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The Promise Of Hope



"15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us.16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word."
Good Morning my beloved, 

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here! For those of you joining us for the first time, I do not believe it was coincidence or mistake. I believe that Almighty God Himself, has lead you here.
There is a lot of anxiety in America today about the future of our nation, and the world. Where are things headed? Will the economy ever bounce back? And, will life as we know it, before this pandemic, ever return?
We all know that life can be pretty tough sometimes, and even for us Christians, we too can get tired or become discouraged at times. Some of you may have heard the old expression, "It’s enough to make a preacher cuss?" It reminds me of a story I once heard, some time ago about an older pastor who was looking to buy a used lawnmower.  He stopped at a yard sale and there was a young boy who was 9 or 10 years old, he was doing his best to make the sale. So, the preacher pulled the rope several times to crank the mower, however, it wouldn’t start. The boy quickly explained, "You have to kick it and say a few cuss words before it will crank, like my dad does! The preacher knelt down and answered, "Son, I'm a preacher, I can’t do that. Besides it’s been years since I've said a curse word." The young boy responded, "Well, don't worry about that preacher," he said, " you just keep pullin’ on the rope, it’ll come right back to ya!"

Our world as we know it, has dramatically changed. I'm fairly certain, that until the pandemic, many of you thought that the phrases "The good ole' days" and "things will never be the same again" a conversation reserved for those of us over 50. If I had to guess, I'd say that many of you are probably struggling with that same thought today.

The world is in such turmoil, such chaos and disarray, that some of you may think it’s enough to make a preacher cuss. Well, I would like to assure you, I'll not be cussing today; but rather I am going to be discussing how we can stand firm in an unstable world!

Never in our time, was a Spirit filled, church wide, heaven sent amelioration needed than at this present time in our world. It is the only answer to the spiritual warfare we are witnessing taking in every part of the world. Everything from bombs, and bullets to body bags will never stem the tide of terror and horror that threatens human existence. It has long been said that "When Christianity retreats, evil steps in to fill the gap!" And, I believe that is exactly what is happening in our world today. 

As a footnote, historically, during times of spiritual disaffection from God, social and political tensions tend to rise. And, in the past, a good ole' fashioned revival often has mercifully brought a spiritual revitalization to the Church. As a new perspective was afforded those enlightened, resulting in much needed societal change. Those preachers of ole' believed a revival was the catalyst to a new spiritual and social paradigm. The change we’re seeing around us is radical. And,  in kind, I believe it will require a radical response from the church.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father, 

Father, thank You for this wonderful Word that You have given to us. Thank You for the all encompassing truth of Your sovereign love, that we can boldly proclaim, it is well with our soul; we confess, we are just overwhelmed by it. We are filled with such gratitude. We are greatly honored and so privileged. Because of Your truth, we have endless joy, and the promise of hope. 
Lord, help us to have a new committed to righteousness and holiness. Refresh our minds, in such a way our world perspective would be transformed. That we might come to see that we must do everything we can, as Your people, to share the love, hope and peace of the Gospel, with anyone who will listen, we ask that your give them an ear, that even one more would receive the eternal gift of salvation through Christ. Help us to stand strong, firmly upon on the rock, the cornerstone on which this incredible reality and promise was built. Reassure us, through Your Holy Spirit, that we can live in good hope with nothing to fear.
In Christ's name we pray
Today's Message:The Promise Of Hope
The premise, however, of having a revival is the assumption there is something left to revive. As there become fewer and fewer people who attend church, and more and more people, choosing to decide to not to follow Jesus, I believe there becomes less and less to revive. It is not enough to be persuaded by the truth and persevere in the truth.In order to receive God’s enabling power, we must also to do what is required of us, which is to practice the truth. Quite frankly, I just do not see a lot of that occurring in the church today. I believe what we need is a return to teaching sound biblical doctrine, making real Christ following Christians, who are willing to become disciples, who are following the Great Commission as given by our Lord Jesus Christ. The future of the church of today is so not about the preferences of it's members, it's about being faithful in service to the Lord, and preaching the entire Gospel.

"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.." - Matthew 28:19-20.
Open with me your Bible to the Book of II Thessalonians chapter 2, as we continue in our ongoing journey of the rich, instruction epistle, we come to the final three verse in chapter 2. The Apostle Paul, I believe, has given us a tremendous amount of instruction. I would encourage you to follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds. II Thessalonians 2:15-17.

 "So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word."

