Participants: Ronny Shelton
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000224
00:31 Hello, and welcome to Faith Chapel.
00:33 I am Ronny Shelton and I hope that you've got your
00:36 Bibles today because we fight not against flesh and blood
00:39 but against powers of darkness.
00:41 To fight a battle like that we need a spiritual weapon.
00:45 That today is the Holy Bible.
00:47 If you will, get your Bibles and turn to Romans 8.
00:53 Romans 8.
00:55 Today we're going to talk about what can separate us
00:58 from the love of God.
00:59 What can separate us from the love of God?
01:03 If you'll turn to chapter 8 we'll start at verse 35 and read
01:08 through 37.
01:38 You see, brothers and sisters, there are so many outside forces
01:41 that have tried to separate God's people from His love
01:45 throughout the centuries.
01:47 We can read of many instances in the scriptures of men who
01:52 tried to separate from God's love, and they were not
01:56 able to do it.
01:57 So here Paul lists a great list of circumstances that we might
02:03 think can separate us from Christ.
02:06 Shall tribulation, he says?
02:08 Shall distress?
02:10 Shall persecution?
02:12 And then he says, No, for we are more than conquerors through Him
02:18 that loved us.
02:19 Are you afraid of being separated from God's love today?
02:22 Are you afraid that you might be separated from Him?
02:26 We're told in Ephesians 6:12.
02:32 There it says:
02:49 You see, we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.
02:52 Often we may think that we are.
02:54 We may say, well, you know, Joe is doing so and so to me,
02:56 and the world is mad at me, and this has gone wrong, and that's
02:59 going wrong, and that everybody's' down on me,
03:02 and nobody loves me.
03:03 But Peter says we wrestle not against flesh and blood.
03:08 It's not those people.
03:10 It's what's behind the actions of those people.
03:14 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against powers,
03:17 and principalities.
03:19 The rulers of darkness in this world are our adversary.
03:23 Christ is fighting that adversary for us; on our behalf,
03:28 for we wrestle not against flesh and blood.
03:31 It just appears that those people are out to get us.
03:35 They are motivated by the adversary.
03:39 Through the ages there have been powers at work that have tried
03:44 separate God from His people.
03:46 These powers have used human agents to sow the seeds
03:50 of discouragement, to try to separate God's faithful from
03:55 his great love.
03:56 We could find many, many examples in the scriptures
04:02 where people tried to separate them from God's love,
04:04 and they could not.
04:05 For instance, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions all because
04:10 he wouldn't stop praying to God.
04:12 He refused to compromise.
04:15 The word says that he went to his favorite window, and he cast
04:18 open the shutters, and prayed where everyone could see him.
04:22 You know, it seems like, now why would he go to
04:24 all of that bother?
04:25 Wouldn't it be okay, at least during this decree time?
04:28 The decree went forth that no one could pray to anyone
04:32 but the king.
04:33 Wouldn't it be okay just to leave the window shut today?
04:35 Just to leave the bars, and the doors, and the shutters
04:39 closed, and maybe go to a little secret hiding place?
04:42 To compromise?
04:45 You'd think, why surely God wouldn't put that on him,
04:49 that he should have to do that.
04:50 I mean, after all, what if it cost him his life?
04:55 But he would not compromise his belief in God.
04:58 He was ready to give his life if necessary, and God rewarded
05:03 his faithfulness.
05:04 You see, no one could separate Daniel from the love of God.
05:09 They just couldn't do it!
05:11 They just couldn't do it.
05:12 We read in Daniel 3 a story of King Nebuchadnezzar,
05:18 who had an image of gold set up on the plain of Dura.
05:21 When the trumpets blew everyone was to bow down and worship
05:26 the image.
05:27 Everyone did except the three Hebrew children, as we always
05:34 called them: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
05:36 When the king found out that they would not bend,
05:40 they would not bow, he had them brought in before him.
05:45 He thought, I'll give these guys another chance.
05:47 They're a pretty good group of guys.
05:48 I'll give them another chance.
05:50 Do they understand the command?
05:52 I have commanded that everyone must bow to the image.
05:56 Maybe they don't understand this.
05:58 So they brought them into the court and he said, I want to
06:02 give you guys another chance.
