Bad Boys - Father Abraham

Even Good Men Can Be Bad. Is There Hope?

James Greer
Jun 7, 2020    31m
Even good men can be bad. How do we hope for the future when we realize all men can be corrupt? In this sermon Pastor James teaches us about Abraham and how God calls us all. Knowing that all men can be bad allows us to not let our mistakes keep us from answering this call. God is always good and His good will outweigh our bad if we let it. Video recorded at Pineville, Louisiana.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

James Greer (00:00):
It's good to see so many people here. Amen? I love preaching to people. You all understand some of them. If you feel comfortable, please keep your mask on. And this is the first Sunday. If you want to, you can take them off. However you feel most comfortable.

James Greer (00:07):
Man, the George Floyd is a tragedy and it is on and on. And you don't know how to deal with it. I'm not going to go into a detail, but I did just do a personal testimony on Facebook. If you want to know. And like I said, we can't understand. I know so many people say they go up to somebody or a black male and say, I understand what you're going through. No, I don't. I don't understand what you're going through. I know what people mean. And they want to empathize and understand and that's okay. I mean, I can remember when our granddaughter passed away. Everybody would come up and say, man, I know how you feel. I was thinking, no you don't. And so we pray for peace and we want to go forward. But like I said, the testimonies are on Facebook if you want to see it.

James Greer (01:16):
Listen, our new series is bad boys. And we got a church full of them. Bad boys, bad boys, what you going to do when the Lord comes for you? Amen? How many people think we got a lot of bad boys at Journey Church? And the bad boy today is going to be bad boy, Abraham. And before I forget if you all saw Mara and Abby up here with the young ones, this will be their last Sunday for a while. They're going off to camp and we are going to miss them. And then Abby's going off to college. And man, she's like a second granddaughter. We're going to miss her. Tell her we appreciate her. Amen? Well point number one I want you to get is Abraham was willing to answer God's call. And so should you. And it starts out in Genesis 12:1, and this is how it goes. Now the Lord had said to Abraham, God's going to call you. God's probably already called most of you. And what I want to know is when the Lord calls you, what you're going to do? And he said, get out of your country from your family and from your father's house to a land, which I'll show you.

James Greer (02:12):
You do understand. Anyway, men, when you get married, God says, you're going to leave your father and mother and cleave to your why. So now God was calling Abraham to this unbelievable ministry. And he said, you're going to have to leave. And when God calls you, it's usually uncomfortable at first. You're uncomfortable. It's not normal. It's abnormal. It can be very emotional at the same time. Exciting. It can be scary. It can be easy for me. I need confirmation. Not confirmation for me came from my wife. But let me tell you that when God calls you, he will equip you whatever it is when God calls you, he look with him. It's not, let me, let me give you a very important insight, whether you're online or whether you're watching, but especially if you're a Journey Church member. If you're a Journey Church member, every member is a minister.

James Greer (03:07):
Now see, when I was young, when I was going to church early, I didn't think that I said the preacher and the staff dare the ministers. That's a false teaching. Every member is a what minister. Amen? Now you might not be preaching, but you have a ministry and you need to answer that calling. So what's going to do in Lord calls you. Or what you're going to do with the calling God's already laid on you? And there's basically six callings that have to have in a church. There's more, there's more gifts, but there's six callings that have to take place. You have to have a prophet or a preacher, teacher. You have to have servants, and they're they help fulfill the responsibilities and they serve others. You've got to have teachers. You've got to have givers, generous givers to help supply the finance. You've got to have organizers. Thank God for those that organize. That's not my calling. Hey man. I know it. Hey man. And so anybody's ever worked with me or for me, they know that that's not it. I can't even organize my car. I mean, I've got stuff everywhere. My wife gets in there and she said, how in the world, can you drive? Like I said, I like it. She said, but it drives everybody else crazy. Let's go in your car. I don't know. But anyway. And so it's a prophet, a servant, a giver, an organizer. And then you have to have the gift of mercy. Thank God we have some, I don't have a lot of it, but we have people in our ministry that do. You've got to have those gifts. And God has given you one of those gifts. Answer his calling.

James Greer (04:06):
Point number two, answering God's calling will be one of the greatest blessings you ever have in your life. Genesis chapter verse two says this. I will make you a great nation. That's a pretty good calling. Amen? I will bless you and make you a great and make your name great. And you shall be a blessing. I'm going to tell you. See, when you answer God's calling God blesses you. So you can be a blessing. Abraham. At this time, he had become a bad boy in a good way. He's answering God's calling. He's stepping out in faith.

