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You Need To Hear This – Part 2

Wk 4 Romans | You Need to Hear This, Part 2

Sunday, March 10, 2019 | Kevin Berry

Introduction – Life is full of good news and warnings… and the truth is, we need both of them.

Luke 3:18 – speaking of John the Baptist: John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News. GOOD NEWS AND WARNINGS GO TOGETHER!

There are certain things we want to hear—good news. Spring is coming! Warm weather is coming! We want to hear things like: You are going to get through what you are going through; I know it hurts, I’m so sorry; You might not see it now, but you are going to be okay.

Then there are those things we need to hear—warnings. Renee and I will be heading to Florida soon, and on the plane we are going to hear these words, “In case of a water landing…” and very few will actually listen. I’ve heard it all before; I’ve actually plugged my ears because I didn’t want to hear it again. The problem is, it’s not just that we don’t want to hear warnings… we often ignore them.

It seems like we used to give more attention to warnings. As kids, a tornado warning meant we headed to the basement every time. But now, we have executives that actually pay to go with storm chasers to “relieve stress.” CRAZY! They are ignoring the warning!

The Bible tells you more than what you want to hear, it includes what you need to hear!

Paul begins Romans by announcing good news (Rom 1:16-17) and now we find him weaving in words of warning—what they must know… what we must know.

What You Need to Hear: (review from last week) You have no excuse, so stop judging.

Therefore, you have no excuse, you are just as bad (Rom. 2:1).

Again, Paul is making the point that everybody has sinned and everybody needs a savior. Because everybody

has sinned… that means you, too!

God is kind, so repent.

How you view God affects every area of your life.

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Rom. 2:4)

God’s kindness is meant to move you. It should move you to be kind to others, it should move to you repentance.

Repent and then times of refreshing will come (Acts 3:20).

Let the Lord wash over you! Remember, He’s the one who makes you clean!

If you pour a cup of coffee in the ocean, did you just dilute the ocean? Of course not; the ocean just swallowed up all the coffee. So it is with the love of God… come to Him and let the love of God swallow up all your sins.

Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest (Matt 11:27).

Jesus was talking specifically to those Jews who were trying to be right with God by their actions… and it wasn’t working out… it was tiring, draining, fatiguing.

You are responsible for your own heart.

Take responsibility for you—for your own heart.

But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed (Romans 2:5 NLT).

He will judge everyone according to what they have done. He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness.

There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism (Rom 2:6-11 NLT).

The ESV version puts it this way: He will render to each one according to his works.

“A day is coming” sounds like a warning… like something we may not want to hear, but need to hear. Somebody has to love you enough to tell you, not just what you want to hear, but what you need to hear. The idea of God judging people just doesn’t sit well with everyone.

Everybody will face judgment according to what they have done. 

It’s critical you understand Paul is not telling people how to get saved. We are not saved by works… we are saved by grace, through faith (see Eph. 2:8-9).

Good works show we have saving faith; they do not add to our faith in saving us. For the God-seeking they will be given eternal life:

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers (Rom. 2:7).

How do you know if someone is really a believer?

Not everyone who says they are a believer really is (see Gal. 2:4). You must prove your repentance by a changed life (Matt 3:8).

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it (2 Cor 13:5 MSG).

Christians are looking for more than this world. They have their eyes set on eternity!

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior (Phil. 3:20).

Beware beloved: Don’t get too comfy here… this is not your home. If we are not careful, we will throw ourselves into what this world offers—give our thoughts, time, money, emotion—into this world and forget this is not home! If your passion is not Christ, test yourself to see that you really are in Christ.

So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world (Col 3:5-7 NLT).

But for those who are SELF-SEEKING and are not followers of Jesus there will be wrath and fury. See Rom. 2:8-9.

God will judge those who did not receive salvation through Jesus. They will give an account for what they have done.

Is Paul is talking about hell? It’s a topic nobody wants to talk about. Some churches will purposely stay away from this one… it’s not popular… yet it is a clear biblical reality.

You are free to reject God, but you are not free from the consequences.

Have you ever been in your house when the lights went out? I remember a time here at the church when the lights went out while I was in the bathroom. I thought, who shut the lights out on me? Then I realized it was the sensors; with no movement the lights shut off. I moved and waved my hands, the lights came on, and it was all good.

A day is coming for some when the lights will be turned out, and there will be nothing you can do to turn them back on. You can wave, you can jump up and down… but there is no movement, no words, no tears, no prayers, no begging that can turn the lights back on. It’s the reality of Hell: the blackest of darkness; utter darkness; a bottomless pit.

I love to talk about the reality of God’ love, His immense kindness, the way that His thoughts about you are more than can be counted, the way He relentlessly pursues us.

I don’t like to think about Hell, much less talk about it. But there it is: The Apostle Paul talked about it, Jesus talked about it, Matthew talked about it, the Apostle John talked about it. You cannot read the Word of God without being confronted with its reality:

2 Peter 2:17—doomed to the blackest darkness Luke 16—fire, torment, anguish that is never ending

Matthew 8:12; 25:46 and Revelation 20:12-15 tell there is a separation process. The saved will enter Heaven and the unsaved will enter Hell.