06:03 You are supposed to bow, bend and bow, and worship this image
06:08 when the trumpet blows.
06:09 Now do you need more time to think about it?
06:12 One of them spoke up and said, King we don't need
06:15 any more time.
06:16 We will not bow.
06:18 We will not bend to your image.
06:21 And we will give our lives if necessary.
06:25 Our God is capable of keeping us safe, but if He chooses not
06:33 to, we will give our lives, they said.
06:36 We still stand for what is right regardless;
06:40 furnace or no furnace.
06:41 So the King learned a lot that day.
06:45 He learned that these three Hebrew children would not bow,
06:49 they would not bend, and they would not burn.
06:51 As he had them thrown in, the very men who threw them in the
06:56 fire fell as dead men because the furnace had been heated
07:01 so hot; seven times hotter than normal.
07:03 The guards who threw them in fell as dead men.
07:06 As they were in the process, the King stood back
07:12 and he looked inside, and he said, Didn't we throw three
07:14 men in?
07:15 I see four in there walking around, and the fourth
07:19 is like the Son of God.
07:21 So they were extracted from the furnace, and they not only did
07:25 not burn, but they didn't even smell of smoke.
07:28 Their clothes were not singed.
07:30 There was no smell on them.
07:32 So the King had to admit the God of these men was the true God,
07:39 the only God.
07:40 All because they did not bend, they would not bow,
07:44 they would not compromise, and they would not burn.
07:46 Who could separate us from the love of God?
07:50 You see the King had tried everything he had;
07:53 every pressure or tactic that there was:
07:55 facing the fiery furnace; facing a den of lions,
07:59 and he could not separate these men from the love of God.
08:04 Who can separate you from the love of God today?
08:08 Can you be separated?
08:10 That's the question.
08:11 Shall famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?
08:15 Let's look at Romans 8 again; verse 32.
08:31 You see, God who spared not His own Son, but delivered him up.
08:36 God delivered up His own Son for us all.
08:39 How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
08:44 You see, God will give us what we need, brothers and sisters.
08:49 Now not necessarily what we want, because we often want
08:52 way more than what we need.
08:55 We think we have to have a late model car, or a new car.
08:58 We have to have a new home.
09:00 You see, God doesn't promise riches.
09:03 He promises to be with us, to live with us,
09:08 to manifest Himself to us, to make His abode with us,
09:12 if we keep His commandments.
09:13 So these three Hebrew children could not be separated
09:18 from the love of God.
09:20 The God who spared not his own Son, but freely gave Christ
09:24 for us.
09:25 He will not spare anything else that we need,
09:28 brothers and sisters.
09:29 Who can separate us from the love of God?
09:33 Shall famine, nakedness, peril, the sword?
09:37 You see, if God be for us, who can be against us?
09:42 We've all heard that saying: If God be for us, who can be
09:45 against us?
09:46 Again, in Romans 8, verses 38 and 39.
10:17 You see, Paul was persuaded.
10:21 Paul was persuaded that nothing could separate us from that
10:25 love of God.
10:26 He said, I don't care what it is, I am persuaded, that
10:31 neither life, nor death, nor angels, nor principalities,
10:35 nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
10:38 nothing, he said, could separate us from the love of God.
10:41 Wow, that sounds conclusive!
10:46 We cannot be separated from His love.
10:49 It sounds impossible to be separated from the love of God.
10:55 But I want to make a statement here today.
10:58 I think it is possible.
11:01 I think it is possible to be separated from the love of God.
11:05 I do.
11:06 I believe we can be separated from His love, and I want to
11:12 explain to you how.
11:14 It's very simple.
11:16 It's very simple how we can be separated from the love of God.
11:20 It's my choice.
11:23 It's your choice.
11:24 It is my choice if I want to feel His love, or if I want to
11:28 shut it off.
11:29 It's my choice.
11:30 At any time I can just simply turn my back and walk away.
11:35 I can walk out of His charge, and out of His control,
11:37 at any time because God forces no one to be in His service.
11:43 God will save no one who doesn't want to be saved.
11:47 And although God will love us forever, we can separate
11:52 ourselves from Him.
