Later Is Greater
Countless times a day we are faced with the decision to choose sin or God, and we often choose sin because it feels so much better in the short-term. But what about the long-term??
Morning. My name is David Sorn. I’m the Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
Morning to you.
Before we get started this morning, I want to let you know that two weeks from
today, on October 22 nd , we want every single person who calls Renovation
home, to be in the room that morning.
As you can see on the screen, we will be revealing the plans for our
future building that day!
This is a day we’ve been looking forward to…for years…literally!
And it’s going to be super fun and exciting!On the 22 nd , we’ll show you the layout of our future building and talk
We’ll talk timeline…and, how in the world we’re going to be able to
build this building in the first place!
As I look back on the history of our church, there are a number of really
Our Grand Opening (Oct 4 th , 2009)
When we first announced we were going to start looking for land…
(October 19 th , 2014)
When we revealed to all of you that we had bought land and where it
was (February 19 th , 2017)…
Those were special days…
And the 22 nd will be no different.
So do whatever it takes to be here that Sunday
As we gear up to see amazing things happen at Renovation Church through our future
building, I also want to bring you some news about what I believe could be a greater
legacy of this church than even work that’s done at our future building.
Back in 2012, we set a goal to start 10 new churches out of Renovation Church
in 10 years…by 202
We’ve planted 3 so far…with 2 more in the hopper for the coming year
But why plant these new autonomous churches?
Because it’s the most effective, exponential way to change the world.
If you have 10 churches that average even just 200 people,
that’s 2,000 people (out of our network), hearing about Jesus
And so this morning, I want to let you know about an incredible hire we
I’d like to welcome Pastor Dave Reno to the stage
Dave has been a mentor of mine for the past 8 years or so as he
just finished 30 years as the Senior Pastor of Grace Fellowship.
In fact, Grace Fellowship was our parent church that
helped us get started.
We were their 18 th church plant, out of 26
churches that Dave has helped get started.
And so, we’re excited to announce that Dave will be coming on part
time as our Pastor of Church Planting and is going to help us make sure we
reach our goal of 10 churches in 10 years.
He’ll be recruiting church planters, training, and helping to send them
We’re so excited and honored that Dave is working with us!
I asked Dave to greet you and say a few words!
I SIN LOOKS GOOD UP CLOSE
This morning, we are continuing in our Nearsighted series.
We’ve been talking about how often we only trust what we can see at close
range…and in doing so…we miss what would be best for us in the long-rang
And this morning, I want to talk about a choice we face every day…multiple times
throughout the day…
Do I obey God or do I do what my flesh wants to do, and sin
Sin is a loaded word.
The Bible describes sin this way:
It’s any failure to follow the law/ways of God…in action
or in thought.
All day long we face choices like this.
Some of them minute and some of them massiv
Should I gossip or should I not?
Should I let that person go in front of me or should I cut
them off on the way to the door?
Should I be generous with my money or should I
The average person makes (depending on what study you read)
somewhere between 30-70 conscious decisions a day.
Not all are good vs evil choices (Lucky Charms or Cookie
Some of you health nuts just went, “That’s evil
But we do face plenty of real choices that obey God or
So why would we even choose sin over following God?
Our nearsightedness plays a huge role in this.
We want what will make us feel better…RIGHT NOW.
Not 10 minutes from now…not 10 years from now…RIGHT
I sometimes think of sin this way:
It’s kind of like looking at a poisonous berry, that you’re not completely sure is
And you think, “Oh man, this looks delicious! I want it right now!
“I suppose it could be bad for me…BUT…BUT…it looks soooo delicious!
I’m sure it couldn’t really be that bad”
And so you bite into the berry, and it IS delicious!
Sometimes Christians say, sin is never pleasurabl
I’ve never understood that.
Of course, it’s pleasurable! That’s why we do it!
In the moment (for a second), it almost always
feels better to:
Be lazy, be gluttonous, yell out your
rage, lust, tell a lie that helps you out,
brag about how awesome you are
rather than be humble…
The poisonous berry does taste good when you bite into it!
But sin…is like a delayed poison to your spirit.
And this theme is all over the pages of the Bible
From Judas who chose 30 pieces of silver over betraying the Son of God
To Esau, in Genesis 25, who traded his birthright to his younger twin brother…all
for a pot of stew when he was famished…To all the way back to Adam and Eve
Who chose eating the fruit of the forbidden tree…over trusting
WE REAP WHAT WE SOW
There’s a principle in the Bible related to this age-old choice and its consequences, and
it’s this: You reap what you sow.
If you’ve never been to a farm, which is more and more plausible these days,
sowing is planting the seed, and reaping is to gather your crops at harvest times
Let’s take a look at God’s Word
Also, you can take notes if you go to today’s message (on the message
tab) and tap “take a note”
Here’s what the Apostle Paul has to say about this principle of sowing and reaping when
he writes to one of the early churches in the Bible
(Galatians 6:7-10) NIV
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever
sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to
please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal lif 9 Let us not become weary in
doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give
up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to
those who belong to the family of believers.