See the parable of the fishing net in Matthew 13:47-50. Some fish were marketable and put in a pile while others were garbage fish, worthless, and put in another pile. Just as every fish was brought up on shore, so every person will come and stand before the Living God on that judgment day. No one is exempt. At the end of the story, Jesus said, “Do you understand these things?” He was saying, Do you get it? That’s a great question for us today—Do you get it?

Why would Paul talk about Hell to believers in Rome? They—and we—need to be reminded of what we are saved from. If you don’t know the bad news, the good news is just news.

We have to pause now and then and bust out in thanksgiving that we have been rescued! We were guilty as charged! We sinned and had a one-way ticket to eternal damnation. “Don’t forget” is a theme throughout the scriptures. Don’t forget what we have been saved from and what we have been saved to.

Whether you have been saved for 2 weeks or 20 years—if you aren’t enthusiastic about being saved, you are forgetting.

We have been entrusted with the responsibility to rescue others. 

We are invited to be part of the greatest rescue of all time—to reconcile people to Him (see 2 Cor. 5:18-19). Who else can set the captive free?

This Easter, will you invite someone to come with you? Will you pray for that family? Take them out for lunch? Let them know you love them? Will you love them enough to ask them afterward: What did you think about that? Do you know that things are right between you and God? Can I pray with you about anything?

When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life (Romans 2:12-16 NLT).

We are without excuse, but not without hope. 

Everyone will be judged based on what they know. We all are without excuse, but not without hope.

Romans 2:13—Paul is again making a point: you can’t be justified by keeping the law, because nobody can keep the law perfectly. Remember that Paul, like a great lawyer, is building a case that everybody has sinned. Sin void of repentance will be judged.

What about those who have never heard the gospel? Paul said, those who sinned without the law will perish without the law. They are all without excuse and will be judged based on:

  • Creation – Rom.1:18-32
  • Their own conduct – because the law is written on their hearts, Rom.2:14
  • Their conscience – Rom. 2:15, we all have a built-in sense that there is right and

Paul closes this thought with these words in Rom. 2:16, “According to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men.” For Paul, the gospel included the GOOD NEWS of being made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ – specifically faith in what He accomplished on the cross for you! If there was no sin problem… there would be no cross. This is where hope comes into the picture for you.

Put a little differently in verse 16, why does Paul say, “as my gospel declares?” Because God’s just judgment is fundamental to his declaration about God’s Son. Without judgment, salvation has no meaning. Without the reality of God’s present and future wrath, the cross is emptied of itsglory.

We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For we all have sinned; all fall short of God’s righteous standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins (Rom. 3:22-24NLT).

That is GOOD NEWS that you need to hear!

You Need To Hear This – Part 1

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Romans is a book that repeatedly changes the world by changing people.This study together is all about transformation for you, our church, and our community.

Fortune Cookies… why do they give them out? Perhaps because everybody wants to be told that they are going to be okay, that things will work out; they want to hear some good news in their world that’s so full of bad news. Of course, we can’t and shouldn’t take fortune cookie seriously. But, Christians can and must take the Bible seriously. When you see a promise in God’s Word, your heart should leap for joy.

  • For example: Hannah’s deep grief and private prayer to the Lord found in 1 Sam 1 teaches us that God prepares to display publically, what you have prayed for privately.He starts making arrangements in response to what you prayed (1 Sam 1:19 MSG). We should take hold of a verse like that and allow our faith to rise as we expect the Lord to answer, as we keep on asking, seeking, and knocking (Matt. 7:7-8).

However, we can’t make the mistake of reading our Bibles like some read fortune cookies – just looking for the encouraging word. Here’s the thing… Messages in the cookies tell you want you want to hear; the Bible tells you want you need to hear!

A.W. Tozer said, “Nothing less than the whole Bible can make a whole Christian.”

Today in Romans 2, we come across one of those passages that we need to hear:

Therefore,you have no excuse, O man, every one ofyouwho judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—youwho judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that youwill escape the judgment of God? Romans 2:1-3 ESV

In last week’s passage, Paul uses the word “they,” “them,” or “their” 20 times and all the moral people in the church would have agreed: Yep – THEY are sinners; THEY do horrible things; You can almost hear them saying a loud “amen!” as the letter from Paul is read. But then Paul gets personal; he moves from saying THEY to YOU!

You Have to Hear This:  

#1 You Are Without Excuse, So Stop Judging and Start Repenting.

To play the judge is to believe that others are worthy of God’s judgment while you are not.Jesus blows apart the finger pointing when he said,“Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgmentwill not be passed on you. For you’ll be judged by the same standard that you’ve used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own?” (Matt 7:1-3 TPT)

If you don’t understand that you are guilty of sin too, you never stop pointing the finger at others.

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5: 21-22). For most of us, it is not too hard to get to the end of the day and say, “Well, I haven’t murdered anyone.” But can we honestly say, “I have not been angry with anyone? Have I treated everyone like they are worthy of the extravagant love of God?”

The greatest danger to our lives is never what’s on the outside, but rather what’s on the inside. The greatest danger to the church is not the immorality that gets spewed into homes on a television, nor is it the corruption that can be found in the political arena. The church will never implode from the sin that surrounds it. No, the greatest danger to you is the sin on the inside of you – the self-righteous attitude that looks down at others, but looks up to self. Remember from last week: When you demote God and promote self, everything gets turned upside down.

