27 Jun 2nd Peter #3 – Bring Your Bible to the Battle (2 Peter 2:1-22)
– All right, are you excited for an uplifting joyful motivating sermon?
– [Congregation] Yeah.
– Well then, come back next week. This one’s gonna hurt, this one’s gonna hurt like crazy. I’m just telling you where we’re going. We’re in second Peter chapter two. We’re dealing with heretics, if you’re one bad day, and also people who are sleeping with their girlfriends. And if you brought her, welcome miss, we’re really glad to have you. We’re in second Peter, chapter two. And I want to set it up, this is a great book of the Bible that if you are for something, you’re going to need to be against some other things. That’s the first principle. So if you’re for God, you need to be against Satan. If you’re for truth, you need to be against lies. If you’re for life, you need to be against murder. If you’re for goodness, you’re against the New England Patriots. Just if you’re for something, you’re against something else, okay? And then the second principle is, if you have something valuable, expect to have to defend it. This is why we have a lock on our home, this is why we have a lock on our car, this is why we have passwords on our technology. If it’s valuable, somebody’s gonna try and steal it or take it. Because there’s only two ways to get something, to earn it or to steal it. And what we see with false teachers and Satan and demons, they ultimately come to steal, they come to steal what God has given. And so what we’re dealing with today is false teachers infiltrating what is a really loving joyful church, and a pastor from a distance nearing the end of his life telling them and warning them that the word of God is absolutely true and don’t let anyone take it from you or twist it for you. So Peter told us, the author of this great book of the Bible, at the end of chapter one he says, “I’m nearing the end of my life.” Right? His check engine light is on, he’s coming to the end of his days on earth, he knows he’s gonna die. And he wants the people to be strong and healthy as a result even after he is departed. So in chapter one he says, “You can trust the Bible.” Chapter three next week, he will tell us again, “You can trust the Bible.” Chapter two, “Don’t trust everyone who teaches the Bible, because some people like Satan, they will twist and use the scriptures to steal the people that God loves.” And Peter saw this in his own life. He was a follower with Jesus for three years watching his miracles and hearing his teaching and Jesus would love people and feed people and serve people and deliver people and large crowds would come to hear him and to receive his love. And then the religious people would show up. They were demonically inspired. Sometimes the most evil people are the most religious people, because they’re confusing, because they say that they’re speaking and working for God when they’re working and speaking against God. And what would happen then is these religious leaders would show up, they would argue with Jesus, they would criticize him, they would try and hijack the conversation and sidetrack the ministry. So over and over and over Jesus would be against them, seeking to defend the people. Well, Peter has been doing this his entire life, and now he is telling the people that they need to be prepared because trouble is coming and his big idea is bring your Bible to the battle. The reason I tell you this, we’re in a phenomenally good season as a church. Healthy, joyful, generous, unified, everything’s going down, we’re going up. Everything’s sad, we’re happy. Everything’s kinda hmm, we’re kinda hmm. So it’s a good season here, and what it is, it’s a good time for us to remind ourselves of all that God has given us and entrusted to us so that when the day comes, when trouble comes, you guys are ready for that battle. So that’s what this sermon is regarding. So we’ll just start in second Peter, chapter two verse one, “With everything that God creates, Satan counterfeits.” This is a massive mega theme of the Bible that God is creator, God is creative, and Satan, he’s just a knock off artist. He can’t create anything, he only can steal or coerce or corrupt. And he says it this way. Second Peter, one through three. “But false prophets,” that’s the counterfeit. Anytime you hear that word false in the Bible, it’s a clue that the counterfeit is present. “False prophets also arose among the people,” he’s looking at the history of God’s people, “Just as there will be false teachers among you who will secretly bring in destructive heresies even denying the Master, that’s Jesus who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction and many will follow their sensuality.” They’re super popular. “And because of them, the way of truth will be blasphemed and in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle and their destruction is not asleep.” God has real prophets and real teachers. The real prophets tell people what the future will be and the real teachers prepare them for it. The counterfeits that Satan sends, the false prophets prophesy a future that is not God’s intention. We’re entering into a new era, God’s doing new things, everything’s changed, you know, we’ve moved beyond the Bible, there’s a new possibility. And then the false teachers are the ones who come in to do the heavy lifting of answering the objections and defending the false prophets. The false prophets tend to be the bigger more public personas. These are the people that have large platforms and write books and blow up on YouTube and they’re very, very popular, and sometimes they’re spiritual and sometimes they start as a Christian, but they finish like Judas and they’re no longer with Jesus. There’s always the latest trendy Christian issue, fetish book, nonsense leader or garbage ideology. And it becomes very popular and it usually starts within Christianity and then it moves beyond the Bible, and then others who would call it into question are then refuted by the false teachers who are defending the false thesis presented by the false prophet. And what he says is, these people start working, churches, organizations and ministries secretly. They don’t just walk in and say, “Hi, we don’t really believe the Bible. We’d like to wreck your life.” Because they know that most people are like, “Well, we don’t know, thank you for telling us.” So what they do, they do covert, not overt. They’re secretive. They are private. They are not forthcoming and public. How many of you have met somebody? You thought that they love the Lord and as you got to know like whoa, wait a minute. That’s just totally not the fact. Or you thought that they believe the Bible then you realize no, no, actually they don’t. They just are sort of pretending to be on team Jesus to use that to their advantage and to your disadvantage. Secretive, these are people who have agendas but they don’t reveal them. Usually self-seeking and self-serving. Peter saw this in his own life in ministry. There was a guy with him, one of the 12 who was very secretive or covert, who was that? It was Judas. The whole time, three years he’s stealing from Jesus, nobody knows, very covert. And he’s sitting there hearing all the sermons just like everybody else taking the notes. And you would assume that he agreed because he never said otherwise. Just because someone sits under teaching doesn’t mean they agree with the teaching. The entire time he’s disagreeing. So what Jesus taught made it to Judas’s notebook but never made it to Judas’s heart. He knew everything Jesus said, he just didn’t agree with everything Jesus said. And as a result, he was the one who was secretive. And this is how the demonic works. This is how the counterfeit works. It starts by secretly entering in and then bringing in with that person, what he calls destructive heresies. We’ll deal with the destructive first. The destructive means you know that there’s a problem when all of a sudden it’s us versus them and there’s factions and divisions and infighting and conflict and the environment has changed and it’s no longer a joyful or a healthy place to be. This can be in a family, a ministry. This can be even in a network of Christian friends or even an entire church family. It’s destructive. All of a sudden, we’re talking about things that are not essential. We’re talking about people rather than how to love and help people there it’s us versus them. And it’s destructive. It’s destructive heresies. He says, that’s false teaching. The key at your house is when there’s garbage, take it out. What these people do, they take the garbage from the world and they bring it into God’s house. They take whatever the popular issues are, the political issues are, the polarizing issues are, all of the garbage in the culture and they bring it into God’s house. It’s destructive and it uses the word heresy. So we’ll talk about this. Now, let me say this. Some of you, you don’t