Morning. David Sorn. Lead Pastor here at Renovation Church.
We are starting a brand new series this morning called Despite…
And this morning, we’re talking, “Rebellion.”
I think one of the easiest places to spot rebellion is in teenagers.
If you’re a teenager, I mean no offense. I’m sure, you personally, are an angel. I’m just saying, “Generally.”
Because teenagers are a little bit notorious for rebellion, right?
And some of that is natural. You’re becoming an adult; you’re trying to assert your own independence. And if parents are trying to squash that, often you see it in blatant rebellion.
“I’m going to do this my own way and you can’t stop me!!”
And maybe, I’m alone in this, but often, I think teenage rebellion is really funny.
Like, I’m gonna get back at my parents by failing all of MY classes.
Or, I’m in 7th grade, and I’m going to rebel by dyeing my hair blue. Blue, I say! Blue, the color of the rebellion!
Or, I’m going to assert my independence rebellious attitudes by wearing rebellious clothes. Let me show you some pictures…
70’s disco picture
Or, also in the 90’s…Who was the rebellious, cool newphew that lived with his uncle in Bel Air?
90’s will smithish picture
THIS was rebellious! I can remember going to church once and the Sunday School teacher talking about how immoral the fresh prince was
I don’t think I went to church for 2 months I was so mad she dissed will Smith
Here’s my point, and I want you to hear me early and clear on this:
Rebellion is often foolish once we get some PERSPECTIVE on it.
And that’s what I want to do this morning. Give you perspective
Because when we’re in the midst of rebellion, which many of us are, it’s hard to see it. And it’s especially hard to walk away from.
Because, hanging those flashy 90’s clothes in the closet, putting away your rebellion, often takes a while, because to put it away is to admit you were wrong.
And that’s not just hard to do, it’s even hard to just hear. And that’s why I want you to hang with me this morning.
Listening to the case of our OWN rebellion is not an easy thing. But hang with me…God’s response to our rebellion…which we will get to… might not be what you think.
JEROBOAM & THE OT
One of the most common themes of the Bible is the story of humanity’s rebellion against God.
Sometimes we think the Bible is just this book of stories about perfect people.
It’s anything but. It’s a story of rebellion and redemption.
And one of the places that rebellion is incredibly clear is in the Old Testament. (the first 2/3 of the Bible)…the stories pre-Jesus.
It starts on practically the first page when Adam and Eve rebel against God’s commands and try and do things their own way.
It continues in the story of Moses.
Moses says to Pharaoh, “Let my people go!” And God delivers the Israelites from the Egyptians by parting the sea and taking them through.
But then, after that, it takes them longer than they expect to get to their homeland…
Moses, then goes up on a mountain for 40 days and 40 nights where God inscribes the 10 commandments on two tablets with his own finger
But when Moses comes back down, the people…and again, let me reiterate, God just delivered them from Egypt…THROUGH miraculous plagues and THROUGH The sea…NOT THAT LONG ago
But when Moses comes back down, he sees them already worshipping a golden calf idol, he gets so ticked that he throws down and breaks the tablets God just wrote on…Whoops.
But, it’s like, why would they do that?
Why would they rebel against God so quickly?
Cuz that’s what they’re doing. It’s rebellion.
Rebellion is the resistance of authority. It’s trying to go about it your own way instead.
And they’ve rebelled against God. He’s not coming through in the way THEY LIKE, so they decide to take it into our own hands.
Which is something we’re all probably guilty of at some time.
Maybe right now…God’s not moving in your life how you expected?
And most of the time, we don’t repay his kindness w/ patience. We repay it w/ rebellion.
But rebellion continues over and over again in the Old Testament.
Eventually they get settled in the Promised Land of Israel, and David (from David & Goliath fame) is made King.
His son Solomon will reign after him, and Solomon’s son Rehoboam reigns next.
However, while Rehoboam is reigning, a pivotal event occurs that a lot of people may not be familiar with.