  • What are the sins you are tempted to excuse in yourself while condemning them in others?

Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? Romans 1:4

Today we must know that apart from Christ we are without excuse and we must also know that:

#2 God is Kind.

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? 1:4 NLT

For most of us we get our idea of what God is like by watching our dads. That can be good for some, and a challenge for others. If your view of what God is really like has been tainted, hear me closely today. Allow me to paint a picture in your heart of who God really is, the way He really responds to you. I would like to tell you about who I know God to be, not what I have read about Him, but about the person I have experienced. As a young boy, I was rejected, and marked like there was something horribly wrong with me. Oh, it’s not that I didn’t have parents… great parents. It’s not like I was thrown out of the house, I just didn’t feel like I fit in the house… I didn’t feel like I fit anywhere. Why was I different? What was wrong with me? Seizures dominated my life during elementary school. But then I met God and He believed in me! He knew that my past was not going to dictate my future. He took all my hurt, rejection, shame, fear … and He gave me wholeness, acceptance, love, and faith. Somehow, He took all the pieces of my life – the good, the bad, the ugly, and He mixed them all together to make something wonderful. He took the scared little boy that I used to be and as a man put me in front of people and gave me a story to tell. God is good, He is kind, He is full of compassion toward you, His love for you is unending and intentional. It is His kindness that pursued you, that came running after you. In His kindness toward you, He knocks on the door of your heart and waits for you.

Forbearance—to cease hostility. We are living in a season of grace, but it won’t be forever. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. God will judge sin; that day is coming. Now is the time to repent, to turn to Him while there is still time. The intention of God’s kindness is to lead you to repentance. The problem with the self-righteous person is that they think others need to repent… but they do not.

  • What does it mean to repent?
  • How has the Lord shown you His kindness?

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. Romans 1:5

#3 You Are Responsible for Your Heart.

Our culture tends to want to make everyone the victim, where everything bad is somebody’s fault other than our own. Yet Paul shows something different: humanity has had an active role in their tragic downward spiral. We see it in Romans 1:18-32 – THEY refused to honor God or to give Him thanks; THEY exchanged God’s glory that is incorruptible for what is corruptible, and THEY said, I don’t care what God has to say, I don’t want His input in my life. THEY thought God was worthless and they were given over to worthless minds. And now getting more personal, Paul moves from “They” to “You”– and says, look what you are doing to yourself! You are responsible for the condition of your heart.

Everybody is in motion today: your heart is getting harder or softer; you are moving toward judgment or life. When somebody does not respond to God’s kindness, their heart gets hard.

  • What does a hard heart look like?
  • What have you allowed in your life that has hardened your heart?

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking[a] and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality. Romans 2:6-11

#4 God Will Judge People Based on Their Actions.

Paul is not telling people how to get saved. We are not saved by works; we are saved by grace, through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Good works show we have saving faith; they do not add to our faith in saving us.

Romans 2:6 tells us that God will judge those who did not receive salvation through Jesus, and they will give an account with what they have done.

I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave[a] gave up their dead. And all were judged according to their deeds. 14 Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This lake of fire is the second death. 15 And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:12-15

Romans 2:7 tells us that for the saved there is eternal life.

  • How do you know if you are saved?
  • Your life is all about Him… about HIS GLORY!

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it (2 Cor 13:5 MSG).

Romans 2:8-9 – BUT for those who are not followers of Jesus… for you there will be wrath and fury.

Paul is talking about hell, a topic nobody wants to talk about, yet clear biblical reality. You are free to reject God, but you are not free from the consequences.

  • Tribulation in Greek means: a severe crushing, pressing, beating – this fits the description of hell that we see throughout the Scriptures

For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. Romans 2:12-16

#5 We Are Without Excuse, But Not Without Hope.

“We” are without excuse. Paul leaves the “You” he was talking with and now includes “All” who have sinned, and that would be all of us! Those who sinned without the law, and those who sinned with the law. Everyone will be judged based on what they know. We all are without excuse, but not without hope.

Romans 2:13 Paul is again making a point: you can’t be justified by keeping the law, because nobody can keep the law perfectly. Remember, Paul, like a great lawyer, is building a case that everybody has sinned. Sin void of repentance will be judged.

What about those who have never heard the gospel? Paul said, those who sinned without the law will perish without the law. They are all without excuse and will be judged based on:

  • Creation (Rom. 1:18-32)
  • Their own conduct – because the law is written on their hearts (Rom. 2:14)
    • Their conscience – We all have an in-built sense that there is right and wrong (Rom. 2:15)

Paul closes this thought with these words, “According to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men.” For Paul, the gospel included the GOOD NEWS of being made right with God through faith in Jesus Christ – specifically faith in what He accomplished on the cross for you!

  • If there was no sin problem… there would be no cross.
  • This is where hope comes into the picture for you.

Why does Paul add the words, “as my gospel declares?” Because God’s just judgment is fundamental to his declaration about God’s Son. Without judgment, salvation has no meaning. Without the reality of God’s present and future wrath, the cross is emptied of its glory.

We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. For we all have sinned; all fall short of God’s righteous standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. (Rom. 3:22-24 NLT)

 

Turned Upside Down

Romans has been called the most powerful summary of the Christian message in the entire New Testament. In it you’ll find the implications of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for you.

