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The Pyramid and the Garden

(Preaching Outline)

1)      Ever since Hamas attacked Israel, I find people are discussing their feelings and beliefs concerning Hamas in a manner that is reminiscent of when the twin towers were attacked.

a)      More people are becoming aware of the suffering caused by Islam – as long as I have been a Christian, I became aware through the voice of the martyrs ministry that there has been a chronic persecution of Christians by muslims around the world with kidnapping, rape and murder, even of whole Christian villages. 

b)      Having lived in Europe, I became aware of the impact of Muslim immigration resulting in abuse and rape of women to the point that women were warned not to leave their homes at night because they would be raped.  

c)      Now I hear people concerned that Islamic terrorists may be crossing the southern border through illegal immigration.

d)      These are facts, but how we respond to these facts is critical for good to triumph over evil.

e)      Romans 12:21 (NKJV) — 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

f)       Luke 6:39–42 (NKJV) — 39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

2)      Another fact to consider:

a)      The issue is not Islam, but idolatry

i)        Idolatry is:

ii)      Worldview and values rather than just religion

b)      The fear of the Lord (Tremper Longman) – Perhaps the closest English word is “awe,” but even that word does not quite get it. The “fear” of the “fear of the Lord” is the sense of standing before the God who created everything, including humans whose very continued existence depends on him. The emotion is appropriate for wisdom because it demonstrates acknowledgment that God is so much greater than we are. He takes our breath away and makes our knees knock together. Such fear breeds humility and signals a willingness to receive instruction from God. This fear is not the fear that makes us run, but it is the fear that makes us pay attention and listen. Fear of the Lord makes us humble, a wisdom trait, rather than proud and “wise in our own eyes”[1]

c)      Proverbs – woman wisdom and woman folly

d)      The wisdom tradition – as in heaven, so on earth.

3)      If we are going to overcome evil with good, we need to grow the garden of God on earth, but unfortunately the church often operates with the wrong spirit and is therefore impotent to transform culture.

a)      Luke 9:51–56 (NKJV) — 51 Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. 53 But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. 54 And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” 55 But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

b)      The log and speck – was not received – offended.

i)        Responded out of the wrong spirit

ii)      Still disciples

iii)    Traditions of men – dealt with the fact of the Samaritan’s response

c)      The pyramid and the garden

i)        The image of a pyramid

ii)      Machines vs. organic life – the image of God in Man & Every Member does their part.

(1)   Classical Christian education movement

(2)   We need a classical Christian church movement

iii)    Os Guiness – 3 types of societal structures

iv)    Woman wisdom and woman folly

v)     John 5:19 (NKJV) — 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

(1)  Seeing – Gospel of John, Exodus, life situations

4)     The church, the pyramid and the garden




[1] Longman, Tremper III. The Fear of the Lord Is Wisdom: A Theological Introduction to Wisdom in Israel (pp. 12-13). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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