James Greer (04:51):
Verse three is so good. It says, I'll bless those who bless you and I'll curse those who curse you, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Did you know one of the blessings of God when you're a Christian, when you're walking with God. God says, Hey, guess what? I'm going to bless those that bless you and I'm a curse those that curse you.

James Greer (05:44):
Did you know, I've seen that over and over and over in time. See we as Gentiles because of what Christ did, we got the privilege of having Abraham's blessing. And I've seen this over and over. The people that I've worked with and the people that's been in the ministry with me, and I serve with me and I've seen God blessed them. Just because we're all serving together. And man excites me when I see them blessed. And I've seen people that have tried to curse me and I've seen God take care of them. I mean, I know it's evident that God can do that. Because Galatians three says this. It says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Having become a curse for us. Then he says, listen, why that the blessings of Abraham might come on the Gentiles. Man, I want those blessings. Amen? So, you can let God defend you at this point and you can let God bless you if you'll allow it.

James Greer (06:29):
Third, your calling can come when you're young. There's a lot of young people that we have see that God's calling on them already. They know what they're going to do. They say God's already call me. Uh, you know, uh, God can call you when you're older, but God's calling is sure. See, I believe every person has a calling from God. I didn't say everybody accepts it. Everybody's called. Verse four said, you know that. So, Abraham departed as the Lord had spoken to him. He's answering his calling. Look at this, Lot went with him. Abraham was 75 years old. How old was Abraham when God called him and he left? 75, good age. I like that. Because I'm not there yet. Abraham is finally older than me. I found somebody in the Bible that's finally called older than me.

James Greer (07:31):
Anyways, when he departed from Harran, look what happened this. So, first of all, he was 75 and he took his wife, Sarah. He took Lot, his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered. And the people whom they had acquired while in Harran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So, they came to the land of Canaan. Now, what I really like about that is, I hear all the time, people don't want to answer God's calling because of everything they're going to have to leave behind. I don't know. Didn't look like he left too much behind to me. He took his most valuable things in the world. He took his wife, took his nephew Lot. He took all his possessions and all that he had acquired. I mean, not what God wanted was his heart, but God could also use his possessions. See, you can never out give God.

James Greer (08:30):
Forth, with the blessings comes great temptations though. People don't understand the more God uses you, you will be tempted. I used to think the preachers. I used to think they weren't tempted and they just had it all together. That's not true. No, I don't have it together. That's why our logo is I mess up, you mess up, we all mess up. And that's why we've got a church full of mess ups. Amen? But, Genesis 12:10. You're not going to believe this gets to be kind of bad. Abraham. Now you can be bad, like on the good sense. I mean, anybody that starts having kids at a hundred years old, he's a bad motor scooter. Amen? Now this is bad. On the other side, Genesis 12:10.

James Greer (09:26):
Now there was a famine in the land and Abraham, he went down to Egypt to dwell there for the famine was severe in the land. Okay, good. Now guess what? And it came to pass when he was close to entering Egypt that he said to Sarah, his wife, indeed. I know that you're a woman of beautiful countenance. He said, honey, you're just some good looking woman. You're beautiful. Another one of his blessed is, God gave him a beautiful wife. I know, I know I'm married way above my means. And I know a lot of other people that did it too. Anyway, I know a bunch of them that did. I won't look at anybody else.

James Greer (10:12):
Verse 12, therefore it will happen, when that Egyptians see you, listen to this, they will say this is his wife. No kidding, but they will want to kill me. But, they're going to let you live. Now Abraham, he started worrying about what he is. God had just told him anybody that messes with you, I'll protect you and anybody that curses you, I'll curse them. But, see the wrong fears are always fatal. One of the ways you can say fear. Fears really just not taking God at his word. God tells you something. You just don't believe it. So, you've got fear. God had promised him. I'll take care of you, but Abraham's getting to be the bad boy in the wrong way. We have to remember though, in one sense, that Abraham was still kind of new in his calling.