11:54 Hundreds, and thousands, and millions have done just that.
12:00 That's why Jesus tells us in Matthew 24: 13
12:20 You see, it's not he who quits.
12:23 It's not he who gives up.
12:25 It's not he who walks away.
12:27 Not he who turns his back on God.
12:31 But it's he that endures to the end shall be saved.
12:35 Praise God!
12:36 Paul puts it another way in II Timothy 4:7-8.
13:06 You see, Paul says, I have kept the faith.
13:09 When he says, I have kept the faith, it tells me that it's
13:12 possible to not keep the faith.
13:14 It is possible to stop the race.
13:18 You know, stop this train.
13:20 Let me get off.
13:21 Paul says, I have kept the faith and henceforth there's a crown
13:26 of righteousness laid up for me.
13:28 Laid up for me, and not just me alone, he says,
13:31 all of those that have kept up the faith.
13:33 So it is possible not to keep up the faith:
13:37 To give up and to turn away; to be lost.
13:41 So you may ask then, what does the scripture mean when it
13:45 says, Who can be separated from the love of Christ?
13:48 Yes, and it gives a long list of things that can not separate us.
13:55 However, all of these things on Paul's list are outside forces.
14:01 They're all outside pressures that come in to you
14:05 that cannot separate you from God.
14:07 You see, these outside forces cannot make you bow or bend.
14:12 They cannot change your conviction.
14:14 How does that saying go, that a man changed against his will
14:19 is of the same conviction still, or something like that.
14:22 You see, we cannot be forced to deny our God.
14:26 It was tried, and it was tried again, and again.
14:30 History is full of them.
14:33 All of the martyrs from the days of the Dark Ages,
14:37 when we had people fleeing into the Alps mountains because
14:41 of persecution.
14:42 When they were thrown into the dens with the lions,
14:45 and into the arenas with lions and tigers, and soldiers
14:50 who took their lives; who just took their lives as if
14:54 there were nothing to it.
14:55 They could have gotten out of there at any time had they just
14:59 denounced God; denounced the God of their faith.
15:02 History is full of these martyrs.
15:05 The Bible is full of people who were put to the test.
15:09 Men like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
15:13 like Joseph, and Moses.
15:15 Many gave their lives, and many were spared.
15:22 The ones that were spared are called martyrs.
15:25 They were in martyrdom.
15:28 They gave their lives for the kingdom, and for God.
15:31 So you see, I say that we can pull away from God;
15:38 pull away with our relationship.
15:40 Just pull away and not have any relationship with Him
15:44 whatsoever, and we can be lost for eternity.
15:48 Millions, and millions, and multi-millions have done
15:53 just that.
15:55 Something has separated them from their love of God.
15:58 Now God is still there.
16:01 Let me say this.
16:02 God is still there and He still loves them for it says in
16:07 Jeremiah 31:3:
16:26 You see, God will never give up on us.
16:29 He has drawn us with an everlasting love.
16:33 But it is possible for us to walk away and not receive
16:37 that love.
16:38 It is possible for us to turn our backs and walk
16:43 away from Him; to not have kept that good faith
16:46 as Paul says he did.
16:48 To turn our backs and say I'm not playing this any longer.
16:53 I'm going to the world now.
16:55 It is possible to separate yourself from God's love.
17:00 Now again, no outside force can do that, but you can
17:03 do it yourself.
17:04 Many millions have done just that.
17:08 Yes, God says, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.
17:13 He will continue to love us, brothers and sisters.
17:16 He will continue to love us with an everlasting love
17:20 even though we may cease to exist.
17:24 We may have perished in the lake of fire.
17:28 He will still love us, because He will never stop loving you
17:32 and I.
17:33 That's the kind of God that we serve.
17:35 The God that would send His own Son, who spared not
17:39 His own Son, but gave Him up for me, gave Him up for you.
17:43 You see, God has one passion for this world.
17:48 One passion that Christ has for this world, and that is He has a
17:54 love for this planet that cannot be measured.
17:57 The same God that realizes what a pitiful, pitiful predicament
18:03 we are in, and the specimen that we are, what poor
18:07 Christians we have been.
18:08 If we would just look in the mirror when we get home,
18:12 and say, Lord, How can you love me?
