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W.A.S.

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN?

THE FALL

Something has gone terribly wrong. The bible reveals that the world you and I live in, after it was created and after Adam was joined with Eve, was pronounced to be “very good”. This intended state of perfect beauty and peace in all things is described in the Old Testament as Shalom[1]. Whether you are a Christian or an atheist, everyone knows that the world is not as it should be, and we all long for Shalom to exist upon the earth. This is because we are all image bearers of God, and inside of us there is a longing for “Eden”, a world that is perfect as God created it to be.

Genesis 3:1-6; 16-21; 23

Sickness, pain, death, injustice, rape, miscarriages, violence, etc. are all a result of the curse of sin.

SOWING & REAPING

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whosoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whosoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Galatians 6:8

Sometimes the reason bad things happen are simply because people sow to the flesh and they reap corruption.

GOD OF WRATH GOD OF LOVE (DISCIPLINE)

To undermine God’s discipline is to undermine his love. And undermining God’s love would result in misinterpreting the purpose of his discipline.

Hebrews 12:5-11

What we often times perceive as bad, can possibly be Jesus lovingly disciplining us to bring us closer to him. In this case, this is not a bad thing, but rather a good thing, even though at the moment it does not feel pleasant.

THE PROCESS

Sometimes God allows us to go through a process that can last a very long time that is extremely painful, that we do not understand, to accomplish something for his glory. There are several examples of this in scripture. None more prominent that the story of Joseph.[2]

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Genesis 50:20

WE ARE IN A WAR

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8

One of the greatest tools in battle is the ability to surprise your enemy. Our adversary uses this tactic all the time. We do not live in a time of peace. We live in a tumultuous time of war. One of the reasons bad things happen is because we have an enemy who seeks our complete destruction.

WHAT IS GOD’S RESPONSE TO OUR SUFFERING?

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from their troubles.

Psalm 34:17

Our God is a compassionate God. We are told that he is aquatinted with our sufferings,[3] and close to those who are broken hearted.

“The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.

Psalm 34:18

God’s response to suffering is compassion, nearness, sympathy and best of all deliverance.

WHAT SHOULD MY RESPONSE BE WHEN SUFFERINGS ARISE?

1. DONT QUIT//2 Corinthians 4:16-18

2. CONTINUE TO TRUST JESUS & HIS GOODNESS//1 Peter 4:19

3. REJOICE//Romans 5:3-5

WHAT HOPE DO WE HAVE IN SUFFERING?

JESUS: He is coming again, to set up a literal Kingdom on earth where he will rule and reign and establish Shalom once again//Revelation 21:1-5


[1] Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:1-9; 32:14-20; 43:1-12; 60:1-22; 65:17-25; Joel 2:24-29; 3:17-18

[2] Genesis 37-50

[3] Exodus 3:7, Isaiah 53:3-5, Psalms 102:19, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, John 4:6, John 11:33-35, Hebrews 2:18, Isaiah 63:9

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This Sunday we answer the number 1 most asked and voted upon question in the ?ASK? Series. And even though this question was asked in a variety of ways, we can sum it up with one very simply way. Why do bad things happen? Join us this Sunday at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m. as we turn to scripture for answers to this very complicated question.

2 Corinthians

Come to Believers Church tonight from 7-8!

Bring your Bibles as we continue in 2 Corinthians, Ch.10. Tonight will be a wonderful night of worship, study and prayer. I hope to see you and your family. Youth (Middle/High School) will meet in the “Garage” and Believing Kids and Promiseland in the church classrooms.

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How do you know what the will of God is? 

We asked what questions you had and this was the 2nd most popular question out of 50+ questions you submitted. Join us at Believers Church this Sunday at 9 a.m or 11 a.m. as Pastor Scott explains how to tell if you are hearing God’s will for your life. This will also be a Sunday of celebration as we baptize several people who have decided to go public in their declaration of Jesus as their Lord and Savior!

2 Corinthians

Hope to see everyone tonight for One Hour on Wednesday as we get back into our  2 Corinthians study. The Youth are going to have a blast in the “Garage” and Believing Kids are meeting in the Church building. See you here!

Hacked!

January 16th, 2012

Last night the email account believersstatesboro@yahoo.com was hacked.

Pastor Scott is not stranded in Wales UK and is not asking you to send him money.

Not only was the email hacked, but the password was changed and we have just regained access to that email account around 11:00 a.m. today, on 01-16-12. Be leery of any emails you may have received from this account prior to this time and date.

I would send a retraction to everyone who received the erroneous email, but the hacker deleted the Sent Mail Folder after he sent the email. So I don’t know who got one and who did not.

I apologize for any confusion. And I pray that no one sent money to the hacker.

If you receive one of these erroneous emails, just take that opportunity to pray for the salvation of hacker or hackers. They need Jesus!

