Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

What if you never heard about God

June 05, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 23
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
What if you never heard about God
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 3:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast for Monday, June the fifth. This is a very special Monday for Dina and I. As you are listening to this, Dina and I are in New York City getting ready to board an airplane to fly to Israel. We have anticipated and look forward to this trip for so very long. We'll spend two weeks in Israel touring there. Barry Britnell is our tour leader and we are ridiculously excited about getting to see the lands of the Bible. I'm gonna try to do the best I can not to come home and start every sentence with when I was in Israel I saw, but I can't make any promises. It's pretty exciting to get to go. We're very thankful to have the chance to go, and I hope that you'll pray for Dean and I and the rest of our group while we are traveling. Maybe a word about yesterday's sermons and then yes, yes, let's talk about Daley Bible reading. Dean and I will be reading while we are over there in the land where this happened, and I hope that you'll be reading along in Jeremiah as well. Let's get started with this podcast. Yesterday I preached a sermon about those who never hear about Jesus. What about that fella in the rainforest somewhere? Doesn't have a bible, doesn't know about Jesus Christ. And this sermon grew from some questions that our high school Bible class had asked of their teachers some questions that they need, some answers to, some things that they are interested in and some of the challenges to their faith that they hear. This is one of those things that's on the top of lots of young people's list. Is it just unfair for God to condemn people who've never even heard about him? And so yesterday I talked a little bit about the problem is not that people lack the gospel, the problem is that people are sinners. That's what's killing people spiritually. Of course, that's the disease, if you will, if you can play out that spiritual metaphor. The cure is the gospel. But the reason people die, the reason people are condemned is not because they like the cure, but because they've caught the disease. So I'll add to that this idea that Christians are exclusive and that's so offensive to people today. I would add to the sermon yesterday the concept that that's really not anything new Christians have long been criticized for their exclusive claims to serve in worship Jesus. Only in Act 17, if Paul is willing to tell the Athenians, Hey, let's just replace the plaque that says unknown God with Jesus Christ and will add Jesus to the pantheon of Roman and Greek gods. I think a lot of people in Athens would've been willing to do that. Paul, of course, is not willing to do that. Those gods are false gods. We must worship Christ alone. I saw a clip about the third century, the Roman emperor in the third century, Alexander Severs who added an image of Jesus Christ to the other gods that he worshiped in his private chapel. He was mystified then when Christians refused to reciprocate and worship him as the emperor. The Romans wanted Christians to place their gods right alongside of Jesus and call it one big happy family. Christians wouldn't do that. And of course persecution was the result. And I think that's about where people are today. Everybody believe what you want and don't criticize any other belief systems. The great American philosopher and theologian, Marilyn Monroe once was asked if she believed in God with a grin. She said, I just believe in everything a little bit. And that is where our society is. You believe what you want. I believe what I want. I believe a little bit of what you believe. Maybe you believe a little bit of what I believe and don't criticize or dare say anybody else is wrong. But that kind of thinking of course has devastating implications. For example, what kind of God accepts all these contradictory and contrary beliefs and says they're all equal? And what if my beliefs are are patently offensive? The Nazis, the Nazis believe that exterminating people was okay. Did God accept that? Is that all right if I wanna believe that and and you just believe what you want? I'm believing this Terri . Oh, come on. We oughta know better than that and that will affect our view of the Bible because the Bible certainly says Jesus is the only way. So if we're gonna go with something where everybody's in and it's just inclusive and that's just marvelous and and rainbows and sparkly unicorns, well then you're pretty much gonna have to start taking the scissors to the Bible. But maybe the worst implication of this is it destroys the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only way Jesus makes that claim. And that claim is preached repeatedly in the book of action throughout the rest of the New Testament. And if Jesus is not the only way, then he is not who he said he is and he didn't need to die. So so much goes astray if we don't understand the concepts that the Bible sets forth so clearly of sin and of the way to God being won by Jesus. What is killing people is San and Jesus is the cure. He's the only cure for that. Let's turn our Bibles to Jeremiah, the third chapter we'll resume in Jeremiah the third chapter today as we start with our weeks daily Bible reading It is Monday. And today we read Jeremiah chapter three verses 15 to 25. And I expect that we've read enough from Jeremiah already to get the feeling of kind of, it's a downer. So today's reading, maybe that will help a little bit because there's a ray of hope in the midst of so much gloom. It does seem that Judas security is based on the outward symbols of religion, the