Support us on Paypal
Contact Us
Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Allen Jackson » Allen Jackson - What To Do In A Crisis - Part 2

Allen Jackson - What To Do In A Crisis - Part 2

Allen Jackson - What To Do In A Crisis - Part 2
TOPICS: Crisis

God is holy. He's Almighty. He's omnipotent. He is all knowing. He's omniscient. And the book of Leviticus presents to us a God who is sovereign. Another word that's lost on us, it really is, we have very little interest in the sovereignty of anything other than our will. The sovereignty of God is kind of intricate way of saying God can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants, and he needs no one's approval. He's sovereign. And sometimes as you read through the story, you'll go, "Well, that's not fair". That's the wrong reaction. What you're learning is something about the character of God. And it would be good to adapt your thinking to include the character of God. When he says, "Thou shalt not," he didn't mean unless you really, really, really want to, or it's inconvenient. He is sovereign.

In the book of Leviticus, as I've already suggested, is a book of instruction regarding repentance. What do you do when you find out you were standing outside the plans and purposes of God? What do you do? Are you just trying to live past it? Well, there didn't seem to be any immediate consequence, I guess I'm good. So I'll just hurry on down my way. Do you rewrite your own guidebook? You see, Leviticus provides a way of forgiveness for his people. If I had to put it in just plain, the simplest language possible, the book of Leviticus is a whole lot of talk about sacrifices and such. Not the sacrifice you make when you forfeit something, but an animal sacrifice. I mean, it's literally, it's a pretty gruesome book about what you do with these parts and those parts and which parts you burn and which parts you bury and which parts you wave and you're going, "What in the world". But the larger canvas is God said, "Listen, we've got to learn how to be a holy people".

So there's this elaborate discussion around sacrifices and such. I wanna ask you some questions. You don't have to answer out loud, but do you think that the sacrifice actually eliminated the sin of the people? And the answer is no. The Bible is very clear on that. Did the sacrifice restore the people to a relationship with God? Did killing a bull or a goat or a turtle dove or a pigeon actually restore them to a relationship with the creator of all things? No, it didn't. The sacrifice was an expression of the awareness, the awareness of sin and of the need for restoration. It's the same thing John was talking about in 1 John. If you say, we haven't sinned, the whole sacrificial narrative was a wake up call saying, listen, there's an enormous gulf between where you are standing and who God is. And this Gulf has got to be addressed.

So there's enormous effort and energy and focus and cost involved. God's grace was displayed in providing the fancier word is imputing holiness to the people because you'll cooperate with the system I've given you. He said, I will impute holiness to you. But a bull or a goat or a turtle dove or a pigeon, that doesn't really reconcile you to the creator of all thing. But he said, "We're gonna call it even for now," Living Bible. It's grace extended in anticipation of a sacrifice that would bridge that gap. Look at Hebrews 10 says, "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming". The law of Moses, the sacrificial system, those things they got in the desert between Egypt and the promised land. He said, "It was just a shadow of the good things not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never," the law, "By the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship".

It didn't really solve the sin problem. Then why did God have them do it? Is he just mean? Is he petty? Is he intrusive? See, the challenge that we face is how is it that we can be reminded? How can we be introduced to this notion that there's a gulf between ourselves and God 'cause we tend to think we're pretty good. If you don't believe it, just turn on the news. I listened to people this week, very successful people, wealthy people, powerful people, people with tremendous gifts. I mean, they're living the good life and I heard them say things like I would be appalled if my daughter told me she wanted to be a homemaker. Our default setting is not godliness. And the sacrifices were a way of reminding us that we know there's gonna be a significant cost, the purchase of the bull to offer as a sacrifice and have to lead the thing through town.

How many of you know, church would be awkward if you had to bring a livestock trailer every week with the animals necessary for your transgressions this week? How many of you would be cattle farmers, ranchers? You better know one. I mean, it was expensive. That's why there's conditions. When you read Leviticus, you can say, listen, if you can't afford this, you can bring this. God was interrupting their self directed evaluation and saying there is a God and I'm holy and we have a problem between us. And in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews, it said, listen, that didn't make them perfect.

Verse 2, "If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once and for all, it would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins because it's impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came," the Messiah came, the anointed one, the promise. "When Jesus came into the world, he said, sacrifice and offering you didn't desire, but a body you prepared for me". Jesus arrived in Bethlehem with Golgotha in full view because we needed a Savior. Do you understand how unfortunate it is that men and women who present themselves as Christ followers are reluctant to be advocates for Jesus in the public square? Well, somebody will think I'm narrow minded. Well, I don't wanna be perceived as less than inclusive.

