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Sermon 118 – I’m Sorry

Proverbs 20:6 … most men will proclaim their own goodness, but a faithful man is hard to find.

In Australia, the deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has been exposed for adultery. He’s been challenged about promoting the woman, with whom he’s had an affair, into a higher job position. His family is struggling with being dumped and publicly embarrassed. As a consequence, the Prime Minister has publicly suggested that Mr. Joyce’s behaviour is unacceptable and included a ‘no sex with staff’ in the code of conduct agreement. Mr. Joyce says he’s sorry, but at the same time he’s challenged the Prime Minister’s reaction. As far as he’s concerned it’s his own private business and no one has the right to judge him or tell him what to do. His sorry is mixed with arrogance and blame.

Fake sorry = don’t tell me what to do

Recently, I corrected a young man in our fellowship for his selfish attitude of envy and pride. He said sorry, then went about defending himself with his good deeds and ended up blaming me for the correction. In other words, he was telling me how he should have been corrected. From his perspective I was over-the-top. The truth is, he wouldn’t be put in his place.

Responsibility vs. Blame

I always find it fascinating how when someone sins they blame the authority for correcting them instead of taking responsibility for their sin and whole-heartedly accepting the correction. As far as they’re concerned, they’re a good person so sorry should see the end of it. Like king Saul, a selfish proud spirit won’t accept they’re wrong, even though they’ll often agree they are. These people will always ultimately look for excuses to defend their selfishness.

God doesn’t accept sorry

God only accepts repentance; He doesn’t accept sorry. God didn’t accept Judas’ sorry, but He did Peter’s. One sorry was an apology because he was exposed and embarrassed & probably blamed Jesus for putting him in that position by making him the treasurer. The other sorry was an acceptance of responsibility with sincere remorse resulting in repentance. One sorry re-evaluates that it’s not as bad as was first portrayed, the other sorry knows it was wrong and humbles itself to the punishment. One is too proud to bend, the other bends and repents.

Judas sorry

Most people say sorry to get out of trouble. They don’t really mean it. Why? The pride of humanity doesn’t like being told it’s wrong. Most people believe they have the right to diagnose and surgically remove anything that’s bad, themselves. They don’t like other people telling them they’re wrong. Their pride can’t handle it.

Blame attached to sorry means you’re not sorry

You can’t say sorry and blame at the same time; it’s a contradiction. Saying sorry with an excuse, is not sorry; it’s selfish. Blame attached to sorry is the same as saying … “sorry for upsetting you but you’re wrong for correcting or punishing me the way you did. I’m willing to be told I’m wrong but I don’t like you telling me I’m wrong (which obviously doesn’t make sense); and you made me do it anyway”.

What the person is really saying is … I think I’m good. You shouldn’t tell me I’m bad! I have the right to decide whether I’ve done wrong, you don’t. In other words, they won’t be told, or they’ll pretend to be, but in their heart, they don’t like being put in their place.

Being put in your place

Being put in your place, is generally read as being put-down, when in fact, it may be a beneficial correction to your pride of position. Pride won’t interpret the difference but rather objects to the correction, in which case it clearly does need to be put in its place.

I’m right because you are wrong

Ask yourself … do you deduce you are right when someone who’s offended you is corrected?

The truth is, only pride makes the deduction … I’m right because you’re wrong, or I’m good because you are corrected. Just because someone is corrected doesn’t necessarily mean that you are right, and someone’s wrongness doesn’t prove you are good. You can’t conclude rightness based on someone else’s wrong. You may both be wrong. In fact, if this is your common deduction, then you, yourself, are full of your own pride.

Humanity makes its deductions based on its feelings

Most people believe that what they feel is the truth. Their deductions are based on how they feel. If you hurt my feelings then you’re not nice and you deserve to pay for it. This is the thinking of the anti-Christ, not Jesus. A genuine Christian makes his deductions by faith. Faith is the engine of his spirit, not feelings. If you’re running on feelings you’d better submit to correction to restore yourself to faith or you’ll eventually derail.

A faithful Christian accepts his feelings (whether it be heaviness, loneliness, failure, hurts, purposeless) as the burden of life that he shares with Christ. The feelings drive him to Christ … cast your cares on Him because he cares for you … as his strength and source.

The world is chasing happy feelings

The human spirit doesn’t like feeling bad, which is why if it gets caught, it says sorry, so it can get back to its good feelings. As far as the world is concerned, if I say sorry, that should be the end of it, and if it isn’t then you’ve got the problem. It’s a convenient way of ignoring one’s own sin and casting the blame onto someone else.

