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11 November 8, 2015, Genesis 18;20-25 & 19;12-17, Where Wickedness Rules


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11 November 8, 2015, Genesis 18;20-25 & 19;12-17, Where Wickedness Rules

  1. 1. Genesis 18:20-25 & 19:12-17 Where Wickedness Rules November 8, 2015 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi USA What’s the number one thing? The Glory of God! 1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV 31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. November Memory Verse Acts 1:8 NIV 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  2. 2. Please Pray For The Pastor Search Committee Ross Aven Rodney DePriest Laurel Ditto Susan Lindsay Chris Maddux Joe Young Paul Moak, Jr. (Chairman) French Camp Academy Sunday school members who volunteered to make homemade treats for Operation Christmas Child Collection Center, November 16-23. Bring the goodies you made to a table located outside of Fellowship Hall East on Sunday, November 15th or Wednesday, November 18th. Share your faith with one person each month and build a relationship with them, so they will become a believer in 2015 as God uses you to plant seeds with that person. Luke 19:11-27
  3. 3. How have you seen God at work during the week? Sunday Genesis 21:1-8 Keeping His Promise November 15, 2015 First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi USA Today Genesis 18:20-25 & 19:12-17 Where Wickedness Rules Genesis 18:20-25 NKJV 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”
  4. 4. 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:20-25 NKJV Genesis 19:12-17 NKJV Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed 12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking. 15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed.” Genesis 19:12-17 NKJV Ray Stedman 1917-1992
  5. 5. In the first part of Genesis 18 Abraham welcomes Jesus and two angels during a surprise visit and we see a Divine encounter where God renews His promise to Abraham. Then in Genesis 18:17 we read… Genesis 18:17 17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, Abraham’s conversation with Jesus (Prayer) Genesis 18 True Prayer Prayer always begins with God. The next step in prayer is justice. Then comes the pleading of man.
  6. 6. Prayer always begins with God. Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV 20 Now to Him Who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV That is where prayer functions, in the exceeding abundant realm. God proposes and then enlists us in the carrying out of the thing that He proposes. Paul expresses in amazement that God allows us to be co-laborers with Him as He works out His purposes. We should never get over it and always be grateful that He enables us to be involved in His kingdom work! We should be about building His kingdom, not all about building our own little empires. Ray Stedman says that: “Our prayers should be based on a promise of God or a warning from God or on some deep conviction by His Spirit. If not, we have no basis on which to pray.” Prayer is not me deciding what I want God to do and then hounding Him until He gets it done. That’s not prayer – that’s nagging and we are not called to nag God, we are called to cooperate with God. It would be presumption, not prayer, to put myself way out on a limb and then ask God to prevent someone from coming along and sawing the limb off. Scripture warns us in Psalms 19:13… Psalms 19:13 NKJV 13 Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me.
  7. 7. I don’t decide for God and then ask Him to do it. • First comes our obedience, then God reveals to us through His word or through a deep conviction by His Holy Spirit in agreement with His word (never apart from it) what He wants. Then God enlists us to join Him in His work. (See 2 Timothy 2:3-4) 2 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV 3 You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 4 No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him Who enlisted him as a soldier. “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” No, because I have chosen Abraham to be My partner to become the father of a great nation. “Abraham has a right to know what I am doing.” Genesis 18:17 It was not Abraham who earned that right but God Who gave it to him. God let His friend in on His secrets. James 2:23 NKJV 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.
