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Not Shaken

09.23.18 Nathaniel Wall

  1. The Picture of Godly Leadership
    10.14.18 40m 57s
  2. Strengthening Your Faith
    10.07.18 36m 40s
  3. Loving the Kingdom Mess
    09.30.18 43m 15s
  4. Not Shaken
    09.23.18 40m 45s
  5. What is Zion?
    09.16.18 44m 01s
  6. Audience of One
    09.09.18 43m 25s
  7. The “D” Word
    09.02.18 37m 48s
  8. Running the Race
    08.26.18 37m 53s
  9. Small Faith, Big God
    08.19.18 39m 55s
  10. Who In The World Is David Brainerd?
    08.12.18 47m 14s
  11. Shadow Made Perfect
    08.05.18 37m 12s
  12. What Do You Do With Temples?
    07.29.18 43m 35s
  13. A Better Covenant
    07.22.18 39m 00s
  14. Why Melchizedek Matters
    07.15.18 39m 20s
  15. Don’t Be a Pushover or a Bulldozer
    07.08.18 47m 04s
  16. Grace and Priest
    07.01.18 47m 58s
  17. Finding Sabbath Rest
    06.24.18 37m 16s
  18. The Cure for a Calloused Heart
    06.17.18 45m 04s
  19. Don’t Be a Drifter
    06.10.18 46m 44s
  20. Warrior King
    06.03.18 47m 55s
  21. Where Can I Hear From God?
    05.27.18 48m 22s

Not Shaken

09.23.18 Nathaniel Wall Greater Series

Hebrews Chapter 12. Last week, I started this idea of this theme of being a little transparent in how God is working in our lives and I even said something to the effect of we try to just keep an open, transparent presentation here as a church. We try to do things intentionally. There’s no question you can’t ask, there’s nothing that really, I don’t think is personal. We pretty much put it out there as a church.

You want to know what we take in as an offering? That’s published, like we’re not secretive about things here and so we were very intentional, we want everyone to feel comfortable. Just ask questions as why we do things the way we do things, asking questions as how we learn and grow. In that said, anything, anything personally. You want to ask me how much money I make or what … anything like that. Just ask me.

Then I found out in every group, there’s always one jokester, right? So I’ll tell you one question I will not answer now, and that is what color is my underwear, all right? Spoiler for everybody else but it’s funny. That’s still true and starting there is really where Hebrews continues with us. We’re talking about if you’ve been with us in this chapter, what it looks like to not run that race in light of who God is. I was going to make this comparison between the shakable and the unshakable.

I think about each of us and how God wants to move in your heart to be a light in this world. He wants to transform you from the inside out and as he transforms you, transforms the world around you, transforms the relationships that you have. That’s what we say in our church, our desire is for everyone to experience a transformation in Jesus that transforms your relationships for Jesus because we know when Jesus does something in us, it doesn’t stop there and we want to experience that goodness.

When we gather, we worship, we sing, we pray, we have different ministers that happen here in the church. When we open God’s word, this is all us seeking God in a desire for him to transform our lives. While God desires to moving to work in his kingdom according to his will, there are things in life that shake us. When we think about what a human being needs, that’s not always a stain in society but to dream and to move forward.

Hope, security, stability, acceptance, a place to belong, a place to trust. I think those things are important for us to be able to move forward. When you think about running a race, those types of words provide environments where the scenario is conducive for health and I hope for us, ABC becomes a place like that where if you walk into a church for the first time, you need a place to belong in order to learn what to believe and we want this to be a place where you can ask questions, learn, grow, a place to know what it means to follow God and to hear from his word.

None of us are unfamiliar with the fact that life can shake us. To demonstrate how life can shake us, Hebrews Chapter 12 talks about running this race before us. We didn’t it’s going to explain how God has worked with a people group and taken them from an environment that was very much shaking the world around them. It starts this illustration of the Hebrew people, after all, this is the book of Hebrews, right? So it’s giving them a place of familiarity to see how God had worked in their life to recognize how God wants to work in the lives of people at this time when this passage is written.

