You’re a Loser. Accept it.

 

I believe the Lord wants us to come to understand more with each passing day, how little we have in ourselves and how much is to be gained through an intimate, abiding relationship with Him.

It has been said that the first step toward reform, rehabilitation, healing, is to admit you have a problem. Folks, we have a problem. We’re losers. You’re a loser, I’m a loser. We are all losers. Now don’t walk out just yet. And please don’t tell Terry, “That crazy Dennis called me a loser!” until you hear me out. You might ask, “What’s this fool talking about? I’m successful in business?” LOSER. You might say, “He’s an idiot! I raised a good family?” LOSER. You might think, “He’s not talking about me! I’m spiritual.” LOSER.

Philippians 3:7-11

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Now there is being a loser compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. Then there is another perspective… the perspective of, “Oh boy, I really messed up this time… what a loser I am.”

Well, both are true. Quick history lesson. Our grandparents were losers. We’ll start in Genesis.

Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-7

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Some time later: When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

And so it went… Extreme depravity and godlessness. People became Gods unto themselves. Worldwide flood. But for one righteous man, Noah, that would have ended it.

Nimrod, the Tower of Babel, “I rule the world. There is nothing I can’t do!” he seemed to think. BAM! Try to do it in tongues.

The Kingdom of God, for the children of Adam is a story of losers. You had it all. One rule to obey. You broke it. You lose. But God had a plan.

Bad people, good people who make mistakes. Patriarchs, judges, kings, prophets,  presidents, PhDs, CEOs, congressmen, …

Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

Look at church history. It started great… the Day of Pentecost, 3000 saved, everyone started giving their belonging and sharing in common. You know that is the definition of communism? Not the garbage that Karl Marx prescribed by force of government and central national totalitarian economic control, just simple, church/community-based, love-inspired sharing.

Then started the disputes. Circumcision or not? Eat pork and crab or not? Jewelry or not? Head coverings or not? Blue hymnals or red? Rocks on the wall or not?

Romans 14:17

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit

The Kingdom of God, for the children of Adam is a story of losers. You had it all. One rule to obey. You broke it. You lose. But God had a plan.

Bad people, good people who make mistakes. Bishops, deacons, …

Then government got involved and said, “this is how the church will be organized and this is what you will believe. Well you don’t have to but then, of course, we will KILL you!” And slowly, but thoroughly, the leaders of the church became corrupt and despised those thy were supposed to serve… their subjects.

Bad people, good people who make mistakes. Bishops, deacons, popes, cardinals, priests, friars, emperors, regents, stewards, …

Now, mind you, all the while, small victories were being won and God worked many wonders on the personal level, but for a thousand years the church suffered greatly under the power of worldly influence. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, God started shaking things up with a fellow named Martin Luther. Martin didn’t want to start a revolution, he just had 99 complaints he wanted addressed, so he nailed them to the door of the church and BAM. Here came the Reformation.

This was the first of four great movements that really did revolutionize Christendom. The Reformation, and the first, second and third great awakenings.

It really amazes me to see how these great movements progressed. Let have a look:

The Reformation – Challenged thoroughly corrupt Christendom in Western Europe

A spiritual war was under way, and what happens in the heavenly realms is reflected here on earth. This, along with the split  of the Anglican church away from the Roman Catholic Church unleashed wave after wave of reprisals as monarchs and church leaders used each other for political gain or principled people stood in the way of powerful people with political ambitions. In the midst of all this a new land was discovered far away on the other side of the sea. People moved to this new world to flee the turmoil of the religious wars in Europe. Many others followed, seeking fame and fortune, some with political ambitions and some on business venture. A spiritual war was under way, and what happens in the heavenly realms is reflected here on earth. So, BAM, God intervened!

The Reformation – Challenged the corrupt church
The 1st  Great Awakening – Liberty from Institutions – individual renewal by grace, worship through works, liberty to worship and work out salvation as one interprets direction from Christ. Church as Body of Christ vs. Pope or monarch. Fertile ground for the American Revolution.

Matthew 16:19

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

George Whitefield,“the most popular of the Great Awakening’s roving preachers.” [2] Franklin did not subscribe to Whitefield’s theology, but he admired Whitefield for exhorting people to worship God through good works

Puritanism … and the epidemic of evangelism of the mid-eighteenth century, had created challenges to the traditional notions of social stratification” by preaching that the Bible taught all men are equal, that the true value of a man lies in his moral behavior, not his class, and that all men can be saved. [6]

Ben Franklin, who grew up a Puritan and became an enthusiastic supporter of the evangelical movement, rejected the salvation dogma, but embraced the radical notion of egalitarian democracy. The evangelical revivalists who were active mid-century, such as Franklin’s friend and preacher, George Whitefield, were the greatest advocates of religious freedom, “claiming liberty of conscience to be an ‘inalienable right of every rational creature.’”[7] Whitefield’s supporters in Philadelphia, including Franklin, erected “a large, new hall, that…could provide a pulpit to anyone of any belief.”[8]

In Virginia, the existence of Baptist preachers challenged the established Anglican Church. Young Baptist preachers were arrested and tried in Fredericksburg before the Revolution. The issue of religious freedom was incorporated into the new constitution by James Madison, who as a young lawyer had defended some early Baptist preachers.

John Adams:

The Revolution was effected before the War commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations. This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.

A spiritual war was under way, and what happens in the heavenly realms is reflected here on earth. So, BAM, God intervened!