James Greer (11:07):
He was kind of short in his faith. When you're short on your faith, it brings fear. It's much easier to live out your faith when everything's going great. Isn't it. But when you're having, like so many of our members are struggling with cancer, and sickness and heartache, it's hard to live out your faith. Amen? Yeah, but we have a lot of them living out their faith, even thru their sickness. Like I've never seen in my life. We've got some in the back. We've got the Ryland’s, we've got the Fuquay's. We've got them all over. They're all sick. They all have cancer, but yet they're living out their faith. God wants us to live out our faith in the good times of God wants to do it in the bad times. Amen? But Abraham verse 13, you ought to be ashamed. Bad boy, see what he did. He said, please. He said, he's talking to his wife. He said, please say you're my sister. Come on man, why? That it might be well with me. For your sake? I think it was for his sake. And then I might live because of you. He was still telling his wife, what'd you say me? You know, if not, they're going to kill me. Abraham was asking her to tell them that he was a sister, knowing that they could take her and sleep with her, but he would live. That's a bad boy in the wrong way. Amen?

James Greer (12:43):
Fifth, many times, even when we're bad, God is good. Ladies, you should love verses 14 and 20. You're going to see how God takes care of you, even when your husband's a jerk. And all the ladies said, Amen? Because there's a lot of men that are jerks. Man. I thought the women were going to get on that. Verses 14 says, as soon as Abraham and Sarah arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians did notice how beautiful she was. And the King's officials told him about her. And she was taken to his house. The King was good. He was good to Abraham because of who? Sarah. And Abraham, he was given sheep and cattle and donkeys and slaves and camels. Why was the King giving him all that? Because he had his wife. In essence, he was saying, Hey man, I'm going to give you all this, because I want your supposedly Abraham said his sister. I want her. I'm going to give you all this. In other words, I'm buying her off.

James Greer (13:48):
Because of Sarah, not Abraham at this time. Because of Sarah, the Lord struck the king and everyone in his palace with terrible disease. Let me tell you ladies, even if your husband's a jerk, God can take care of you. It says because of Sarah, the Lord did that. I mean, ladies, the best thing you can do is have a right relationship with God, despite what's going on with your husband and let him let you know that you're a daughter of the King and let him defend you, let him protect you and let him provide for you. Amen? And that he does. Guess what happens? Finally, the king sent for Abraham and said to him, what have you done to me? Why didn't you tell me, Sarah was your wife? Because he was a wimp. I got a nicer name, but I made another name. But, I'm not going to tell you what it is. He was worried about getting in trouble.

James Greer (14:51):
Do you remember Adam and Eve? Adam did what Eve told him. Amen? Abraham should have stood up for what was right. Why did you make me believe she was your sister? Now I married her, but you take her and go, she's your wife. Oh, now the king wants him to take her back. So, the king told his men to let Abraham and Sarah take their possessions and to leave.

James Greer (14:52):
Listen, God protects you. If you're right with God and have a relationship with God, he is going to take care of you. Listen, God has already given Abraham a promise. And he kept his promise in spite of what Abraham did. We need to learn to trust God, even when it looks like it's not in our best interest. Listen, because it really is. Learn to trust God, even when it looks like it's not in our best interest, because the truth is really is at the right time. You might not realize it, but God is good. God is good. Even when we're not. If God gave us what we deserved, there wouldn't be anybody in this room. You'd be gone.

James Greer (15:57):
Six, our mistakes, our sins, are going to keep us from being called and used by God. Abraham was bad boy for a while, but he turned around to be a good boy. But, what I'm trying to get across to you, there's so many people think because of their past sins or what, they've just done that God surely can't call and use me. Yes he will. He did it. He's doing it for Abraham. Abraham just tried to sell off his wife as a sister.

James Greer (16:04):
In Genesis 17:1, now Abraham is 99 years old. He getting up there, he's almost grown. And the Lord appeared to Abraham. He said, I am almighty. I love that. He said, I'm the all-powerful one. I am the one. I am the ruler. If you ever understand who God really is, you'll quit worrying about everybody else. Amen? He said, I'm almighty. I'm the one who is in control. I'm over everybody. He had to give him a wake up call, I'm almighty God, walk before me and be blameless. I mean 99 years old. I've said this before, if you're not dead, God's not done. Amen?

James Greer (16:59):
I mean God wants to use you. If you can't walk, pray. Amen? And if you can't come to church, watch online. Give online. A strange thing happened to us last Sunday. I just thank God for it. At this campus, we had more money given online, than we took up in the sanctuary. Amen? And I think you give either way. I think you tithed either way. But, I thank God that it's amazing that more people gave online than they did within here. So, God is blessing us either way, but I thank you for that. But you can answer. God's calling one way or another. He said, I'm going to make a covenant between me and you and I will multiply you exceedingly. I love that, because first of all, God said, I'm going to give a covenant between me and you. When God says he's going to make a covenant, do you understand? God said, I'm going to give you all I've got, for you and you get all of me. I can promise you when God makes a covenant, we get the best deal. God gets all I've got, which isn't much. But I get all he's got.