So it goes, back in the Jewish history to make the application to us today and so that’s what we’re going to look at is is how God has worked in the past and recognize it’s the same God that wants to work in our lives today. So Hebrews Chapter 12, he starts with these people group that taken out of a life of slavery. Could you imagine trying to get a foothold of life after being a slave in Egypt attempting to start over?

Some of these individuals, they’re not spring chickens anymore and trying to take those steps forward and you see this God rescuing them from out of slavery and then he takes them to the Red Sea and they think that they’re about to be killed by pharaoh’s army and God parts the sea, they walk across and then God takes them to Sinai … Mt. Sinai and he reveals himself and he’s leading his people to a place of promise, a place of hope, a place of security and acceptance in him as he reveals himself to these people.

They’ve come out of a lifestyle of idolatry and worshipping these false gods. God comes in with his plagues and he … to show these gods aren’t real, demonstrating himself as the one true God, inviting them to a place to belong, to a city, that’s where he compares it to. We saw last week in Verse 22 that it was in fact that city that he brought them to in Verse 22, it says, “But you have to Mt. Zion and to the city of the living God.”

You know what’s interesting is you look at the context of this passage is it begins to talk about this city the Jewish mind would resonate with. Yes, that’s what that’s been to us, that’s what that’s represented. That’s where the temple is, that’s where God’s presence is but God’s ultimate solution for them was not just this provision. Does that make sense? So God gives this provision for the Jewish people but it’s only a shadow. It’s not the ultimate solution, rather, it points to the ultimate solution.

In our lives, we experience I think the life-shaking around us when we look to things as if they are the solution, not simply a provision and we trust in those things and when they’re taken from us, it rocks our world. For the Jews, the idea of a city was significant, not just for them but the culture at this time, to be in a fortified city, it was a place that people long for. It was a place of protection when in this time period, the local leadership is what served to protect the people and so they would build these cities, they would place up these walls in order to fortify a location to create not just protection but also within those walls, they develop identity and culture.

So this is a significant place for the Jews in which it shaped all of the civilization as it expanded outside of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the hub of this identity, and here they are searching from brokenness to belonging, to experiencing this peace that God has provided and the fulfillment and what he brings to them. As you think about the book of Hebrews as it’s written in this time period, the first century, the Jews again are facing hardship. In the context of first century, Israel, the Romans are starting to build momentum against the Jewish people and if Hebrews is written before 70 A.D., the writing really is on the wall.

I think if the Apostle Paul wrote it and being in Rome, he knows the flavor of the political environment that’s existing here and so if this is written before 70 A.D., he knows that something is going to come against the Jewish people if it hasn’t already because by 70 A.D., Jerusalem is about to be smashed. The city of hope is about to be shaken and destroyed and the Jews are left with the same questions as in Egypt, what would we trust in and did God fail us?

In the destruction of physical Jerusalem, God is showing up one final point related to himself here in this context of the story, starting to teach us something significant about what this city represents and the city isn’t what you trust in but a place rather where you trust. The greater hope is what they trust. Throughout the Book of Hebrews, you’ve seen Jesus on display for us and the significance of who he is. Jesus is presented as prophet and priest and king and sacrifice and law and temple and Sabbath, all beautiful pictures, very illustrative of Jewish culture and way of thinking.

But now, he’s about to take one final illustration for us and the significance of who Jesus is and I got to tell you that all the illustrations we’ve looked at, I have appreciated them all. It’s so beautiful to look at a scripture and how God paints these shadows in the Old Testament only to fulfill himself, be the fulfillment of that in the New Testament because it’s showing us the significance of Jesus and all things, [inaudible 00:09:20] Christ in our lives and how important it is to cling to him and everything.

