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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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The Ugly, Bad and Good
(The Good, Bad and the Ugly)
Romans 8:18-25
Intro:
As I was working on this message I received an email from Sports Illustrated with the story of Lindsey Vonn, the US skier that crashed on the ski slope. I sort of wished that I hadn’t turned the TV on to watch the accident and her cries of anguish.  You could hear her screaming in pain.  The more hospital visits I make the more uncomfortable I get with pain and suffering.  Difficulties and suffering seems to happen everywhere.  

We live in a suffering world. And we, too, suffer.

Romans 8:18-25 (NLT)
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.  For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.  Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.  We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.  But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Illustration:
There's a story of a goose who chose a mailbox for a mate after its partner died when it was accidentally run over by a snowmobile. The goose flailed wildly at the letter carrier and nipped at anyone who came to get the mail from the box. It stood by the box night and day. Finally, the goose itself died, standing guard next to its chosen mate—the mailbox.

Illustration:
Famous Christian apologist C.S. LEWIS pictures this bondage in his classic Christian Allegory "The Chronicles of Narnia." In the first book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, they suffered from endless winter. And yet when the great lion Aslan, the Christ-figure, comes and vanquishes the witch, winter melts into spring. Creation is set free into the freedom and glory of the children. In this amazing cosmic perspective we learn that our final revelation in glory will engulf the entire cosmos, and reverse and transcend the consequences of the fall. [Schreiner, Thomas. Romans. Grand Rapids. Baker Books, 1998, p 437] Creation will be made new. Our winter will melt into endless spring where the flowers always bloom.

IV.  REDEMPTION'S HOPE, 23-25.   Verse 23-25 continue to give reasons for hope amidst our present trials. Not only is creation groaning but also so are we. Romans 8:23-25 (NLT) 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

CONCLUSION
Desmond Tutu on Hope, His Favorite Bible Verse
In Time magazine's regular column "10 Questions," readers are given the opportunity to interview celebrities and world leaders through questions submitted via e-mail. In the March 22, 2010, issue of Time, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, author of Made for Goodness (HarperOne, 2010), was featured. Here are two questions readers submitted (in bold), each followed by Tutu's answer:

"10 Questions," Time magazine (3-22-10), p. 4

Please click here for attached slides to the sermon.