We Flattened The Curve, And that’s NOT a good thing

Outbreak 2020 – Sermon One – We Flattened the Curve, and That’s Not a Good Thing.

Introduction – flatten

Acts 2:46-47 ESV  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  (47)  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 5:14 ESV And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 

Acts 6:7 ESV And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. 

Acts 9:31 ESV So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. 

Acts 11:21 ESV And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 

Acts 11:24 ESV for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 

Acts 16:5 ESV So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. 

  • The churches increased in number daily…
    • Can you imagine what would happen if CWO grew in numbers daily? How long until this beautiful building wouldn’t be big enough? A couple weeks? A month?
    • And not just CWO, but what if every Bible believing Gospel teaching church grew in numbers daily? How long until the everyone in the world had a chance to hear and receive the Gospel?
      • This is what happened directly after the ascension of Christ.
      • The helper came, the Holy Spirit, came and there was a major outbreak of Christianity.
      • There was a GLOBAL outbreak, it was spreading and spreading fast!
    • Now the question the modern church should be asking itself is this: if the churches of God where adding to their numbers daily and the gospel was spreading quickly and globally… and this all started some 2000 years ago… then why isn’t the whole of earth saved by now?!
    • Why is sin just as present and prevalent now as it was back then?
    • Why are there still unreached tribes and people groups?
    • WHAT HAPPENED?
      • I will tell you what happened… the Enemy “flattened the curve”.
        • That’s right, I will say it again… there was a global outbreak of faith across the world, and the devil didn’t want it to happen, the world didn’t want it to happen, our flesh didn’t want it to happen… so they flattened the curve.
    • How? Well all the enemy had to do was convince the church to follow some very simple guidelines in the name of “Loving your neighbor”. Maybe these guidelines sound familiar…
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  • Cover your mouth!
  • Social Distance!
  • Self-Quarantine!
  • And whatever you do, don’t travel, especially not internationally!
  • Do these talking points sound familiar to y’all? This is, at least according to the world, how you stop the spread of a global outbreak.
  • This year the theme of the youth conference is Outbreak 2020, and it is my goal to make this youth as contagious as possible, amen?!
    • I want them to spread the gospel faster than Menards sold out to the left!
    • I want them to spread the gospel more often then Dr. Fauci changes his medical advice.
    • I want them to spread the gospel more effectively then the media spreads fear and anger.
    • I want these youth to be the ones that change society so much that the world has to prepare itself for a “new-normal”.
      • A normal where abortion clinics are bankrupt.
      • A normal where youth group means waring for Christ not just playing games and meeting girls.
      • A normal where high school cafeterias look more like a church gathering than an eating hall.
      • A normal where Christ is first, and everything is last.
        • And don’t get me wrong youth, we are going to play some games this week… and there might even be some girls… but listen, your not allowed to date till you are married anyway, so let’s make this week about Christ, amen?!

Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray

Matthew 28:18-20 ESV  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  (19)  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  (20)  teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • I am a firm believer that the great commission is for all believers… this was Jesus’ final instructions before He left earth. Go and make disciples… teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.
    • Now I don’t have time tonight to explain why this is most certainly for all believers but I do want to say this, if you believe the great commission is for you, and it is, if you believe that and you don’t actively seek out to fulfill that commission over your life… how can you call yourself a Christian? How can you call yourself a Christ Follower?

Luke 6:46 ESV  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

  • If Jesus says “Go and make disciples” and we say “NO!” then we are telling Jesus He is not our Lord…
    • But I don’t think, at least in this church, that very many of us would be bold enough to outright tell Jesus “No”.
    • And the devil knows that… he is a trickster… so instead of saying “Don’t fulfill the great commission he tells us these things:
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  • Cover your mouth! “You can make disciples, satan says, just make sure not to say anything that might offend anyone.
  • Social Distance! Don’t be intimate and open with other people, never get to close… they have their own problems to worry about… plus if you get to close to someone they are just going to hurt you.
  • Self-Quarantine! Don’t interact with non-believers… just keep to yourself.
  • And whatever you do, don’t travel, especially not internationally! I mean after all, there are people in your own back yard who need Jesus. Why waist time and money going to save others?
  • Church, these are the lies we are going to break down in this youth conference, but to kick things off I just want to skim the surface of each of these points…
    • One, to fire up the youth and to prime the pump for what they are about to receive…
    • And two, to encourage the whole of CWO to resist the enemy and to submit ourselves to God and His ways… because if we catch this as a church, if we break down these lies, then the enemy won’t know what hit him!