In all of those illustrations, by far, I think my favorite is this final one. It’s talking about earthly Zion. What made earthly Zion is the presence of God dwell here. Now, in the midst of, if talking about this earthly Zion where God called his people, reminded in this text, the way it was perceived is that God in the Old Covenant directs them to this place, he reveals himself in this place but now in the New Testament, he’s bringing about the New Covenant where we learn about a better place.

This New Covenant now delivers us not just physical Zion, but look at the rest of this verse, but you have come to Mt. Zion and to the city of the living God and the Jews would resonate. Yes. Yes, that’s what that city is representing but then he goes on to elaborate further than just an earthly picture, he says, “The heavenly Jerusalem”, so myriads of angels to the general assembly in the church of the first born who are enrolled in heaven and God, the judge of all into the spirit of the righteously perfect, into Jesus the mediator of this New Covenant.

So he’s showing us, look, physical Jerusalem was only a picture. It was a provision but it wasn’t the ultimate solution. The ultimate solution comes in Christ who is the mediator of the New Covenant so when you think about what the picture of physical Jerusalem is, it’s only a shadow of what Jesus would ultimately bring for us in Zion. He is Zion. It was a picture of a greater hope. At the end of this verse, it says, “A myriad of angels”. I love the way some translations bring this up.

If you have, I think the NIV or the ESV translation, it will say, it’s an angels in festive or festival gatherings, literally as angels in party clothes. That’s where you’ve been invited. I have no idea what that’s going to look like but it’s a party time with the angels. That’s what it’s saying when it’s describing Zion. So when we’re thinking about this picture in the Jews, they’re very much geopolitical, like when the messiah came, they missed the messiah because what they expected of this messiah was this earthly ring where the Jewish people would physically dominate all other civilizations. This is our messiah, our leader, our king.

When he was crucified, they didn’t know what to do with that but the reason is picture Zion as such a beautiful, significant picture I think for all of us because when you think of the shadows of the Old Testament revealed in the New Testament, it’s very specific to Jewish culture and so when you understand the Jewish culture, it just comes to life, those ideas of the lamb of God and the temple and the Sabbath and the prophet and the priest and the king, all of those in Jewish context, beautiful.

But the word kingdom is something that resonates and transcends beyond just one particular group. In fact, when you find the idea of kingdom told in scripture, it is for me, the most beautiful way I like to understand the gospel. There are different ways in the Bible that you can share the gospel with people but by far, my favorite is the concept of kingdom because when you’re reading the Book of Genesis, in the very first few chapters, God creates, right? For seven days, he creates but on the seventh day, it tells us, and he rests.

The illustration for us in that story is that the king is done with his creative work and now, he’s sitting up on his throne ruling and reigning. What happens in the story then is that man rebels and rather than embrace God as king, they call themselves king, determining right from wrong and men, Adam and Eve run away from God and God pursues them.

This kingdom was running amok from the king who they belong to. They have committed treason and this king in his moments, by his own authority and this, the creative work that’s intended to belong to him has every right to just slaughter it all and start over, yet, his love and grace pursues. So the point that he becomes flesh and lives on his world, in Mark 1:15, when Jesus for the very first time in that gospel, “And Jesus opens his mouth and he begins to speak”, the very first pronouncement he says is, “Behold. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe”, which is turn from the kingdoms in which you have trusted and the things that are shakable in this world and turn to what is unshakable.

So calling back to the king by the grace he’s about to deliver for us in the cross. Then when you read at the end of scripture in the Book of Revelation 21:3, it says this, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, look, God’s dwelling place is now among the people and he will dwell with him and they will be as people and God himself will be with them and be their God.” All civilizations resonate with the idea of kingdom, a place to belong, a place of hope, a place to trust, a place for peace. Our soul craves that.

I think as human beings, that’s the reason we like to go on vacation. I could just get away for a little bit, right? My soul needs this. Something new, a little change, find some rest, you got kids, you know that your thought of that never works out, right?

Exactly.