The Good News about Jesus impacts you today, right now, right where you are!

 It may seem that salvation is for some other day, to be experienced in the future, after death. But think about this:

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (Ps. 34:8)

Right now, today, taste and see for yourself, God is good… oh, the joys! As a follower of Jesus, joy should be your predominant disposition! Let’s expect transformation as we study Romans together. 

Have you ever felt trapped or like everything normal got turned upside down?

Is there a way off this ride?
When my daughter was young, we went on a carnival ride that we couldn’t get off. How did that happen? I yelled to get off and the carnival guy just laughed and made the ride go faster… yikes!

Paraphrasing what Paul wrote to the Romans, “I’m obligated to go to everyone and tell them the good news… there’s a way off the ride!”

If life is spinning out of control, if it feels like everything got turned upside down, there is hope! Paul lays out the heart of the message of Romans:

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”(Romans 1:16-17 NLT)

The Gospel is the Power of God at Work: SAVING!

The power of God – what does that look like? God spoke and there was light; God spoke and nothing became something; God took some dust and breathed on it… and here we are.

God takes what is no more, what is broken beyond repair, and He redeems, restores. He takes what is without life and gives it life.

Salvation in Greek means to rescue, heal, save.

How? Start in faith and finish with faith – explore this throughout Romans.

Let’s go back to that word:“SAVED.”Saved from what? Rescued from what? That takes us to:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:18)

The wrath of God is probably not up in the top ten most popular topics. But the wrath of God is as much a part of who God is as His love, kindness, mercy, and grace. The wrath of God against human corruption is also the revelation of God. Paul’s goal is not to just proclaim good news, but to show the absolute needfor good news.

Consider: If you don’t know the bad news, then the good news is just news.

Nobody cares much about the news that they have a life jacket, until they are drowning.My brother-in-law pulled a dad and his three sons from the bottom of a lake. Sadly, only the dad and one son survived. I’m guessing before their outing, before two brothers perished, they may have had a conversation about life jackets, but perhaps it didn’t seem like a big deal. But when they were shouting in the water and yelling for help, a life jacket would have been GOOD NEWS.

The self-righteous person who thinks they don’t need anything does the same. It’s not until you are willing to admit your need to be saved that you can be saved.

The word of our day is “tolerance.” Our culture has a problem with words like “sin” and “judgment.” So, the idea of a loving God actually judging people is just intolerable.  However, you can’t pick and choose what parts of God you want to believe in… or what parts of the Bible you want to believe in and discard the rest.

What is the wrath of God?

When we hear wrath, we go to an emotional response that is harsh, irrational, or even cruel. God’s wrath doesn’t mean He is flying off the handle. God’s wrath is His attitude toward sin, His personal emotion toward sin and His active opposition to evil.

The heart of the problem, the “why” of God’s wrath is right here: Some suppress the truth. They reject any truth that goes against their choices, their lifestyle, and they reject that God has the final word. They ignore Him!

…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away fromthe presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. (2 Thess. 1:7-10)

It would not be loving toward you to avoid talking about the wrath of God and a very real, literal hell, and to ignore judgment. If you don’t know the bad news, the good news is just news.

Although God made humanity free to refuse Him, He did not make us free from the consequences of such a choice.

Paul, like a great lawyer, is building his case that nobody is righteous; everybody has sinned—from the immoral Gentile, the self-righteous moral person, to the Jews, to the entire human race—until he lands on Romans 3:23 which tells us that everybody has sinned and needs a savior.

For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom. 1:19-20 ESV)

They “knew” God; in Greek that is not just knowledge about something, but knowledge of it by experience! So Paul was saying every person has experienced God… and could experience Him more! His fingerprints are all over creation!

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. (Ps. 19:1-4)

Have you ever slowed down enough to look at creation and stand in awe of the Creator? Think of the most beautiful sunset… and then also realize YOU are His creation!

For although they knew God,they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Rom. 1:21-23 ESV)

They knew God… but did not honor Him or thank Him. WHAT?

God should have received the highest seat of honor in their lives. They became fools, or literally, they became stupid, insane! They exchanged the glory of God for images. They did what?

Our culture tends to want to make everyone the victim, place blame on anyone other than the one at fault. Yet Paul showed something different – that humanity has had an active role in their tragic downward spiral.

When a person demotes God, and promotes self, everything gets turned upside down.

What is good is called bad, and what is bad is called good.

Once a person refuses to acknowledge God… they enter a downward spiral.

They were saying, “I don’t want your input; I don’t want to hear from you; I don’t care.”

What happens when life gets turned upside down?  This is first seen in worship.

They worshiped the created, not the Creator. (Life is upside down.)

You were created to worship – to know God and make Him known, to taste and see…

Instead of accepting themselves as made in God’s image (Gen. 1:26-27), they tried to reverse the order of creation and make God in their own image. This willful denial of God has left people shipwrecked, with a life that is totally centered on themselves.

Yes, they knew God, but they did not worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was their minds became dark and confused. (Rom. 1:21 NLT)

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Rom. 1:25)

What is Idolatry? When we make our life about something other than God.

Worship is more than a song. What do you worship? What’s the one thing that is wildly important to you? If it’s not God, it’s an idol. What is it that you have to have to make life worth living?  What do you live for?