James Greer (17:58):
Verse three, and Abraham fell on his face and he talked with him saying, Oh yeah, she'll be the father of many nations, no longer shall you recalled Abram. In other words, half father. Your name's going to be Abraham, father of many nations. For I've made you father of many nations. He said, I'll make you exceedingly fruitful. He's talking about the blessings again. I will make nations of you and kings shall come from you. He said, listen, here's some of the blessings that come. He says, some of the blessings is you're going to be exceedingly fruitful. Can you imagine being 99 and having a conversation with God? And he said, man, Abraham, you're going to be exceedingly fruitful. Now there's all kinds of fruit. There's fruit of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, tenderness. But, he was talking about fruitfulness. You're going to have a lot of kids.

James Greer (19:33):
Like I told you, Abraham was a bad dude. Guess what you all? Sarah, wasn't too bad either. He said, not only am I going to bless you exceedingly. He said, you know, there's going to be kings that come from you. There's going to be nations that come to you. I'm telling you when God said, I call you and I'm going to use you and I'm going to bless you. He does it. Well, sometimes you can't stand the blessings. You know it. Sometimes good boys do bad things. Genesis 16:1 Now God just told him what I'm going to exceedingly bless you. Man, I mean, nations are going to bow to you. Kings are to come to you and Abram's wife, Sarah. She hadn't been able to have children, but she owned a young Egyptian slave woman named Hagar. Now, listen, this is Sarah's plot. And Sarah said to Abraham, the Lord hadn't given me any children, go sleep with my slave. I don't know too many women are going to tell their husband that. Amen? And she has a child. It will be mine. And Abraham did what? No, honey, you know, we shouldn't do that because God had already said that. No, no. The wimpy side of Abraham said, yeah, Abraham agreed. We can try that. And so Sarah gave Hagar to be his wife. And this happened after Abraham had lived in the land of Canaan for 10 years. Okay. Well, you know, come on. God had already told him not to do that. Amen? And now he agreed to do it after 10 years. Even when your wife tells you to do something wrong men, you should stand for what's right. How about that?

James Greer (21:48):
Later when Hagar knew that she was going to have a baby, she became proud and she started treating Sarah hatefully. Now the problem about that is, Sarah was still her boss. So, now look what happens. Then Sarah said to Abraham, it's all your fault. Who asked Abraham to sleep with Hagar? Somebody tell me. Sarah. Now she gets pregnant. She has a baby. Who is Sarah blaming? Abraham. Abraham is all your fault. I gave you my slave, but she has been hateful to me. And ever since I found out she was pregnant, you have done this wrong. You're going to answer to God for this. Can I tell you something men, you are. Now, it wasn't all his fault, but you got to understand this is true men. Number one, when you do your wife's wrong, you'll answer to God. Number two, Abraham should've stood up for what was right. He should've said, hey now Sarah, I know you're hurting, but God promised we're going to have a child. It's not right for me to go sleep with your slave.

James Greer (23:02):
Even though Sarah blamed him, even though she was the one that brought it up, God's going to blame Abraham. Even though, Eve in the very beginning, was the one that first took the forbidden fruit. Adam did the same thing when he took it. And the consequences, God blamed Adam. Men love your wife. Listen, love your wife, but no one to make a stand. I'm going to give you an insight that you have probably have never heard in church. You've probably never heard him preach, men who give their wives everything they ask for, and continue to try to please them when you know it's wrong, she'll soon blame you for the problems.

James Greer (23:50):
I've seen it in marriages over and over and over and over and over. The man just, he knows he shouldn't, he can't afford it, but he keeps trying to please her. And he's buying things and getting things and getting cars, clothes, houses and he can't afford it. And then all of a sudden they're in debt and she's under all this pressure and all this stress. She blames her husband. In some sense, she's right. Men be men. I would say grow some you know what? But I won’t. You're doing it because you love them. It's because you're trying to protect them. Men, God called you to protect your wife, not be a passive-pleaser. Amen men? And all the women said, Oh no, it's still true. Men, if you don't get anything and you want to have a happy marriage and you want it to last, you better go there. If you're not married and you're dating somebody and he cannot make a stand, you might as well wait and find somebody that can.