18:13 How could you give Yourself for me?
18:16 You know what I've done, where I've been,
18:19 where I go now, maybe.
18:21 The kind of life I'm living.
18:23 You know all of that, and yet you love me anyway.
18:26 I don't understand it.
18:27 For us to comprehend John 3:16 For God so loved the world...
18:33 You see, that's not the planet.
18:35 That's not the dirt, the rocks; that's people.
18:38 For God to love the people, for God to love me,
18:41 for God to love you.
18:43 For us to comprehend that, brothers and sisters,
18:46 would take a miracle because we are the planet that's out
18:51 there that has turned away from God.
18:53 We're told in Revelation 12:12 the Devil has come down
18:57 amongst us.
18:58 He has great wrath.
19:00 He knows he has but a short time.
19:02 He's come down here to live with us, and to keep us from Jesus,
19:07 and make us to turn our backs on Him and walk away.
19:10 You can do that at any time.
19:12 God does not force Himself on any one of us.
19:16 But that passion of Christ is for the people of this planet.
19:21 He is inescapably, undeniably, immovably in love
19:26 with the people of this planet when we are so despicable
19:30 and so undeserving of that kind of love.
19:33 We don't deserve it.
19:35 For us to believe that we do, that God does love us,
19:41 would take a miracle for us to understand.
19:43 We are the planet here, brothers and sisters, where we kill our
19:48 children, we abuse our elderly, and we cheat,
19:52 and swindle, and lie, where we have one war after the next.
19:58 Yet God will not turn His back on us.
20:01 He will not give up on us.
20:03 He will never walk away from us, but we may walk away from Him
20:09 at any time.
20:10 What can separate us from the love of God?
20:14 Paul said, I am persuaded that neither death, nor life,
20:17 nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present,
20:20 nor things to come...
20:22 Nothing from the outside.
20:23 Neither height, nor depth, nor any other creature; no one else
20:29 can separate us.
20:30 They can never separate us from the love of God because He is
20:35 inescapably in love with the people of this planet.
20:38 His great passion, the passion of Christ, if you will,
20:43 is our need.
20:44 Our need is Christ's passion.
20:48 That need, that passion for us, and for our need,
20:52 is what brought Him to the cross of Calvary,
20:55 that caused Him to walk up that road, that Via del Larosa
21:00 in Jerusalem that day and carry that cross.
21:03 What a God we serve!
21:04 What a God that would come down and give His life for a planet.
21:10 We are the refuse of the universe, and yet He thinks that
21:15 we are worth saving.
21:17 What a God!
21:19 And He will not give up on us.
21:22 He will not walk away from us.
21:24 He will never turn His back on us.
21:27 He will never stop loving us.
21:30 But understand, when He does He will not force Himself on you.
21:36 He will allow you to walk away at any time.
21:39 Paul says, What can separate us from the love of Christ?
21:45 What can separate us from God?
21:50 There is nothing that can separate you and I;
21:54 nothing on the outside, nothing external.
21:57 But many people have cut Him loose and just walked away,
22:02 and will forever be lost.
22:05 We cannot be forced to turn loose of His hand.
22:11 No one can snatch us out of His grip.
22:14 Satan cannot pull us away.
22:17 We can only pull ourselves away.
22:20 How we do that is failure to get to know Him,
22:24 failure to study this word, and the message that He has
22:28 for each of us.
22:30 Study this word so that we will not be deceived.
22:34 We will not be distracted, and we will not become discouraged,
22:39 as we study this word.
22:41 So many times we turn our back and we walk away.
22:47 So many times we compromise and we say that's just not
22:51 a very big thing.
22:52 That's no big issue.
22:53 When we started our Christian growth and our walk with Him,
22:56 it seemed like we knew what was black and what was white.
23:00 Then as we keep one foot in the world, and one foot on heaven,
23:07 the blacks and the whites begin to get mixed up.
23:11 All of a sudden they're kind of rolled into one and we can't
23:14 separate the two.
23:18 And all of a sudden we are compromising what we know
23:21 to be right.
23:24 You see we don't just out and out one day say, You know
23:26 I think I'm quitting.