This turning upside down continues… this downward spiral…

Therefore, God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1: 24-27)

First, they invented what they wanted God to be like, to fit their lifestyle. Now here is the consequence: God gave them up. This is not a passive God leaving people to their own choices, rather an active role of God’s judgment. This is God’s judgement not out in the future, but right now!The first distortion of God’s created order was worship. The second was that:

Sexual relationships became unnatural.  (Sex is turned upside down.)

They dishonor God… and now are given up to dishonorable passions. This is a very clear biblical reference about homosexuality. However, Paul brings this up, not so much to make a statement about homosexuality, but to show what happens to a person when they reject God: things get turned upside down. Life gets twisted.

God is the Creator of sex; it was His idea. Sex, as God intends it to be, is the marriage relationship of a husband and a wife. A man and a woman is an upgrade for your life, but sin twists it and perverts it. John Lindell said, “When you reverse the Creator’s purpose, sex no longer upgrades your life, it degrades you.”

In his teaching on homosexuality, Paul was swimming against the moral current of much of his audience. Rome was filled with homosexual lifestyles. Pause here and remember this same Paul, when speaking to the church, had said, “Such were some of you.”

Remember, Jesus came for people that were sick and in need of a doctor. Jesus came and loved people that were doing bad things, and told them to go and sin no more.

You don’t lecture people into the kingdom… you love people into the kingdom.

Dishonoring of God results in the dishonoring of human life.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips,slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.  (Romans 1:28-31)

There it is again: God gave them up – an act of judgment. They thought God was worthless; they became worthless.God’s wrath is often found in God giving people what they wanted – people saying, “I don’t want you. I don’t want you telling me what to do, how to live. I don’t want to worship you.”

“The sin of omitting that which is good leads to the sin of committing that which is positively evil.”   – Luther

We tend to categorize sins, because then we feel better about the sin we practice. “At least I’m not killing somebody.”God makes no distinction. Any sin, no matter how big or how little you think it is, puts humanity in the path of God’s righteous judgment.

When a person demotes God and promotes self, everything gets turned upside down, and now we see…

They hated those they should have loved.  (Relationships go upside down.)

When I hear a child who is mad at parents say, “I HATE YOU,”it’s shocking. The actions I see today, the way one person treats another with such hate, is shocking. Where there should be love, there is hate. Have you noticed the amount of hate around you? Do you hear it in the news?

The power of love… what could happen if we simply loved more?

Some of you have heard words of hate; some have said those words. God wants to heal your heart today.

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.  (Romans 1:32)

Conclusion: Think back to that carnival ride… It was too late to change my mind about getting on that ride, and I could not get off that ride! The good news about Jesus is that He gives us a gift called repentance. It was the first message of Jesus – He came, and through His death and resurrection, paid for the penalty of our sin. We are not stuck on the ride of life that we find ourselves on; we can change our mind!

REPENTANCE – notjust a one-time thing… we get to constantly change our mind!

Clear the stage of your life and make space for the one who deserves it!

Paul’s point: When we were utterly helpless, Jesus came!  (Rom. 5:6)

Song:  Clear the Stage by Jimmy Needham – Spotify

We have to clear the stage and make some space for the one who deserves.

Anything I put before my God is an idol

Anything I want with all my heart is an idol

Anything I can’t stop thinking of is an idol

Anything that I give all my love is an idol

 

Cause I can sing all I want to

I can sing all I want to

We can sing all we want to and still get it wrong

Worship is more than a song

The Good News of Romans

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Series Title: Romans: Good News for You 

Kevin Berry | February 17, 2019  

Good News: Everybody could use some. How about you?  

In the headlines: “’One of my worst fears,’ says man who choked mountain lion.”  

On February 4, 2019, Travis Kauffman was running in the mountains of Colorado when a mountain lion lunged at him, latching onto his wrist and clawing his face and legs. As Travis tumbled to the ground, he grabbed sticks, rocks, anything to defend himself with, but nothing worked. 

At that moment, he said his fear response turned into a fight. Some things are worth fighting for! He fought for his life, his future, his family. Though the lion refused to let him go, he was able to get his foot on the lion’s neck and choke it to death. Twenty-eight stitches later and grateful to be alive, he said, “The story is bigger than my puny form. 

Some of you have been in a fight. I see it in some of your eyes… you’re tired of the fight. The bad news has been so fatiguing, and you could use some good news.

Peace be to you!

Good news: The story is bigger than you.  The story of God’s grace—the good news of God’s grace applied to your story—is bigger than anything you could pull off.

The Romans needed some good news, so the Apostle Paul wrote the letter we know as Romans. The book of Romans is known for bringing about transformation. This message of grace through Jesus is transformational for you. Martin Luther called Romans, “The chief book of the New Testament.”  As we go through Romans together, let’s ask God to transform us! 

The goal of God’s Word is not to inform you, but to transform you. 

What is the gospel? What do we know about the gospel?   

Gospel means “good news.” The book of Romans unpacks the gospel, this good news about Jesus! 

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, (Romans 1:1-6) 

Paul described himself as a servant – one who served his master to the disregard of his own interests, one whose will was swallowed up in the will of his master. Furthermore, Paul was called to be an apostle, something entirely different than what he was. He was a terrorist… but called to be an apostle. 