James Greer (24:22):
God's still protected Hagar. Even though she wasn't a Jew. Genesis 16:10 says, I'm going to give you a son and he's going to be called Ishmael. Oh great. That hasn't caused a problem yet, we're still fighting in the middle East over it, because I heard your cry for help. And someday I'm going to give you many descendants so that no one will be able to count them all. But guess what's going to happen with them. They're going to be, your sons will be far from his relatives and he'll be like a wild donkey. He's fighting everyone. And everyone's fighting him. You know there's freedom of choice, but I've told you over and over, that there's freedom of consequences. We're still suffering the consequences of Abraham today. And we probably will until Jesus Christ comes back. What you see in the middle East is the sentence of Israel. And it was a descendant because of Abraham went in and slept with Hagar.

James Greer (26:01):
But God's good. Even when we're bad, isn't that great. Genesis 21:1 and the Lord was good to Sarah and he kept his promise. Aren't you glad God's good. Sometimes even when we're bad, Amen? You can mess up and you can still straighten up and experience the miracles of God. You can mess up. It's still, it can turn into a miracle. And this is a miracle because as old as they are and she's going to have children, it's a miracle. She had messed up. Abraham messed up. And I've always said, your mess ups could turn into a miracle. And Abraham and Sarah both messed up and they're still getting to experience a miracle. God always keeps his promise. In his time.

James Greer (26:10):
You might be here today and you need a promise from God. Although Abraham was very old. Sarah had a son when? Exactly at the time God had said. See, God had come through, but it may not be the timing you want. It may not be the time that I want, but God is good. Abraham named his son, Isaac. See this dude, at a hundred years old, just had a son. God blessed him. God keeps his promises. So, what I'm saying is some of you in here maybe have really messed up. Sarah and father Abraham is known as the father of the nations. He's called father Abraham, but he messed up. He wanted to call his wife, his sister and where he wouldn't get hurt. He slept with the maid and caused nations to fight against each other. And yet he's still the father of the Jewish nation. And we get to inherit this blessings.

James Greer (27:13):
If you're here today, as I get ready to close and you've messed up. Would you just ask, God, God, could you turn my mess up into a miracle? If you did it for Abraham, he did it for Sarah. You could do it for me. What's God called you to do, maybe need to get outside your comfort zone and accept your calling. Because I'm going to tell you, if you're a member of Journey Church, God has a ministry for you. Remember there's no greater blessing than answer your calling. If you're saved and you're not satisfied it's probably because you're saved and you're not serving. Your calling may come when you're young, real young. May come in between, I was 30. May come when you're old. Abraham was 75. Many of the callings are not visual callings. Many times it's servant callings, but the callings are sure. Whether it's a prophet, or a servant, or a teacher, or a giver, or an organizer, a gift of mercy. God has a calling for you. Your past mistakes. Don't keep you from being used today. So, don't use that for an excuse. Say, God use me and use me now.

James Greer (29:18):
See, the Lord calling you maybe to surrender your life to Jesus Christ as salvation. And you know you sinned. And today you believe Jesus died for your sins and you invite him into your heart. You want to know one day that you'd go to heaven. Today's the day. Then do that. Have you been a bad boy or bad girl? And you want Jesus to forgive you and begin to use you again. Maybe you'd like to join the church. in a minute when I'm going to come and you can have next step cards. Are you online? You can, you can join the church online. We have people doing that. Maybe God's calling you to be baptized, whatever God's calling you to. I pray this morning that you would answer his calling. Let me pray with you just a minute.

James Greer (30:04):
Father. I thank you for your word. I thank you for the power of God. I thank you because God we all mess up. Everybody in this room, everybody online is messed up. God, I do thank you that you could take our mess ups and you make a message out of it. Sometimes you turned into a miracle. You're a good God. God, those that are here today that are hurting, I pray that you would comfort them. God, you sit all that are weary and heavy Laden. Let them come to you. And I prayed that they would come to you. They could find rest. I pray for those that are looking for answers, that they would look to you. God, you comfort them right now in a supernatural way. I ask you in the precious name of Jesus. And everybody said, Amen.

James Greer (30:41):
On behalf of Pastor James. We're so glad you joined us in worship this morning. If you still need prayer requests, we have people on standby right now, click the link below. And we have someone wanting to pray with you. And for you, if you want to be a part of a small group, just click the link below and go through our small groups and just pick which one you want to do. If you want to still give, we want you to give to the ministries of Journey Church, pray about it. Click the link below and give whatever the Lord has laid on your heart. Also, we have a dynamic children's worship and our children's is open right now. So you can come and be a part here on campus or online or still in the parking lot. We love you. God bless you. See you next Sunday.

Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.
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Journey Church
2900 Donahue Ferry Rd
Pineville, Louisiana 71360