understand the word heresy. Heresy does not mean that someone disagrees with you. It means that they disagree with God. And you and God just little spoiler alert. Not exactly the same person, okay? So you’re like, well, you disagree with me, you’re a heretic. Well, if your name is Jesus, then you could say that, everybody else you need to double-check. Everything you and I believe may not be exactly what God believes. Just because they disagree with us doesn’t necessarily mean they’re disagreeing with him. But a heretic is one who doesn’t just disagree with you they disagree with God. And heretic or heresy is a big word in the church. It’s like calling someone a rapist. You don’t just use that word or you’re a heretic. Oh, that’s a big word, loaded word, very important word. And we need to use it very sparingly because otherwise it loses its effectiveness to describe someone in regards to what they’re trying to teach. How do you become a heretic? Well, we like to use the language or I like to use language. There’s closed and open-handed issues. Paul says in first Corinthians 15, “I delivered to you what is a first importance.” What he means is everything is important, but not everything is equally important. Some things are first importance. Other things are of lesser importance. The closed handed issues for us would be the things that if you’re a Christian, we need to agree on and the open-handed issues we can disagree on. ‘Cause in any family, there are points of disagreement. So in the closed hand, there’s one God, three persons, father, son, and Holy Spirit, The Trinity. The Bible is God’s word. Jesus is God’s son. He was born of a virgin, fully God, fully man, lived without sin died on the cross in our place for our sins. Rose from death, is seated in heaven, is coming again to judge the living and the dead. And if you’re with Jesus, you go to heaven. And if not, you go to hell close hand. Amen.
– [Congregation] Amen.
– Amen, all right. It was not very enthusiastic, but I’m excited. Okay, okay, we’ll do it. Open hand, public school, private school, homeschool. Just flip a coin, pick one whatever, right? How about this one? What kind of music do you sing? When you baptize somebody dear don’t come to your sprinkle alone. Either way there that works for me. It, open-handed, okay? How old is the earth? Old enough. I mean, you know, we don’t just, open handed and so the pro here’s what a heretic does. A heretic takes something that is supposed to be in this hand and they move it over to this hand. Now a legalist does the opposite. A legalist takes something that should be in this hand and they put it in this hand. What a heretic does they take something that should be in this hand and they put it in this hand. Well, I’m glad the Bible works for you, but, you know, not all Christians need the Bible. Right bro. Oh, nope supposed to be over in this hand. Oh, you trust Jesus. I’m glad that works for you. I think that there are other Christians who also believe in other religions and other gods and ideologies and spiritualities. So I believe in addition to Jesus there’s lots of paths that lead to God. Right bro, you moved it from this hand to this hand. That’s how you become a heretic. Underlying heresy is something very, very interesting. And the big heresy today is there’s no heresy. Everybody’s right. Everybody’s thoughts your perspective, that’s your viewpoint. That’s your vantage point. That’s your bias. And so what happens is I’ll tell you a story. It’s going to be a series of rants so we’re gonna get worse. I be very overt you’re welcome. So, some years ago I met with a theologian, Dr. J. I. Packer. I believe just one of the greatest towering Bible teaching theological thinkers in recent decades. And I was young. This was many years ago in my 20s. I mean, this was long time ago. And some of us young leaders got to meet with Dr. J. I. Packer, which was amazing. He’s, you know, Canadian and very much a gentleman, and I met with him and I can’t remember if it was me or one of the guys, somebody asked questions, “So for the next generation of Christian Bible teaching leaders, what’s the big issue that we should prepare for? What do you see on the horizon that’s coming that’s going to be a problem?” And I was kind of shocked. We were kind of shocked ’cause he said gay marriage. And at that time nobody was for it. Nobody was for it. And I said, we said, “Okay, explain that Dr. Packer.” He said the problem with it, it’s a heresy. He used this word, big word by J.I. Packer. Not some guy in his mom’s basement and his footie pajamas, you know, eating is lunchable, you know, going to Christian college, not that guy, J.I. Packer. He said, “Okay, explain that to us, Dr. Packer.” He said, “Heretics are those who preach tolerance of sin, Christians or those who preach repentance of sin.” If it’s sin and you preach tolerance, you’re a heretic. If you preach repentance, you’re a Christian. True or false, he was a prophet, not a false prophet. He looked on the horizon. And now it’s just like, well, you know, God loves you. Yes, he loves you so much. He’ll take you as you are but he loves you too much to let you stay as you are. God tolerates you, you repent and then he transforms you so that it’s a new you not just blessing the old you. How you become a heretic is you start preaching tolerance of sin, not repentance of sin. And let me say this, start preaching it to yourself first because what we always like to hear people hear this sermon they’re gonna be like, there’s such a good sermon. I got a whole list of people I’m going to send the link to, they got some stuff they really need the facts. You start with you, right? Your biggest problem meets you in the mirror every morning you start right there. Now, why are they so powerful these false teachers and heretical instructors? While he says that ultimately they’re empowered by demonic principalities and powers. He says this started, he uses the language from long ago. The rebellion started in heaven. Satan is like, I don’t agree with God. A few demons were like, we think we could do it differently. This rebellion, this disagreeing with God. It has very long history to it. And as a result, the same spirits who rebelled against God in heaven are empowering false teachers and false prophets to continue the rebellion on earth. And then the question is, why are they so popular? And he says, they’ll be very popular. He says many will follow, it’s a parade. Sometimes literally. Sometimes literally. Why is it so popular? Because it’s about sex, power and money. Which are always really popular. He talks about greed and sensuality and popularity. And we’ve even got this little line. We use it in our day, sex sells. You know what it does if you come to people and you’re like you can have all the sex, money and power you want and God will give it to you. Oh, so I’ve been good to pretend that I’m holy that’s a double bonus round. So let’s have this conversation because I got nothing else to do. And we’ve locked the doors and you’re not allowed to leave. So let’s have this conversation. Let’s start with the, and he’s talking about sensuality which is sexual sin. True or false? It’s still popular sexual sin. True, true, true. So let’s start with the single people, gay and then we’ll move on to everyone else. So for those of you who are single because what oftentimes happens it’s this conversation begins, right? It’s like, well, you know, it’s false teaching and it’s sensuality and it’s destructive. And then immediately everybody’s got their own little attorney that lives in their heart that comes out to defend their behavior. And let me just say this. Most churches give away water bottles to first time guests. We should give away belts because that actually is what people really need. They need a belt and they need a belt that says Jesus rules below this place. That’s what it needs to say, okay? So. We’re going to start our men’s ministry in a few weeks and I’m seriously thinking about ordering real men belt buckles and all the single guys get a free one, get a free one. So for those of you who are single now single people like to live and sleep together, right? And what are the arguments that they usually give to justify their behavior even if they’re Christians? Oh, financial, weak, weak holiness is too expensive. Weak, weak, weak here, weak here. It’s cheaper to live together. It’s cheaper to, it’s a better deal. You know what? Sleep in your car. Okay? And ma’am, if you are marrying a guy who doesn’t have enough money to live somewhere, maybe you should marry a different guy with a job. Or at least a friend who would let him at there. So if you have a guy who has no money and no friends that might not be the first round draft pick for a husband. Okay, what are the other reasons or excuses that we give single people? I’m just a 50 year old dad. I can do this all day, okay? So what are the other reasons? Well.