temple and the arc of the covenant Now is the arc of the covenant there. It's hard to know exactly what happened to the ark. Seems like maybe a couple of hundred years earlier it had been taken by the Egyptians. We're not entirely sure where the arc is, but you'll notice in verse 16, they're still talking about the Ark of the Covenant. And that may just be a statement to discuss the temple and all the worship that goes with that, whether or not the ark was really present still in Jerusalem or not. People may still have been talking about that in that kind of way. And what God says here is you're gonna stop talking about the outward symbols of religion because you'll be interested in the heart in really serving God. And we get some Messianic ideas in verses 17 and 18, all nations coming to Jerusalem. But then, then this chapter ends with some disappointment. The irony in verse 19 is that God did so much for the people and they did not respond. Look at God's nature. Look at how God feels, his warmth, his love in verse 19, what a tremendous God that we serve. And then we get marriage imagery again in verse 20. And the roadblock to restoration is not God. These people are not petitioning God, praying to God, repenting, rendering their heart to doing everything they can to turn to the Lord and God's holding them at arms length and saying, you know what? I will not accept you. No, these people will not return to him. They aren't interested in serving God. 21, 22 and 23. Then help us see what repentance would look like. This is what they should be doing. They perverted their way. They forgot God. Verse 21, this is what God wishes they would do. Return. Remember the emphasis here on return, that term is just used over and over and over again in chapter two, chapter three, going on even into chapter four. Oh, please come back so that God will be there . God, you are the Lord our God. That's what God wants people to say. That's what God wants people to want. He wants them to want him, but instead they just lay down in their shame. Verse 25, maybe the idea here is they've made their bed and now they just have to lie in it. They don't want to turn to the Lord in the way that they should. This is what they ought to be saying. Unfortunately, they won't do it. There's the chapter break here, but I am not sure the sermon ends in chapter three and verse 25. It may just be rolling on into chapter four. We'll read there tomorrow on Tuesday. It is Tuesday again . Today we read Jeremiah chapter four, verses one to 15. Here we really get some of Jeremiah's beautiful imagery. He just is a master of word pictures and we'll see lots of that in our reading today. Again, the idea of returning, that's where we start. Four one, if you return, oh , Israel declares the Lord to me, you should return. And I think we're getting the idea maybe of some dishonesty here. The people are saying the right things. They would pray to God, but they're still serving idols. It's easy to say verse two, as the Lord lives to swear by the Lord, but they're not doing that in truth and righteousness. If they would do that, look at the blessings. Chapter four verse two, nation shall bless themselves in him. That's a reference to the Abrahamic promises that all nations shall be blessed in the Messiah. They need to turn to the Lord. And in verse four, verse three and four, we get beautiful word imagery here. Break up the fallow ground, break up the hardness of your heart, circumcise your heart, return with a whole heart. Don't be satisfied with the outward sign of circumcision. Really come and serve God if you're not gonna do that, Jeremiah begins in verse five to warn about coming judgment. And Jeremiah identifies that the trouble is coming from the north, and that's the Babylonians and the Assyrians. That's where they come from. But really the source of the trouble is God. God is bringing this trouble because God is judging them for theiri inequity and for their sin for this. Verse eight, put on sack cloth for the fierce saying of the Lord is not turned. There's that word turned back from us and leadership will collapse in verse nine. And then Jeremiah says this in verse 10, oh Lord God, surely you have to utterly deceive this people in Jerusalem saying it shall be well with you. Whereas the sword has reached their very life. Jeremiah loves to just speak out of the heart, and sometimes he says some hard things. He gets frustrated with the Lord sometimes. And I think verse 10 here is talking about how God has allowed false prophets among the people. And Jeremiah says, they're deceiving people. God, ultimately I'm, I'm blaming you for letting those false prophets be in existence and letting these false prophets say all these wrong things. I'm thinking here about Second Thessalonians, two verses eight to 12 that talk about people who wanna believe a lie. God will let them believe a lie. That's Jeremiah four, verse 10. And so this terrible judgment is going to come and we get the winds of war. Verse 11, look at verse 14, O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil that you may be saved. How long shall your wicked thoughts lodge within you? What a beautiful passage. What a beautiful way of framing, repentance. Wash your heart from evil. And here we see Jeremiah at his best. He preaches the word. He preaches a strong word of judgment. He indicts the people, but he hopes that that word won't come to pass because these are his people and his land and even his own life that will be destroyed. More of this tomorrow, Jeremiah chapter four and verse 16 on Wednesday, I'll see you then. It is Wednesday and tonight we continue our series on the case for Christianity. And Ben Lee from the West Main congregation in Louisville will be with us tonight. Here's Ben to tell you a little bit about himself and about his sermon.

