Thai Seventh-day Adventist Church of Sourthern California
2. Warning Or Punishment
“WARNING OR PUNISHMENT?!”
GODTALK #2, 5/12/16
A. Welcome to GODTALK again! This is #2, and we’re thrilled you have found us! I’m ___________________, and we are making ten talks, only ten minutes each, talking about GOD—GODTALK! The first one we talked about was JOHN 10:10, “Thieves come in to steal, destroy, and take life. I came to give you life, and life more abundantly.’” Satan has told a thousand lies about God, Satan hates God, desperate to pull people away from God. And the only way he knows to do it, is by telling lies. So our passion is to tell the TRUTH about God. So—GODTALK!
B. There’s an old joke that says, 4 men were flying in a small airplane. The captain came back and said, “The plane’s going down, we have to jump. But we only have 3 parachutes and they’re my parachutes”—so he takes one and jumps. The next one says, “I’m the smartest man in the world, I’m studying the cure for cancer, for AIDS—I have to have one”—so he takes a parachute and jumps. Left are an old pastor and a Boy Scout. The old pastor says, “Young man, I’m already an old man, I already know God so you take the last one and jump.” The Boy Scout says, “Don’t worry, pastor, the smartest man in the world just jumped with my backpack!” AND the big question in life is—Does it really matter what you jump with? Does it matter what you believe, what your religion is. what church you go to, or if you don’t go to church? And if is there is a God, does He say, “You better do what I say—or else?”
I. GENESIS 2:15-17—WARNING OR PUNISHMENT?
A. In GENESIS 2:15-17 God says in the Garden of Eden—“’You can eat of any tree you want—except this one, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you eat of this Tree, you shall surely die.’” Was God threatening Him with divine punishment? People talk about the Old Testament God. Is this the Old Testament God—you better follow My rules—or I’ll kill you?” Is He really that much different from all the other pagan gods—you sin, you make the gods mad, then you have to go give them offerings, flowers, food, money, or offer them sacrifices—then the gods will change their mind, bless you instead? Is Jesus our sacrifice to God, otherwise God would kill us?
B. Or is what God is saying a LOVING WARNING—“I am the only Source of Life in the whole universe. If you disconnect from Me, I will let you go. It’s up to you. But you will surely die. Not because God will kill you. But because it’s just the way it is—if you disconnect from the only Source of Life in the universe—you will surely die. If you stretch the vacuum cleaner too far from the wall—it will unplug—and the vacuum cleaner will stop. You go scuba diving, you stop breathing the air—you will surely die. Not because the people in the boat get mad, “We told you to keep breathing the air we gave you, you stopped, now you’ll die.” It’s just the way it is. It’s NATURAL CONSEQUENCES.
C. There was a doctor once who said a patient came into see him in the Emergency Room. Little old lady, all wrinkled, wheezing, struggling to breathe. They put her in a bed, her husband was there. Her arms were going blue—quickly gave her some oxygen, arms began to turn pink again. Doctor said—“Lady—you are going to die if you don’t do something. Are you a smoker?” “Yes, but that’s not my problem. It’s my eyes, my eyes have pus in them, do something about my eyes.” “Ok, but you have got to stop smoking. You need to check into the hospital right now.” “No, it’s not a problem. Just fix my eyes. And get me a cigarette.” “Lady, you cannot smoke in here, this is an ER, there’s oxygen. We need to check you into the hospital.” She refused, they gave her something for her eyes, she signed herself out of the hospital against their wishes, and walked out, already turning blue again. The doctor says he stood at the door, begging her to stay, “Please don’t go, you’re going to die,” and she was muttering, “I need a cigarette!” That’s what God is saying at the Tree—You can eat it if you want to. You can live apart from Me if you want to. But you will surely die. Please don’t go.” Loving warning. Natural consequences.
II. THE FATHER AND THE CROSS.
A. Which means—that if Jesus died in our place on the Cross—either He was taking the punishment from God Himself onto Himself, so we have one part of God killing the other part of God—or we have God the Father and Jesus together experiencing the separation that sin always causes. Watch the movie ‘THE PASSION”—where they are beating Jesus, and the mother, Mary, bends down and wipes up His blood. So the Father is all part of the beating and killing, but the Mother is wiping up the blood? No, the mother is not kinder and more loving than the Father. We will have to talk some more about what the Cross really means, Why did Jesus really have to die, in our next GODTALK.
A. Try to imagine this—a group of us decide to do diving with the sharks. You go in a boat out into the ocean, you put on your wet suit, you put on your tank of air, and a group of you go down into the water inside a shark cage. Somebody throws some meat out, the sharks gather around, you take pictures, but you’re safe, inside the shark cage. You come back into the boat to rest before the second dive, when somebody suggests diving without the shark cage. No bars in your pictures. Your dive instructor says, “Are you people crazy? Those sharks will kill you.” “No, we heard it works, they throw the meat away from the boat, the sharks go there, you take your pictures, get back into the boat, you’re safe!” They get ready to go in, when the dive instructor grabs a tank and jumps in. Immediately the sharks are all over him, ripping him to pieces, blood everywhere. We grab him, drag him back into the boat. But he’s dead. Now nobody dives anymore. They all understand—the sharks will kill you. That’s why Jesus died. Didn’t want you or me to die. Wanted us to know—Sin will kill you. You cannot sin and get away with it. Not because it makes God angry. It’s just the way sin is.
This is GODTALK hope you’ll come back for the next one!
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