– We’re going to get married anyway.
– We’re going to get married. There was a guy one time went into a Walmart, grabbed the TV and just walked out the door without buying it. When the security guard stopped him what he said was I was going to come back and buy it later, okay? You’re stealing, that’s not yours. We’re going to get, we’ll then get married. They get married while a pastor won’t marry us. Well, then don’t get married. What are the other reasons we give.
– [Congregation] We’re married in God’s eyes.
– We’re married in God’s eyes. No, you’re not. I’ve seen his eyes. He’s not even blinking. They’re flaming red. He’s got the full on angry dad look. That’s his daughter, he’s ticked. But we’re going to try getting married. We’re going to try getting married. Let me just tell you this. A spouse is not like a car. You don’t need to go for a test drive. See, I had a friend in college. I know that’s shocking. I had a friend in college. He never even kissed his wife until their wedding day. And I’ll never forget. He told us the story at the state university in a communication class, in front of a bunch of frat guys. Immediately when the teacher’s like any questions after that presentation. Oh yeah. The frat guys had questions. One of the frat guys asked, he said, “Well how do you know if your wife is going to be any good in bed?” He said, “If I’ve never even touched another girl how would I know she’s bad.”
– [Congregation] Amen.
– Bazinga drop the mic Cowabunga Shazam. Yeah, yeah, that’s a really good idea there. We say crazy things trying to justify our behavior. What else do single people say who want to live and sleep together?
– It’s just a piece of paper.
– Oh, it’s just a piece of paper. Yeah, so is this read it. It says not to do that. Anything else we say?
– God just wants us to be happy.
– God just wants us to be happy. Which is very clear in first and second nowhere. It’s a very. It’s a very strong theme. And first and second nowhere, if you are living and sleeping together, you are now practicing for marriage. You are practicing for divorce. The two become one, one last name, one God, one house one bed, one checking account not two. Statistically, if you live together, your rates of domestic violence are higher than a married couple. And if you live and sleep together before you are married, statistically, your rates of divorce are higher than those who do not. And immediately what happens is we just want to excuse our behavior not understanding that God is a good God and his plan is a good plan. And when you sin, you hurt yourself. That’s why the Bible says among God’s people, Ephesians there shouldn’t even be a hint of sexual immorality. And I heard this from a couple so they’re like, “Well we’re living together. We’re not sleeping together.” Okay, you’re lying or weird. Those are your only options. You’re either lying. You’re like, well, yeah, nobody could see, but trust us. It’s all Bible studies back here or. Right? It says, it’s always Solomon don’t arouse or awaken love till it’s touch. So the question is not single person. Where is the line? The question is when is God’s time? God’s time is marriage, marriage, marriage. That’s what the Bible says in Hebrews to honor the marriage bed. There’s no verses about the dating bed. It’s supposed to be two beds. This is really crazy. And if you’re under 25 I’ll just say this you’ve been lied to your whole life. You’ve been lied to your whole life. When you went to school and they gave you sex ed. No, it was false teaching. When you went to university, it was false teaching. If you look on media or social media it’s false teaching, it’s false prophets. It prophesies a future that never exists. They lived happily ever after. And it’s a bunch of false teachers. People educated beyond their intelligence with more degrees than Fahrenheit, making up silly naughty arguments so that foolish kids will follow click bait and provide revenue to naughty people. Okay, now let’s talk about other people because I believe in equality, which means you have to offend everyone at some point in the sermon. So what are some of the other reasons that people will give for having sex before or outside of marriage? What are the justifications that even people who say they’re Christians will use.
– Everybody’s doing it.
– Everybody’s doing it. Well, that’s a great idea. You know, that’s a great idea. You know what? If everybody’s doing it it’s probably the conga line to hell. That’s probably what it is. You’re like, but it’s a conga line to hell. So don’t join the conga line. Everybody’s doing it. You know what everybody’s not doing? Reading the Bible. You know what everybody’s not doing? Keeping their pants on. We’re supposed to be the minority. We’re supposed to be the counter-culture. Other reasons we give.
– God knows our heart.
– God knows our heart. Yes he does. And he says, it’s nasty. Because out of the overflow of the heart, the hands wander. You should see all the single guys who are sad. They brought their girlfriend at church today. I wish you could see their faces. They’re all just sitting there like this. Not even making eye contact. A couple of them check there, I got a call. I got a call, I’ll be back never. Back never. All the single guy somehow got a call at the same time. That’s amazing. I was teaching the sermon last night and I said, yeah some of you guys say were married in God’s eyes. I literally watched one guy who was sitting there like this and his girlfriend looks, she’s like “That’s what you said.” Somebody’s getting dumped. That’s how this is going down. Now what we like to see is nobody gets hurt. We’re consenting adults. Let’s just look at the statistics. ‘Cause false prophets will tell you a future that is not reality. If you have sex before the age of 25, you have a 50% chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease.