23:27 I'm getting off of this.
23:28 It was good yesterday, but today it's bad.
23:31 That's not the way it happens.
23:32 You see, today we build a relationship with Him,
23:36 and we walk in His will and in His way.
23:41 Then as we begin to compromise on some little bitty issue,
23:44 maybe it's not much.
23:45 With Adventists maybe it's, Well, I'm going to go eat
23:49 Sabbath dinner today in the restaurant.
23:51 I don't feel like cooking today.
23:53 We compromise on one little issue.
23:55 Then the next thing you know, well, it's okay, and we'll begin
23:58 to plan our dinners on Sabbath in the restaurant.
24:00 Do you know what I'm saying?
24:02 So we begin to compromise the truths and the values
24:06 that we have, one by one, by one, by one.
24:12 We begin to fall away.
24:14 We begin to say, Well, you know, I don't think I'll go
24:17 to church this week.
24:18 I don't think I'll go this week.
24:20 I tell yah, I've not been feeling well.
24:22 You know, this or that comes up and I just don't think
24:25 I'll go today.
24:26 We begin to compromise.
24:29 We begin to rationalize in our minds, and we begin
24:33 to compromise.
24:34 All of a sudden what used to be black is no longer black.
24:37 What used to be white is no longer white.
24:40 They just kind of joined together and made grey.
24:43 We begin to make all kinds of excuses for what we do;
24:48 for the way we live.
24:50 And all of the time we're turning our back to God.
24:55 We're saying, God I choose no longer to follow You.
24:58 We turn our backs and we begin to walk away.
25:01 All of a sudden we begin to lose that feeling of, God loves me.
25:08 We can no longer feel it again.
25:10 It's gone.
25:11 You see, God is still there, and He still reaches out,
25:15 No matter what we've done or where we've been, what kind of
25:19 lives we've lived, He still reaches out and He calls
25:22 us to Him.
25:23 I hope you're feeling that call today.
25:27 I hope you feel that call of God in your life and you are
25:30 surrendering to Him.
25:32 God, I want You to remember me when You come back.
25:35 I want to go to heaven with You.
25:37 I want to be there on that resurrection morning.
25:42 If He has laid me to rest I want to come up out of that ground
25:45 and meet you in the clouds.
25:47 Lord may we be faithful.
25:50 May we not turn our backs on You, Father,
25:52 because I know we can and millions have done it.
25:56 You see, we do not have the security of salvation
26:00 within ourselves.
26:01 It's only as we base it upon Christ and His merits,
26:06 and as we turn our lives over to Him that we will ever make it
26:12 to heaven.
26:13 Jesus gives a simple illustration, a little story
26:17 of the kingdom of heaven, in Matthew 13:44.
26:22 We're not going to look at it.
26:23 I'm just going to tell you about it.
26:24 There He says that a man finds a treasure buried in a field.
26:27 He goes out and finds it, and he digs it up, and he sees
26:30 what it is.
26:31 He covers it back over and he goes into town.
26:35 This is my illustration.
26:38 He buys that piece of property because he knows there's
26:41 a hidden treasure there.
26:42 Jesus says the Kingdom of God is a hidden treasure in a field.
26:47 When a man finds this hidden treasure he goes and he sells
26:52 all that he has, and he comes back and he lays it down,
26:57 and he buys this piece of property because it contains
27:01 a treasure.
27:02 Ellen White says that Jesus Christ is that treasure.
27:05 He's that pearl of great price.
27:07 We must surrender our hearts to Him and give Him all that we
27:12 are and all that we ever hope to be.
27:14 Praise God, He will accept us as we are, but He loves us
27:20 too much to leave us there.
27:22 Heavenly Father, again I ask Your Holy Spirit to go with us.
27:26 Again Father for Your Holy Spirit to work in our lives that
27:29 we might be brought closer to the throne of grace every day.
27:33 In Jesus' name, Amen.
27:35 I pray the Father will keep you strong, and will keep you
27:39 in the word.
27:40 Stay in the word that you be not deceived.
27:44 Compare everything with scripture.
27:46 Jesus will hold us up before the Father.
27:50 He will pray for us.
27:52 May God bless each one of you out there today, in Jesus' name.