Baptism Sunday 1-22-12

January 16th, 2012

Baptism

Ready to go public with your declaration of Jesus as your Lord and Savior? This Sunday you will have the opportunity. Call the church today and let us know you would like to be baptized and then invite your family and friends to come and be a part of the celebration! We look forward to hearing from you!

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Question # 3 in our ?ASK? Series this Sunday, January 15th at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Join us as Pastor Scott teaches on what the Bible says about Love, Sex, and Dating.

LIFE GROUP sign-up will continue through Sunday. Come early and sign up for a group

that interests you! 

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One Hour On Wednesday Tonight!

January 11th, 2012

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Join us tonight for a special kick off to “One Hour On Wednesday, 01-11-12, at 7:00 p.m., as we Celebrate Chanukah (The Festival of Lights) together at Believers! We will see how Christ Jesus is revealed in this Jewish Traditional Holiday and then the Ministry Leaders of the church will lights the eight candles on the Menorah and speak eight specific blessings over your life. Come in faith ready to receive all that Christ Jesus has for you!

The Festival of Lights (Chanukah – Pronounced: “Hanukka”)

Sunday December 1st, 2002

“CHANUKAH” or the Festival of Lights is a happy festival and brings enjoyment to all. Chanukah begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev. It commemorates the historic victory of the Maccabeans (Orthodox Jews loyal to God and the Torah) following a three year uprising to overthrow the heathen ruler Antiochus, who ruled Jerusalem with the help of traitor Hellenist Jews (Jews who favored Greek culture) and the self-appointed High Priest, Jason.

Antiochus determined to remove all traces of orthodox Jewish faith. The heathen ruler identified Jehovah God with Jupiter, erected a pagan idol on the altar of the Temple of God and offered swine on the altar. He refused the right of circumcision, Sabbath worship or the celebration of Jewish holidays under penalty of death. Copies of the Holy Scriptures were ordered destroyed. The pagan laws were enforced with great cruelty.

In the village of Modin the devout aged priest Mattahias was called to offer a pagan sacrifice, he refused. Instead he stepped forward and slew both the weak Jew who stepped forward to do it for him and the representative of Antiochus. His five sons joined Mattahias immediately, destroyed the pagan idol sitting on the altar of God and then fled to the hills. Mattahias soon died.

His third son Judas (Hebrew – Judah), known as “the Maccabee” (meaning “the hammer”) formed guerilla forces to “hammer” away at the pagan occupation forces for three years. He recaptured Jerusalem in 165 BC, cleansed the Temple of God and restored traditional Jewish service. All this was done with a very small military force and the supernatural help of God. Many stories of miracles are told during the eight-day celebration. They relate the wonders of God imparted to Jews both to suffer and die nobly for God and supernaturally win the victories. The Maccabees were able to reclaim the Temple and rededicate it back to God. Hanukkah means dedication.

When Judas, “the Maccabee” and his soldiers entered the Temple they wanted to light the large “MENORAH” (meaning-light), or lampstand, but there was no container of oil bearing the seal of the High Priest. The Menorah was to never go out and symbolized the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people. The Jewish soldiers poured other oil on the tips of eight spears found lying outside the Temple. They lit them and used them as light for the altar. (The light was a symbol of life.)

Someone later found enough oil to light the Menorah for one day. After it was lit, the oil supernaturally burned for eight days. At the end of the eight-day, oil had been produced to keep the Menorah on the altar burning continually.

During Hanukka the Jews celebrate the wonderful miracle of the menorah burning for eight days on enough oil to last one day. The first night one candle on the menorah is lit and blessings are said. The second night two candles are lit with blessings. The third three, and so on, until the eighth night when all eight are lit. Blessings are spoken or sung and the children receive presents each night for eight nights.

How is Christ Jesus seen in this wonderful Jewish celebration?

The Menorah on the altar of the Temple was a sevenfold lamp.

– Zechariah 4:1-6 “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Host.”

– Revelation 1:12-18; “Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, … (NASB)

During the eight day Hanukah celebration every candle is lighted with the SHAMMASH, a special candle which “serves” the others. It is placed near the others if individual candles are used. It is the one in the middle slightly elevated above the others if a traditional menorah is used in a Jewish home. It is the SHAMMASH (this special candle lights all the others) that sets the other candles a flame. The candles are lit each night after dark (except on the Sabbath) and placed near a window for all to see.

– God promised in Isaiah 42:6-8 that the Messiah would be a light to us. “A light to the Gentiles.”

– On His day of dedication Simeon prophesied over Christ calling Him “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.” Luke 2:32

– John 1:6-9 “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.”

– John 8:12 “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

As Christ Jesus is the Light … Let Your Light Shine!

Matt 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

The SHAMMASH, a special candle that “serves” the others.

– Jesus is referred to as Gods Holy Servant. Acts 4:29-30 “that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”

– Matt 20:26-28 “Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave–just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

As Christ Jesus is the Servant … Let us Serve Others!

