The story of Abraham, by Phil Barnes (01/04/2015)

January 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Blog, Sermons


Listen to the Sermon

Phil Barnes shares lessons from Abraham’s life and how it pertains to our walk with God. He also uses this time to share – as one of our shepherds of the flock – the work of the Lord with our church family.


God is Powerful Enough to Forgive Even You

I have heard many people say, “I could never make heaven my home because of the terrible life I have lived. I have done so many bad and sinful things in my life, God would never forgive me of my sins.” The individuals that make this claim have not studied God’s word enough. Some of the leading characters in the Bible engaged in some very sinful activites.

Abraham was chosen by God to be the father of a great nation and bless all the families of the earth in him. In Genesis 12:12-13 Abraham went down into Egypt. He was afraid Pharaoh would kill him to get his beautiful wife Sarah, so he said Sarah was his sister. He lied. We also see in Genesis 20:1-2 that Abraham went to Gerar where there was a king named Abimelech. Abraham again feared for his life and told King Abimelech that Sarah was his sister. He had a habit of not telling the truth.

Abraham and Sarah had a child in their old age, the child was named Isaac. Isaac also married a beautiful woman named Rebekah. In Genesis 26:6-7, Isaac, like his father, told the men in Gerar that Rebekah was his sister. He also was a liar.

Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons named Esau and Jacob. Esau was the oldest twin and therefore was supposed to receive the birthright and his father’s blessing. Jacob took advantage of Esau and was able to get Esau’s birthright for a bowl of pottage. Rebekah loved Jacob more that Esau. She overheard Isaac, her husband, telling Esau to go into the field and get some venison to make him a savory meat dish, and he would give him his blessing before he died. Rebekah devised a plan to deceive her aged husband who had lost most of his eye sight.  She had Jacob get a kid from the flock and kill it so she could make a savory meat dish. Because Esau was a hairy man, she took the animal’s skin and put it on Jacob’s arms so Isaac would think Jacob was Esau. When Jacob took the meat to Isaac, he asked are you Esau, and Jacob said yes he was and received his father blessing. This family continues to lie and deceive.

Another great Bible character was King David. In II Samuel 11 there is an account of David walking on the roof and saw a beautiful woman, Bathsheba, taking a bath. He lusted after her and sent one of his messengers to bring her to him. The Bible said he “lay with her” and the woman conceived and was with child. David tried to hide his sin by bringing her husband Uriah home from fighting the King’s battles. Uriah was a very loyal soldier and would not sleep with his wife because his fellow soldiers were sleeping in the fields. David then tried to get Uriah intoxicated thinking he would then go into his wife, this also failed. He sent Uriah back to the battle. David then sent word to Joab, his commander, to put Uriah on the front line and withdraw the troops. Joab followed David’s command resulting in Uriah’s death. David committed adultery and had a brave and loyal soldier murdered. God sent the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. Nathan did that and David, deeply grieved because of his sin, repented. In Psalm 32:5, David said,  “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity, I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the guilt of my sins.    In Acts 13:22, Stephen quoted the Lord saying “I have found David the son of Jesse a man after my own heart.”

The great apostle Paul said in I Timothy 1:15, “This is a faithful saying and worthily of all acceptation that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” In Romans 7:7-25, Paul was very frustrated and says over and over when he tried to do right he kept sinning and doing carnal things.

From these examples, it is quite apparent that many of the outstanding Bible characters did many sinful things, including lying, deceitful acts, adultery, and murder. When they repented God forgave and forgot their sins. If you think you have lived too sinful of a life for God to forgive you, realize you cannot limit the power of God to forgive. If God’s forgiveness was powerful enough to forgive these folks, it is powerful enough to forgive even you.

–Don Adair


Sodom and Gomorrah Needed 10 Righteous People, What if the USA Did?

In Genesis 18-19, we have the account of a very sad situation. To better understand what was going on, we need to go back to Genesis 14, which describes a problem between Abram’s and Lot’s herdsmen. Their herds had grown so large there was not enough grass and water for them. Abram met with Lot and said, “Choose where you want to live with your family and herds. I will go in the opposite direction from you.” Lot looked at the Plain of Jordan that had plenty of grass and was well watered. Lot chose that direction and pitched his tent toward Sodom and Gomorrah.

Sodom and Gomorrah were cities founded and developed by the wicked Canaan and his descendants. The Canaanites were known for their sexual debauchery, their vile sex gods, and their licentious worship services. If you recall, Noah placed a curse on Canaan for his despicable sin against him. Jude 7 says, “Even Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner; giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh. Are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” There were other sins in addition to sexual ones. Ezekiel 16:49-50 says, “They were prideful, abundance of idleness; they were selfish and did not help those that were poor and needy. They were haughty, and committed abomination before me.”

The Lord sent two angels down to Sodom and Gomorrah. In Genesis 18, we have an account of the angels visiting Abraham on their way. The Lord also appeared to Abraham and tells him of the mission of the two angels. Genesis 18:20-21 says, “And the Lord said, because of the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great; and because their sin is very grievous I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it, that has come to me; if not I will know it.” Abraham asked the Lord, “Will thou destroy the righteous with the wicked.” It is quite possible Abraham was thinking about his kinsman, Lot and his family.  Abraham started negotiating with the Lord. He said, “If you can find fifty righteous people will you spare the city.” “The Lord said if I find fifty righteous people in the city I WILL SPARE ALL THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR SAKE” (Genesis 18: 26). Abraham continued to negotiate with God. He dropped the number of righteous people to forty, then to thirty, then to twenty. In Genesis 18:32, Abraham said to the Lord, “If I can find Ten righteous people In Sodom and Gomorrah will you spare the cities?” The Lord said He would not destroy it for the ten’s sake. Just think, ten righteous people could have saved the lives of thousands of people, not to mention all the buildings with the city. The very sad part of this story is not even the tiny number of ten righteous people could be found in these cities. The only righteous people to be found were Lot and his small family. The angels told Lot and his family to get out of Sodom as quick as they could. Unfortunately, as they were leaving, Lot’s wife disobeyed the Lord by looking back at the city as it was being destroyed by fire and brimstone. As punishment she was turned into a pillar of Salt. Only Lot and his two daughters escaped the destruction of the city.

The remainder of my article is going to be hypothetical.  Suppose the Lord sent two angels to the United States to determine how wicked and corrupt this country has become. The purpose of the visit is to determine if he is going to have to destroy the United States because of their unrighteousness. The angels discover that the citizens of the country have become sexually immoral people. They love pornography in their movies, books, and television shows. They live together without being married; young people frequently participate in premarital sex. They find that some states recognize same sex marriage. The Lord’s name is consistently being taken in vain. Many people in leadership positions are corrupt, and work to take Bible principles out of the government. Prayer has been removed from the schools. People have become extremely materialistic. Many of them are more interested in the pursuit of pleasure over service to the Lord.

The Lord decides that the United States is so corrupt he is going to have to destroy it. Jesus comes to the country’s aid, he says, “Father if I can find ten righteous people will you save the country for their sake.” The Father agrees to this request. Jesus finds nine righteous people, now he comes to you. The question is ARE YOU RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH TO BE THAT TENTH PERSON THAT CAN SAVE THIS GREAT COUNTRY???