– That means if you go to college, your odds of getting a degree and a disease are about the same. Is he going to do this for a whole hour? I hope so. Okay. So when you went to college, was there could you get a minor in self-control? Was there an elective in chastity? No, there’s not and let me just let you know a little secret. We worship a virgin. Probably the best way to worship him is not by having sex with people he says not to have sex with. In addition, people, nobody gets hurt. 110 million Americans have a sexually transmitted disease. For the first time in the nation’s history the majority of children born to women under age 30 are born out of wedlock, have no father which is the number one indicator that you will grow up in poverty and commit a crime. In addition, one out of four children never lives through their conception because they are aborted in the womb. One in four women reports being sexually assaulted. One in six men reports being sexually assaulted. It is the most under reported crime and an epidemic. In addition with sex out of control we have sex trafficking which is the slavery issue of our age. And pedophilia is on the rise. Especially as children are online, stuck at home and predators are pursuing them. Whenever he’s like nobody gets hurt. Everyone gets hurt. That’s a false prophecy. It’s prophesying a future that is not a reality. It is buttressed by false teachers and false leaders who are trying to recruit. Let me just tell you this, sex in our country is a religion. It has evangelists trying to convert you and it has apologists trying to defend it. The whole thing is a counterfeit. And some people will say, “Well, God wants us to be happy.” Well, let me just tell this statistically the happiest people, lowest divorce rates lowest domestic violence, happiness scores off the chart and the most frequent intimacy, Bible believing, Jesus loving, church attending, prayer, singing, Christians.
– Okay, so there you go. Let God be true. Let every man be a liar. God made marriage. God made us male and female. God architected things that work. And when you work against his design plan, it is a disaster. And so what we’ve done today, we just lit gender, marriage and sexuality on fire. And sometimes it’s in churches and that’s what’s particularly deplorable. All right, let’s get some more verses reload. Okay, second Peter two, four through 10. You can make it. So as you look at this world and what a dumpster fire disaster it truly is. He has a little bit of hope, “For if God did not spare angels,” he’s going to give us four case studies here. When they sinned and it sin no it’s not pastor Mark. That’s just perspective. You’re very binary. Let me just let you know a little something. The God of the Bible, he’s a bit judgy. Can I just say you know that, he’s a bit judgy. He calls it sin, not just an alternative or a perspective or a bias, “But cast them into hell.” It is real. “And committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment.” Here’s another one. “If he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah,” we’ll talk about these guys. “A herald of righteousness.” He preached for 120 years with seven others. That’s his family keep an eye on your family. “When he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.” Case study number three. “To ashes.” Whole bunch of perverts in one town. God turns on the self-cleaning oven in Sodom and Gomorrah as he condemned them to extinction. Oh my gosh, he got rid of a whole culture. Yup. “Making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly and if you,” this is the fourth one. “If he rescued righteous Lot.” Now, if you know the story, Lot is not that righteous. But apparently the bar of entry was low. “His name is Lot,” ’cause he’s a lot of drama. He’s related to Abraham, “Greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked.” Keeps talking about sexuality. You know what? Theological problems are really moral problems. Bible problems are really pants problems. Don’t overcomplicate things. As soon as I hear a teacher say I’m not sure I believe the Bible anymore. My question is always, who are you sleeping with? “For as that righteous man lived among them day after day,” in Vegas on the strip. “He was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard. Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling, passion and despising authority.” And he gives us four case studies. It’s like, okay the false prophets tell you things have changed. Do what you want. Choose your gender. Let’s re-imagine marriage. Let’s just take off all the sexual restraints. Everything will be fine. It’s false prophecy. That’s not the future that comes. This is the future that comes. He brings us four case studies. The first is fallen angels. What he says is rebellion is nothing new. Satan and demons rebelled and they get no savior. They get no forgiveness. They’re just sentenced to hell, chained up on fire. Now what happens is you and I get something that the fallen angels do not get. And that is we get Jesus. God said, “Okay, you sin, you go to hell.” To me that’s totally reasonable. And then we sin and God looks at us and says, well, you should go to hell but I’m going to send my son to die for you and rise for you. So I take you to heaven. Some of you are like, “I don’t know how God could send people to hell.” I have no problem with that. To me, I’m just befuddled that God would take anyone to heaven. If I was God, I already got rid of the demons. I’d look down at people are joining the demons. I’d be like, well, glad they’re down there. I’m certainly not bringing them up here. And God did the unthinkable, the unimaginable. He gave us grace and he gave us Jesus. And what he says is, hey, if you’ve done the same thing as the demons and declared war on God be grateful that there is an opportunity for you to be forgiven and have a relationship with God. He talks about Noah and the flood. Here’s what it says in Genesis six. “God looked at the inclination of man’s heart and it was only evil all the time. Therefore, God was grieved in his heart.” As God looked at humanity God not only hears the words and sees the deeds, He knows the motives of the heart. And everybody all the time just had nasty self-destructive grotesque desires. And God was just devastated in his heart because God’s a father and when He sees the people that He made self-destructing it grieves him in his soul. So what God did, He came to know and he’s like, “Okay I’m going to send a flood of judgment in 120 years.” Because God is really patient that people tend to think that God isn’t, he doesn’t change his mind. He’s not showing up. No, he’s just patient. So He tells Noah, “I need you to build a boat.” Now the story of Noah is he lives in the desert like we do. Some theologians think it had never rained to that point in the history of the world. It’s like, okay, what’s rain? So I take the water down here. I put it up there and then I bring it back down but in a far less organized way, okay. Build a boat. So Noah starts building a boat and he just told us preaching for 120 years. For 120 years, nobody came forward for the altar call. Only his family responded and everybody was just eating and drinking and messing around and enjoying Mardi Gras and surfing the internet and just doing high school hi-jinks and all of a sudden it started raining and everybody died but Noah’s family got an ark. They were spared by the grace of God. They used as the example of Sodom and Gomorrah or as we will call it Hollywood and Vegas. These were two cities that were right next to one another and they were absolutely economically built on sin and rebellion and in self-indulgence. The key that false teaching is so popular, it just teaches self-indulgence. The only thing left in the entire western world that says no is this. It’s the only thing left? And if we can get rid of this, then it’s self-indulgence without any restraint. And so what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah, they set up their entire culture, their entire economy on lots of perversion. And God saw that it was just horrifying, what they were doing to one another. So we sent two angels sort of to go undercover, incognito and examine the city. All the nasty men in the city come out and they want to sexually assault the two angels who appear as men. And God realizes that this is not going to change so it needs to end. That’s the story of planet earth.