At that time, Israel was made up of 12 tribes, but a man named Jeroboam rebels against Solomon’s son, and he takes 10 of the 12 tribes with him and forms a new country (Israel) while the people to the south still follow’s the lineage of David & Solomon.
They are called Judah.
Show MAP of ISRAEL and JUDAH
Here’s the two countries
So, Jeroboam to the north, in Israel rebels, and even then, God tells him:
(1 Kings 11:38) – NIV
38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you.
But Jeroboam does no such thing.
King Jeroboam, not only rebels and splits the nation, he commits such a terrible rebellion that the rest of the OT refers to his rebellion dozens and dozens of times
(1 Kings 12:26-30) – NIV
26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “The kingdom will now likely revert to the house of David. 27 If these people go up to offer sacrifices at the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem, they will again give their allegiance to their lord, Rehoboam king of Judah. They will kill me and return to King Rehoboam.” 28 After seeking advice, the king made two golden calves. He said to the people, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem. Here are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.” 29 One he set up in Bethel, and the other in Dan. 30And this thing became a sin; the people came to worship the one at Bethel and went as far as Dan to worship the other.
And the people for generations to come, followed in his rebellion against their God.
And for Jeroboam, really his rebellion was born out of selfishness and self-reliance
God offered him something great. A dynasty of kings out of his family
But nope. He had to do it his own way. He was too worried that people would go back to their old country in Jerusalem.
So he rebelled to try and keep people following him
And how does he do it? By tricking the people w/ convenience!
Hey, you don’t want to go all the way south to Jerusalem do you?
Or course you don’t! Here are your gods! These golden calves! (What is it w/ these people & golden calves), and the people rebel with it.
And I think so often, our rebellion for us is born out of the same thing it was for Jeroboam. Selfishness and convenience.
Yeah, maybe there’s a God out there. Maybe He even promises me some things in that book of His. (just like Jeroboam got a promise)
But…I think I’ll just do things my own way.
We rebel. For ourselves.
And sometimes…simply because it’s just convenient.
Seeking out God is hard. It’s easier to just do this thing on our own.
And so…we ignore him…and in one way or another, we all rebel against him.
And sometimes the rebellion is quite overt.
Some people are mad at God. For what happened in their lives. A loss of a family member. A job. A marriage. You name it.
And they live their lives like a middle finger raised to the sky.
Take that, God. Maybe that’s you. Maybe it is.
There’s another group of people who live in a different kind of rebellion.
Some people just get carried away with the “pleasure” of this world. They get lost in drugs, alcohol, porn, sex, you name it.
Maybe for the rush. Maybe for the excitement. Maybe to numb the pain. Maybe both.
But either way…rebellion from anything to do w/ God’s ways.
Or, there’s yet another group of people. Some people just ignore God. They’re not necessarily “bad” people by the world’s standards. Some of them are even great people.
But they ignore God. They’re not interested. They do their own thing. Go their own way. They don’t do the “God thing.”
They rebel against him.
But maybe you’re like, “David, that’s a little strong. I’m just not sure some of these things are rebellion”
Ok. Let me explain. But to do so, we’re going to have to step out of our own perspectives as I said at the very beginning
And I’m going to help you do that in an odd way. With the help of the Simpson’s.
When I was a teenager, I remember watching a Simpson’s episode where Lisa accidentally creates a universe of little people during a freak science experiment accident.
And the little people look up from their tub and think Lisa is God.
There’s lots of funny truths in it, but for some reason, the illustration has always struck with me.
In fact, I know this is a bit sci-fi, but track with me.
What if, you personally created a world of 100 little people?
You gave them life. You gave them sunlight through your desk lamp or something. You created an environment where they could grow food and on and on.
The only reason these people EXIST is because you created them.
Now, imagine, again, you’re like God and their time is not like yours, and you can watch as their society’s history unfolds.
And you watch as these very little people YOU created start to talk to each other and eventually say you don’t exist.
And you’re like, “Hey! I’m right here! Where do you think you got the light from? Where do you think you came from?!?”
One time, you even get mad and shake the globe you made just to prove it to them!
But they still don’t see it.