Back to our original question; how can we stand firm in the midst of an unstable world? Well, allow me to explain something, as bad as you may think conditions are now, I think the Paul’s friends in Thessalonica had it much worse. They had no health insurance, no hospitals, and only doctors, with limited knowledge, nothing like we have today, where everyone doctor is a specialist. They had a mad Roman Emperor who was killing Christians, literally by the thousands. They were losing their jobs when they made the decision to follow Jesus. Someone had purported a fake letter from Paul saying that Jesus had already returned. I'm sure you'll recall, that in the preceding verses Paul wrote them that Jesus had not returned yet. And when He comes, He will claim the final victory. However, until that happens, he encourages them to stand firm in an unstable world. These words still resonate with us, especially today.
In the last few verses, of this chapter, Paul is telling these believers, and us, to do two things: Stand firm and hold onto the Word of God. Knowing the truth and hanging onto it can give you great stability and peace, even in the midst of chaos. And, I speak from my own personal experiences, when I tell you, this is true! In fact, I have had a number of people say to me recently, "I don't know how you can stay so calm, your life has basically turned upside down. Yet, you go on serving God, as if nothing has changed! How?" All I can tell you is truth is an excellent thing to get a hold on. Even our Declaration of Independence says, "We HOLD these TRUTHS to be self-evident…" In this passage, Paul reminds us of several unshakable truths to which we should hold on.
If there is there is one overarching truth of the Bible, it is that God exists. And, right on the heels of that truth, is reality that God, is who He says He is. He is the One who created the universe and everything in it, has chosen, by His grace to love us. Have you ever Googled something and just looked at how many links there are for that particular thing? For example, if you Google the phrase "the love of God" there are over 1.72 billion links!

Much of the love we experience from people in this life is conditional. Conditional love is based upon your performance. You have to do something to earn it. A person may say,"I will love you if…" They may say, "I will love you if you will love me." Or "I will love you as long as you’ll make me feel a certain way." But God’s love is unconditional. God doesn’t love me because I’m especially worthy or lovable; He loves me because HE is loving. In other words, God doesn’t love us because of who WE are. He loves us because of who HE is.

Why does God love us? The reason is God is love. God is love. God loves you because God loves you. God knows more about you than anyone else. He knows every mistake that you’ve ever made, and every mistake you will ever make. Yet, He still loves you with an unconditional love. And, He has before we were even born. 

In fact,  John 17:24 puts it this way, "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world."

And Jeremiah 31:3 says this "The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness."
Now, if you study the Qur’an, for example and compare it to the Bible, you cannot claim that the God of the Bible is Allah of Islam. In the Qur’an, the love and approval of Allah is based upon human performance. If a person is faithful to follow the five pillars of Islam, then perhaps, I say perhaps because there is no sense of assurance, Allah will choose to allow them to enter paradise at death. But Allah hates the infidel and commands Muslims to convert them, and if they oppose, infidels must be put to the death.

However, the Bible teaches that God loves the world. He loves everyone. The good, the bad, and the ugly. There’s nothing that you can do to make God love you any more. And there’s nothing you can do to make God love you any less. The Scriptures are filled with verse after verse of the love of God.

Jesus, in Luke chapter 15,  "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing." The Jesus is making here is that
God loves you so much that if you had been the only lost person on earth, He would have still come seeking you. Then, rejoicing once you've have been found. 

God is the kind of father who even loves His children, even when they have been disobedient and rebellious. Jesus told the story of a son who broke his father’s heart by asking for the dad to give him what he had coming in his will. Then the son took that money and ran off to the bright lights of the big city and spent it all on wine, women, and song. But when that broken down, good-for-nothing son heads home, the father runs to embrace the once lost, wayward child. God is like that father, God loves you!

In verse 16, Paul writes these beautiful words "Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace," Eternal comfort and good hope, I just love that phrase.

In today's vernacular, we use the word "hope" for something that might happen. In the Bible, it means an absolute certainty. In other words, H.O.P.E. is the acronym for Having Only Positive Expectations. 

Paul continues this great truth in verse 17 when he writes "comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word." God gives us the strength we need to stand firm. 

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The next verse teaches us how to stand firm, "Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."

In Closing...

While the world says "Don't just stand there, do something." Christianity says "Don't just do something, stand firm!" But we can’t stand firm in our own strength. God is our source of strength. Christian life doesn’t start with action, it starts with conviction and belief. We have all heard the expression, "If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything." 

While our culture keeps redefining truth and morality, we stand firm on the truth. Truth always leads to action, but first we must stand firm on what we believe.  Allow me to remind you of these great truth, in which you can believe, to stand firm: 

God loves you unconditionally.

God chose you before you even believed.

God gives you hope for the future.

God gives you strength to stand firm.

May It be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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