to walk. Somebody took videos. They removed sharp objects from the house when you were learning to walk 'cause you were so clumsy. When you went to other people's homes, they childproofed them before you arrived because you were a human wrecking crew. But you still wanted to learn to walk so you kept trying. The bumps would heal. The bruises would go away. Your parents would explain them. Tell your Jesus story.

Well, what if somebody doesn't like it? I bet you've worn orange in front of somebody that didn't like it. Surely we're not going to have a greater passion for the Vols than we do for the King, and I'm not opposed to them. Teach the children. Let your children hear it from you in the privacy of your home. As much as any single reason in my life today, I'm engaged in the things I am because when I was a child, when the doors were closed at our house, I watched my mom and dad read their Bibles. Nobody was looking. Nobody would've known.

I used to look at them and think, "You're weird. Why do you do that"? And I watched it persist and I thought, "You know, if they're investing that kind of time and energy, maybe there's something to this. Perhaps I should investigate it myself". I'm not saying they were perfect. They weren't. Neither was I, neither am I. Teach your children. They're very clever. They learn far more from what you do than what you say. Tell your family, those people that you do life with. Have the courage to talk to them about what's godly and what's ungodly. Well, they'll be offended. Yes, better offended than to miss the kingdom. Tell a friend, the people that you hang out with.

Oh, I don't want to pollute my friends with Christianity. It says something about our hearts. It might change our vocabulary and our habits. Tell a coworker. Well, we're not supposed to do that. Who said? We've got to begin to act redemptively. We're waiting for somebody else to solve this, for somebody else to take the heat. We wish we had somebody with more courage, and a leader with more something, or gumption, or something. Folks, it's us. As awkward as that is, we've been deployed. I know you feel inadequate. So do I. You don't have a platform. Not enough people care about your opinion, but I'm gonna start where there are some people who care about my opinion. I'll start in the place God has given me. I'm not waiting for something new, something larger, something broader.

Have the courage to tell the truth where you stand. Stop trampling the blood of Jesus as if it doesn't matter. Start in your own behaviors. Be moral, be honest, be generous. We have the power to turn this around. What did God say in Isaiah? "Come, let's reason together. Though your sins are like scarlet, they can be as white as wool". That's our God. He's paid the price. He's made an investment. Now, let's invest in his kingdom.

See, how do we honor his investment? By giving ourselves to him as a living sacrifice. It's the greatest investment of your life. It matters more than anything else that you might imagine you have influence over. I'm not saying you don't need food, and clothing, and shelter. God said he knows we need them. He said he'll take care of that if we will start with him. I brought you a confession. To some of you, it's familiar.

Some of you, perhaps, not as much. I'm gonna unpack it in some more detail with you, God-willing, in our next talk, but I want to close this morning by inviting you to this confession with me. It's a confession of what the Bible says the blood of Jesus does for us. You may not understand all the words. Some of them are a bit religious, but it doesn't diminish its authority when you pronounce it over your life. Why don't you to stand with me for this? God in his great mercy has begun to shake, and awaken, and stir, and it's because I believe he would call us towards himself. Have you found the profession? I'll hush. I testify to what the Word of God says the blood of Jesus does for me:

Through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil. Through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven. The blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, continually cleanses me from all sin. Through the blood of Jesus, I am sanctified, made holy, set apart to God. Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous, just as if I'd never sinned. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, Satan has no place in me and no power over me, through the blood of Jesus, amen.

Are you Human?:*