What will Result?

So much of our sin comes from shutting off and shutting out 3 things. What are they? Press play to find out more.

Transcript

INTRODUCTION

Morning.  David Sorn.  Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.

Before we get started this morning, I want to personally speak with you about some exciting things happening at Renovation.

If you haven’t heard yet, during the first 3 weeks of February, we are going to have what we are calling a “Winter Awakening”

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Our hope is to see many, many people meet Jesus Christ during this time.

We’re going to be praying for a mini-awakening in Blaine. 

That people would be meeting Jesus every single week.

And I want you to start praying about this with us. 

We’re going to give people an opportunity to give their lives to Christ for 3 straight weeks.

On Feb. 1st, I’ll be speaking as we kick off our “real Love” series

On Feb. 8th, my friend International Evangelist Sammy Wanyonyi (who’s led 250,000 people to Christ) is coming to speak!

And on Feb. 15th, Valentine’s Day Weekend, we’re going to have a “wedding” in the service.

It’s probably not exactly what you’re thinking, but it’s going to be a powerful display of what real love is, and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.

So please start praying about that and praying about who you want to invite to hear about Jesus in February.

Also, next week, we are taking our annual special offering for our work in Haiti.

We are going to be doing a number of things there this year, including working with our partner church of 3 years, “Ark of Noah by Faith”

As some of you know, last year we raised $10,000 to completely put on a new roof, paint the interior, give them new benches and more.

Here’s a look at our finished work

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It was amazing what our team accomplished thanks to your generosity! 

This year, one of the things we want to do is do some work on the outside of the church to make it more appealing for outsiders

Here’s a look at what it looks like now

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We’re also going to do some work with an orphanage just done the street from our church…as we carry out Christ’s mission in our city there.  

This orphanage currently has 27 kids, ages 3-15…and the children don’t really have beds

 Here’s a look at where the girls sleep

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And here’s a look at where 20 boys sleep every night. 

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20 boys sleep on those two love sleeps and foam pads  

Our goal is for our team to build 9 triple decker bunk beds, so each of the 27 kids can have their own mattress and bed.

We also want to build some good benches/desks for their school.

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We’re also going to be putting on two big outreaches in the park where we are going to be sharing the Gospel with a ton of people.

We want to make this as easy as possible next week, so we don’t have an elaborate goal this time around…we’re going to do as much as we can

Here’s a helpful way to be thinking about how much you can give

We’ve got a lunch of projects, so if you’re thinking about how much to give, these are examples of what your money can accomplish in Haiti in just a few weeks:

2 Gallons of Paint:  $25

5 Bibles for new believers: $50

Desk:  $80

1 Bed: $100

Trickle-Decker Bunk Bed: $300

So please be praying about your part, and we’ll take the offering NEXT week. 

 

SERIES/TOPIC INTRO

We are continuing in our “From the Beginning” series this morning where we are studying how Adam & Eve’s first sin (that changed humanity forever) relates to us today.

Specifically, how we seem to repeat their sin…by falling for almost identical lies.   

It’s a series where we’re attempting to think really critically about sin, so that we can understand why we do it.

Sin is often explained and defined in many ways, but it’s essentially failing to conform to God’s moral law.

It’s falling short of God’s standards.

Which, as you can probably imagine happens quite frequently in our lives.

So why talk about it?

It’s because sin is not only dishonoring to our Maker, it’s like poison in your body…it’s like a virus destroying the hard drive of your soul.  

We’ve already talked about a number of ways we fall for sin, but this morning, I want you to see that so often we fall for the lie of sin simply because we close our ears to what the coming results will be

We ignore obvious consequences.

And I want to give you 3 areas that we shut out and shut off (so we don’t have to hear about results & consequences)

That is…we shut off our brains, shut out our friends, and shut out God

And I want to give you some remedies for each one too, so that you can think more clearly, avoid more sin, and better live for Christ.

 

SHUT OFF OUR BRAIN

Let’s take a look at the first one.

#1 – SHUT OFF OUR BRAIN

One of the most common ways we foolishly decide to sin…is we shut off our brain.  We stop thinking.

So often, before we sin, what happens is, a warning signal starts going off in your brain first.

For instance, let’s say you’re thinking about taking revenge on someone.

You’re going to get back at your co-worker by reporting something they did to the boss…or, you’re going to get back at your ex…or your friend who stood you up at the last get together, you’re thinking about being a no-show at their event.    

But before it happens, most of the time, there’s a warning signal in your brain.

“WARNING…WARNING…to do so might feel good, but it’s going to com with consequences

But we don’t want to think about the consequences.   

We flick the warning signal off.

Look at our text again for this series because I think you’re going to see that in the text.

First let’s start with God’s command to Adam.

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 (Genesis 2:16-17) – NIV

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

But…unfortunately, here’s what happens:

(Genesis 3:1-6) – NIV

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

And you can see the alarm going off!

She even told the serpent, “God did tell us not to touch it…and if we do…we’re gonna die”

Last time I checked, that’s a pretty serious consequence, right?   

They were going to live FOREVER in the Garden…but if they ate the fruit, death would one day come.