Lie One – To Love Your Neighbor You Need to Cover Your Mouth

1 Peter 2:9 ESV  But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

  • The first lie I want to talk about is the lie that we ought to cover our mouths… and how many of y’all know I am not talking about the Coronavirus this evening?! Yet we are taught to cover our mouths…
  • Listen, if you are a born again believer, a new creation in Christ Jesus, then you are a part of the royal priesthood, you are a part of this holy nation that this verse is talking about… You are a person of God’s own procession…
    • But why would God call us those things, why would God make us those things?
      • He certainly doesn’t owe it to us to make us those things… was it not enough that He died and rose again to save us… why add all of these titles and privileges on top?
      • Well, one reason at least, is described in this very verse… That we may proclaim the excellencies of Jesus Christ.
        • If we are not proclaiming the excellences of Jesus, then what are we really doing with our Christian lives?
  • “But but but… if you really loved your neighbor” the enemy says “if you really loved your neighbor then you wouldn’t say things that might offend them”.
    • NONSENCE! If I really truly loved my neighbor, then I wouldn’t allow them to go to hell!
    • I would do everything I could to save them from the eternal flames… offended or not.
  • “But you can’t talk about religion or politics… don’t you know?”
    • Nonsense… If I truly believe that Christ died for me, and rose for me, and intercedes for me to this day at the right hand of the father…
    • If I really believe that Heaven is real, and Hell is real…
    • If I really believe in the power of miracles…
    • If I really believe in the infinite justice and saving grace of God…
      • THEN HOW COULD I NOT TALK ABOU IT.
  • If I had the cure for cancer, and you had cancer… would it be loving of me to not tell you the cure?
    • MAN I HAVE THE CURE FOR SIN YOU BETTER BELIEVE I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT.
  • Listen, Jesus was PERFECT! The man was perfect! And they were still so offended by Him that they killed Him!
    • Be like Christ! Be so offensive that some might be saved! Will some people get mad? Sure! Will you even possibly suffer for it? Yeah, I mean Jesus sure did… But let me ask you something, do you love your neighbor enough to suffer for them that they might not go to hell?

1 Peter 3:14-16 ESV  But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,  (15)  but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,  (16)  having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.

2 Timothy 1:18 ESV  may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

Romans 1:16 ESV  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

  • Can you imagine how fast the Gospel would spread… how fast the church would grow… if we actually opened our flipping mouths and stopped hiding behind the mask of false agape love… false “love thy neighbor” theology?
  • But pastor, God doesn’t care about numbers!
    • What are you talking about, yes He does! He absolutely cares about numbers!!!

2 Peter 3:9 ESV  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

  • Not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance… that word ALL is a number… it’s currently about 7.8 billion people.
    • Well what does that have to do with church growth… well those people are going to need a place to worship won’t they?!
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Lie Two – To Love Your Neighbor You Need to Social Distance

Acts 8:26-38 ESV  Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place.  (27)  And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship  (28)  and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.  (29)  And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”  (30)  So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  (31)  And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  (32)  Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: “Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth.  (33)  In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.”  (34)  And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?”  (35)  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.  (36)  And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?”  (38)  And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.

  • The World lies to us and tells us to social distance… they tell us to keep our faith to ourselves… to separate it from day to day life. You can have it in church… but don’t bring it near anyone else…
    • But scripture says the opposite… Scripture says “Get near” scripture says “Draw Close”.