  8. 8. In the NT Jesus said: John 15:14-16 NKJV 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you (obedience). 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:14-16 NKJV You don’t tell strangers your secrets, you tell your friends your secrets. Friend of God as Abraham was, God let him in on what He was doing. Abraham’s part was to obey God so that God could bring to him what He had already promised him. Our part is obedience through faith – our human response to Divine provision. Our obedience makes it possible for God to give all that He has promised to us and that is also the basis for our praying. God will not bless disobedience. Genesis 18:20-21 NKJV 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” Genesis 18:20-21 NKJV
  9. 9. True Prayer Prayer always begins with God. The next step in prayer is justice. Then comes the pleading of man. The partnership of God and man based on justice. What a wail must be going up to God today from the USA due to the breakdown of morality in the home and in the Church. Mothers killing their own offspring both before and after they are born, parents abandoning their children, folks murdering people almost every day of the week over just a few dollars, corrupt judges, dirty cops, persecution of fine Christians just because they are not politically correct, television preachers ripping innocent citizens off and leading extravagant, immoral lives… God sees all, He visits our homes (the Omniscience of God) even discerning our motives and viewing our thought lives. Our inner feelings are naked before Him of Whom we must give an account. Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV Men can’t see everything we do but God does. God didn’t tell Abraham that He was going to destroy the cities but when God said in verse 21 - “I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know”, Abraham knew what God would do because He is just. So the next step in prayer is justice. God does not allow evil to run rampant without limits. He sets limits and when those limits are reached, He acts in justice.
  10. 10. True Prayer Prayer always begins with God. The next step in prayer is justice. Then comes the pleading of man. The next step in prayer is the pleading of man. God proposes and man responds with pleading. Genesis 18:22 NKJV 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. That is when Abraham began pleading with the Lord on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah: 50? 45? 40? 30? 20? 10? Abraham said to God: Genesis 18:25 NKJV 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Abraham is not more compassionate than God is, that is a misunderstanding of this passage and of the character of God. The same was true when Moses interceded for Israel before God. Moses was not more compassionate than the Lord! God is the Source of all compassion.
  11. 11. Moses and Abraham both were responding to the compassionate Spirit of God praying within them. This was Abraham’s heart awakened by God’s Spirit that God was going to judge this city. Then Abraham appealed to the mercy of God, that was the basis of Abraham’s plea. Abraham is not reminding God of His character, God’s Holy Spirit is reminding Abraham of the character of God. You are the kind of God Who has mercy on people. You won’t destroy the righteous along with the wicked – You are not like that and I know that the God of all the Earth will do the right thing. God has always spared the wicked for the sake of the righteous. (Noah) God is still sparing the wicked for the sake of the righteous to this day. Jesus says to us: “You are the salt of the Earth.” One of the characteristics of salt is that it preserves. If it were not for the presence of the righteous in the world today, it would already have destroyed itself not to mention having faced the wrath of God long before now. Not because we are righteous within ourselves but we have been given the gift of righteousness. • We are to seek to obey Him, live righteous lives, be the salt of the Earth and preserve it from the wrath of a just God. His mercy operates to curtail and limit His justice and has all through human history. He made us righteous and scattered us into all the nations of the world to preserve it & because of our presence He does not destroy the Earth. Before the final judgment of this Earth (in Revelation) God must remove the righteous – the Great Snatch, the Rapture. • He does not judge the righteous along with the wicked, He first removes the righteous.
  12. 12. This is the basis for Abraham’s prayer. The second note of true prayer after the mercy of God is the awareness of the weakness and ignorance of man. Who am I to argue with God? (Job) I can’t challenge what He does. In Romans 9, Paul addresses the sovereignty of God and the free will of man – that paradox! God is far greater than we are so instead of disagreeing with God, I should ask, “What is wrong with my thinking if it does not line up with His thinking?” God is not wrong, the Scriptural text is not wrong, I am wrong. People say, “I’ve tried that promise in Scripture and it doesn’t work for me.” They are calling God a liar! Instead of questioning themselves as they should do, they are challenging the Almighty God! The recognition of true prayer is that we are dealing with a Being Who is infinitely wiser than we are. Paul wrote: Romans 11:33-36 NKJV 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” 35 “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36 NKJV
  13. 13. Then Paul wrote: Romans 12:1-2 NKJV 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, Romans 12:1-2 NKJV That’s man’s position. We are on holy ground when we try to argue God into something. He is always right! Abraham was aware of that as he prayed before the Lord. The third factor in prayer is that God’s compassion was reflected in Abraham when he expressed concern for the righteous. Abraham has Lot and Lot’s family in mind. Surely there are ten righteous people in Sodom since Lot, his wife, their two daughters and their husbands account for six folks not to mention Lot’s servants and those others he has had time to influence.