So you tell me, how in the world does someone go from hearing a warning that says, “Don’t eat it or you’ll die” to actually eating the fruit?!?

You have to shut off the warning signal.

Or at minimum, really soften it.

So much of sin is simply just us believing in an incredibly poor bargain that is sin.

We think, “I know that the consequences could be really bad, but I really want to do this…”

So you know what our solution is?

Weigh it out?  Think about it more?  Write down the pros & cons??

Nope, just stop thinking.

 Sin is like seeing a briefcase of $1,000,000 sitting under an enormous anvil.

And you know that the anvil is just waiting to drop on anyone who reaches for the money. 

But yet, because sin is so enticing, you can’t stop thinking about how amazing it would be to be a millionaire.

At first, it’s clear to you that it’s not worth it…you’ll die if you do it.

But you WANT IT so badly that the only thing you can come up with is to just stop thinking about it.

But it’s foolish…because sin ALWAYS has consequences. 

Even if it’s delayed.

It’s bit like the same thing that happens when most people think about saving up for retirement.

You know retirement is coming.  It’s not like you don’t think you’re going to grow old.

But we don’t want to do the right thing now (that takes work), so we just avoid the hard work, and we’re willing to accept negative consequences later. 

But in order to actually do that….you shut your brain off to logic.

Sin seems to be able to endlessly play on our inability to think critically about the future.  

Of course, in the moment, it doesn’t really seem like that big of a deal to have one more drink…or to get just a little high. 

We think, maybe it’s even worth it

But what’s worth it?

The short-term feelings. That’s the trade-off.

What about the long-term?

What about tomorrow morning?

What about what I might say or do if I’m drunk or high?

What about the fact that I think I might be getting addicted and I don’t want to admit it yet?

What about???

See, sin doesn’t want you to think about “what about”

That’s long-term stuff.

Sin would prefer that you just shut off your brain.  

If you can’t think of how you’re personally doing this, think of it this way:

Think of one of the worst ways that one of your friends messed up:

So often, when that happens, our response to them (whether to their face or not) is simply, “What were you thinking?!?”

You find out later…they were not.

Sin first convinced them to shut off their brain, and stop thinking.

Sin is the great intoxicator that numbs the brain 

And if you STILL can’t think of how you’re personally doing this…

Then I would potentially fear that you’ve shut off your warning signals in a different way. 

I mean sure, you probably left a few signals on to warn you about drugs, sex, and alcohol, but if this is you…you’ve probably become so numb to the sins of the heart (pride, resentment, anger, envy,), that you’re struggling to even apply this message right now.

Because you have no warning signals about them!  

You’ve normalized those sins so much, that you’ve shut your brain off to the consequences of pride and thinking you’re better than everyone else.

But no matter the sin, the consequences will come. 

They came for Adam and Eve.

They were going to live forever in the Garden of Eden, and now they’re going to suffer some major effects of sin from God.

For instance, here’s what God says to Eve:

(Genesis 3:16-19) – NIV

16 To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”   17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

The idea is, “Hey, hope you enjoyed the taste of that fruit while it lasted because thanks to you, now women are going to LOVE (sarcasm) giving birth.”             

And he says, your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.

Which isn’t saying that’s what God wants; it’s saying that in a now fallen world, that unfortunately is going to happen all too often. 

Eve used to have amazing relationships in the garden, but now her relationships will be significantly more than challenging

And because Adam joined in and ate the fruit, getting food, or work, will never be easy.

It used to be that he could just walk around and pluck any fruit off of the tree…not anymore.

Humanity had the option for our lives to be infinitely joyful on earth, but we chose a different path.

And from that day on, we’ve continued to just shut off our brains to the future results of sin. 

We simply let sin take us to a fantasy world where consequences don’t exist.

For example: If you’re married co-worker started flirting with you, the only way you’ll ever reciprocate and sin (flirt back), is if you shut off your brain and numb out the consequences.

 If your brain was actually on, and you sat down and charted it out…

You’d go, “What if my co-worker’s kids saw that?”

“What would my spouse think”

If you’re not married, “What would my parents think?”

You’d think…“This, if it continues…won’t slow down”

“This, although small now, could ruin my life”

But you don’t want to think about that. 

Who wants to think about their life getting ruined, so sin convinces you to make a fatal move, and you shut the warning signal off.

As if that’s not scary enough, here’s where it gets scarier.

(Hebrews 3:13) – NIV  - Leave up for a minute afterwards

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

There’s a lot in this verse!

Firstly, I want you to see that sin is deceitful.  It wants to trick you first.

Because if it can trick you to stop thinking, it has you.

And secondly, look at what it says.  It says, “So that none of you may be HARDENED by sin’s deceitfulness”

See, once you start shutting off the warning signals about consequences in your brain, the danger is…that you forget to ever turn them back on.

And you can start to become hardened towards sin.

I was thinking about this the other day…

When I was a young kid, I used to get really scared of movies.

When there was a really violent scene, I’d have nightmares…

If it was scary, I didn’t want to watch.

My dad took me to see Ghostbusters 2 in the theater, and I had to walk out because I got too scared.

