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God Is Able


"12 For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." 

Good Morning my beloved,
Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
And welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are thankful that you are here!  Please keep them in your prayers.

We live in challenging days. Unapologetically, this message today is meant for Christians. The followers of Jesus Christ, the Lord. This is appropriate since the text was originally addressed to a follower of the Christ and since the current message is delivered during a time of Christian worship. Our world is experiencing a transition from historical Christian morality to strange, startling and novel standards that are, as old as sin itself. Society’s transformation is dizzying—the old order is being abandoned and the new moral order is not fully evident just yet. However, what is able to seen is disheartening, disconcerting, to say the very least. Cultural Christians and religious adherents are discomforted, though often willing to join in with a full throated cry for censure of any who dare stand transversely against the mad rush to abandon the old order, while embracing this new, controversial and damning social order.
Our society is being transformed at a vertiginous pace; activities and attitudes that were once universally execrate, are now not only approved, they are even celebrated, while what was once thought to be good is now being condemned. The faith of our Lord Jesus is being tested; it's being tested! And, I dare say, that this testing will only grow more intense in days to come. The events of the future, are unfolding at an unprecedented, dramatic pace as evil brazenly strides through our world. Adherents of this perishing world challenge the followers of Christ to defend the faith once delivered. While few are so bold as to openly confront believers, demanding a formal apology for what is believed, the prevalent tone implies that most inhabitants of this evil world, wish we would just go away, and disappear from the face of the earth. It is in such a hostile environment, the model for Christian life and service is provided in the words of the Apostle Paul, as he was poised on the edge of eternity. 

Contemporary morality has been turned completely upside down. Those who practice what is defined as indecent and against the laws of nature, have demanded acceptance, only a short time past. No longer only tolerance, but celebration as these same rebellious acts are compelled through judicial action to become the Magna Carta. The cost of following Christ has never been cheap. While I make no claim to being a prophet, it seems abundantly clear to me, that a cost for being a Christian will soon be demanded.

I believe the time has come for us Christians to be in the closet; the prayer closet! Sin, which once used to lurk in the shadows has now come out, dancing and screaming into the light. While some have come out of their closets, it's time for us, as Christians to get into ours and pray. Contrary, to popular belief, God does not need America. It's a great nation. God has graciously given us our life and our liberty. God does not need America to do what God will do in the world. However, America desperately needs God and I believe that we need Him today!

Let us bow our heads.

Heavenly Father,

Father, thank You for Your Word for us, we have come to the realization, that we can no longer afford to be the silent minority, give us the courage and boldness, to speak truth. Help us to make the truth believable, not by our convincing speeches and preaching, but through our transformed lives. Let us offer the gift of salvation, not with words of condemnation and judgement, but with love, mercy and compassion, warning of the judgement that is to come. Burden our hearts, that they might cry out with urgency to a lost and perishing world. 

Lord, we acknowledge things, once to shameful even to speak, has caused righteousness to retreat. Wickedness and evil has burst forth from the darkness, while Your people are being forced to worship in secret, as though our faith in the One True Living God is shameful. The day has quickly come, when people are "lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God," along with the overweening desire to be entertained seems to have all become marks of our society and the world, reflecting the moral conditions of the hearts of men. A culture that exalts man and declares an individual’s own pleasure to be the summum bonum of this life.

Father, help us to serve You with faithfulness, please You with clear conscience, and unashamedly proclaim the truth of the Gospel. 
In Jesus' name we pray
Today's Message: God Is Able
The proud, arrogant individual shows that he is ignorant of the love of God. Those who insists upon getting his own way, refusing to show mercy or compassion, is an individual demonstrating the cowardice associated with this broken and dying world. I believe that such a person needs to humble himself under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time God may exalt him, rather than he exalting himself.

Open with me your Bibles, if you will, to the Second Book of Timothy chapter 1 verse 12. Paul having faithfully fulfilled that which God commissioned him to do, writes this letter to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy, who had a tendency to be meek, rather easily intimidated by his opposers, to strengthen him and encourage him to carry on. In terms of morality, which was rapidly dying, the Roman Empire was not terribly different from the moral condition that now describes our culture, society and world today. 

I would like to encourage you to follow along with me as I read, to set the text in our minds, as we prepare our hearts, for the Word of God. II Timothy 1:12.

"For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."