No such thing as vacation with children, nor adventures, but your soul is created for that. We long for it. It’s in your DNA, right? I think it’s why it’s important for us as people. We need to find a tribe in which to learn with, a community that aspires to what my soul is craving in life and Jesus has, throughout the scripture, painted this picture of places for us. He’s created this church as a representation of this kingdom but ultimately, all fulfilled within himself. In Hebrews 12, the Jews are wavering because life was shaking them and we aren’t different from the Jews. Life shakes us.

Sometimes, we place our hope in idols and we think about this phrase and in Hebrews, let me show you this real quick. In Hebrews 12:28, this is where he’s going to on all this. Therefore, since we have received the kingdom which cannot be shaken. When we think about the kingdom which cannot be shaken, I think it forces us to think about the things which are shakable that we cling to. If Satan could do one thing in our lives right now, he wants to shake you from the unshakable.

In our hearts, when we start to trust in things that God never intended, maybe good things in fact but God never intended for them to be God things, idols. We move ourselves from the unshakable to the shakable talking about the shakable is a place for us to consider the vulnerability of who we are as people and what we really hope in. Do we have idols? How do I know? I heard Tim Keller say it like this. “If you’re overworking to achieve something, you have an idol.”

If it feels threatened and you’re living in fear, then it’s pointing to idolatry. You get angry if something blocks you from what you care about, it’s a symbol of an idol. If you lose whatever it is that you’re thinking of that is so important and it puts you in a place of despair, you’re in danger of holding it up as an idol. Shakable. There’s, not only in our heart the things that we cling to in idolatry of which are shakable that can rock our worlds but sometimes, life just happens to us and it shakes us.

You think about the things that we encounter as human beings that rock us at our core or whether it be cancer or some sort of addiction or divorce or a wreck or a job loss, a relationship pain or even tough experiences within the context of a community like our community or at church. Shakable. Moving us from the unshakable, right? We think about our humanity in light of this unshakable kingdom.

I think our fragile nature becomes important in all of this, just recognizing that because my fragile nature reminds me I am not God, right, but it helps me discover the one who is. I think our frailty becomes the avenue by which we discover God and his power. That’s what Sinai was about in the story when you read in Hebrews 12:18, that God takes them to this mountain and there’s this blazing fire of smoke and trumpet blast and they don’t want to approach it because it was a reminder to them of their own frailty before a holy God.

To be honest, when I think about this unshakable kingdom in comparison to us as people, I think people are hungry to know how to move forward in life. I think Jesus wants us to lead from our weakness. When you look at people that look like they have it altogether in their perfection of life, like to some degree, it seems like they’re a little unapproachable like I can’t relate to that person. I don’t want to be, but over here in this brokenness where these people roll and reel and they’re moving forward, that’s where I feel like I can run with them because I relate better to that because when I look at what my life is, there are pieces behind me that need put together or maybe in me and that’s what the gospel is.

That is what Jesus is communicating here by his unshakable kingdom. That is what the gospel pronounces to us. In fact, because if you were to look at 1 John Chapter 1, listen to this, in Verse 9, it says this. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We love that verse as Christians. We just like, we will put that … we’ll get it tattooed. That’s a good one. If we confess, he forgives me. That’s great. I love that, but if you read it, if you just back up just a few verses in this and just put it in this context, right?

When you read that verse in this context, it’s not talking about just you and Jesus, it’s talking about us and Jesus and community together so it says this. This message we have heard from him and announced to you that God is light and there’s no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth but if we walk in the light, sees in the light, we have, look, fellowship with one another.

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sins. It’s all, this whole chapter. It’s in the context of community, in the midst of our shakable nature, looking to the unshakableness that is in Christ himself. How do we move forward? How do we lead in our weakness? Apart from the gospel, guys, I don’t think we can. What I’m saying though is look, if we take Jesus this morning, I’m not saying take Jesus and everything and life goes hunky-dory from here on out, it’s all a bed of roses for you.