And you watch as other groups of people drown themselves in sin while you’re thinking, just talk to me, I’ll give you advice.
Or, you see them hurting some of the other people you’ve made. They’re not rebelling against that other person.
They’re rebelling against you. What are they doing?!?
You see other groups of people starting to bow down and worship idols or money or whatever instead of you.
You’re looking down while they’re bowing down in some temple they made and saying that golden bird made them.
What are you thinking?
And you watch, as other groups of people completely ignore you.
I mean, they’re nice to the other little people. They live a good life. But they pretend like you don’t exist.
You shout at them. You try and lay good things out in front of them, or bad things, trying to get their attention.
And nothing. They ignore you. Go their own way.
Even though you created them!
The prophet Isaiah shares a similar perspective from our real God to us on this:
(Isaiah 65:1-5) – NEW LIVING TRANSLATION
1 The Lord says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. 2 All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. 3 All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens. They burn incense on pagan altars. 4 At night they go out among the graves, worshiping the dead. They eat the flesh of pigs and make stews with other forbidden foods.5 Yet they say to each other, ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!’ These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away.
He’s talking even to people who can appear religious, but don’t live their lives for Him.
And so we rebel. We live lives of rebellion.
Let’s just be honest. This is an honest church.
Every single one of us, myself included, we’ve got a past full of sins.
We just pile them up.
Trying to live life to the fullest, right???
But in so doing, we rebel against God.
We rebel, by looking up and saying, “No thanks King of Kings…I got this.”
“No thanks, God who created the universe, I’ve got my own plan for my life.”
“No thanks, God who always was and always will be, I’ll handle this on my own. Stay out of it.”
And we stack up a list of rebellion and sin.
And in so doing, we build the court case of guilt against ourselves right in front of a God who happens to be a witness to everything
Imagine what the accuser might say on judgment day. Might look something like this:
Exhibit A (ream of paper) Here are the words they’ve spoken, both in their head, and aloud, against you God, your honor. You’ll find this quite slanderous.
Exhibit B (Box w/ ? mark): Next. Here is their deep dark secret sin that nobody knows, well, and except for you…..
Exhibit C: (Books) Here are the times they decided their own path…w/o even thinking of consulting our maker. Books full.
Exhibit D (DVD): & Here is a DVD of decades of footage of a life or ignoring You.
By the way, your honor, these are only 4 of one million exhibits that prove their rebellion, but we’ll stop here for the sake of brevity.
And then, in the heat of moment we would be accused of rebellion against God.
And what would you plead? And what punishment might be coming our way?
What I’ve just portrayed is reality. Reality from the Bible.
Our culture just tries to downplay it as we try to anesthetize ourselves from our own guilt.
See, God is indeed just. He’s going to look at the exhibits from your life and MY life, and say, “Guilty.” There’s no way around it. We are a rebellious people.
Punishment has got to happen. It makes sense.
But HOLD ON. STOP for a second. That’s not the whole story. That’s part of it. And an important part, but not the whole story.
There’s an amazing conclusion. Check this out…
See God is not only just, he’s the most loving being you could ever imagine.
And here’s what He decided.
He decided to send His ONLY son, Jesus Christ, to earth.
TO die on the cross FOR YOU, and to take the punishment that you and I deserve.
And if we believe in that, he would wipe away everything we ever done, and we would be “NOT GUILTY!” FORGIVEN!!
And not only that, but offer us, not hell, not punishment, but eternal life in heaven with Him
That’s what Jesus is all about. That’s what God is all about. Love. Forgiveness for a rebellious people.
Look at the truth of the Bible…
(Romans 5:8) – NIV
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
He died while we were still sinners. He knew who He was coming for. He died for imperfect people. For rebellious ppl.
Think about this. DESPITE knowing all that you would do before you even did it, God still sent his son Jesus to die for you.
DESPITE knowing of all of your rebellion against Him, He still loves YOU.
SO much so, He sent HIS Son, to die for YOU!. In YOUR PLACE.
DESPITE knowing all of this stuff about humanity ahead of time, God sent his son to earth on that very first Christmas. For US.
