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December 31, 2006

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Sermon Outline

"This is the End of the World as We know it"

Pastor Matt

 

How do we start over?  How do we start something new?

 

There are so many things we can do to start our new year out on the right foot.  But I only have time to talk about one of them.

 

A healthy tomorrow always begins with today’s repentance

 

-         Some of us try to continue forward with a new year knowing that there is sin in or lives that needs to be dealt with

-         Instead of dealing with it, we try to burry it, and in effect build upon a rotten foundation

-         If we are going to build a strong life for the future, we have to start by ripping out the garbage from the past.

 

In Luke 15:11-22, we see the story of The Prodigal Son

 

-         In this story the son has messed up his life pretty bad

-         He wants badly to return to his father and start over

-         He could keep living his life in the pig slop but that would not make much sense

 

Many of us have buried ourselves in the slop of sin and we are looking for a way to start over again.

 

Be like the prodigal son.  Return to the Father

 

-         Our sins were already forgiven on The Cross

o       All we have to do is return to Him

        Yeah, you will be still wearing the pig slop but he’ll still take you in

 

It is important to talk about the fact that New beginnings with God comes at a price

 

        In order to return to Him we must turn from our sins. 

        (Turning from our sins is true repentance…we have to leave our sinful life behind just as the prodigal son did)

 

 

Isaiah 1:10-20 

 

We can’t move forward while sin is still clinging to our legs.

 

When we are willing to do this,

-         The Father will not hold your past against you (just as in the prodigal son)

o       He was happy to receive his son back

        God does not hold our past against us…He is happy to receive us back!

 

He wipes our sins away- He gives us a clean slate and puts us back on our feet again!

 

1 John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

Hebrews 8:12.

For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more."

 

Psalm 103:11-13.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

 

Repentance wipes the slate clean in God’s books but it does not always clean all the messes out of our lives

 

-         Sometimes we still have to suffer the punishments of our sinful behavior

o       Don’t get mad at God because your life is a mess…you messed it up. 

 

o       On the other hand, ask God to help you work through the mess,

        …to be by your side in the midst of the mess. 

 

o       Rarely does God take away the mess. 

        He forgives us as if it never happened but we must still walk away from the mess.  We can walk away from it, clean it up knowing that God wants to help keep us out of stuff like this in the future. 

 

-         Many people don’t quit the mess because they think they will just fail again

-         but

 

 

 

God helps us when we walk with Him.

 

1 Corinthians 10:11-13

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

 

Three things to help you keep from making the same mistakes again and again

 

1. Learn from the past

 

The Bible is given to us as an example of how to live and how not to live.  It is full of examples of people making wrong choices and the consequences of their choices

 

2. Stand firm

 

Give it your all.  Put forth your best effort.

 

No matter how bad it seems, it’s nothing!  You are not the only one who has ever struggled with what you are struggling with

 

You do not have the world’s worst sin that is impossible to overcome!

 

3. Let God Help

 

-         God promises to provide a way out.

-         Either He’ll take it away or He’ll show us a way out. 

-         Either way, the struggle will be removed from us when we do our part he helps with the rest

 

Matthew 19:26b. with God all things are possible.

 

Philippians 4:13.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

 

-          Strength to stand

-          Strength to overcome

 

Listen and walk with Him and He’ll help you get out of the mess your in

 

 

 

 

 

Closing

 

The rest of your life begins today

 

Take the extra time before you begin any new projects this year to set things straight

 

We have to stop making it worse and make the past right before we move into the future

 

Start your new year with a time of confession and a decision to turn from sin.

 

This is a regular part of the Christian life.  This should be a New Day’s resolution.

 

Choose today to get right with God and start over.