The world wants happy feelings all the time. It chases after it through … success, money, friends, marriage, travel, sex, fun, drugs, alcohol, & super challenges.  The fake church sells happiness so it can take advantage of what the world is looking for, so it can increase its numbers and money and look good to the world so it’s not persecuted.  Thus, the fake church is just like the world.

If you’re chasing happy feelings, then you’re of the world, not of Christ

Christ doesn’t offer happiness; He offers blessedness, and that’s a completely different product …  blessed are you when you are persecuted, merciful, meek, mourn & poor … Matthew 5.

Happiness is transient and temporary; it’s based on luck. It never permanently fulfils; it always has to be chased for more, and it always produces envy against those who seem to have it.

Blessedness is based on faith. It’s a commitment to Christ, based on a relationship of love. It doesn’t seek happy feelings. It simply serves Him and trusts Him whatever the feelings and outcome.

It’s never really a ‘happy’ issue

On the surface humanity says it’s chasing happiness, but that’s just a cover for the real hidden agenda of … I can do what I want; no one’s going to tell me what I can and can’t do. If you don’t want to be told, you’ll chase what you want. Thus, Barnaby Joyce is now exposed for his real agenda and Satan wins and secretly controls another lost spirit.

Freedom strategy

The whole purpose of blame and hurt is to get you to retaliate against a demonic spirit so you come under its power. Satan argues ‘feelings’ through blame and guilt to trap you in His power. It’s the tickling of your feelings that is the temptation. Sin is acting on the temptations.

Conversely, God argues sin. This puts the argument on the spirit level, rather than the feeling level.

A remnant Christian goes to God’s Word for the truth of a person’s attack against them and either repents for being wrong, or righteously refuses to accept the blame and puts the responsibility for the sin back onto the shoulders of the blamer. They still may suffer the feelings of blame but they’re free from the power of the blame; they’ve shared it with the Lord. Elijah stood up to Ahab, David stood up to King Saul, Shadrach stood up to Nebuchadnezzar, and Jesus stood up to the Pharisees.

The remnant needs to learn the righteous path to Godly aggressive humility to stand up against the sinner, rather than being sucked into the satanic trick to react to hurt feelings.

 

Pastor Nick Clarence

 

 

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Posted by on February 17, 2018 in Blame, Correction

 

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Sermon 99 – Stop BLAMING everybody else & REPENT

I was counselling a young woman who was brought up by God-fearing parents. Her grandmother was quite domineering and blunt and sometimes her own mother showed some of the grandmother’s characteristics. As a young girl she made choices of resistance to her grandmother’s attitude that would affect her whole future life. Instead of accepting her parent’s minor faults and appreciating that they were trying to instruct her in God’s ways and provide for her every need, she made inner choices of resistance against their love.

Freedom

Eventually, as she grew up, she became her own woman. Freedom to her was no one was going to tell her what to do. She ran away from home and entered the path of fornication and became pregnant. In love, her parents said she was welcome back, but only on the grounds of repentance, so she chose the easy path of living with her grandfather (her grandmother had now passed away). The grandfather believed he was doing the right thing by his granddaughter, but in reality, he was caring for her in defiance of his son-in-law. The grandfather pretended to be a nice Christian person because popularity was important to him, but he actually hated his son-in-law for his Godly stand.

Incorrigible

I suggested to this young woman that she had chosen to defy her parents, and that she was the one who had chosen to feel sorry for herself. I pointed out that she had chosen to blame everyone for her hurt feelings, but hadn’t considered the hurt and embarrassment she had caused to her parents. I emphasised that she was the one who had chosen the pathway of moodiness and the path of belief that everyone else were idiots if they didn’t see it her way. I made it quite clear that she was the one who had chosen the path of fornication and the path of unrepentance, but sadly she refused to listen. She refused to carry any responsibility for her sinful attitude. Her path was set. From her perspective she was doing ok by herself; why should she think otherwise, her grandfather was giving her everything she needed, but she was blind to the truth that she was sick in her spirit.

She knew enough scripture to quote “fathers provoke not your children to wrath”, but conveniently chose to ignore the verses before that which state “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour your father and mother that it may be well with you,” Ephesians 6:1-3.

When I spoke with her parents they shared with me how the church had criticised them for their unloving attitude. I reassured them that their love was more genuine than the church. The modern church has chosen the path of least resistance; it doesn’t want a hassle or to look bad, thus it pretends to love by supporting the hurt, but pays no attention to the spirit behind the hurt. The grandfather had chosen the path of supporting his granddaughter’s evil and used it to prove that it was his son-in-law who was evil. He mocked his son-in-law’s moral ground. He had no idea that he had chosen the side of the demonic.