Folks, you are betraying the one who offered his life for you. I'm happy to be Jesus people. If Jesus isn't welcome in the place I'm going, I'm gonna go see if I can make a good representation on his behalf. If after I've done my best to represent in a way that is honoring to those that are there and told the truth that I believe that they don't want Jesus back, I'm not going back. I have no intention of standing in places. If you're on an assignment, that's a bit different. And then we get a little weird on this. We know, well, you know, I go to work and there's not very many Christians and it's hard. Yes, called life. That's that ambassadorial role we've got. But we have been apologizing.

Well, we don't want you to, we don't want you to bring your worldview into the public square. No, I'm sorry. There's only one way I know how to do business and that means I'll give my word and I keep it. I'll give you a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. I'll treat the people I work with with integrity. All of those come because I know Jesus. Without Jesus, I would cheat you blind if you gave me a half a chance. And then I'd lie about it when you catch me. There's a lot of history to support that narrative. And there are a lot of people with a Jesus t-shirt that'll lie, cheat and steal. If you wanna do business with me, don't start with a prayer. I don't trust you. When people whip out their christianese on me at the beginning of a place where we're not talking about Jesus, I'm like, "What are you trying to hide behind those vocabulary words"?

Years ago, we were starting a construction project on something in the first meeting with all the brass and the company. They said, would you like to start with a prayer? And I said, well, I don't know. Do you pray with every client? And they looked at me a little funny and they said, well, I guess not. And I said, well, then you don't need to pray with me. I prayed before you got here. I'll pray after you leave. But please don't pretend; it makes you less credible. We've been embarrassed of Jesus, folks. We didn't want to squander an opportunity by being too Jesus forward. What is wrong with us? The best opportunity in our lives is bringing the King of All into every discussion we can.

In Leviticus, there's some wonderful lessons about sin. I wanna do a little bit of this 'cause I wanna get to a response point with you. Leviticus 4 says, "The Lord said to Moses, say to the Israelites: when anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands". The category intrigued me. The introduction to this chapter and he's really introducing this concept of sin to these people. He said, "If you sin unintentionally". Well, wait a minute, if you sin unintentionally, that's just like no harm, no foul. I didn't know. I mean, you're not gonna hold me accountable. You didn't have a speed limit posted. I could not be speeding. And there's just a lengthy discussion.

Look in the very next verse, verse 3, "If the anointed priest sins," this is in the context. This is the next verse of sinning unintentionally. If the priest anointed. The one you put oil on and commissioned him to serve in the tabernacle, if he does something unintentionally, it will bring guilt on the people. Wow, you don't have to intend to do something wrong if you, for whatever reason, are not aware of the character of God and the nature of God. Well, gee maybe I should read my Bible. Do you understand the level of biblical literacy in this country where Bibles are more available than in any nation in the history of civilization? Biblical literacy is at an all time low. I sat with George Barna, who's kind of the statistical guru of American evangelicalism.

And he said, less than 10% of youth pastors in American churches hold the biblical world view. I'm not picking on youth pastors that means board, church boards and Presbyteries and leadership establishments have been recruiting for employment people to teach our students in our churches that don't hold a biblical world view. And that's because the institutions that are training them don't have a biblical world view. And we keep smiling at their signs that say, Christian. Please hear what God is saying. Verse 13, same chapter, "If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the Lord's commands even though the community is unaware of the matter".

If your whole group does it. Because if we think, well, if we all, we can't all be wrong. That's right. When you get kind of your quirky theology, you know, we all get some bubbles. If you can find enough people to believe that too. Well, we couldn't all be wrong. O, contraire mon ami. Verse 22, "When a leader sins unintentionally and does what," well, the leaders know what to do, surely. Verse 27, "If a member of the community sins unintentionally," these aren't the willful, purposeful, stubborn, rebellious things that we all know we have a tendency to, this is when you're trying to do the best you know. And God said, wait a minute that will exclude you from the community. And in the very next chapter, the category gets expanded a little bit. He says, "If a person sins because he doesn't speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or," if you just stay quiet when you know what's right and wrong, you're guilty. Boom, doesn't stop there.

In chapter 20 says, "If the people of the community close their eyes, when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and we cut him off from their people". And I'm not advocating violence folks. But Molech is one of the Canaanite fertility gods. And in order to ensure better crops next year, the sacrifice to Molech was a child. So they sacrificed their children to give greater economic opportunity in the future. Gee, that sounds familiar. I mean, we have no other words for it, but that's really the essence of the discussion and the warning from God is if the people of the community close their eyes, when that happens, if you read the book of Leviticus and you don't end up on your knees, you're not thinking.

If you're whipping out your little baptismal certificate and say, well, I was dunked in a pool 46 years ago, you're ignoring the coaching of the New Testament. The problem we face, the crisis that is amongst us, that is around us, that will snatch our freedom from us in the near future. If there's not a dramatic change from the people of God. It's not an election we need. An election will be the outcome of a change in the heart of God's people. How many elections do we have to have and keep sending the same knuckleheads to do the same thing? It's like a Globetrotters game. They meet in the locker room before it starts, change jerseys and decide who's gonna be on the winning team this time. But we're all gonna get paid from the same gate. God's people have to change you and me.