What I’m saying is when we take Jesus, the gospel shapes us every day. I move forward in the midst of the brokenness of me as a human being. Hey, here’s a newsflash. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t want up with a harp in hand singing Chris Tomlin songs, right? It’s pursuit of Jesus. In the midst of my frailty as a human being, understanding how this unshakable kingdom transforms me. We talked about the gospel is really the only cure for our society but when you think about this in regards to the human condition and the shakable nature of our lives, like we talk about big, big issues in our culture today that we like to bring forward like Me Too Movement and racism and respect to those that serve our country and all those come together.

Even people that they look at this, think they’re all good, they’re even fighting amongst each other I think over what’s more important but all of it is. But I tell you, if those things aren’t rooted in the gospel, to fight for those topics, they’re just a flash in the pin because the gospel defines who we are. It shapes us every day. You think what makes racism wrong? Unless it’s rooted in the gospel, I don’t really think there’s a long-term answer in it.

It’s wrong because you say it’s wrong. Why? What basis do you argue that from? Why should you honor and respect people? Why don’t make life about yourself and who cares about anyone else? Why not get it for you, man? Live for your own kingdom? What makes that wrong and what rescues you from that type of thinking and the idolatry of greed and power and sexuality and sensuality? What rescues from that?

Are young ladies taken advantage of? How do you build them up to help them see that that environment is not where God calls them? That’s the gospel. How do you function healthy in marital relationship or raising your children as the gospel? Look, in all of this, when we think about racism, you’re created in the image of God and God’s worth, value and meaning is on you. God created all people groups, right? So the gospel helps define the significance of who we are as human beings.

We think in concept of kingdom, this king created us all. We ran away from him, he pursued us, he gave his life for us. That communicates the significance of who I am so much so that if you think in context of Me Too Movement, it values the identity of women created in the image of God, that no one should be able to put your hand … their hands on you. You’re an image where no one should rip that off of you. What about marriage? How do you pursue it?

If you think in context of Ephesians Chapter 5 where it says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her.” Jesus died for my wife. Jesus died for my wife even when she does something that I don’t like, which I do that way more than she does but Jesus still loved her in that. In that context, what it says is, “As Christ loves her, he makes her more and more beautiful.” That’s what Ephesians Chapter 5 is.

And because Jesus died for her, Jesus cared for her, Jesus gave his life for her, Jesus then calls me to be a representative of Christ in her life and so when I live my life in context of family and relationship to her, what I do in serving her is to help her live life to the way God has called her to live, to make her and love her in such a way she becomes more lovable in that. Jesus died for her and Jesus loves her and so my worship to God is seen in the way I care about her. It’s the gospel. Christ died to make her new I represent Jesus in my home in the way that I honor and respect this by anything she does or does not do is a demonstration of Jesus in the gospel in her life.

How do we move forward when life shakes us? It’s seen in the gospel. It goes on from here. I need to move a little bit faster. The kingdom allows us to be open in our brokenness, guys. That’s why he’s presenting it as shakable here is because he understands that everything in life that we might hope and trust in, it is shakable and so Jesus, being the unshakable, this kingdom needs experience in a very real way to say to people as we think about 1 John, like my life is only the way it is because of who Christ is and if I fail, it’s because I’m walking away from Jesus but when I made new and I have any success in what I’m doing at all, it’s because of what Jesus is doing in me.

Sinai in Hebrews Chapter 12 remind us of something significant in all this. We look at this and we think about the shakable kingdom or the unshakable kingdom versus what is shakable in our kingdoms. How do we know that Jesus can really deliver in everything that he promises? Can I tell you, if you haven’t related to anything I’ve said at all with regards to life and how it can shake us, can I tell you one way, all of us connect to the shakable? One battle that reminds us all that we are weak? It’s death. There is one battle in our lives that none of us can conquer. Death.