The Apostle Paul, first wrote of a culture that had little time for God, one in which exalted man. At the end of our text today, I'd like to draw your attention to the end Paul writes "..I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day."

In Romans 1:18-25, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of 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 over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them."

We tend to want to believe, that there is good in all people. Therefore, we want to believe that immoral individuals can somehow still be good people at heart. However, the Apostle Paul makes it clear, that one who has excluded God from life is unrestrained; and when restraint no longer reigns, society, the culture of a nation, moves inevitably into every imaginable form of evil as described in the final verses of this chapter. 

Of Roman society at the time Paul wrote these words, Edersheim, a Jewish convert to Christianity and a Biblical scholar, who was known especially for his book "The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah,"
Edersheim wrote, "The freedmen, who had very often acquired their liberty by the most disreputable courses, and had prospered in them, combined in shameless manner the vices of the free with the vileness of the slave. The foreigners—specially Greeks and Syrians—who crowded the city, poisoned the springs of its life by the corruption which they brought. The free citizens were idle, dissipated, sunken; their chief thoughts of the theatre and the arena; and they were mostly supported at the public cost. While, even in the time of Augustus, more than two hundred thousand persons were thus maintained by the State, what of the old Roman stock remained was rapidly decaying, partly from corruption, but chiefly from the increasing cessation of marriage, and the nameless abominations of what remained of family-life." 

Religion no longer had power to restrain people and no power to cope with the degeneration. The philosophies of the Greeks failed to meet the deep moral needs demanded by the times. The emperors had become criminal in both their conduct and rule. Native born Romans were decreasing in number, due in great measure to an emphasis upon sexually deviant acts and to a general decision that children inhibited fulfillment. Seneca testified that children were considered with great disfavor and infant exposure was prevalent. Lawlessness was rampant and unequal administration of the legal codes became commonplace; the moral fiber of society was vitiated. Because of the degeneration of society, corruption marked the governing class. Consequently, any movement that challenged the prevailing social condition was opposed. This was the world in which Paul ministered and in which he wrote the words of our text.

To be certain, Christian evangelists were beaten, imprisoned and treated roughly from earliest days following the Resurrection of the Christ. Christians were derided and treated with contempt in a vain attempt to silence them, for the leading lights of that ancient world could not tolerate seeing their lost condition when exposed by the brilliance of Heaven’s glorious light. The response of these leaders proved the verity of the apostolic warning delivered in this missive, "All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. The most common effort to silence the followers of the Christ was to respond with violence in order to force them into silence. I'd like you to notice just how often this is observed in the Word of God.

Peter and John had just been employed by the Risen Saviour to heal a crippled man. People were running to them, hearing the message of life in the Son of God, when "the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them" as recorded in Acts 4. In Acts 4:2, Luke notes of these leaders of the nation that they "were greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead." So, Peter and John were imprisoned and put in custody. Unwilling to punish them at this time, the Council threatened them and set them free. 

However, their mere threats were insufficient to intimidate the Apostles, so the high priest and the party of the Sadducees "arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison," as seen in Acts 5:18. Threats had failed to silence Peter and John, so all the Apostles were haled into court. Though many on the Council wanted to kill these followers of the Way, they instead heeded the advice of Gamaliel, “they beat them and charged them not to speak in the Name of Jesus"

And, so the story continues with one conflict after another as the Jewish leaders vainly attempt to keep the message of Messiah’s death and resurrection from being declared in Jerusalem. They went so far as to use an enraged rabbi named Saul of Tarsus, who engineered the murder of some Christians and the imprisonment of many others. The opposition to the message of Life was just as vicious outside of Jerusalem as it had been in the Jewish center. On the road to Damascus, Saul of Tarsus was confronted by the Risen Lord, and converted to Christ, and then became known as Paul; the Apostle to the Gentiles. 

Chased from Damascus by threats to kill him, rejected by the Christians in Jerusalem, it would first appear that Paul’s evangelistic career would be short-lived. However, a man named Barnabas was sensitive to the Spirit of God; he saw in Paul, what others were unable see in this quondam persecutor of the faith. So, he brought Paul back to Antioch, where God dispatched these two men on the first missionary journey of the faith. 

