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   Week of

Jesus is coming soon

The Divided Gap

Good morning, everyone. Welcome to "Try Jesus!" If this is your first time joining us, it’s great to have you with us. I would like to thank all the new members for joining "Try Jesus." Also welcome those in Missouri, Arkansas, Ohio, South Carolina, Nevada, and Central Pennsylvania.

Praise God for all those who have come to Jesus Christ in the midst of a nation that's in decline. Like a an orchestrated crescendo, God is playing out his final redemption plan for his beloved saints.

Let's welcome the King of kings, and Lord of lords this morning. Hallelujah! "Heavenly Father, there is no one like you. No one else can touch our hearts like you do. We can search for all eternity long, and find, there is none like you.

Lord, set hearts ablaze for you today. Come and magnify your name in the midst of hearts that have gathered today. Lord, you are the bread of life, let us feast on you and find nourishment for our souls.

You are the light of the world, let us follow you out of the darkness. You are the door, let us enter the father’s presence in your name. You are the resurrection and the life, let us find true life and victory in you.

As we gather today around your name, I pray that you would fill our hearts, our minds and our souls. Transform us Lord and make us more like you. In your precious name I pray, amen."

Have you ever had a loved one or friend who went on vacation with you, but couldn't quite fulfill all the requirements you had set on your itinerary? In other words, they simply let you down. Their obligations were less than adequate.

That kind of half-hearted commitment can make for a day filled with misery and frustration. That happened some time ago with myself and family members when we traveled to Cedar Point amusement park.

The day before we were scheduled to go, there was all kinds of excitement. Especially for those who had never been to Cedar Point. The teenage kids were all fired up about which rides they would be getting on.

Roller Coasters were a big deal in my family. All the teens talked about on the drive down was which coasters they would ride. Once we arrived and checked into the hotel, the boasting and bragging between the teens intensified.

Each one tried to upstage the other as to who would ride the biggest coaster. When we entered the park, they immediately pointed to the first coaster they saw. It wasn't the biggest coaster, quite frankly, it was the smallest.

They ran to the line to get on. (Adults don't run from ride to ride). Smile. When we got to the line, I noticed one of my nephews looking up at the coaster. I won't mention his name because he might be listening or reading the message. LoL.

As most of you know, whenever you get on a coaster, you have two riders for each seat. So, all of the teens were paired off and ready to have big fun that day. But all that changed when one my nephews declined to get on.

From there on, it was a really rough day for him. The other kids were angry, frustrated and disappointed with him. The adults tried to tell the other kids that you shouldn't force someone to ride certain rides if they don't want too.

But when the grown-ups were not always around, they ridiculed him some more. They wouldn't let him forget that the day before, and the day we drove to the park, he was doing the most bragging and boasting about riding every coaster once he got there.

He reminded me a little bit of how people can date each other, loving each other's company, get engaged, set their wedding date, until someone gets cold feet and can't walk those last few steps to the alter. So close, and yet so far away.

For many people there seems to be this gap between them. Their reluctance to come together causes so much turmoil. This especially can happen in marital relationships. Have you ever felt close to someone but felt distant from them at the same time?

One of the greatest examples, I suppose would be couples (spouse’s) who separate but still have some kind of connection between themselves. It can be because of family ties (having children).

It can be because of distant employment. Whatever the reason for separation, if there is a gap due to unresolved circumstances, it can lead to burned bridges that people choose to never cross again.

These gaps tend to grow weeds of unforgiveness that have been fertilized with pride. Afterwards, all manner of heated divisions can take place. If vented thoughtlessly, anger can hurt others and destroy relationships.

If bottled up inside, it can cause us to become bitter and destroy us from within. So, as the gap between broken relationships widens, the pain and sorrow can boomerang back on ourselves.

Pride has destroyed many relationships throughout history. It seems like one the hardest things to do in our society today, is say the words "I'm sorry." Thats a word that can heal divides and cover the gap with forgiveness.

I grew up hearing that word ring loudly from the lips of my parents to their children when we hurt someone’s feelings. I can still hear those words, "Say you’re sorry." But real sorrow must be heartfelt and produced with action behind it.

There are tremendous gaps in our society today. The nuclear marriage family foundation is under attack. Our educational system is divided and under attack. Traditional family values are under attack.

Our government has grown a gap the size of the Grand Canyon. The normal expression of language has been divided. Secular comedians cannot be comical anymore due to the cancelation woke culture.

If you take a moment and look through the word of God, Jesus mentions in the gospels that all these things would happen. Again, just stop and look at our nation and the world today.

I think you'll agree somethings not quite right. You can turn on your television or scroll through your news feed on your tablet or phone and watch as war rages in Ukraine.

In our cities crime and lawlessness is rampant. In our classroom sin and perversion is celebrated. And corruption fills our capital. But in the midst of this chaos people should turn to the Lord.

That's the answer for this great divide that is taking place. Jesus Christ is that only living bridge between man and God. No other method is going to work. You can turn societal norms upside down and inside out, but you'll still get the same results.

