Without further ado, here is Austin's sermon. Reprinted with permission.
So my sermon is more of a man sermon than Katies. There are so many interesting things about the bible and i could probably talk for days about all of them so i am choosing some of the most interesting ones.
Bargaining with god- Have you ever tried to bargain with god? Did it work? Probably not right? Well in the bible there are more than one occasion where people have tried bargaining with the master of the universe, and have actually succedded! Jacob fought with the angel of the Lord, and as the day was breaking the angel wanted to leave. However, Jacob kept clinging unto him and telling him that he will not release him until he gives him a blessing. Finally, the angel agreed and in the process of agreement hit Jacob so hard that for the rest of his life he walked with a limp. But he was blessed! King Hezekiah received word from the Lord that he should prepare his house for he would die. Hezekiah prayed and sent for the prophet. God listened to his supplication and granted him 15 more years of life. It is true that during this time he made some blunders and God was not completely pleased with his behavior, yet 15 additional years were a pretty good bargain! Christ has indeed invited us to come with boldness before the throne of grace and ask. James gives us one reason for what is happening when we are denied: “You ask and do not receive….When you ask you do not receive, because you ask for the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)
Other Religions- So this part isnt so much about the bible as it is with other religions, but i think that it is interesting enough to be included in this sermon. So i was actually talking to my mom about this the other day, and she made a good point. God knows that every single one of us is different and that we con never get along, so why would he try to make us worship him the exact same way? Every person has their own interpretation of what god wants us to do, and we would never be able to work together between such narrow lines. Every country is so different and every part in each country is so different. I cant imagine everyone in the world who are all so different in their little ways trying to worship god exactly the same way. We can't even agree on how to work things within our own church much less the whole world! Some people believe that their ideas are the only correct way to worship god! I dont think it matters how you find him as long as you do find him.
God can be Cruel!- There are times in the bible where God can seem very cruel and ruthless. There's the one about Moses asking Pharoah to let the Israelites go. Pharoah was willing to but GOD HARDENED HIS HEART...so that god could show his glory and punish the egyptians. God then proceded to rain down plague after plague...each time hardening pharoah's heart, until finally god killed all the first born in the land. Yes many of them were babies. So poor Pharoah had no choice or free will. God made him say no. Nice huh? There are some other verses where god commands the people to cause great destruction and death in his name such as: 1 Samuel 15:1-3 "Now listen to what the Lord Almighty says, .... Go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Don't leave a thing; kill all the men, women, and children, and babies; the cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys."and Judges 20:23 and 48 "Then the Israelites went to the place of worship and mourned in the presence of the Lord until evening. They asked him, 'Should we go again against our brothers the Benjaminites?' The Lord answered, 'Yes.'"The Israelites turned back against the rest of the Benjaminites and killed them all, men, women and children, and animals as well. They burned every town in the area."
The Genesis verse- In Genesis 3:15 God is talking to Adam, Eve, and the Snake in anger. He starts with the snake and tells it "And I will put enmity between you and the woman,and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head and you will strike his heel." Lets review that verse real quick and i will point something out. (REPEAT VERSE) Did you see it?? where did that he come from?? He named no person in the sentence before. God threw us a curveball there. Who is He? If we look at the King James version of that verse And I will put enmity(1) between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head(2), and thou shalt bruise his heel. We notice that they say her seed. In the bible, they say seed to represent offspring. Now, it is my understanding that the man gives the seed to the woman. So who do we know that is the offspring of a woman. Just a woman. So now that we have deduced that we are indeed talking about jesus christ, we know that he will crush the serpents head and the serpent will strike his heel. The serpent in that verse is most likely satan and humanities sins. When Jesus died on the cross, he was the sacrifice that destroyed satan. He died so that we might live again in heaven. He forgave all of our sins and gave us the chance to fix the wrong that adam and eve committed by committing the first sin. He in essence, crushed satans head by destroying his hold on us. Before his death though, Jesus was tortured and hurt beyond our imaginations. He went throught so much pain and suffering on our behalf. Sure sounds like satan struck his heel to me. The thing is, that getting struck in the heel is a minor injury while getting your head cruched seems more dangerous and lasting. So whos side do we want to choose? the side of sin and the doomed satan with his crushed head? Or the eternal Christ who will lead us into heaven and clean our bodies of sin?
Let us pray- Dear heavenly father, we pray that we might find better understanding of your word and your meaning through a closer relationship with you, and we pray that you will give us the strength to overcome the snakes in our life and let our lord and savior jesus christ crush their heads and free us from their grips. It is in your name we pray, amen
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