Other relatives could see that the parents were genuine people so they stayed neutral, but when the parents declined to attend family weddings if the young woman attended because they held to their Godly instructions, the family chose the young woman to attend in preference to the parents.

These are the two options of the false modern church; either sit in the middle when someone makes a moral Christ-like stand, or judge them for being harsh and unloving. Either position is earthly, sensual and demonic … James 3:15.

The issue is always authority

The prodigal’s father waited patiently for his son to wake up to his selfishness; he didn’t chase after him and persuade him to return to safety. He knew that one can’t live with defiance; the sinner has to repent and come under authority. The issue is always authority … like in the animal kingdom, the authority’s position is challenged by another’s position.

This woman’s grandfather had actually failed her by protecting her sin instead of letting God deal with it through failure and remorse.

The truth 

The truth is, this young woman said she was hurting and she used it to make everyone feel sad for her, but what she was really expressing was hatred towards authority, and those who have never seen their own disrespect of authority, fall for it.

Because of Adam and Eve’s defiance to God’s instruction, everyone is born with a spirit of defiance to authority. This defiance becomes our personal responsibility when we decide to be defiant to our parents. Everyone builds their life’s habits and beliefs around this defiance. We cover it with good deeds and convince ourselves we’re good, but fail to realise our inner self that God wants to save, is defiant.

Everyone I talk with has defied their parents either silently or openly. God lets this defiance run its course. A few people will wake up and see their sin and call out to God for His mercy and gain access to heaven. Most will remain defiant till they die, even if they see it, because the heart of man doesn’t like to be corrected and told it’s wrong, and it justifies and explains away any wrong by its self-assessed goodness. The truth is, the grandfather had never repented of his defiance to his own parents, and thus he carried his defiance into his relationship with his son-in-law, but it only exposed itself when his son-in-law stood up for God’s principles and it unbalanced and exposed the flaw in his own.

Adam and Eve show you what happens if you will look

What the human heart fails to understand is that standing up for your own rights with a heart of defiance puts you at the mercy of Satan’s control. You think you’re the one in control, but the truth is, like Adam and Eve, you’re ignorantly under the control of Satan. He’s pulling your chain and you just think you’re being unfairly treated. But the truth is, your heart is sick and you need a saviour.

Another example

I was also counselling a young man who had never done anything wrong, at least from his perspective. When an authority questioned him he simply and silently wrote off the authority as stupid. I asked him to recall an incident in his early childhood where he had defied his parents. He recalled being disciplined by his mother and in his heart saying “I will do what you say but you’re stupid and your rules are stupid”. The  young man agreed that correction hurt his feelings and he couldn’t understand it because he couldn’t agree with it. The truth was, he had chosen to hate authority without even knowing it because Satan had manipulated his feelings and thinking against authority. Without ever realising it, he had built his whole life on defiance and had covered it with good deeds and coolness so that he didn’t care what anyone else thought. What he didn’t realise was that he was under the influence of the demonic. He wasn’t in control like he thought he was. He was deceiving himself. In his heart of hearts though, he knew something was wrong, and when I exposed him to his defiance and his anti-Christ attitude of heart he owned his sin and repented. The demon lost its power.

Humanism

Why do you think modern education and modern society is teaching young people to stand up to authority and don’t let anyone tell you what to do. Humanism easily indoctrinates you to make up your own mind what’s right and wrong; sin likes that theory. Why is it teaching 5 year olds about sex? Why is it encouraging 7 year olds to have a sex change? Without a doubt, it’s to destroy Christ’s earth and Christ’s people. It’s to destroy the family and its Satan’s intent that if he’s going to hell then he’s going to take as many unwary people as possible with him. Satan is alive and well on planet earth and the church is letting it happen.

Until a person wakes up to their defiance they can never be saved no matter how much good they pour over it, because Jesus didn’t come to save you for being good, He came to save you for being a defiant sinner and set you free from Satan’s power that Satan initiated in the Garden over Adam and Eve and over all those that want to be their own god.

Pastor Mike Clifford


 
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Posted by on April 23, 2016 in Authority

 

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Sermon 61 – RESPONSIBILITY is a DIRTY WORD

When I was a young boy my older brother used to tease me incessantly. He’d run away from me on the way to school and leave me sitting in the gutter crying. He’d never let me play with his friends and he’d wrestle with me and pin my arms to the ground with his knees until I cried for mercy. He’d go out of his way to make sure
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Posted by on September 28, 2013 in Pride

 

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Sermon 39 – The CARNAL MIND vs. the MIND of CHRIST

The carnal mind is enmity against God because it is not subject to the law of God, and can never be  Romans 8:7

Actually, the carnal mind is so elevated in itself that it’s conned itself into believing that it
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Mind

 

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