So I brought you a conclusion. The thing people say to me more than 101, you know, what can we, what can we do? What can we, how can we, I'm just one person. Nobody, I don't have a plan. I'm not an influencer. I can't turn my social media on. I don't know, what can we do? I don't have much of a, stop. If your name is recorded in heaven and the Almighty God knows who you are, you can change the course of history. So I borrowed a prayer in the book of Daniel and I told you earlier, Daniel is a slave his whole life, difficult, difficult life. Has a remarkable story to tell, tremendous victories. When you get to Daniel 9, Daniel said, I discovered by reading the prophet Jeremiah that it's about time for us to go home. Jeremiah said they'd be out of Israel, out of Jerusalem 70 years. And Daniel said, I've done the math. It's time to go home.

Can you imagine? We have our parole hearing, we're going home. And then Daniel does the most remarkable thing. He prays the prayer and in the prayer, he confesses the sins of his people as if he was the greatest offender. We don't have anything in the book of Daniel to suggest that Daniel was immoral or ungodly or greedy. Quite the opposite. He's quite the heroic character. But when he recognizes that it's time to go home, he doesn't go on the banquet circuit and start raising money, he gets on his face and starts to repent. So I brought you a portion of Daniel chapter 9, I broke it into three paragraphs 'cause I'm gonna ask you to say it with me. But I wanna do it in sections because I want you to hear the people of God saying, "Be merciful to us".

I want you to say it, but I also want you to hear it. I took it out of Daniel. I changed the pronouns a little bit. I gave you the reference. You can check me. If it's offensive to you, I apologize. We've got to do something, become something more than students of the Bible. We've got to start to treat it like it's really true. And if the people of God don't repent, I assure you freedom and liberty will evaporate before our grandchildren get to be adults. So here's what I'd like to do. I'm gonna start with these three sections, one, two, and three. We're gonna do that first paragraph, the one that starts with, "O Lord". All right, when we get done, these three sections are gonna be quiet and these two sections, I know there's more of them over here but you have bigger mouths over here. I know you. This is where I sit. I know it's true, okay? We're gonna do that second paragraph. "Lord, you are righteous". You're with me?

We're gonna read it together and you're gonna hear it and you're gonna hear it. We get to the third paragraph. Those of you that are in the stadium seats, you think I can't see you but I can. We're gonna read that paragraph, the one that says, "Now our God hear the prayers and petitions of your servants". We're gonna act like we need to repent. So we don't go into exile. If you're at home, you're not out of this, okay? If you live on the east side of the Mississippi, you got paragraph one with one, two, and three over here, all right. If you're on the west side of the Mississippi, you got paragraph two with the big mouths over here in these two sections, all right. If you live in a city of more than 2 million people, you can exclude your qualifications on east and the west, you're a designation under yourselves. You're with the group that's in the back.

So everybody's got an assignment. You're with me? We're gonna repent. We're gonna tell the Lord, "This isn't somebody else's problem. It's not about somebody else's failed character. This is our story". You see, the people God delivered from the brick pits of Egypt, he loved them enough, he set them free. He got them out of the mess they were in, but they still had to choose to walk with God. And we have to want that more than we want anything else. I want you not only to be able to say that, I want you to hear it. All right, when we're finished, we'll all stand and I'll dismiss this with a prayer, all right. If you know your parts now, surely we can do this. I know we went to school in Tennessee, but we can do this, okay? All right, we're gonna start these three.

O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled: we have turned away from your commands and laws. We have not listened to your word even though we have heard it, even though it was easily accessible we have ignored your council and gone our own way.

Don't let me down, okay? Everybody in the room needs to hear you.

Lord, you are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame. The men of our nation, the women of our nation, all of us. O Lord, we and our leaders and our families are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him, we have not obeyed the Lord our God or kept the precepts he gave us through his word. All of us have transgressed your law and turned away, refusing to obey you.

All right, let's bring it home, okay.

Now our God hear the prayers and petitions of your servants. For your sake, O Lord, look with favor on your desolate sanctuary. Give ear O God, and hear: open your eyes and see the desolation of the cities. We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because of your church and your people who bear your name, amen.

Hallelujah. Let's stand together. God, we're a people who need your mercy. You have blessed us with great freedom and liberty and abundance and opportunity. And Lord, we have walked away from you. We have maintained an appearance of faith and an appearance of religion while we have served our own agendas.

Father, we have no excuses, we ask for your mercy, for your forgiveness, for your cleansing. And because you're a God who delights in showing mercy, we ask that you might bless our nation again. In Jesus' name, amen.

Are you Human?:*