– That’s right.
– Those of you who believe in evolution, you’re adorable, okay? It’s, God is patient, but if it’s not going to stop he’s going to make it end. And so what he did, he literally sent flaming road tar and eviscerated the two cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Now what’s so crazy is the false teachers and we’ll deal with this when we get into Romans one. And I think there’s a 50 50 shot. I get kicked off of social media. That’ll be fun. We’ll see how that works out. But when you get into Romans one there’s this whole description about what was happening in and around Sodom and Gomorrah. But what happens today is the false teachers will come and they’ll say, “Oh no, the sin was not sexual perversion. The sin was in hospitality that they didn’t welcome the stranger into the city so God judged them.” And so the moral of the story is we need to welcome people who are different than us, which is why we need to be pro gay. Otherwise, if we’re not pro gay then we’re like Sodom and Gomorrah. I’m not making this up and I’m sober. This is exactly what they say. They will use the entire story and twist it to justify the thing that it forbids. So he uses the story of Lot. Now Lot was supposed to be a believer. He was related to Abraham. He had a family, grabbed his family’s like where should we move? They moved to Sodom and Gomorrah. Imagine that. You’re homeschooling your kids, you telecommute and you’re like, we could live anywhere. Let’s go live on the Vegas Strip. Come on, kids, get your King James Bible. What could possibly go wrong? So he moves his family into Sodom and Gomorrah. No believers were his kids going to school. All right, they’re going to Sodom high. Oh, it’s not good. The angels show up and they’re like, “You better leave. It’s all going to get destroyed.” So he grabs his family and flees. What does his wife do?
– She turns around
– She turns around. Oh, I miss our old lifestyle. Oh, I miss the good old days. Oh, I miss those times when we got to indulge the flesh. Let me tell you this, if God delivers you, don’t turn around.
– [Congregation] Amen.
– Don’t go back and don’t look back to your old lifestyle. Don’t do that. And then they fleed. And then his daughters think it’s the end of the world. And they really want to be mothers. So they concoct a plan where they get their dad drunk two nights in a row, sleep with him so that they can get pregnant with a baby. Okay, immediately, some of you were thinking that sick unless you live in Sodom and then it’s Tuesday. See the point is, if you raise your kids in Sodom even if you move your kids out of Sodom you better get Sodom out of your kids. It’s not just enough to get your kids out of Sodom. You need to get Sodom them out of yourself out of your spouse and out of your kids. The nastiness that lived in mom apparently lived in the daughters and apparently Lot was a horrible leader because he led the family into total disaster. Some of you have moved here. We’re in the fastest growing city and county in America. And you are fleeing your version of Sodom and Gomorrah. It’s fine if you get out of it. Just make sure it gets out of you. If you take it with you you’ll just be the same person in a new place.
– Preach it.
– So he uses these case studies. And then the underlying question is why are they so powerful? Well, it’s because of perversion and rebellion. Perversion he talks about defiling passion. Passion is really good. And if it is misdirected, it is really bad. Marriage is for passion and passion is inclusive of the intimate relationship between husband and wife. So let me just say this very plainly and clearly Jesus, God, the Bible is not against sex. It’s for marriage. Sex goes in marriage like fire goes in a fireplace. It’s very hot. It’s very passionate, which is totally good. But if you go home and you decide I’m going to build a fire I would recommend you choose carefully where to build that fire at your house. If you build it in the fireplace, you’ll be fine. You build it somewhere else. You’re going to have real trouble. The passions of intimacy are made for the hearth of marriage. Taken out it just burns everyone and everything down. And what he’s talking about here is defiling passion. What we need to do is not defile passion, but direct passion toward God and the things that God intends for us to be passionate about. And then number two, he talks about rebellion which is despising authority. That is, there is no authority beyond me. You can’t judge me. Who are you to tell me? I disagree with you. You’re biased, you’re prejudice, you’re privileged. That’s your culture. We have all of this nonsense. And God says, “You’re all wrong.” I don’t care what your culture is what your education is or what your upbringing is. Over all the cultures is God. He rules through laws that are unchanging because God does not change. And he expects us to change. See, in some of you, I just see your faces. I love you and be like, I’m very offended. Okay, thank you for paying attention. At least you’re getting the big idea that I’m trying to communicate, but let me say this. If you are offending him, then my choice is not will I offend my choice is who will I offend? Do I tell you what he said and offend you? Or do I tell you something different than he said and defend him? The question is not, will people be offended? The question is, will it be people or the God who loves them? And I’m telling you the God’s way is the best way. I’m telling you that the God who made you knows what’s best for you. And the strong language from Peter, it is like a dad looking at his kids and saying, okay, that’s a sink, that’s a faucet. If you want to drink feel free to go get water out of the faucet. Now, if you open up under the sink, there’s also something that looks like water, but it’s called bleach. Don’t drink that. That’s the heart of Peter. That’s the heart of God. This will give you life. This will give you death. Please know the difference and please make good choices. Now, the worst is when all of this nonsense shows up in the church or what is supposed to be the church. Some years ago, I’ll give you a little story. We were driving in the car, kids in the back. We were three rows deep. We were all deep, five kids. We’re in the suburban. I think it was heck the tank kids always name their cars. Your kids do that? Then you can’t sell it. And you’re like really we cannot sell, we gotta that’s part of the family So we’re driving hank the tank. And kids are in the back. Some of them were in the car seats. We drive by quote unquote, church, old church building. It’s got a big, huge rainbow flag out front. Says, God is still speaking. One of the kids in the backseat is like, “Dad, what’s that sign mean.” Oh boy, oh boy. Well they believe that what God said in the Bible is no longer true that God has changed his mind. And now he’s saying things that contradict what he used to say. So we need to listen to their teachers instead of the Bible and that when God speaks of gender sexuality and marriage he’s changed his mind. One of the kids said, “Well, then it’s not a church. How come they get to still call themselves a church?” Little kid, real insightful. I said, yeah, that’s the problem. You can just put church on the name. They said, “Well, why did they put church on the name?” Because it deceives people. They think that they’re going to church. They’re not, they’re going to the counterfeit. They’re going to the counterfeit. And what Peter is saying is every one of us has something that is a defiled passion that we