Paul relates to real people; he knew what he was, and where he had come from. Maybe that is why he could say with such confidence those words, “Such WERE some of you!” He knew what he was once like.

Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6:11)

Read that again. Some of you were like that, but you were cleansed, made holy, right with God. He can make you what you could never be on your own. Truth be told, this is what the church is made of – people that used to be one thing that are now something else. Everybody has a story; what’s yours?

Lastly, Paul was set apart for THE GOSPEL OF GOD – the good news.

What makes the gospel good news for you?

#1 The gospel has always been God’s plan to adopt you.

“…set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through the prophets…” (Rom. 1:1)

The gospel was not an afterthought; it was His plan before the creation of the world. You may wonder if God even knows you are around, if He cares. YES! He is the God who sees! In Gen. 16:13, Hagar said, “You are the Lord who sees me and cares for me.” 

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. (Eph. 1:4-5 NLT)

The gospel is the good news of God’s plan to adopt you into His family.

# 2 The gospel is about Jesus and what He did for you.

“…concerning His Son… Jesus…” (Rom. 1:3-5)

If we don’t remind ourselves the good news of what Jesus did for us, we beat ourselves up and fight a battle against sin that we could never win. Some live their entire lives feeling defeated, like they are not enough and don’t measure up. If that’s you – STOP and listen to the gospel. Remind yourself what Jesus did for you! He stepped out of Heaven, took on human skin, lived a sinless life, and willingly allowed Himself to be crucified. All of your sins were nailed to that cross so that you could be free from the penalty of sin. Jesus died so you could really live! When Jesus rose from the dead, He proved He really was the Son of God. Oh, what a joy to know that in Christ your sins are forgiven! 

What does the resurrection mean? What has been purchased?

I keep a simple reminder in my office – a fishing lure. Out of the six hooks it had, five remain. The sixth hook was stuck in my hand, a hook that I could not get out by myself. That situation reminds me of when I was stuck in sin, and I could not get myself out until Jesus came and did for me what I could never do on my own. He gave His life for me and now the rest of my life is all His. Oh,  how we need to be reminded of the gospel today!

#3 The gospel transforms you.

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 1:7)

In Rome, where the Christians were thought to be substandard, where they were treated more like animals than humans, Paul called them ‘loved by God, saints, children of the Lord.’  This is who you are! 

We see Paul’s transformation moment in Acts 9 – he went from terrorist to apostleship. See how Paul spoke to the Roman church that he had never visited before; hear his heart and see the transformation that took place!

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. (Rom. 1:8-12)

The transformed Paul was thanking instead of killing; praying non-stop instead of hunting them down non-stop. He longed to see them as a father sees his kids—with a desire to impart, encourage, strengthen—not destroy them as he did before.

Paul was changed by God’s grace, radically transformed. How about you? Have you been changed by God’s grace?

#4 The gospel is for everyone.

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (Rom. 1: 13-15)

The gospel breaks all barriers; there is no “us” and “them.” Why do you think that there is this “us and them” attitude in our society? What keeps that from creeping into our lives?

The gospel obligates you to think of everyone – from the person across the street to the one across the sea. The gospel obligates us to go global. This otherworldly love compels us to include everyone.

#5 The gospel gives you the only way to be right with God, by faith ALONE.

For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes – the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Rom. 1:16-17 NLT)

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. (1 Cor. 1:18)

The gospel affects everyone. It is our response to the gospel that puts us on a path that is either “headed for destruction” or “being saved.” The problem today is that people are caught by a roaring lion, and many struggle their whole lives to accomplish what they never could on their own – freedom! 

Your story is bigger than your ability. 

It is bigger than what you can make happen. Your future is bigger than your past.

The gospel: God took our sin, put it on Jesus and treated Him as our sins deserves. So now through faith in Jesus, God treats you like Jesus deserves to be treated. That is why the gospel is such good news for you!

Song: “So Will I” by Hillsong United spotify:track4sB4BfFmlQeG7tM6GLvN5j

Prayer Focus: Global Missions

T.A.L.K Prayer Guide

It is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. (Hos. 10:12b)

Abiding in the Secret Place

I will do as Jesus did, abide in the “Secret Place” and Pray (John 15:4)

Thank God (Ps. 100:4) 

  • Thank you, we are not disappointed when we pray. We know you will carry out your plans upon this earth.
    (Jer. 1:4-12)
  • Thank you, for sparking a flame of revival among the churches in our community. We reunite our faith together to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. (Mt. 6:10) 
  • Thank you, God, for more! More power as the Holy Spirit comes upon us. (Acts 1:8)
  • Thank you, God, for the faithful givers who support our missionaries
    world-wide. 
  • Thank you, God, for the new missionaries you are raising up from Mount Hope Church to go and preach the Gospel with signs and wonders following. (Mark 16:20)

Ask God (Jn. 14:13-14)

Ask and you shall receive….