But as a teenager, I started to watch a TON of movies

We’d go to the Cambridge movie theater all of the time.

And if it was a really special movie, we’d drive down to Coon Rapids…because that was the Taj Mahal of movie theaters

They used to have Mt. Dew slushies!

But somewhere along the line (and I wasn’t a Christian either), movies stopped scaring me

I watched some of the vilest of movies without blinking.

I shut off my warning light…and eventually I became so hardened…that I stopped even noticing.  

I had become hardened.

I remember when I became a Christian, I’d recommend a movie for me and my new Christian friends to watch on a weekend at college,

And we’d watch it, and they would said, “That was horrible”

And I’d say, “I just didn’t remember it being that bad”

Completely hardened. 

 

 

SHUT OUT OUR FRIENDS

But I mentioned at the beginning that there are other ways that we shut off and shut out so that we don’t have to hear about the coming results & consequences

Yes, we tend to shut off our brain, but we also tend to shut out our friends.  

#1 – SHUT OFF OUR BRAIN

#2 – SHUT OUT OUR FRIENDS

Look again at that important verse in Hebrews:

(Hebrews 3:13) – NIV  - Leave up for a minute afterwards

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

So how do you avoid being hardened by sin’s deceitfulness?

Through encouragement from one another!

But when you’re starting to fall into sinful ways (and it doesn’t have to be sex, drugs, and alcohol)…it could just be bitterness and resentment…

When you start falling more and more into ungodliness, one of the first things we (often subconsciously do) is we begin to isolate ourselves from Godly people.

Why? 

Because “we don’t want to hear it”

We don’t want to be challenged.  

Most of us are horrible at conflict. 

Even more so if someone’s challenging us

I’ve been a Christian for 14 years now, and I can see this in my own life.

On the rollercoaster of faith, every time I’m on that down swing with Jesus tends to usually coincide with me isolating myself.

I see this with some of the people of this church whose faith is stagnate…it’s stalled out.

And maybe one of the reasons you haven’t considered for why your faith is flat-lined is simply this:  You’ve shut out other people. 

People don’t sign-up to be a part of Christian community (things like House Groups) for all sorts of reasons, but I think one of the more common reasons that I rarely hear people acknowledge is simply the fact of “I don’t want to be challenged”  

That sounds wholly unpleasant to us.

And trust me, it’s not easy…but it’s how you grow.

If you shut out the Christian community in your life, you’ll never really see your blind spots. 

But if you let them in, they can begin to help you turn those warning signals back on…

They can help you begin to bring sanity and joy back to your life.

This is what the scripture says:  Encourage one another daily…so that none of you will be HARDENED by sin’s deceitfulness

 

SHUT OUT GOD

But it’s not just that we shut out other people..

When you are contemplating sin…you’re thinking about taking a bite of the fruit…you’re thinking about doing something you shouldn’t…

One of the first things we do…is we shut out God.  

#1 – SHUT OFF OUR BRAIN

#2 – SHUT OUT OUR FRIENDS

#3 – SHUT OUT GOD

I mean think about it:  When you’re thinking about sinning, one of the last things you’re going to do is pray…because…you don’t want to hear it.

Sin is so deceitful, so enticing, that it tells you to shut off ALL truth.

Because the truth is going to tell you that the anvil is going to drop right on your face and crush you…

But all you want to think about is how amazing it would feel to hold the money in your hands…

So you shut it off.

You flick off the switch.

You stop thinking, you stop socializing, you stop praying. 

And unfortunately, when you’ve flicked all 3 of those warning signals off, exactly what the Bible warns you about, happens.

Your heart becomes hardened to the deceitfulness of sin, and the consequences aren’t even a blip on your radar anymore.

So how do you avoid it?

You turn the signals back on!

It’s one of the reasons we take our Personal Renovation Plans so seriously in House Groups.

Once you sign-up for a House Group, which SO many of our adults have already done, we can get you started on a plan to help you meet with God every day.

And when you meet with God every day, He WILL speak into your life.

He’ll speak truth instead of the world’s lies

He’ll shine light into places that were previously foggy

He’ll start to clear up your brain and help you make sense of what a horrible deal sin really is

The same can happen when you let friends back in…when you put yourself in great Christian community, like one of our house groups of 30 people.

I’ve seen this happen over & over again in our groups.

So many of you are so young in your faith still…and yet you’ve benefited from some of our older ( and more experienced) members who’ve said, “That raod you’re walking down doesn’t lead anywhere good.  I’ve been on it”

And my heart breaks for those of you that have no one to be that warning signal for you.

And turn your brain back on:

Start talking out some of your struggles with someone

Start journaling out some of your thoughts

If you need to, seek counseling…seek help. 

Let someone help you turn your brain back on and see truth after you’ve numbed out consequences for so long

We’ve recommended Christian counselors to a number of people and see radical changes.

So I want you to take some time this week and really monitor if you’re doing this.

Ask yourself:

Am I just softening the consequences in my head?  Not thinking about them?

Am I shutting out Friends and God because I don’t want to be challenged?  Because I don’t want to change?

And then, bravely, courageously take some steps forward to let truth back into your life.

Let’s pray.


Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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