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March 18, 2017

The Challenge

by Dennis Rouse
Acts 1:8 NKJ“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come uponyou; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judeaand Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”Genesis 11:1-9 NKJNow the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it cameto pass, as they journeyed from the
Sermon Notes

Acts 1:8 NKJ
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon
you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea
and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Genesis 11:1-9 NKJ
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came
to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in
the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one
another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They
had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said,
“Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the
heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered
abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down to
see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the
Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one
language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they
propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and
there confuse their language, that they may not understand one
another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there
over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.
Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused
the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them
abroad over the face of all the earth.
Matthew 24:7 NKJ
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…
Ephesians 2:14-18 NIV
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and
has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting
aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His
purpose was to create in himself ONE NEW HUMANITY out of the
two, thus making peace, and in one body to RECONCILE both of
them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their
hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and
peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access
to the Father by one Spirit.
The Challenge:

  1. Spiritual Warfare
    Ephesians 6:12 NCV
    Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and
    authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the
    spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.
  2. Conflicting Perspectives
    • White Perspective: Racism is an individual problem.
    • Black Perspective: Racism is an institutional problem.
    • Hispanic Perspective: Racism is an anti-immigration problem.
    • Asian Perspective: Racism is a cultural problem.
  3. Cultural Idolatry
  4. Apathy of the Majority

Starting Points to Healing:

  1. Approach everything with a heart of reconciliation.
    2 Corinthians 5:15-20 NKJ
    …and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for
    themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore,
    from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though
    we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him
    thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
    old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
    Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through
    Jesus Christ, and has given us the MINISTRY OF
    RECONCILIATION, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the
    world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has
    committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are
    AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST, as though God were pleading
    through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
    • The Key to a Heart of Reconciliation: Humility
    Philippians 2:2-4 NLT
    Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each
    other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and
    purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be HUMBLE,
    thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for
    your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
  2. Become intentional.
    John 4:9 NKJ
    Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a
    Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no
    dealings with Samaritans.
  3. Begin to adopt a kingdom culture.
    John 18:36 NKJ
    …”My kingdom is not of this world…”
    Matthew 6:10 NKJ
    Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
    Matthew 6:33 NKJ
    But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all
    these things shall be added to you.

In the Kingdom Culture:

  1. You’re trying to lose your life instead of save your life.
  2. You’re living to serve others rather than be served.
  3. Your goals shift from “How much can I acquire?” to “How much can
    I use to help others?”
  4. You give up the right to be offended.
  5. You view every person as valuable as yourself.
  6. You love your enemies.
Wherever you are
Take One Step