  • God, we are asking for “greater works,” supernatural demonstrations of signs and wonders. (Jn. 14:12)
  • God, we are asking for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit over this region, the 50-mile radius around Mount Hope. 
  • This outpouring releases more!
    • More of God’s love 
    • More of God’s healing and
      deliverance 
    • More awareness of God our Father and His love for us 
    • More of God in our families 
    • More Power in the Holy Spirit 
    • More unity among believers 
  • Lord, we pray for more of your love in the hearts of the families in our community. (John 13:34-35)
  • Lord we pray that You would open our understanding, aligning ourselves with Your truths, causing the “rain of righteousness” to fall upon us and our families. (Ex. 33:13) 
  • Lord, we pray this year we would see more missionaries launched from Mount Hope Church in the world than any other year. We pray our missionary connections would bear great fruit, especially in our own city and at the MSU and LCC campuses. 
  • Lord, we pray for a bountiful harvest—for all those who have sown seeds in 2018 and who are pledging new seeds into the mission field in 2019. We declare a great harvest of returns on every seed sown. 
  • Lord, we pray that you would guide Pastor Geoff and his team all through 2019 as they connect with new missionaries and continue to align our selves with the 2019 goal to double. Double our given to missionaries and outreach from $1.5 million to $3 million, and to double our intercessors from 250 to 500 intercessors. 
  • Lord, we pray for more of your presence in the churches of our community. 

Listen to God (James 1:19) 

  • Pray and declare as you hear God speak to you in the “secret place.”
  • Lord, I declare more unity in the Body of Christ. Lord, I declare more of your presence, more miracles.
  • Lord, I declare 2019 will be the year of open doors. Miracle, signs, and wonder doors, healing doors, salvations doors, the door to heaven and God’s divine presence and glory. 
  • Lord, I declare more believers are being added to the family of God in 2019.
  • As a flame hits a dry piece of wood and becomes inflamed, so the fire of God will move across this land and into the hearts of His people, transforming lives. 
  • Lord, I believe that you are making a way in dry places. The rain of righteousness is cutting away through rocks and boulders—clearing a path for Jesus and His Kingdom to come on this earth as it is in Heaven. 
  • God is raising spiritual moms and dads to mentor the children of this city. 
  • God is breaking traditions and comfortable places. We will listen to the Holy Spirit and give Him permission to move more freely among us.

Know who God is. (Romans 8:28) 

  • “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
  • We ask in faith, and know you always watch over your words to perform them. (James 1:6; Jer. 1:12)
  • We know that you said you would never leave us or forsake us; therefore we are confident that You will lead us into all truth. (Heb. 13:5; John 16:13)
  • I know that you are a great and awesome rewarder. We take this time to seek you in faith and prayer for wisdom from above for all things pertaining to life and godliness. (Heb. 11:6)

At Mount Hope Church, our goal is to see prayer happening 24/7 through the Global Prayer Center. View prayer times here!

2018 Mission Highlights

Thank you! In 2018, as a church family, we gave nearly 1.5 million dollars to local and foreign missions—that includes support for 310 missionaries in 120 countries. This also includes:

  • We invested over $40,000 into prison ministries. Every week, over 1,500 inmates across Michigan heard the gospel of Jesus!
  • We gave over $25,000 for food and hygiene items for local refugees.
  • We invested over $10,000 into substance abuse ministries in Michigan.
  • We gave over $30,000 to support ministries that serve victims of human trafficking, both locally and overseas.
  • We’ve invested over $200,000 into targeted grants, scholarships, and pastoral education so church leaders across the US and internationally can be equipped to lead with excellence. Local kid’s ministries like Pontiac Kids Power Company and foreign missions like the church in eastern Europe, were among those that received these grants.
  • We invested over $75,000 in state-side church planting.
  • We responded to multiple fires, storms, and disasters here in America and abroad, with over $35,000 in disaster relief.
  • We planted a church in the jungles of Ecuador with a $10,000 investment! Now that church is ministering to hundreds of new Christians.
  • In Europe, we renovated three children’s ministry rooms with a generous gift of $7,500.
  • In Africa, you and I together have given over $10,000, where we distributed over 500 “Fire Bibles” to pastors that would have otherwise not had access to them.
  • We took another $10,000 and built eight classrooms in West Africa to be part of stopping the poverty cycle and see the gospel advanced.
  • We saw hundreds healed and tens of thousands hear about
    Jesus through a $25,000 investment in events and outreaches in Africa, Thailand, and India through Christopher Alam.
  • We we able to invest over $40,000 in university ministries and missionaries across Michigan.

When I hear Pastor Kevin paint Heaven’s vision and say, “In 2019, we are going to experience more, miracles, and multiplication,” I can’t help but think that multiplication means at least double.

In 2019, our Mount Hope Church goal is to double our giving and invest 3 million dollars to missions and local outreach—this includes Spyn Student Ministries’ goal of $80,000 and Kidz Connect’s BGMC goal of $15,000.

We need to raise, train, and equip 500 individual missions and outreach intercessors who will weekly release protection, wisdom, and favor to the Soul Zone and beyond. We need to see 1,000 volunteers and short-term missionaries being sent out on at least 12 local and foreign serving trips. Lives will forever be changed because of you and your faithfulness to pray, love, and serve.

Here’s my humble request—pray with me for our missions giving capacity to double, that our prayer capacity would double, and that our sending capacity would double.

My wife and I have committed to give more to missions in 2019 than we have ever given before. We have strategically decided to give those funds through Mount Hope Church toward the projects laid out in this book. I ask you to pray about coming on this adventure with Mount Hope and committing to do the same.