In Hebrews Chapter 12, it told us in Verse 20 and 21, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned and so terrible was the sight that Moses said, I am full of fear and trembling. When God brought them to Sinai, while he was bringing them to a place of promise and hope into them, he’s reminding them of their own frailty and why they need this kingdom, that death is a very real thing that all of us will encounter.” All of us face death and we need a kingdom that’s unshakable.

We think about this kingdom that’s represented, Jesus becomes a celebration of all it because Jesus overcame death. In fact, in 1 Corinthians 15:5, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” And it goes on to celebrate how Jesus is the victory of over all of that. Jesus overcame the grave. So in Hebrews 12:25-27, it begins to show us how the power of Jesus is represented in his victory over death. If Jesus can defeat death, nothing can hold him back. So it talks about this unshakable kingdom.

It shows the power in his presence and the victory over death is, as described here in, look in Verse 25, see to it that you do not refuse in who is speaking for if those who did not escape when they refused him, who warned them on the earth much less will we escape, we turn away from him who warns from heaven and his voice shook the earth but now he has promised saying, “Yet once more, I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The expression yet once more denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken as of created things or that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. What in the world is he talking about, right?

He’s shown his authority over all things. Jesus conquers death and now establishes himself as king over all kingdoms. Every kingdom will pass away because every kingdom faces death but not Jesus. He has the power over all, a consuming power. In fact in Verse 29 of this chapter, it says, “God is a consuming fire”. So what does this mean for us, because when you read the passage like this, it looks a little intimidating, right, that God would present himself in this way but what is working here is the idea of two attributes in God. Those attributes are love and wrath.

In Christianity, we have a hard time viewing God as being a good God with a concept of wrath and the reason is because we often attach wrath to what we experience in human relationships, like they’re they go flying off the handle again. Everyone get out of their way, here’s come the wrath. God’s wrath doesn’t work like that because God’s wrath is just. What it’s saying though is I think Tim Keller said it well when he quoted this way, “The Bible insists that God is not only a God of love and wrath, not only do these things … these two things not conflict with each other in I think American Christianity. We have a hard time seeing this but not only do they not conflict with each other but they actually establish each other.

One without the other is nonsense. One without the other is meaningless. If you actually try to somehow extract, remove surgically, excise the Christian method of the wrath in judgment of God, what you actually have is nothing left at all. Let me explain. American culture, we like our love God, right? Eastern cultures, they like wrath God but both of these become important. Wrath or justice without love means you can never get near God. He’s too holy. Love without his just wrath means God lacks the power to do anything to really help you. He just words of flattery.

I read a meme once when the hurricane hit Texas last year where it said, “The first truckload of thoughts and prayers has traveled to Texas”, and then it showed the back of a truck opening up and it just said the words, thoughts and prayers in the back and then that was it. Christians are really good at that when bad things happen. We should pray for people but, thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers all the time, but at some point, you got to get off your rear end and do something and help somebody out, right?

Thoughts and prayers are great but God also works in you through those prayers to then go do something, right? If God just says, “I love you guys. I love you. I love you.” Yeah, but God, you call me to belong. Don’t you care about what’s happening? The wrath of God is the justice of God that demonstrates and not only does he use words of love but hand of love and eradicating the sin which rocks our world in a kingdom that is secure. So those that rest in Jesus, the wrath of God becomes a very place of protection because it’s where the justice of God is delivered, through the love of God that is promised.

In him, that is where your soul finds peace. Don’t you care? The cross of Christ cries to us as people. I am sinful and therefore, God’s wrath is poured out on Christ but the cross of Christ also cries out. I am incredibly loved and therefore, the grace of God is poured out on the cross. Wrath and justice and the love of God is where we begin to understand the glory of his kingdom.

You read in the Book of Romans, in this passage, let me refer to this passage one more time. In Romans Chapter 12, it tells us … Here we go. Romans Chapter 12, what is describing this as kingdom. God is coming in and he’s melting everything that is shakable. He’s eradicating the shakable kingdom to pace in the unshakable in him. 2 Peter Chapter 3 talks about the consuming of God where he melts the world and the heavens by his power.