really wished we could do that. And we need to fight that and not feed that because ultimately we will find some people who tell us it’s okay. And that will be the entry point into the demonic realm and the acceptance of false teaching through defiling passion and rebellion against God’s authority. This is the father, heart of God. He gives some good news. Correction is for redirection, okay? Some of you are asking, is there any hope? No, its done, none, none. But the band will still sing at the end. Second, Peter two, 10 through 16. Correction is for redirection. All believers at some point, we get off the path and we need to be corrected and redirected. Bold and wilful hashtags, parades, bumper stickers, cancel culture, social media comments, websites, blogs. That sort of means in the Greek, bold and wilful. They do not tremble as they blaspheme glorious ones. They even try to boss angels around, very high self-esteem. Whereas angels, though greater in mind and power do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord. But these are like irrational animals. You start to act like animals. Right now, sexually morally people are acting like animals. We didn’t come from animals, but some people seem like they’re going backwards on the evolutionary chart. Creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed blaspheming about matters of which they’re ignorant. They don’t even know what they’re talking about will also be destroyed in their destruction suffering wrong as the wage for their wrong doing. The count of pleasure to revel in the daytime. They’re not even ashamed of it anymore. They’re not even hiding it anymore. They’re not even embarrassed by it anymore. What they should have a funeral for now they have a parade for. They are blots and blemishes reveling in the deceptions while they feast with you. They want to be your friend and hang out. They have eyes full of adultery, insatiable for sin. They entice unsteady souls. They have hearts trained in greed. It’s prophetable, a cursive children for seeking the right way. They have gone astray. They have followed the way Balaam son of Beor is from the book of Numbers who love gain from wrongdoing was rebuked for his own transgressions. A speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrain the prophet’s madness. He says they have three things pride. They work in public and underneath it all it’s prophet. Pride, they’ll tell you what to do. You need to do this. You need to do that. They’re going to get bossy and bully. If they’re willing to tell angels what to do they’re willing to tell you what to do. Number two, he talks about there they’re public. They’re not ashamed of it. I’m not ashamed of who I am. I’m not ashamed of what I do. Well, if you’re a Christian and you’re living publicly against the will of God that is something that needs to be changed, not celebrated. And number three, he talks about prophets, hearts trained in greed. I’m just telling you, there is a whole movement coming with young social justice warriors, quote unquote Christians that is going to change gender marriage, sexuality, and encourage lots of rebellion in the name of a bright new future that is promised to be glorious grand and good. And it’s all false prophecy with false teachers. And he uses the example of Balaam son of Beor. So Beor was his daddy, probably really disappointed. Balaam, here’s the story. It’s a crazy story. Balaam was supposed to be a prophet, not a false prophet. The difference between a prophet and a false prophet is often the profit. Meaning you get paid enough to say what people want. See today, we would call these marketing or PR firms. You just pay us and we’ll create a message to tell not what’s true, but while you paid us to tell. What happened was Balaam son of Beor, he was a prophet of God. Yeah, the Holy spirit. He was a believer. He would prophesy over God’s people and he would prophesy blessing over them. There’s a demonic pagan false king who really hates God and God’s people and he wants God to stop blessing them so that he can overtake them and that he can destroy them. So he comes up with a plan. Well maybe if I can get the prophet and then I could give him some profit he could become a false prophet and prophesy condemnation rather than blessing over God’s people. And then they would be harmed and then I could destroy them and I could take them. So then the king kept coming to Balaam son of Beor, naming a price, naming a price, naming a price. Over and over and over Balaam is like, no, I can’t do that. I love the Lord, I speak for the Lord. And eventually the king added enough zeros to the cheque. Then Balaam, was like, “Oh, I don’t know how about a few more zeros?” Okay. If your soul is for sale Satan will just keep adding zeros till he finds your dollar amount. Cashes his cheque, jumps on his donkey, which is his mode of transportation and he’s going to curse the children of God to become a false prophet. Along the way, Jesus shows up to stop him. In the Old Testament, an angel of the Lord is usually the angel of the Lord is usually Jesus is coming down from heaven. Jesus comes down from heaven with a sword. He’s not messing around. He’s standing in the middle of the road to stop the false prophet Balaam. The false prophet Balaam does not see Jesus, but the donkey does. The moral of the story is the real donkey is the prophet. The less spiritually discerning one is the prophet. The donkey’s got this all figured out. It’s the man of God who’s got it sideways. So the donkey’s like, I am not running into Jesus. So it squeezes up against the wall. It’s trying to go around Jesus in the road. Well, Balaam, doesn’t see Jesus in the middle of the road. So he starts whipping and hitting his donkey. And what’s interesting to me is so Balaam is so angry that his donkey will not obey him but he’s not bothered that he is a donkey disobeying God. We get very angry at people who disobey us but we don’t think anything about our disobedience toward God. So then eventually the donkey turns around and rebukes him. So now the donkey is the real prophet rebuking the false prophet. This is awesome. He’s like, I’ve been a good donkey. Why do you hit me? Jesus is in the road. You’re an idiot. I’m not going to run over Jesus. He’s got a sword, stop hitting me. They have this conversation. The point is that the donkey corrects the prophet who’s become the false prophet. Correction is for redirection. Even a believer can get off pace, can get off course, can get off mission. And God will use people in things to redirect us back onto the right course. And sometimes it’s not the people and things that we would have chosen. Sometimes they’re like, I don’t like that person. You’re like, well, it’s better than the donkey he got. You’re blessed. Now how many of you hear this? And immediately your first thought is, this is why I don’t believe the Bible. Donkeys talking to people is impossible. It cannot happen. Okay, what I find interesting is that the Bible talks about people’s times in places that eventually the archeologists who dig up history they verify what the scripture say is true. And oftentimes it’s reported in something called the biblical archeological review and they will take the latest findings to prove the Bible. And they did find an ancient inscription of both Balaam and the talking donkey. Every time I read this story, I hear Eddie Murphy’s voice. Don’t you see Jesus, why are you hitting me? So, should I keep it for the next sermon or toss it? What do you think? Keep or toss.
– [Congregation] Keep it.