The Bible speaks of his forgiving heart on Rebellion
We see God doing this throughout his Word. He does it. Believe it!
(Jeremiah 33:8) – NIV
8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.
(Daniel 9:9) – NIV
9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;
And listen, I think God is calling out to some of you today and saying, “Forget the rebellion. Trust me. Let me forgive you. Completely.”
Look at the words of the Bible
(Hebrews 3:7-8) – NIV
7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts, as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness
Rebellion has a way of making you hard.
It’s why we see so many people make a decision to come to Christ at an early age.
If you’ve never really lived for God the harder it is to come to him the longer you live in rebellion.
But the problem lies with us. Not Him. WE’RE afraid to go back.
We look at our lives, and the “exhibits of our own sin,” and we reason, I can’t go back to God now. Look what I’ve done. It’s too late for me.
But it’s NOT too late!! You see, it’s NEVER too late with God. Come back to Him. Come to Him for the first time. Run to Him.
Because the Bible tells us that God gives every person this offer:
It’s the offer you see in the Bible, in football stadiums, and all over the world because it’s the craziest, most one-sided deal ever…and the deal is in your favor.
(John 3:16) – NIV
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
And here’s what happens. If we choose to believe that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, and believe in Him, and choose to follow Him… God will wipe away EVERYTHING we’ve ever done.
He’ll take exhibit A…our words we’ve spoken against Him…GONE…like it never happened.
Exhibit B…The deep dark secret sin…Forgiven. Wiped away.
Exhibit C…Our own rebellious plans. Redeemed.
Exhibit D…All that footage of us ignoring Him. Erased. Forgiven. He loves us.
HE LOVES YOU. HE LOVES YOU.
DESPITE it all.
DESPITE it all.
He loves messed up people like us and wants to have a relationship with you!
And that offer sits on the table before you now. The offer to accept forgiveness.
It is not automatically given, it is something you must choose to accept.
And you can accept that offer today that Jesus died on the cross for YOU. To start a relationship and be forgiven for eternity.
And if you feel like He’s moving in your heart to make that decision, then let’s do that. This is the best decision you can ever make. Seriously. Trust me. The best decision you can ever make.
Here’s what we’re gonna do:
I’m going to give you a minute to think about it. God is big. So big that I know that if it’s something you need to do…He’ll put it on your heart.
And then after that, if you want to give your life to Him for the 1st time, I’m going to ask you to stand up (as a way to say, you reached out for me by coming DOWN and they even stood you up on a cross), and I will stand up for you…
And then pray with me if you want to give your life to him. To believe on Him.
So let’s just spend a minute in silent prayer, and then I’ll ask you to stand if you want to make a decision to follow Him today…the best decision you can ever make.
All right, let’s take a minute to each talk to Him.
(Wait a minute)
Ok. Everyone can keep their eyes closed.
If you want to give your life to Him today and believe on Jesus, I want you to stand up where you are.
Be courageous. Let go of rebellion. Stand up and accept forgiveness.
Ok, amazing. Praise God.
Now, I want you to pray with me.
This isn’t a magic prayer. But just a prayer for you to tell God what’s on your heart.
If you’re standing, would you pray this out loud after me:
I confess to you, that I have sinned against you.
And that I have fallen short
But God, I believe, that you sent your Son Jesus, to take my place
And God, I thank you, for forgiving my sins.
And now I commit, to following you, with my life.
Thank you God. Amen.
Amen, you can have a seat.
I just want to pray and praise God…… Let’s pray.
If you gave your life to Christ today, I need you to do 2 things for me right away. (Steal Bible…Come to front right)
1) I need you to steal that Bible under your seat. Seriously. Take it. We put it there, so you could.
2) Then, at the end of the service, I need you to come up here to your front right, and we’re going to give you just a few materials to help you get started in your relationship with Christ.
Won’t take you long at all, but it’s important that you have direction in where to go next.
Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN
You may use this material all you like! We only ask that you do not charge a fee and that you quote the source and not say it is your own.