Look at this story of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch…

  • First in verse 26 we see an angle of the Lord, knowing where the lost Eunuch would be, instructs Phillip, go down from Jerusalem to Gaza… I.E. Get closer to the Eunuch.
  • Then in verse 29 the Spirit of the Lord told Phillip, go up to the chariot… I.E. Get Closer!
  • Then in verse 31 The Eunuch invites Philip to join Him in the chariot… I.E. GET CLOSER!
  • In verses 33-35 IN THE CHARIOT Philip explains the gospel.
  • Note in verse 35 “Phillip Open’s His Mouth”!
    • Because Phillip was willing to get uncomfortably close to the Eunuch and ride in his chariot with him, it was because of that that the Eunuch heard and accepted the Gospel.
  • I want you to remember this story next time you are in an uber… or on a plane, or in a bus…
    • What if you used your physical proximity to someone else to preach the gospel to them…
    • “But you will make it uncomfortable for them”… not as uncomfortable as they are going to be in the eternal lake of fire if the don’t repent.
  • But can’t we just have church through a live-stream or through tv?
    • NO! God created us to be together! Iron can’t sharpen iron over YouTube y’all… the two pieces of Iron have to rub against each other.
  • Further, no where in scripture do we see evangelism by way of letter writing campaign… all through the new testament it was “Go and preach” or “As you go, preach” or “on the highways and street corners preach”.
    • So I am glade that you sometimes post a scripture on Facebook, but it is NOT a replacement for being physically close to someone and having a one on one conversation about Jesus Christ.
  • We need to get through our head that everyone will answer to God one day. That everyone is an eternal being.
    • And if those eternal beings are not saved by the blood of Chris they will burn in hell…
      • The cashier at the grocery store…
      • Your bank teller
      • Your physical neighbor
      • The guy walking his dog down the street..
      • If they don’t know Christ they will burn in hell! HOW CAN WE STAY SILENT. WHY WOULD WE STAY AWAY?!
    • But pastor, if I lived my life like that I would always be preaching the Gospel…
      • MAN! What a concept!

2 Timothy 4:1-4 ESV  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  (2)  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.  (3)  For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,  (4)  and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

  • Preach the Word in season and out of Season! Always! Because the world is full of lies!
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Lie Three – To Love Your Neighbor You Need to Self-Quarantine Our Faith

Mark 2:13-17 ESV  He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them.  (14)  And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.  (15)  And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.  (16)  And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  (17)  And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

  • Oh… the Devil has two lies when it comes to self quarantining… two tricky lies…
    • First… we as Christians need to keep to ourselves… we don’t need to interact with the world.
    • Let’s keep Jesus out of the workplace, out of sports, out of politics, out of school… just keep it to the church… Just keep that Jesus guy contained… be a Christian all you want on Sunday but come Monday you need to live that at home!
      • Really, you think it is loving to let my co-workers go to hell… my teammates go to hell, my school to go to hell, this country to go to hell?!
        • Well we are not voting for Pastor of the United States, we are voting for president…
          • No, I don’t need my president to be a pastor… he can be an Apostle, or a Prophet, or an Evangelist, or even a Teacher… He doesn’t have to be a pastor… BUT IF HE WANTS MY VOTE HE BETTER BE A CHRISTIAN… and not just in name only!
      • So no, I am not going to self quarantine my faith…
        • I am going to bring my faith in the workplace, into the school, into sports, into my family, and even into politics… BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN HEAVEN AND HELL AND I DON’T WANT ANY TO PERISH!
  • That’s the first lie… That to love our neighbor we need to self quarantine our faith. but the second lie is just as bad and can be much sneakier…
    • We are told that it is ok to join in the sin in the name of Jesus…
    • Just like the media says its perfectly safe to protest chanting arm in arm for hours with thousands of people, but its NOT safe to sing in church…
    • Satan says “It’s ok to preach… as long as you are doing it in a den of sin… I mean after all, Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners.”
  • You know how many times I have heard this lie from the pit of hell “I go to bars because Jesus ate with the sinners and the tax collectors”…
    • You know I never hear that excuses from an effective evangelist… I always hear that excuse from a drunkard.
  • “Well pastor I know my friend bob is a “little rough around the edges” but I hang out with him all the time because I am trying to lead him to Christ”…
    • Again, never hear that from effective evangelists… but I hear that from the guys who got caught doing something stupid with their worldly friends.
  • I have heard so many young girls caught up in fornication say “I know he is not a Christian but I think I can lead him to Christ…”