1 Pet 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (NIV)

Other Interesting Facts

The Dreidle. During the celebration of Hanukkah, children play a game with a four-sided top called a dreidle. There is a different Hebrew letter on each side. The letters stand for the words: “A Great Miracle Happened There.”

Maoz Tzur. A traditional song of praise sung for the rededication of the Temple. Sung after the candles are lit. Maoz Tzur is translated “Rock of Ages.”

Lets let the flame of God burn bright within us, with the oil of the Holy Spirit and let us rededicate ourselves a new today to be a light to the word and a servant to all.

ASK PIC

?ASK? Question 4 Homosexuality Believers Statesboro 01-08-12

Why do we put restrictions on our children? Because we love them. It’s for their safety and protection.

So, why does our heavenly Father impose restrictions on us, his children?

The New Testament “Sin List”

Gal 5:19-21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars– their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (NIV)

Flee Sexual Immorality

All sin is a transgression against God and hurts the one committing the sin. Sin is sin. But Paul gives us specific warning concerning the damage that is caused by sexual sins. And his advice to us is to flee!

1 Cor 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. (The grammatical context means the fleeing should be a continual

and habitual fleeing) All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his

own body. (Flee! Never underestimate sin’s power or overestimate one’s strength to refuse!) Do you not know

that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your

own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (NIV)

1 Cor 6:13 “… The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.”

NEXT STEP: I will repent and flee from sexual immorality.

Q: What does the Bible say about homosexuality?

It’s on the sin list. The Bible contains 9 specific references to homosexuality:

· Four in the Old Testament (Genesis 19:1-25; Judges 19:22-30; Leviticus 18:22; and Leviticus 20:13)

· Five in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-28; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:8-11; 2 Peter 2:6-10;

and Jude 7).

· There are also passages that touch on this topic indirectly when addressing marriage and family, promiscuity, and sexual purity. (Genesis 2:18-25; Proverbs 18:22; Mark 7:21, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5; Romans 6:13, 13:13; 1 Corinthians 6:13, 18-19; Galatians 5:19-21; Colossians 3:5; and

Revelation 21:8, 22:15.)

· The Bible also addresses SODOMITES – A term of reproach applied to those who practiced sodomy (ritual homosexuality. (Deuteronomy 23:17; 1 Kings 14:24;15:12;22:46; 2 Kings 23:7)

Rom 1:24-28 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, (Exchanging God’s truth for a lie is a depraved man’s first mistake. This is quickly followed by idolatry.) and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator– who is forever praised. Amen. (Homosexual behavior is always discussed in the Bible as a serious sin. It is often discussed in the context of idolatry.) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (NIV) God loves people and hates sin. That should be our attitude as well.

NEXT STEP: I will cultivate a love for sinners and a hate for sin.

Q: Is it possible for someone who is practicing homosexuality to be a Christian if the bible says that it is not a Christian lifestyle?

Gal 5:17 “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” (NAS)

Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (NIV)

1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders

nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

“But I was born this way?”

By definition I was born a heterosexual. Therefore, since I desire and am attracted to people of the opposite sex does that give me the right to actively pursue relationships with as many women as my flesh desires? Is God unfair to put restrictions on me such as “do not commit fornication or adultery”, because I was born this way?

Even if someone was born as a homosexual (which I don’t believe they are), they would have to bring those desires under subjection to the Word of God. Just like we all do.

Q: What about the denominations that condone homosexual marriage and ordination, how do they interpret scriptures on these issues?

In short they are wrong. Not according to my interpretation of scripture, but they are disagreeing with what the Word of God clearly states and they may be exchanging God’s truth for a lie. Paul gave the Corinthian church a stern warning about allowing sexually immoral activity to be actively present in the church. They not only allowed it but they were proud of the fact that they allowed it. (1 Cor 5:9-13) (Jn 7:24) (1 Cor. 5:4-5).

“I can’t stop doing this or get out of it.”

1 Cor 6:11, “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

NEXT STEP: I will begin living by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of my flesh!

Believers Church 2012 Theme “Goodness”

Psalm 27:13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (NIV)

Community Group and Family Devotional Questions

1. In light of the sin list in Gal 5:19-21, 1 Cor 6:9-10, Rev 21:8 why do you think we tend to rank sin and consider some sins worse than others?

Our Sin list would look more like this:

sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, If listed at all we might add…

idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, envy,

drunkenness, orgies, adulterers selfish ambition, dissensions, factions,

male prostitutes, homosexual offenders, the cowardly, slanderers, swindlers

thieves, drunkards greedy,

the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, liars

those who practice magic arts,

2. Specifically how to we “flee” sexual immorality?

3. In the past have you viewed homosexuality as a sin hideously worse than other sexual sins? Why?

4. Do you know someone who is homosexual, and if so how have you shown the love of Christ to them?

5. Have you experienced sin hindering or grieving the work of the Holy Spirit in your life? Explain.