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SermonRollercoaster Rides
An all-creatures Bible Message

Rollercoaster Rides
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
13 November 2016
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Isaiah 12:1-6
Malachi 4:1-6
Luke 16:13
Revelation 3:15-16

Rollercoaster rides are very similar to the way that people live before God.
 
When we read the Hebrew Text, the Old Testament, we see that the people of Israelís righteousness and ungodliness were like rollercoaster rides; their times of righteousness raised them up towards heaven and Godís heavenly will and rewards, and then they fell back into the corrupt ways of this world and faced Godís judgement.
 
The history of this up and down way of living before God and His heavenly will would look very much like a rollercoaster if we graphed it out over time, and unfortunately, it continues to this very day.
 
As we look at Isaiah 12:1-6, letís also try to picture the up and down shape of a rollercoaster when viewed from the ground.

1. Then you will say on that day,
"I will give thanks to Thee, O LORD;
For although Thou wast angry with me,
Thine anger is turned away,
And Thou dost comfort me.

This is what happens to people who repent of the worldly ways and seek Godís heavenly will; they are lifted up from their sinful ways heavenward as a rollercoaster going up from a low point.

2. "Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation."
 
3. Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.

This is the way people should feel as Godís mercy and forgiveness washes over them.
 
We feel as if we are at the top of a rollercoaster ride.

4. And in that day you will say,
"Give thanks to the LORD, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
Make them remember that His name is exalted."

Hopefully we feel like doing this when we are at the high points of our spiritual rollercoaster rides, but even more importantly, we need to keep reminding ourselves about the misery and violent ways of this corrupt world so that we donít fall back into those corrupt ways.
 
We need to be consistent witnesses to the world around us of the glories of living in the heavenly will of God, and we can only do this if we are also living in Godís heavenly will.

5. Praise the LORD in song, for He has done excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
 
6. Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the
Holy One of Israel.
NASB

Many people feel this way when God forgives them, and they feel the presence of the Holy Spirit; but then, unfortunately, most people seem to allow the ways of their former life of living in the corrupt ways of this world to tempt them, and they start plummeting down as a descending rollercoaster ride.
 
We need to catch ourselves before this happens, and seek Godís help and mercy.
 
Now letís take a look at Malachi 4:1-6 where he and the Lord speak to those who seem to enjoy these spiritual rollercoaster rides.

1. "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."

Malachi and the Lord are describing what will happen to the people who live in the corrupt ways of this world, or to put it in the context of todayís message, they are at the low points in these spiritual rollercoaster rides, and unfortunately, most people in the world seem to like it there with all its violence, suffering, and death.

2. "But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.

This is what will happen to the truly repentant people who seek to live in the heavenly will of God.
 
These are the people who are near or at the high points on our spiritual rollercoaster rides.
 
Itís hard to imagine why people would rather live in the corrupt ways of this world than in the heavenly realm of God, but unfortunately most of the people do, including many church goers and clergy.

3. "And you will tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing," says the LORD of hosts.

At this time the true peacemaking children of God will no longer be tempted by the devil and the corrupt people of this world, for they will no longer exist upon the earth, and the ups and downs of the rollercoaster rides will end.
 
People will no longer be tempted by the corrupt ways of this world with all its pain, suffering, bloodshed and death that is inflicted upon millions of humans and billions of animals every year, for the corruption of creation will be coming to an end.

4. "Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.

The key is that all of us will really live by the basic 10 commandments, but even more importantly that we will truly love God and the whole of His creation with every part of our being; for in doing so, we fulfill the whole Law.

5. "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
 
6. "And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse."
NASB

We hope and pray that these days will come very soon, but donít forget to heed the warning.
 
Think about what we are told in Revelation 3:15-16 about the people who want both the high and low points of the rollercoaster rides, or we could say the people who want to have one foot in heaven and the other foot in this corrupt world and live in the middle ground having both.

15. 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I would that you were cold or hot.
 
16. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.
NASB

These kinds of people make the Lord sick to His stomach, because He cannot stand people who are not fully committed to Him and His heavenly will, so He symbolically vomits them out of His mouth.
 
God would rather have ďcoldĒ people rather than ďlukewarmĒ people, for at least the cold people may come to their senses and repent so that the Lord can save them, but unfortunately, the lukewarm people like being that way, and to further compound the problem, many of these people are clergy and church leaders, and the evidence of their lifestyle can be seen on their plates.
 
Letís look at something elseÖ
 
Jesus tells us what will happen if we are on one of these spiritual rollercoaster rides in Luke 16:13Ö

13. "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." 
NASB

In this passage, Jesus is addressing the problem if those who are servants of God and those who are servants of the devil, which is symbolized by ďmammonĒ the physical gains of the corrupt ways of the earth; He is also addressing those who try to do both.
 
Jesus is plainly telling us that we cannot serve God if we are also trying to reap the ungodly benefits of living in the world with all its violence, suffering and death.
 
We need to be committed peacemaking children of God who live in His heavenly will, and do everything we can to help free creation from its present corruption.
 
Amen.

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