1 Corinthians 15:33-34 ESV  Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”  (34)  Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

  • Yes Jesus meet with sinners… but NEVER at their place of sin.
    • Jesus never went to the bar or the strip club…
    • He never hired a prostitute and tried to teach her the gospel in His bedroom.
    • He never helped tax collectors count their stolen money.
  • Jesus called sinners out of their sin, he called tax collectors out of their booth, and He meet with them at places of worship, teaching, and eating… He invited them over for dinner… they followed Him to church… Jesus NEVER followed them to sin. DON’T EVER GET IT BACKWARD.

Lie Four – To Love Your Neighbor You Need to Stop Traveling

Matthew 28:19 ESV  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

  • The great commission starts with a very powerful command… two letters that mean a whole lot… GO!
    • Go and make disciples!
    • Not stay and make disciples!
  • GO! But the lie the enemy tells, the lie the world tells, the lie our culture tells is to STAY!
  • “You say you love your neighbor, then why leave Sioux City to preach the gospel somewhere else… sure sounds like you are abandoning your neighbor… If you really loved your neighbor you would stay right here…
  • There are people in our own backyard who need to be saved, why leave? That’s how the lie goes… well, I will give you a few reasons why you should leave…
    • First, I doubt there is a single person in Sioux City who hasn’t had some kind of exposure to the gospel… some kind of exposure to Christ… why do I say that…
      • Well I did a little yellow page search and found that in Sioux City there are 59 bars and taverns listed.
      • But there are more than 150 churches listed!
        • That means that to get to a bar, on average, someone has to pass 3 churches in Sioux City!
    • Now of course most of these churches are probably not in the truth… but which is why I am certainly not saying the local church is not important… pastor Chace would run me out of town if I said that…
      • No CWO is incredibly important to preach and teach the Gospel here, to be a place of worship and exaltation for God…
    • But my point is, everybody here probably knows there is some guy named Jesus…
    • Yet there are still people groups who have never even heard his name…
      • Yet the Devil would have us stay in our own town wasting time on people who have rejected Christ their whole lives instead of spending time bringing Christ to someone who has never even had the first chance to reject him or accept Him.
  • This is Cornerstone WORLD outreach Afterall, amen?
    • This church is so important, but it is not a retirement home for Christians to die in… it is an elite training facility for missionaries and evangelists to be sent and supported from to change the world! Amen?!
  • And let me give you another reason why w=as Christians we should make a habit of traveling…

John 4:44 ESV  (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.)

  • Does that mean you can’t be an effective minister in your home town? Of course not…
    • But it does mean that there is a special anointing when you leave home to go minister somewhere else…
    • And I hope, youth, that some of you are going to leave this week called and determined to leave Iowa, at least for a time and under the covering of your church, to go preach the gospel elsewhere…
  • BUT PASTOR WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR! How loving is it for me to leave my neighbor behind…
    • Listen, you have a bad understanding of the Biblical word Neighbor, good read the story of the good Samaritan… it has nothing to do with physical location, it has to do with the amount of love you are willing to show…
      • So you tell me, what is more loving, to tell your next door neighbor for the 100th time to repent…
      • Or you telling a tribesman in the amazon who has never heard of Jesus that he too can be saved and have eternal life?

Conclusion – flatten

Acts 16:5 ESV So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

  • My goal tonight is to strengthen you in your faith, not to lecture you…
    • And listen, I can tell you to preach everywhere you go…
    • To share your testimony,
    • To go on missions
    • To be prepared in season and out of season…
  • I can argue the importance of evangelism all day, and I can be a very persuasive orator…
    • But if I can talk you into something, then someone else can talk you out of…
  • That is why we need the Holy Spirit to do it…

*Altar call/Challenge* Who is ready to take off there masks and spread the gospel?

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