– Keep it, okay. Okay, keep it. All right, there you go. That’s Balaam on the left. All right, so last section of verse is some people self-destruct. Here it goes. It’s going to get worse. Somebody like, “Is there any encouragement?” “No.” “No, my spiritual gift is discouragement.” So second Peter, two 17 through 22. “These are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm.” Just a waste of time and energy. “For them the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved.” It’s a guaranteed one way ticket to the flames. “For speaking loud boasts of folly.” Man, they make a lot of noise but they don’t make a lot of difference. “They entice by sensual passions.” There it is again. “Of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom but they’re slaves of corruption.” You’re only free if you can stop and you can control. If you can’t stop drinking, you’re not free. You’re a slave to alcohol. If you can’t stop having sex and you’re not married or outside of marriage, you are not free. You’re a slave to your loss. See what false prophets do. They prophesy freedom and it’s part of the demonic deception because Satan is only and always a liar. I love people. I’m tired of seeing them addicted to sex, to porn to gambling, to power, to money, to alcohol, to drugs. It’s just addiction. That’s the language of slavery in the Bible. We have an entire culture built on the pursuit of happiness. Where the number one prescription medication is antidepressants. You know why? Satan is a liar and he promises freedom. But all he delivers is slavery. He promises life, all he delivers his death. He promises joy and all he delivers is grieve. After they have escaped, because they promise freedom but they themselves are slaves of corruption for whatever overcomes a person to that he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ they are again entangled in them and overcome. The last state has become worse for them than the first. For would have been better for them to never have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. It’s kind of like Judas. Judas knew a lot so he got judged more harshly because he had more knowledge that should have compelled him to trust in Jesus. Some people think, well, if I just sit in church, that’ll help. If you don’t know Jesus, if you don’t love Jesus if you don’t follow Jesus, all that does is increases the things you’re accountable for. Now, you think he would end ’cause this is just the end of the chapter. See in our day you would think, okay, end on a high note, encourage him. Give him a lot. Little hope for the whole family. Give him something for the flannel graph for the kids in Sunday school. Give him something make a real good veggie tale, okay? Okay, here we go. The dog returns to its own vomit. You ever seen a dog?
– Oh, yep. Okay, so we know who the dog owners are. That was fast. Okay, you know where this is going. You ever seen a dog, your dog eats something and then they’re like ouh-ouh-ouh-ouh-ouh-ouh, brrrrrgh. And then they’re like mmmhhhng. You’ve ever seen that? God sees that every day. On planet earth. Or you drank too much threw up. Now you got a hangover and you’re going to drink more to cure the hangover. Dog vomit, dog vomit. How many of you have done something made you sick? And then later you’re like, “I’ll just try it one more time see what happens.” True or false?
– [Congregation] True.
– You’re not as enthusiastic as you should be. True, not true. I’m a little hangover right now. Okay. The dog returns to its own vomit and the sow or the pig. I mean Jewish people this was a real insult after washing herself returns to wallow in the mire. If you have ever seen a pig, they’re just they’re a nasty animal. They eat everything. They smell like Satan farted. They’re dirty, terrible. So let’s say you’re like, oh, the poor pig, he just needs, he needs to be brought in, needs to be cleaned and little perfume little old spice, little love. Some of you gals, I’m explaining your dating relationships. You know, and then ‘ll turn it into, it’ll just be just be a totally new piggy. As soon as you opened the door, whew, gone. Right back in the mud. The band’s got two new songs. One about being a dog the other about being a pig. We’re going to sing it just a minute. It’s going to change your life. We tend to see this in other people’s lives a lot more clearly than we see it in our own. We’re just like, why do you do that? You keep doing that. That’s just terrible. Me too. Well, you got out of it and then you got back into it. How many of you there’s somebody you know somebody you love. You’re trying to get them cleaned. You’re trying to get them sober. You’re trying to get them responsible. And you’re just like, every time the door opens, man they just run right back into it. As soon as they throw it up, they eat it again. What he’s talking about is for some people, they never change. For some of you who are highly relational. You’re like pastor Mark there’s hope for everybody. Everybody there’s hope for everybody. No, no. No, the way is narrow. Not everyone finds it. Not everyone wants Jesus. Not everybody wants to change. And the how to proceeds the want to. This is where he talks about we have a savior, the Lord, Jesus Christ. Do you know that Jesus not only saves us from Satan, sin, death, hell and the wrath of God? Jesus also saves me from me.
– [Congregation] Amen.
– Jesus needs to give us a new nature with new desires. Otherwise we’re just the same old dog. We’re just the same old sow. And what Jesus does through the Holy spirit he gives new desires to really like, I threw that up. I ain’t eating that anymore. I used to go wallow in that. I ain’t go in there anymore. I’m not going there anymore. Have you met Jesus? Have you gotten new desires. Has God changed you at the level of being, if not, then you need a savior and he is the Lord Jesus Christ. And once he gives you a new nature, you will still struggle with these things. But you will have power to walk in victory over these things. And like Balaam, there will be seasons that you wander, but God will correct and redirect you if you’re in fact, one of his children. This is like Judas and Peter. They both blew it publicly as disciples of Jesus. Judas never changed, Peter did. That’s why he writes this letter. And I believe in his heart, he is appealing to you. And he is saying, please follow me, please don’t follow Judas. Jesus will love you and help you and serve you. But if you reject him, there is only pain in your future. No matter what the false prophets would say. There’s hope for Peter. There’s hope for you. If there’s hope for Peter, there’s hope for me. And this is the hope second Peter, two nine “Then the Lord knows.” So God’s got a plan here’s the good news. How to rescue, how to rescue, how to deliver how to save the godly from trials. So the question is not, is a trial coming in your life? The question is, will you choose in the middle of it, God and godliness. We’re all going to have trials. In the middle say, I choose God and godliness then God will rescue you. He provides a way of escape the apostle Paul says. How many of you in the middle of it it looked like everyone and everything around you was doomed and destroyed and God delivered you. And here’s how he does it. Noah gets a what? Noah and his family, what do they get for their deliverance? They get a big boat. What does Lot get? He gets a couple of angels, which is awesome. What does Balaam get? A talking donkey. That’s different. What does Peter get? A second chance? So let me end with my testimony. I want to encourage you by how God has been so gracious to me. So I grew up next to an airport. Within walking distance of my house were a couple of strip clubs, not a great neighborhood. My first job, I falsified my birth certificate at age 15. and I worked at a 7-Eleven. That was walking distance between two strip clubs. It was right off an interstate where they had the Green River Killer and Ted Bundy. That’s where I grew up. Serial