David says, in 1 Chronicles 22:5, “… the house to be built for the LORD should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations.” David wanted God’s house to be the best house. Typically the nicest buildings in a city are the banks and sports arenas, not the churches, but this wasn’t always the case. Just a few hundred years ago the most magnificent building in a city was the church, and people today are still drawn to them. People tour old churches and take photos―they have fame and splendor. This was David’s idea―he knew that it would impact people in their hearts. Somehow the devil has gotten us to believe that church should be poor and dirty. And maybe that seems right in the eyes of man, but it’s just not what the Bible tells us. The world’s message is preached in a clean movie theater with great seats and an amazing sound system; Satan has a way of presenting his really messed up message in a pretty box, and people buy it. But the message that is far more beautiful is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and God should get the best speakers, screens, seats and house. Like David said: it should be magnificent. People of God, let’s represent.
Romans 4:13 says, “It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.” Like Abraham, you are righteous by faith, which means that God sees you as good. And it’s not because you did everything just right today―it’s because of your faith in Jesus. Now one of the promises that comes with this is that you are heir of the world. Okay, so what does that mean? It means that God has given the world to you. This is like when God told Adam that he was to take dominion of the world. Let me explain. Let’s say that you get a house, but when you go to that house, it’s a bit messy inside. Maybe the air conditioning is broken, and the toilet won’t flush. So what do you do? Do you just say, “Oh well, I can’t live here.”? Nope. You start cleaning it up. Why? Because it’s yours. Our world really needs some cleaning, but we probably won’t start cleaning it up until we realize that it’s ours. So let’s come together at church and figure out how we can get started. You ready? Great.
Paul had some trouble in Athens when he preached there. The people were more about the entertainment of philosophizing than caring about real truth. Acts 17:21 says, “All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” The Athenians considered themselves the “intellectually elite.” They had an arrogance about them that prevented them from actually learning the truth. Does that sound like some cities in the U.S. today? Do we have those who consider themselves so advanced in science and technology that they refuse to listen to the old story of the cross or about Jesus? The Bible is clear: the Word is salvation to those who believe it and foolishness to those who are perishing. Every few years what man sees as wisdom changes. Just imagine, for instance, going into the hospital and having them attach leaches to you to get the “bad blood” out. Remember? That was the apex of medical science, just a few generations back. What man knows, compared to what God knows, really isn’t a lot. Man’s wisdom will change again and again. God’s wisdom is constant. He Loves You.
When Jesus was on the cross, He spoke. In John 19:30 it says, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” This is not a statement of loss, but a statement of victory. Jesus knew that His death would do some important things for us believers. First and foremost: Jesus died in our place, so that we might have an abundant life. He took the cost of our sin, which is death, and paid it in-full. He redeemed us from the curse that Adam’s sin had brought upon the world, and Jesus’ work is finished! There is nothing else that needs to be done. Salvation is His free gift to all believers. Secondly: He destroyed the work of the evil one. We do have an enemy, but he is a defeated enemy. When Jesus laid down His life, He made the Holy Spirit available to all of us. We no longer fight alone against our enemy, but God’s Holy Spirit works inside of us and fights with us. When Jesus cried, “It is finished,” He meant it! Receive your victory today!