If we sow to please our flesh (that is we keep choosing sin)…we reap
destruction (havoc on our lives).
You keep eating poisonous berries (because you like how they
Eventually, the poison is going to start to eat you from
the inside out
But, Paul says, “If you sow to please the Spirit (God), eventually you
reap life…eternal lif
Verse 9 tells us that “at the proper time…we will reap a harvest
By the way, just to clarify, this is not the concept of Karma
Karma is a “locked-in- system” in Eastern religion. Especially in Hinduism.
In Karma, if you’ve sinned, then the forces of the divine will bring a
CORRESPONDING retribution to you.
Whereas, Paul is speaking of a general principle of “cause & effect” that I think
most people understand if we stop and think about it
If you keep gossiping for years and years…eventually you won’t have
People will like your insider knowledge at first, but eventually,
they’ll start to question what you tell other people about them!
If you sow sin, eventually you reap destruction.
Sin…always comes with a pric
One of my questions for you is: What sorts of seeds are you planting in your life right
Even if they are just tiny?
The majority of the people in this room aren’t, this upcoming week,
going to plant colossal Godly seeds or enormous seeds of sin.
Statistically, very few of you are going to make one amazing or
one devastating choice over the next 7 days that will change the
course of your life
However, at some point in your life…you probably will
make 1 or 2 decisions like that.
You may have made some already (good or bad)
And those decisions…were simply a reaping of many
little seeds that were previously planted.
Like the ones you’re going to lay down this
It reminds me of an explanation I heard once about the cuckoo bird…who apparently is
now useful beyond just inspiring the cuckoo clock.
The cuckoo is a common bird in England that never builds its own nest.
When it feels an egg coming on, it finds another nest with eggs and no
The cuckoo lands, hurriedly lays its egg, and takes off again.
Often, it’ll lay eggs in the nest of a Thrush.
When the Thrush bird comes back, she’s usually not very good at math,
so she gets right to work hatching the eggs.
Four little thrushes and one large cuckoo eventually hatch.
The cuckoo is two or three times the size of the
Mrs. Thrush, having hatched the five little birds, goes off early in the
morning to get the worm.
She comes back, circles the nest to see four petite thrush mouths and
one cavernous cuckoo mouth.
Guess who gets the worm? The cuckoo.
And so the cuckoo gets bigger and bigger; the thrushes get smaller and
To find a baby cuckoo in a nest in England, simply walk along a hedge
row until you find little dead thrushes.
The cuckoo throws them out one at a tim
And the moral of the story is this: you have two natures in one nest (your sinful
nature and, if you’re a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you)
and the nature you go on feeding w/ your daily choices will be the one
THE DELAY OF THE HARVEST
I mentioned earlier to you that one of the reasons we keep choosing to eat poisonous
berries, even though we know they will be bad for us…is because sin is the type of
poison, that tends to have a delayed release
In the mid 1900’s, when little kids used to eat “paint chips” because they
somehow looked delicious to them…
Part of the problem was that the effects of lead poisoning wouldn’t
show up until months later
And so you could eat a whole lot of paint chips before you knew
it was a problem
And we can see this principle in Galatians 6 as well
It’s another principle of farming.
Sowing and reaping always implies a wait.
Nothing grows overnight.
Good or bad.
Even the prodigal son of Luke 15, who ran away from his father and spent his
inheritance in wild living…
He reveled in all of his sin, until his money ran out and the sin got old.
No one is miserable at first.
Not the person who just is beginning to binge drink
Not the person just starting to really chase money
Not the person who’s flirting with someone outside their marriage
It takes time…to reap what you sow.
It takes time for the bitter aftertaste of sin to show up
And then, our responsibility is to learn from that
One of my hobbies is trying new pops. I know…daring.
Anyone been to the Blue Sun Soda Shop in Spring Lake Park??
They have 1,300 different pop flavors in glass bottles.
But I recently bought a bottle of Passion Fruit pop ther
And at my first drink, for the 1 st second I thought, “Not
And then the aftertaste came…and I thought, “Oh,
But what I did I do (what do you think??)…I took
another sip…just to make sure!
And guess what, “Still terrible!”
This perhaps what is most depressing about us as human beings
We seem to have incredibly short memories about two things in
which we should never have a short memory about
The pain of sin and the goodness of God.
There’s another principle of farming in here
Often tiny seeds produce much more when it’s times for the reaping.
One grain of wheat…can produce a whole head of grain.
This principle is true in both the positive and negative sense
Look at the advice of one Jesus’ disciples, Peter:
(1 Peter 2:11) NIV
Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful
desires, which wage war against your soul.
It’s been a difficult year to read or watch the News.
So much tragedy…so much evil.
You think of the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas a week ago
Although we don’t know all of the murderer’s motives
yet, I can guarantee you that he didn’t just wake up one
day and say, “I guess I’ll do this.”
Even in the last year, there were 11 months of
stockpiling ammo and weapons…one by on
The effects of sin snowball with each
choice we mak
Nobody says, “I think I want to stop talking to my own mother…5 years
from now OR I think I want to end my marriage 5 years from now…”
No, as Peter says, sin, wages war (slowly & covertly) against our
And your battle….is in the little choices every day.