Thank you,

Geoff Bassett

Missions Director

September Prayer Emphasis

T.A.L.K Prayer Guide

Psalm 27:8

Thank God (Ps. 100:4)

  • Thank you, God, for the Presence of God saturating our city and surrounding the “Soul Zone.”
  • Thank you, God, for all the children and families returning to school.
  • Thank you, God, for the message of Jesus Christ and salvation becoming the fiber of our school system. 
  • Thank you, God, that the foster children of our community are finding homes and families who love them and will care for them. 
  • Thank you, God, for godly teachers to fill all of our schools. 
  • Thank you, God—Revival is released into all our schools in Lansing and the “Soul Zone!”
  • Thank you, God, for the students of MSU this 2018-19 school year—that each student would have an encounter with God and receive salvation. 
  • Thank you, God, for families of our “Soul Zone”—financial breakthroughs and windfall of blessings for each home. 
  • Thank you, God, for surrounding all the single parents of the “Soul Zone”—for satisfying their desires with good things and granting them protection and provision!
  • Thank you, God, for a harvest of souls coming into Your Kingdom.

Ask God (Jn. 14:13-14)
Ask and you shall receive….

  • God, we ask for protection around each student in our “Soul Zone.” 
  • God, we ask for godly leaders to be placed on our school boards & PTAs, and for godly volunteers and teachers. 
  • God, we ask for godly leaders to be elected in our city councils.
  • God, we ask for a godly leader to be elected in all branches of Gov. 
  • God, we ask that the financial stewards of our school systems make godly spending decisions.
  • God, we ask that the material taught in our schools have the aroma of Heaven!
  • We pray that those making the education decisions in our schools will be led by God. 
  • God, we pray that this school year each student would have an abundant provision: healthy eating habits, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not one student in our community would go hungry!

Listen to God (Matt. 10:27)

What is God saying for our  “Soul Zone” and school systems?

He is saying… 

  • I declare a fire of revival coming to our schools.
  • I declare a hunger for God’s Word will ignite a passion for purity and holiness. 
  • I declare that this passion will ignite a boldness to heal the sick, cast out demons, save the lost, and walk in grace, love, and forgiveness. 
  • I declare the essence and presence of God will infiltrate every fiber of our “Soul Zone.” 
  • I declare godly leaders in all branches of governmental offices in Lansing and surrounding areas. 
  • I declare all the foster care children are placed in Godly homes.
  • I declare families are praying together. 
  • I declare revival among all of our campuses. 
  • I declare MSU will become a Godly equipping college: that those coming to MSU will experience God and salvation and return to their communities and countries with a new message of HOPE in Jesus. 
  • I declare revival will spread like fire from MSU and UofM and all other Michigan colleges to the outer regions of the world. 

Take a few minutes and pray as you hear God speak. Declare His will to be done in our community. 

Know who God is. (Ps 46:10, Ps 4:3)

  • Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
  • Psalm 127:3: Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
  • The fruit of the womb is a reward.
  • Genesis 8:22: While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.
  • Matthew 9:38: Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
  • John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:20: For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

View Prayer Opportunities and Prayer Times

Gilead Healing Center Updates

Dear Mount Hope Family,

What an exciting time it has been as Dr. Denise and I have been getting to know so many of you! There are some important updates to the fitness center that I want to let you know about to help make an excellent experience for our members.

Membership

Beginning on April 1, 2018, we will have some updated guidelines and an auto-pay system in place that will improve and simplify gym membership. The individual monthly member fee of $10, or a $25 family package for 3 or more in your household, will be set up with a credit card on file.

For those that have been utilizing the fitness center without a membership, or for those without a credit card on file, please visit us at the front desk to update/establish your profile and monthly payment, go over the facility guidelines, and receive encouragement on your way to improved health… we’d love to help you get started!

Thank You!

Thank you for allowing us to serve you. We are looking forward to even greater things as we continue to get to know all the wonderful people that are part of the Gilead Healing Center and Mount Hope Church family.

Blessings,

Dr. Jean-Guy Daigneault

Missions in 2017

We are honored to have such a rich heritage of supporting missions over many decades, from right here in our own backyard to nations around the globe. We are so grateful for your contributions which will help spread the Good News of Jesus Christ well into the future—in our community and beyond the Soul Zone—as we partner with 290 missionaries and ministries in over 100 countries.

In 2017, thank you for helping us:

  • Provide 1,400 Arabic Bibles in the Middle East.
  • Provide monthly support to St. Vincent’s Home for Children.
  • Add over 25 missionaries and ministries to our monthly support. This includes missionaries in countries like Afghanistan, Senegal, Iraq, China, Montenegro,
    Comoros, Israel, Botswana, Guinea, Turkey, Yemen, Morocco, Ecuador, Moldova, Oman, Nicaragua, Amman, Lybia, Cuba, Indonesia and Algeria. In Michigan, this includes campus ministry Michigan State University and Central Michigan University, Cristo Rey in Lansing, and the Student Statesmanship Institute.
  • Send a team of students to Detroit for outreach ministry with Courage Church.
  • Support church planting initiatives in the Middle East including Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Oman, Tunisia, and Morocco.
  • Partner with our own Amanda Miller, ministering to the deaf in Mexico.
  • Minister to children through schools in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the Gaza Strip.
  • Provide the funds to launch a church planting ministry in the greater Tibet region of China.
  • Send a Mount Hope healing team to Haiti.