Speaker 4:

Hello, my name is Benjamin Lee. I preach at the West Main Church of Christ in Louisville, Texas. Really excited to be preaching at the West Side Church on a very important subject, dealing with alleged Bible contradictions. Imagine someone asked you this question, why should they believe in the Bible when it is full of contradictions? Well, for some that could be a frightening question, right? How do we navigate this question and how do we answer someone like that? Well, this sermon, we're gonna look at these alleged Bible contradictions. We're gonna see that we have nothing to fear, that the Bible is trustworthy and reliable, and we're also going to consider different rules and things that we need to remember as we answer these alleged contradictions. So I hope to see you there with an open Bible ready to study.

Speaker 3:

Good to hear from Ben, and I know that you're excited about his sermon tonight. This series is just going to be such a help to all of us. Let's get our daily Bible reading done before services this evening. We're in Jeremiah four. We're gonna read 16 to 31. And as we're reading along here, once again, we get that strong preaching from Jeremiah verses 15, 16, 17. But then in verse 19, we get some of Jeremiah's private thinking. And this is the private thoughts of a man, the internal anguish of a man who is just beside himself because he knows the word of God is true. He knows God's going to bring judgment. He knows the people are guilty of this evil and this wickedness, but he wishes so much that this judgment did not have to fall hell long. Verse 21, must I see the standard in here , the sound of the trumpet. My people are foolish. They know me , not verse 22, they don't know the Lord. They're stupid. They have no understanding. Jeremiah is just beside himself at what his people have become, and he is so concerned about the judgment that's going to fall upon them. That judgment is detailed in verses 23 to 26. Look carefully and you'll see that this is an utter reversal of Genesis from creation to chaos. You've got the emptiness and void of verse 23. That's outta Genesis one and two, and then you have light in verse 23. They had no light. Then you have the heavens. Verse 23 goes on. That's a reference to Genesis one, verse eight. Then you've got the earth. I looked upon the mountains, they were quaking , the hills move to and forth . So there's a deconstruction of the world, a deconstruction of the earth. Birds are mentioned there in verse 25. And then of course, mankind as well in verse 25, all that God made is then being taken away, destroyed before the Lord in his fierce anger . In fact, the imagery is so bad that God stops in verse 27 and says, it's not the end of the world that I , I'm not destroying everything. I'm just bringing judgment upon Judah. And unfortunately, Judah's not listening. They're not going to verse 28, turn back. There's that word turning, still working in this section, isn't it? Instead of turning back, they put on verse 30, the dress of a prostitute and verse 31 then even continues the figure, a pregnant prostitute that dies. Oh, that's an ugly image. But Jeremiah is trying to get these people's attention. Listen up. Think about what's going to happen if you don't turn, if you don't repent. But Jeremiah will say some things about a people who've made their faces harder than rock. They won't repent. We'll see that in our reading on Thursday. It is Thursday and today we read the first 13 verses of Jeremiah five, Jeremiah five, one to 13. And I really like the way Jeremiah is preaching here because this is kind of an inverse approach or a backdoor approach. He says, let's look for a reason not to bring judgment. I'm gonna search and see if I can find anybody who's doing what's right. Kind of reminds us a little bit of Abraham praying for Sodom and Gamora and bargaining with the Lord. Lord, what if you find tan righteous people there? Jeremiah's kind of reenacting that idea. Verse two, he says, don't be fooled. I'm , I'm looking, I'm looking for some righteous people and I'm not gonna be fooled. Verse two by hypocrites. I'm just gonna see if I can find somebody who will do what's right. Verse four, I'm looking so hard to see if anybody is doing the right thing. I go to the great verse five to see if they would know the way of the Lord. Nope, everybody's just broken out of their bonds. They're not doing what's right there . Apostacy verse six, that's in that word, family for return, for repent. That's still working here. So God says, just going to have to punish you. Lots of sexual imagery here in verses seven and eight. And I think