I know this is a bit heavy.
But the Christian church of the last 25 years has mostly treated sin like an
inconvenience rather than what it really is, something that wants to rip your
heart out and wage war against your soul (like the Bible says)
TRUST HIS VISION
The good news is, these farming principles are just as true in the positive sens
If you can trust that God’s ways, that righteousness, leads to life…you will find
We want everything now, but trust me friends, later is
greater…especially in the positive sens
The Godly choice doesn’t always pay dividends as quickly as sin
does, but it always pays out much higher in the end.
Even Moses, whom we’ve spent much of the year
studying, is a great example of this
(Hebrews 11:24-26) NIV
24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused
to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s
daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with
the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting
pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the
sake of Christ as of greater value than the
treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead
to his reward.
It’s a great passage!
Moses could have just lived it up with all the pleasures that the palace
of Egypt had to offer him.
But trust me, then God would have then used someone else to
deliver the Israelites, and Moses would have surely died with
But, Moses made the hard choice, trusted that God was
And because of that hard choice…he got to see
the Godly side of “later is greater”
And 40 years later…in what was maybe
the highlight of his life…he led his
people right out of Egypt and right
through the Red Sea…
But was it harder for Him at first?
It’s tough because we live in an “instant society…” but the path to finding true life is
trusting that “later is greater”
That even though sin is right in front of you…and looks WAY better and WAY
That God has so much more joy in store for you if you trust that His later
is always greater.
It used to be that being married for 25 years was just kind of
Now, it’s a serious accomplishment.
And a huge part of that is our oversexed, lust cultur
And so even adultery has become almost normal.
But as I’ve often heard Bob Lepine on the FamilyLifeToday
podcast say, “No sex is that good”
Meaning, no moment, no one night, will ever outweigh
another 25 years of sitting across from your spouse,
your kids…enjoying family dinners…family vacations…
God’s later…is always greater…friends.
Let me ask you the question that I think is perhaps at the foundation of this issue:
“Do you trust God?”
That His ways are good?
That His commands have been put in place, not just to dictate
what we should do, but as a way to honor Him, and as
guideposts to find lif
That when God says, “Don’t….”
It’s a sign that says, “Don’t touch the
fire…because it burns”
That sign is there…because He loves
That when He says, “Do…”
That it’s just a sign pointing to life…not
“Do you trust Him?”
Sometimes I tell my kids, “You can’t just keep eating candy!”
And they say, “But why?!?!?”
“Because there are the consequences to that that you don’t see yet
If you have teenagers, you tell your teenagers, “No, you can’t stay out to 1am on Friday.
Or, no, you can’t date yet!”
And they say, “But why?!?! You’re being overbearing! Ridiculous! A killer of
And you say, “No, there are risks and consequences that you, in your
adolescence, don’t see yet”
That makes sense, right?
To us as parents, absolutely.
And yet, when God says, “You can’t….you shouldn’t…don’t do that…”
We say, “Really?! You killjoy. Just trying to make my life boring AND difficult!”
And He says, “Because there are risks and consequences that you don’t
So much of the Christian life comes back to the central question of: “Is God
“Is God worth trusting”
If God is good, if God is truly all-knowledgeable, then you can
And when you feel that pull back to choosing sin again…tell yourself…later is greater.
Jesus says that when we let God’s seed get planted deep down in our heart, this
(Luke 8:8) NIV
Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred
times more than was sown.”
Let it sink in. Trust Him. His later is way greater.
Do not, as Paul says in our passage, become weary of “doing good”
Keep trusting Him
Listen, maybe you’ve been coming here for a few months, and some weeks, you find
yourself gripping your chair a bit as you listen…and that’s a new experience for you
Let me tell you something you maybe never knew about Christianity (as it’s so
often been watered down in America)
God demands far more of your life than you ever imagined
God knows far more of the depths of our ugly, rebellious sin than you
AND YET, God loves you more than you ever could possibly imagine
And so, if you’re here this morning, and you’ve been thinking, “David, I’ve already
reaped the consequences of my sin…and it hurts…it hurts bad”
Know that Jesus is the great direction changer.
You might look out and see sin, and behind it, see what feels like the
slow destruction of your lif..as Galatians says.
But friend…if you look a bit further…into the
destruction…actually in the midst of it…stands Jesus.
The Bible says that God, because He loves you so much, sent His son
Jesus to take that destruction, death/punished, for you.
Jesus died…for the penalty of your sin.
That’s love! Love!
And you can be forgiven.
That’s not Karma
Karma says, if you did it, you will suffer for it…
Often for many reincarnated lifetimes over
Christianity says, if you did it, yeah there are some natural
consequences…but Jesus…can forgive anything.
Jesus can change…anything.
And so we trust that with Him, later is greater.
That He is better.
That even in our death, He is good.
For His word tells us this.
(1 Corinthians 15:42-43) NEW LIVING TRANSLATION!!
42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the
ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in
brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be
raised in strength.
Let me pray.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
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