The Reformation – Challenged the corrupt church
The 1st  Great Awakening – Liberty from Oppressive Institutions
The 2nd  Great Awakening – Evangelism and Growth in the Word
Sought return to practices of the early church, missionary endeavors, and Christian education. As a result, individual Christians contemplated their roles in society and purifying the world through the individuals to whom they could bring salvation. Also, brought about greater recognition of the roles of women and minorities in church and society. Fertile ground for the American Civil War.

Matthew 10:34-36

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn
” ‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law –
a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

The Kingdom of God, for the children of Adam is a story of losers. You had it all. One rule to obey. You broke it. You lose. But God had a plan.

Bad people, good people who make mistakes. Presidents, Governors, evangelists, barons, congressmen, …

A spiritual war was under way, and what happens in the heavenly realms is reflected here on earth. So, BAM, God intervened!

The Reformation – Challenged the corrupt church
The 1st  Great Awakening – Liberty from Oppressive Institutions
The 2nd  Great Awakening – Evangelism and Growth in the Word
The 3rd  Great Awakening – Renewed Emphasis on Missionary Evangelism and the Leadership/Empowerment of the Holy Spirit

Gave birth to the Azusa Street Revival and birth of The Church of God in Christ was formed in 1907, the Assemblies of God and United Pentecostal Church were formed in 1914, the Pentecostal Church of God.

Within two years, spread to 50 nations via missionaries.

Today there are more than 500 million Pentecostal and Charismatic believers across the globe.[2][9][12] The Pentecostal denomination is currently second in size behind the Roman Catholic Church[17] and is the fastest-growing form of Christianity today.

Sounds like a great success story, and it is. But it involves a spiritual battle and what happens in the heavenly realms is reflected here on earth. The great successes of the 20th century would not come without great cost. Satan threw two world wars at us and countless other conflicts. Add in Stalin’s attempt to force Marxism on the Russian people and Mao’s Cultural revolution in China and the 1918 flu pandemic which was Satan’s icing on the cake of WW1 and about 175 million people perished ignoble or violent deaths.

Still a lot of great stuff resulted. We saw liberty and free trade flourish with the resulting leaps ahead in knowledge, communication, and prosperity.

With sadness, I report to you that all of this success has gone to our heads:

The Kingdom of God, for the children of Adam is a story of losers. You had it all. One rule to obey. You broke it. You lose. But God had a plan.

Bad people, good people who make mistakes. Presidents, PhDs, CEOs, Federal Reserve Chairmen, Mega-church Pastors…

  • Our earthly nation is turning away from God
    • Fallacy of right/left, liberal/conservative, capitalist/socialist, republican/democrat politics: Lethargy, greed, lust for power, lust for influence and lust for flesh
  • As an earthly nation we have become recklessly optimistic – national debt
    • $12T total national debt
      • $2T national debt to Communist China
    • $45/25T unfunded liabilities or $300k per capita spread over 40 years
  • As an earthly nation we have become self-absorbed – personal debt
    • Mortgage debt: $14.7T or $49,000 per capita
    • Consumer debt: $2.5T or $8,100 per capita
  • As an earthly nation we have become arrogant and prideful

Some us of have participated in this mayhem in varying degrees, myself included, and it has hurt us. Most of us, hopefully, have pulled back from the edge and moved closer to God as our pastors have warned, “Get out of debt!” “Come out of the world system!”  “We are in this world, be not of this world!”

For the last two years we have seen it start to break at the seams, staggering under the weight of tens of millions of aborted babies sacrificed on the altar of the god of convenience, debt-slavery, “mine attitudes”, materialism, over-consumption, institutionalized ponzi schemes on unimaginable scale, poor stewardship of the earth God gave us, and all of the depraved trappings of decadent society. Watching all of this happen over the last 40 years has been disheartening and disillusioning, to put it lightly

  • As Christians, we have put too much faith in our earthly nation. It hurts to see it fall apart, but Jesus warned us that it would:

Matthew 24:12-14
Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

I believe that the end of the age of grace draws near. The gospel has spread around the world and as we speak the missionary armies of Christendom are facing huge obstacles, yet they push forward. There will be at least one more great burst of revival and accompanying warfare on earth and in the heavens. We must keep remain aware of who we are in God, and what our inheritance is in Him!

Hebrews 11:8…10

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going… For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

1 Peter 2:11

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Bad people, good people who make mistakes. Office managers, Administrative Assistants, Safety and Training Managers, Truck Drivers, Graphic Designers, Sales Associates…

It all comes down to this. If you walk away with a piece of this message today, this is the part you want to hang on to:

The Kingdom of God, for the children of Adam is a story of losers. You had it all. One rule to obey. You broke it. You lose. But God has a plan.

In his plan he become a son of Adam Himself. But wonder of wonders, this Son of Man, conceived by the Holy Spirit, was also the Son of God. Flesh of man, fully subject to temptation, and fully in submission to the Spirit of God. He never sinned. In this, He became the perfect sacrifice for our sin – for the wages of sin is death – He gave Himself in our place. He overcame so that we may overcome. I ate the fruit. I lose. Jesus gave His perfect life. As I put my faith in His sacrifice, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I win. He lifted me over the abyss of substance abuse. He will free me from the things is still struggle with. He will free you, too, trust Him. So many things I wanted so badly – as He is my shepherd, I shall not want. He freed me as I followed Him. He will free you, too. Follow His lead. He lifted me out of the abyss of rage and reckless behavior.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. Receive from Him His peace. Do not be troubled.

 

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