killers, prostitution, danger. I did not know the Lord, but I thought I was a good person because in my neighborhood it didn’t take a lot. It didn’t take a lot. And I grew up sort of marginal Jack Catholics. So I knew a little bit about God, but I didn’t know God. And it wasn’t the church’s fault I just didn’t care. And I never really read the Bible, but I just assumed that I knew the big idea. God likes bad people. He does. Excuse me, God likes good people. And God doesn’t like bad people. Therefore be a good person and you’ll be fine with God. He grades on a curve, if you’re a C student no need to worry. That’s kind of what I thought. I was like, well, I’m obviously a good person. So check, I’m fine. So then I meet Grace, my wife at age 17. I was not a virgin. She was a pastor’s daughter. Pretty soon, I’m sleeping with a pastor’s daughter. Okay, just so you know, now that I’m a dad and a pastor you get cuts on the line to help for that. That here’s, I mean, literally if you’re sleeping with the pastor’s daughter, when everybody’s in line for you’re like, excuse me, I’m at the front I’m here, I’m in the front. That’s me. I’m 17 sleeping with the pastor’s daughter. Why God did not set me on fire. Now that I’m a dad just so you know, I’ve changed my position on this. I see it very differently than when I was a single guy. How many of you dads you’re like, I used to see it this way? Now that I’ve got a daughter, I see a real different way. Yeah, that’s me, okay? Okay? So then I’m sleeping with a pastor’s daughter and then I go to college where every class is telling me to do whatever I want to do, okay? Every class is giving me justification for self-indulgence and self-destruction. And then Grace gave me a Bible. So I started reading the Bible and then I decided, you know what? I got to figure out what the Bible says because everybody’s trashed in the Bible. And the Bible seems to be the only thing saying, no, it’s a crazy stuff like there’s boys and girls and that marriage is for one guy and girl and sex is for marriage. And man, it’s the only thing telling anybody no is this book. So I got to see if that book is true or false. So I go to Bible study college, Bible study, guy gets up, teaches Bible study. I kid you not on fornication. Right? He’s like now, “Fornicators don’t inherit the kingdom of God and fornicators fornicate.” And I’m like, that’s a big word. I wonder what that means. So it sounded like he was saying you’re not supposed to sleep with your girlfriend. So, now I’m a Greek scholar because every guy who doesn’t know what to do with his belt is all of a sudden a Greek scholar trying to figure out what the original authorial intent was so that he could take his belt off. So, most of you guys that are in your 20s you’re not theologians, you’re naughty, okay? So what happens then is I’m that guy. So then I call the pastor who taught the Bible study. I was like, “Hey, I appreciate that Bible study on fornication. That’s a really insightful new lesson, thank you.” “Yeah, I’m calling. I’m afraid that I have a friend who might be fornicating.” Didn’t tell him it was Grace and. I was like so do you just clearly define fornication for me? How does it appear in the Greek New Testament? He’s like, “Well, are they single?” “Yes.” “Are they sleeping together?” “Yeah.” “Then they’re fornicating.” “Oh, well, what if they love each other?” “They’re still fornicating and they need to stop.” “What if they’re going to get married.” “Then they’re fornicating and they need to stop until they’re married.” I was like, “Well, what if they’ve already been doing it? Isn’t it like running a red light? I mean, if you back up, somebody gets hurt.” so, he’s like, “No, they need, they’re fornicating and they need to stop.” I call Grace I was like, “Were fornicating.” She’s like, “Yeah, I know I’m a pastor’s daughter.” Okay, I’m sorry. Now I belong to Jesus and his Lordship extends beyond my belt, okay? So I stopped sleeping with Grace. I had to repent and apologize to Grace. We start meeting with our pastor. Started learning what the Bible says about gender and marriage and sex and family. And literally everything I thought was wrong. We got married. We’ve got a great marriage. I mean, we still have some problems. So pray for Grace she’s working on some things. But this last week probably shouldn’t have said that. This last week we celebrated 28 years of faithful marriage. And I love my girl and we love each other. And the truth is the Bible has saved us from self-destruction. This week we get to record a series of podcasts, real marriage podcast. Marriage today’s largest marriage ministry in America and we provide podcasts to help couples with their relationship with God and with each other from the scriptures and so we’re recording those this week. The fact that a dude who grew up behind a strip club and was sleeping with the pastor’s daughter gets to teach on second chances should give you hope. Okay? If I can be faithful to my wife for 28 years just add that to the list of Jesus miracles, okay? And here’s what I’m telling you. None of us is where we should be but every one of us can start where we are.
– [Congregation] Amen.
– Okay? I started in the worst possible place and God has been very gracious to me. And every time I open his word it reveals who he is, who I am, what Jesus has done and it gives me a future that is not a false prophecy. It’s a true prophecy of the blessing of God on those who walk in his will, according to his word. I love you. I’m not against you, I’m for you. God loves you. He’s not against you, He’s for you. And I just want you to know that if you’re a little bit ashamed or embarrassed or convicted because of where you are, look I’m just telling you, we all start there. And the key is just to get started. Open your Bible, meet with Jesus, learn to obey, make some changes. God is very, very gracious. And he’s here to help. Amen.
– [Congregation] Amen. We’re going to worship this God because it’s through worship that we become like him and we’re delivered by him. So I’m gonna invite the band up. I’m just gonna pray for you. And we’ll just ask you, you know, right now what are the things that you need to talk to God about? Right? Are you in sexual sin? Do you have secret hidden sin? Are you not loving your spouse? Are you not doing life really connected to your spouse? Father God, I pray for those who are single. Lord God if they do what the world does they will suffer as the world suffers. God I pray for those who are single to defy gravity to live in holiness and obedience. And God, I confess I was exactly the opposite of what the scriptures say. And Lord, I thank you for your grace to me. And I pray for that same grace to those who are single. God, for those who are married I pray that all of their passion would not be defiled but it would be directed toward their marriage and their spouse. I pray that the flames of passion would live in the heart of marriage in their home and would not escape to burn and to bring the flames of hell into the rest of the life. God, thank you that we can take you seriously but we don’t need to take ourselves seriously. And father God, this is a very serious word but sometimes we take you very lightly and we take ourselves very seriously. I pray we would take you very seriously and take ourselves very lightly. And God, I just want to thank you. I want to thank you for 28 years with the greatest gal I’ve ever met. And God, I want to thank you for children who are a lot wiser and holier than their dad ever was at their age. And God, I pray that grace on all of these families that their marriages would be endearing and enduring. I pray that there would be forgiveness and intimacy and oneness and joy. And I pray that the future would be a good future. I pray for their children and their children’s children that they would be filled with the spirit, that they would be obedient to the scriptures and that they would know and love the Lord Jesus in whose name we pray. Amen, love you. Thank you.