Revelation 20: 2-6
Excerpt from my sermon on Religious Liberty (2016): I can’t believe I’m up here today but when God calls you to do something you have to move. As many of you know I’m in my last semester of grad school at USF, so between school and having to give the sermon today I have been overwhelmed. I was talking to a friend of mine about everything I had going on and was telling him how stressed I was and that I didn’t know if I was going to be able to do everything I needed to do and get my sermon ready. Do you know what he said to me? He said, “You believe in God right? So what are you worried about?” Wow! Now that is powerful especially considering the fact that it came from someone who does not go to church and does not consider themselves a religious person. I cannot stress this enough we have to practice what we preach. When God calls us to do something we have to have faith that he is going to give us what we need to get it done.
Church family pray for me public speaking is not my forte, but as my mom says when God calls you to do soemthing he will give you all that you need. How I feel reminds me of how Moses must have felt in Exodus 4:10-14. In verse 10 Moses says to God, “No, Lord, don’t send me. I have never been a good speaker, and I haven’t become one since you began to speak to me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.” In verse 11 the Lord said to him, “Who gives man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or dumb? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? It is I, the Lord. Now, go! I will help you speak, and I will tell you what to say.” I’m claiming that today. God is going to help me just like he helped Moses. Amen. In verses 13 and 14 Moses goes on to plea with God to send someone else, but God insists that Moses does what He asked of him. But God does send his brother Aaron to help him, and spoke through both of them. Unfortunately, I won’t be getting that extra help, but we are going to get through it. Amen!
My mom asked me to give the sermon about a month ago. She calls me and says Amanda I’m the religious liberty leader at church and I’ve been looking for someone to give the sermon. And I’m thingking oh, no, here we go. I’ve been praying about it and guess who God led me to? She goes on to tell me it was me. I’m thinking are you sure? I tell my sister about it and she says, “Mom may want to get on her knees again and make sure.” But God makes no mistakes. Amen.
Open your Bibles with me to Revelation 20, reading just verse 6. “Blessed are those who were raised in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power. They will serve God and Christ as priest and will rule with Him for a thousand years.” Wow. Herein lies one of the greatest and most dangerously misinterpreted Bible texts of our time. Because it is the misunderstanding of this text that is leading more and more Christians here in America down a path that, not unlike Judas, will lead them to attempt a political solution for the wrongs of this world.
Religious liberty today in the United States is being threatened in ways that we, as a church, ignore on a daily basis. Christian’s today talk about the threats to freedom and the need to uphold our values in this country. Church leader, both Protestant and Catholic, for the last 20 years, and mostly under the direction and guidance of the Pope, have been shelving doctrine and uniting instead on the basis of a shared moral, social, cultural, and political value system.
I’m going to stop this post right here as I’m sure I took the latter part of my sermon from another pastors sermon on religious liberty. I don’t want to plagiarize and seeing as I cannot find the original to give credit I’m going to encourage you to look up a post on religious liberty and think about what it means to you. If you would like to see or hear the rest of this sermon please let me know.
Yours Truly, Amanda!