When you think about this picture, I think it’s a beautiful picture in the Book of Romans because Romans Chapter 8, it says this in Verse 18, “For I consider the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is revealed to us. For the anxious longing of creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the son of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly but because of him subjected that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to grow up into the freedom, the glory of the children of God, for know that the whole of creation grooms and suffers the pains of childbirth until now.”

What’s this saying? Humanity is not the only thing that’s in existence that fills the suffering of sin, the pain of the shakable that all of creation grows looking for what? God to renew the kingdom. When Jesus recreates the heavens and the earth, I love this picture in the scripture. He doesn’t obliterate it, he doesn’t destroy it. God is not in a business. He didn’t do it with you. He takes what’s dead in us and he makes it alive in him.

When God thinks about future kingdom in his presence, new heaven and new earth, he doesn’t obliterate it all, he melts down the shakable and he renews it to the unshakable of his kingdom. God’s story of redemption told in all of creation. A beautiful picture of the gospel, even when he created things in this world, when we look at this world, it provokes us to worship but to think that even this world is still under the hand of curse … of cursing, how beautiful it would be when God redeems it all because of the gospel.

So he calls us in Verse 28 and 29 to worship. I’ve put it in here but it says in this last few verses of Hebrews 12:28 and the response for all of us is, therefore since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, which when we offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and all, the response within our hearts is worship. To the Jews, they thought … in the city, geopolitical power, it’s not in shakes, it’s only a shadow of Jesus. For us today, guys, the world looks for a place to find peace and it’s not and how well we step forward in our strength but it’s in him who shapes us in this kingdom to be real with the struggles that we face and how Christ can renew us to discover what it means to walk in this gospel every day.

Second century Rome, there was a lady at the end of second century named Perpetua and she ended up … In the beginning of third century in 203 A.D., she became a martyr. She became a martyr with five other Christians at this time, the Emperor Severus was the emperor, he wanted to eradicate Christianity, he was one of several emperors who persecuted Christians and this lady became a new believer and was following after Christ and she was getting ready to be baptized when the Roman leaders came and captured her and the four other people that were with her.

Her pagan father, we have this illustrated in history, even tried to get her to convert back and deny Christ. She was a mother. She was actually recorded in history, she was still breastfeeding her infant. She was a new mother and she refused to deny the unshakableness of Christ to the point that she said this, “For you may be sure that we are not left to ourselves but are all in his power.” They ended up taking her into the Roman colosseums along with the other Christians and the first thing they unleashed was a wild hog that ran through them and the crowd knocked her to the ground and she gets back up and history records that she helped another believer up to the … off the ground that was knocked down by this animal as well.

Augustan and the preaching force determines about her martyrdom but after the hog ran through them a few times, they then let a leopard out. Leopard ran into them and began to just gnaw at these people and so much so, history records that their clothing is just ripped and torn and bloodied from top to bottom. Then the crowd became bored so they began to cheer for their death and during this time, the political leader that would be present would give the vote as to what to do, live or die with the individuals and he gives a vote for the people to be killed and in walks Roman leaders or Roman soldiers with swords and they line them all up and they execute them before the crowd that goes wild.

Perpetua wasn’t the only Christian that it’s happened to but I think they continue to stand for Jesus and his unshakable kingdom. What was the result to this world? Today, if you were to go to the Roman colosseum, Roman colosseums were destroyed and gone or the civilization I should say, colosseum still stands but if you were to go to the gate where the political leader would stand, most often, it would be the emperor. Old Rome is gone. There is a cross today that stands at the entrance to the emperor’s gate in the Roman colosseum.

What does it cry out? That life may shake us. Our kingdom is unshakable. What Jesus can do in us, the power of this gospel is real so this passage calls us to run, run for the hope that you have in Christ, run as a demonstration to the world, the hope that we could all have in Jesus because this kingdom is where he calls us to belong.