Some unknown person recently said, "We have to burn it all down to build it up the way we want." Sounds like the voices who wanted to build the tower of Babel. There are people who want a utopian nation where a few get to dictate to the masses.

When freedoms and liberties are under attack, the people suffer. When the gospel, Christians, and churches are under attack, the gap between good and evil widens.

Jesus told his disciples about end time divisions. The Bible is so precise on all prophetic words that come from it. Have you ever met, knew, or watched someone disregard things that are right in front of their eyes, but refuse to acknowledge the warning signs?

Jesus told his disciples many things that would happen presently and in the future. There is coming great persecution, and it will be intense as never before. We've already seen foreshadowing glimpses across the country.

When the pandemic came through many leaders tried to use it to shut down churches and Christians who gathered for prayer. Even if they were outside. But those same states allowed the bars and home improvement stores to stay open.

Protest were allowed but gathering to pray was shut down. This is just a microcosm of things that are going to continue to raise its evil attacks in our midst. Since the time of Jesus, Christians have been persecuted in their own lands and on foreign mission fields.

Jesus told his disciples that nations will rise up against other nations. But this persecution will even unfold in family homes. The divisions will be wide and deep. Children shall be moved to have their parents executed (Mark 13:5-13).

But as the gap widens between good and evil, the narrow road is still attainable on this side for those with repentant hearts (Matthew 7:13-15). Even though the horrendous times are coming, the cross is still the bridge all can cross over to meet Jesus.

Theses persecutions are opportunities for Christians to witness for Jesus to those opposed to him. God’s desire is for the Good News to be proclaimed to everyone in spite of persecution.

But that good news has an expiration date on the life of everyone. How so? The Bible says,
27} "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

28} So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28 KJV).

[God’s judgment doesn’t worry most people today, but the Bible teaches that everyone will stand before him to give account for his or her life. As sure as death itself, judgment awaits everyone. God’s judgment will have no higher court of appeal.]

God certainly knows the beginning of your life, and when your life will end. No life ever leaving this earth catches God off guard. He has given every individual an opportunity to repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

His word is proclaimed everywhere (Romans 10:8-13; Acts 17:29-31; James 4:13-14; Hebrews 3:15-19). God has such loving mercy on us. We don't deserve his long-suffering actions he demonstrates on a daily basis.

Today's message is not for the authentic born-again believer. It is for those who find themselves sitting on the fence of indecision. That fence has a wide gap underneath it. It has two destination places underneath it.

To stay neutral in a world of good and evil, means you have chosen evil. Why? Because God is your maker whether you believe it or not. Just as you had no choice in your birth, or your gender, God gave you life from his spirit.

So, when people say things like, "I have no skin in this game, I don't believe in God or the devil." Then you have already chosen your fate. So, here is God's living response to all the fence sitters in our nation.

Please read God’s living word aloud to your group or self (Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Joshua 24:15; 2 Samuel 24:13; KJV). God has made himself known to the undecided heart. (Exodus 32:19-26; Numbers 16:19-50).

People make choices in life every day. You don't have to sit on the fence that's headed towards eternal destruction for your soul. The skin in the game is your highly valued soul God created. It lives forever.

It does not have an expiration date like your natural body. You either leave this earth with a generated soul (born-again, saved by the blood of Jesus), or you leave this earth unregenerated (spiritually dead). (Revelation 20:10-15; 21:8).

We all came into this world lost in sin and no way to get out of this spiritual pit. (Romans 5:8-12; Ephesians 1:7; 2:1-9; Mark 14:24; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 2:10-15). Today, Jesus gives everyone the opportunity to come him.

This was the case for someone who seemingly had a good life. He was wealthy and it looked like he had all his ducks in a row. He lived a luxurious life. He may have given sporadically to keep self in the spotlight.

He was the type of individual that says, "look at me, and all my accomplishments!" But he couldn't see the poor beggar who sat his gate daily with sores. Even the dogs paid more attention to the beggar, by licking his sores. (Luke 16:19-31).

This story should be read aloud to yourself whenever you feel self-absorbed with pride and delusions of self-grandeur. This man lived a life thinking that he had more power, wealth, and intelligence than others.

He was certainly sitting on the high fence of life. He didn't have a care in the world. Sometimes we place those in Hollywood (tinsel-town) in the same category. And sometimes rightfully so.

They cannot always see from being so high-up on that wealthy fence. Sometimes theirs becomes a high wire lifestyle looking down on the peons below them. But every soul has to give an account to God Almighty. (Luke 12:16-21 KJV).

That story involved a wealthy individual. But let's return to the man in (Luke 16:19-31). This man was able to narrate his own demise after he died. He got to see the end of his life just beginning. He didn't have time to be concerned about the less fortunate.

But notice how he was concerned about everything after he died. He had all the comforts of home and slept on the best linen when he was alive. Now look closely at the role reversal.

First, the beggar died and was carried by angels to Abraham's bosom (Verse 22). The poor man was given a spiritual angelic escort into the presence of God. The rich man was just buried. No escort and no celebration.

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