There are many people who dream about and study investments all you like, but the bottom line is when you actually deposit some of your hard-earned cash with the investment firm. Until that transaction takes place, all of your knowledge and interest in the subject count for nothing. In much the way, you must personally commit your life to Jesus Christ. Paul says ".. I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day," he uses the Greek word "parathēkēn," which means deposit or trust. The word deposit was used of leaving your valuables in the care of a trusted friend to guard while you were away. Until you deposit your life with Christ, all of your knowledge about God and interest in spiritual things amount to nothing. You must fist make the deposit before the investment can begin to be of benefit to you. I believe that it is significant that Paul does not say, "I know what I have believed," although he did, but rather, "I know whom I have believed." Beloved, there is an enormous  difference between knowing about Christ and knowing Him personally. In spite of the opposition, in spite of the indignant calumny spewed against the faith, in spite of the physical acts of violence, Paul boldly testified, "I am not ashamed."After all, what was there to be ashamed of? Shame occurs when we have acted in a manner that dishonors, whether ourselves, another or God. Paul had nothing to be ashamed of.

However, when a society has rejected the standard which defines what is moral, it will attempt to shame those who refuse to approve of the prevailing fluid morality. The moral code of a society is no better than the standard which is adopted by the current culture. This brings up another point, which I'll address in a moment.

The Apostle Paul made such a deposit, you see. However, he was challenged by some whom he called "Super Apostles," Paul, in defending his ministry, wrote the Church of God in Corinth. And, in 
II Corinthians 11:21-29  he wrote "To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison. But in whatever respect anyone else is bold—I speak in foolishness—I am just as bold myself. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 
I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches. Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?" The Apostle Paul concluded with a flourish, by speaking boldly of his strength, remembering one final incident that could have been well overlooked since it was far in the distant past. 
In getting back to the issue of the moral standard, I believe this is of great significance for the Christian today. If our standard is merely determined by who shouts the loudest, by who employs the most caustic language or by who is most vigorous in promoting deviancy, and moral degradation. Words will cease to have meaning and something similar to the Maoist purges will take place against those who fail to bow to the new morality. I would encourage you to engrave this truth, this reality in your minds, morality cannot be easily imposed upon an immoral society. Apart from divine intervention, it is unimaginable that the morality of a culture can be transformed; and the morality of a society reflects the prevalent religion of that culture. There is no government entity equipped with the power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. The Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.
In Closing...
When Paul wrote these words to Timothy, the days were dark. Yet, faith of Christ flashed across the leaden skies of that ancient world, while the earth drank the blood of many believers who chose to yield their lives rather than deny the One who loved us and gave Himself for us, the truth advanced, destroying arguments and lofty opinions raised against the knowledge of God. 
There are many contemporary Christians, who imagine that we are living in the worst possible times. We mourn he loss of a reverent society. We are plagued by wicked people, who constantly ridicule our faith , taunt our morality, even doubting that God is capable of doing anything good. Such dark and hopeless circumstances, we live in. When Paul wrote "I know whom I have believed," he was not speaking about religion, he was speaking about a relationship, faith in a person, and His name is Jesus Christ. 

I believe that the greatest problem of the modern church, are the preachers who do not preach Christ. Far too often, many preachers preach morality, decrying select sins, while ignoring the sinful acts of the professed people of God. We denounce judicial activists who exalt sin while resisting righteousness. Yet, many remain silent about the pornography that floods our homes. Calling it entertainment, never admitting that our standards are steadily eroded by our lust for sexual amusement. 
Many are quick to express shock, even disgust at the language of our children, however, choosing not to alienate them by censuring the songs of the day. We say our language is salty, though I believe, it is far more accurate to say that our speech has become coarse through association with uncouth language in our entertainment. Preachers are uncomfortable addressing the matter of stewardship of life. If we Christians were to spend on missionary advancements, even a portion what we spend on our personal hobbies, leisure activities or on cosmetics, we could easily evangelize our nation within a single generation. I say these things not to berate, or complain about the sinful behavior of the day, but to confess that far too often, pastors  fail to preach Christ. 
Surely, if we who professed His name, were truly walking with Christ, our lives would be transformed.
If the Spirit of Christ indwells in all who Claim to be His followers, and if we would only allow Him to direct in us all things, it would include our speech, actions and our entertainment!
Galatians 5:22-26 teaches us, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.
Beloved, if all you have is your religion, it is quite likely when trials come, and they will, you will be ashamed. You will have no root, there will be no depth, to your relationship with Christ or your life. However, if you have a relationship, you will never be put to shame, for you will rest in Christ, the Lord.
My 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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