maybe that we get a little squeamish about some of that, but don't forget how much sexual practices, how much , uh, various things with temple, prostitution and so forth went on with idolatry. That's very much part of their world and that's why Jeremiah is preaching in this way. So judgment is going to come strip away her branches. Verse 10. Notice here judgment seen as a pruning that will figure large in Jeremiah's messages as we go along, that God is pruning his people to preserve something. But these people, they're not the Lord's people. So disaster's going to come upon them. There's been false prophets saying, oh, that will never happen. Look at the overwhelming over confidence in verse 12. And then there's a little word play in verse 13. The prophets will become wind . The word is not in them. The word for wind is rah . But of course, rah is also the word that can be translated spirit. So the prophets become rah because they don't have the rua , they don't have the spirit of God. And so they're just leading people astray. We'll finish up chapter five tomorrow as we finish the week on Friday. See you then. It is Friday. You made it through the week. How about that? Great reading here to close the week out, Jeremiah five 14 to 31. A little bit lengthy here, but powerful preaching from Jeremiah. Jeremiah says that God is bringing judgment. Verse 15, I'm bringing against you. Notice God's the one that's doing this. God brings the Babylonians. God brings this nation whose language you cannot know. They're gonna destroy you. Eat up your harvest. Verse 17, eat up your sons and daughters right outta Deuteronomy 28. This is what Deuteronomy 28 prophesied and said would happen. These are the curses. If you don't keep the law notice verse 18, though still not gonna make a full end of you . Promises to David still at work . And people are gonna ask, what's going on here? Why is God doing this to us? And in fact, they do ask those kinds of questions in the Babylonian captivity. Ezekiel the prophet will be there to answer those questions. And Jeremiah says, when you ask that, here's what you need to know. You didn't fear me. Verse 22. You had a stubborn and rebellious heart. You did not say verse 23. You had a stubborn rebellious heart. Verse 24, you didn't say in your heart, Lord , fear the Lord our God. You didn't give him credit for the blessings. He brings the reign and the autumn reign and the weeks appointed for the harvest. Your iniquities have turned you away. Verse 25. And then look at this verse 26, 27, 28. You oppress those who are the fatherless and the weak. Let's think about that. We have some questions about God and how God feels about justice and righteousness and compassion. That's showing up in Jeremiah's prophesying here. The focus is on un is on injustice and social oppression. That goes on here. Just make some notes here about what Jeremiah's singles out stubborn heart, not fearing the Lord. Verse 24, not giving God the credit for the blessings. Verse 24, verse 25, sin social oppression. Verse 20 . Just make some lists there. And then look, let's look at our own lives. Am I living like the people of Jeremiah's time? The worst part of it, the end is that the end verse 31, prophets are prophesying falsely telling everybody it's all just fine. Don't worry about it. It's all good. It's all good. God loves us. We're gonna be fine. Oh, people hear that word. They're doing these terrible things. There's idolatry. There's exploitation of the poor. All this is going on and my people love to have it. So Josiah's reforms don't seem to be affecting people's hearts. But what will you do? Verse 31, when the end comes, what a poignant ending to this sermon in chapter five. Well, there you go. Thanks for listening. I appreciate your interest in the podcast. I hope that you are following or subscribing to it. Please rate or review the podcast. We say that every week, but of course that really helps more people find the podcast. When people are searching, the algorithms naturally pull up to the top. The podcasts that have the highest rating help us have a higher rating. So more people who are looking to read the Bible and draw closer to the Lord will find this podcast. Best thing to do is just tell somebody you know, there's nothing like word of mouth. Tell somebody about the podcast. So until next week, I hope your Friday is wonderful. Hope the Lord will be with you today all day, and I will see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday Jeremiah 3:15-25
Tuesday Jeremiah 4:1-15
Wed Night Summer Series-Ben Lee
Wednesday Jeremiah 4:16-31
Thursday Jeremiah 5:1-13
Friday Jeremiah 5:14-31