Charlie Sheen, Winning, and Jesus (Part 1)

I gotta say Sunday was one of my favorite Sunday’s in the almost 13 years of RockChurch! RCBand was in the groove with some heart-stopping worship and a phenomenal cover song. We showed some good video stuff and delivered a fun, yet power-packed message to defend the Word and contend for the faith.

The worship set consisted of the following songs: Breath, Everlasting God, One Day, Rain Down (11am only), and How He Loves Us. I loved how Lp followed the Holy Spirit’s leading and stopped the service to call people forward to receive prayer. This turned into a vigorous time of much needed ministry.

One of the highlights of the day was RCBand’s rendition of Boston’s Peace of Mind which included some killer three part harmonies by Lp, and Jeremy & Kristie Sparling. What a perfect way to lead into our new series Charlie Sheen, Winning, and Jesus. By the way, you can listen to the complete sermon HERE.

Charlie Sheen, Winning, and Jesus – NOTES

  • Opened by showing the first 44 seconds of this erratic Charlie Sheen video.
  • Then I showed the trailer for Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins.

Synopsis: Answering the following questions: Is Rob Bell’s theology as crazy as Charlie Sheen’s antics? What exactly is winning?

Genesis 3:1-6 (NLT)
 1 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” 4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” 6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.  (Don’t eat the crazy!)

LOVE WINS…or does it?
In Rob Bell’s book Love Wins, he talks about Gehenna. Gehenna is the Greek word Jesus used to describe hell. It was a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem so the people would have been very familiar with it. I read this directly from the book: “So the next time someone asks you if you believe in an actual hell, you can always say, ‘Yes, I do believe that my garbage goes somewhere…” Wow. This statement really bothers me! I believe Jesus shed his blood for me/us from an actual, literal hell, NOT just a garbage dump. In fact, I want to point out something brought out by our Focus Groups pastor Chris Papazis: Gehenna was also the site where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baal’s and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire. It was a hellish place and that’s why Jesus used it to describe hell. Bell deliberately omits this fact from his book and states that hell is no worse than a garbage dump. How should this statement be taken in light of the fact that Jesus died to save us from Gehenna?

Love Wins also implies that because Sodom & Gomorrah will one day be restored (Ezekiel 16:55) that everyone who ever lived or lives will eventually be restored. In other words, we will all have a second chance to confess Jesus following death. This is Christian inclusivism/universalism and we believe this completely contrary to what Scriptures clearly states.

I also read the following excerpt (and more): “If God can switch gears like that (send someone to heaven in one instant and to hell in another), switch entire modes of being that quickly, that raises a thousand questions about whether a being like this could ever be trusted, let alone be good.” Sorry, but I’m not drinking that Kool-Aid!

Matthew 24:24 (NLT)
For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones (the elect). Hmm…

I shared a tweet I sent out where I made the following statement: “There’s a difference between asking questions and questioning what God makes plain. It didn’t fare well for Adam and Eve.”

Jude 3-7, 17-21 (NLT)
 3 Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives (Uh-oh!). The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them securely chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the great day of judgment. 7 And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment.

 17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said. 18 They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires. 19 These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them. 20 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, 21 and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

There are two paths:
1. Jesus (heaven, eternal peace, blessing)
2. Everything Else (hell, suffering, everlasting torment)

Matthew 7:13-14 (NLT)
 13 “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it. (Also see John 14:6)

I read the lyrics from Boston’s song Peace of Mind that RCBand covered at the beginning of the message and gave some Scripture to support them. I also ended the message with rifling through some “WINNING” Scriptures. I will list the references below but you will need to listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation.

1 Samuel 14:6
1 Samuel 17:33
Luke 21:16-18
1 Corinthians 9:23-25
1 John 5:4-6
1 Corinthians 15:56-58

As my good friend Mike Crall would say, “Don’t swim in the deep end of crazy.” Don’t be deceived. Study the Word.

Love and TRUTH wins.

~PC

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