  14. 14. Only three were found righteous out of all the population of Sodom – Lot and his two daughters (who were already tainted with evil). The fourth characteristic of true prayer is illustrated by Abraham’s compassion for the wicked. He is trying to save the whole city even though the evil of Sodom was certainly revolting to Abraham. So we see four aspects of true prayer: 1) God’s mercy 2) Man’s uncertain wisdom 3) Protection of the righteous 4) Concern for the wicked. God’s purpose is seen in verse 33. Genesis 18:33 NKJV 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place. Does that read a little strange to you? Abraham had been doing almost all of the talking but it says “Jesus went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham”. The Holy Spirit had been speaking in Abraham, what Abraham had been saying had been planted there by God Himself. As we see in Romans 8; Romans 8:9a, 11, 26-27 NKJV 9a But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
  15. 15. 11 But if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He Who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:9a, 11, 26-27 NKJV God (the Holy Spirit) praying to God (the Father) in the name of God (the Son) through man! That’s true prayer! It is God Who puts ideas in our minds and in our hearts and leads us in prayer. All true prayers start in Heaven. We are treading at the edge of mystery here but through the mist (myst) several things are made clear. 1. Prayer makes possible the joy of partnership with God. Ray Stedman tells about his five year old grandson, Luke, who loves to help Luke’s Dad (who is a professional carpenter) with projects around their house. Luke gets the nails in the wrong places and often pounds his own fingers as he tries to hammer them into place but it is a joy for both of them to work together. • That’s the way true prayer is between God and His children. We are probably putting things in the wrong places in incorrect ways and pounding ourselves along the way but what a joy it is to us and to God as we do His work together! The more we do it the better we get at it. James wrote; James 5:13-18 NKJV 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
  16. 16. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective (true), fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. James 5:13-18 NKJV 2. Prayer enables us to release great power. • Prayer opens minds and ears to hear God’s Word and His power is released. • Without prayer, everything comes to nothing because it does not have God in it. We left God out. It does produce eternal, good fruit when the power of God is focused on an event (Carols by Candlelight) or a project (Mission First) or a ministry. Open His Word and allow His Word to speak. James 4:2b-3 NKJV 2bYet you do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 3. Prayer enables us to appropriate the character of God. Abraham was never so much like God as when he was praying for Sodom and Gomorrah. Prayer didn’t save the cities - it wasn’t designed to - but his prayer made Abraham manifest the mercy and compassion of God in his own heart. Paul wrote; Philippians 4:6b-7 NKJV 6b let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. We become peaceful people, not anxious and worried but calm and at peace even in the midst of a crazy world. That’s where true prayer brings us.
  17. 17. Philippians 4:6a NKJV 6a Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, Pray about everything, worry about nothing. Anxiety is visualizing the future without God in it. He promises to never leave you nor forsake you, He will be in your future so see it that way. We can’t comprehend prayer but we are to use it. God’s Holy Spirit will instruct us as we go. (Psalm 32) Psalm 32:6-11 NKJV 6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:6-11 NKJV End Ray Stedman The Plan of Hope & Salvation John 3:16 NKJV 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
  18. 18. John 14:6 NKJV 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” Romans 3:23 NKJV 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 6:23a NKJV 23a For the wages of sin is death,  Death in this life (the first death) is 100%.  Even Jesus, the only one who doesn’t deserve death, died in this life to pay the penalty for our sins.  The death referred to in Romans 6:23a is the second death explained in Revelation 21:8. Revelation 21:8 NKJV 8 “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Romans 5:8 NKJV 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 6:23b NKJV 23b but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Revelation 21:7 NKJV 7 “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.”  Romans 10:9-10 explains to us how to accept Jesus as our Savior. Romans 10:9-10 NKJV 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 NKJV 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
  19. 19. If you have questions or would like to know more, please, contact First Baptist Church Jackson at 601-949-1900 or