Ron Dart 2003 Sermons

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0302 Lessons From Samuel
There was no centralized government in Israel during the time of the judges. The people were very lightly governed. Their King was God. It is an excellent system for those with moral discipline who have a personal covenant with God, which is what God apparently wanted. However, the system did break down from time to time and eventually transitioned to a completely different system. Dart relates the story of this transition with outstanding Biblical narration. His conclusion is that God wants each of us to be self-governed under God, free to follow as the Holy Spirit leads.
0304 The God of Your Imagination
0306 Liberty & Justice
Dart looks at the concept of theodicy, why God lets bad things happen to the good. God is a god of liberty and justice. If men are free, they are free to do evil. But if there is no justice, what difference does it make if one does good or evil? Dart looks at justice, the great evil spoken of by Jeremiah, and how they relate to today's society.
0309 The Passover Problem
0311 Opposing Evil
0312 The Last War
0314 A Good Captivity
0318 The Seed
0320 One God
0322 Out of the Kingdom
0325 The Absence of Holiness
0327 Independence Day
0330 Babylon the Woman
0332 Spirit of the Old Testament
0334 Disappointed With God
0336 Open To God
The meaning of the word “God” in Hebrew and English. The plural God; other uses for the Hebrew elohim. Was God all alone before project earth? What about “the Word”? “I and my Father are One” yet it is clear they are two. How? Who are the gods in heaven? Jesus is not, and never was, an angel. To be a son of God is to be God; to be sons of God is to become elohim. C.S. Lewis – on man becoming God, and how Jesus was either who He said He was or a lunatic. The “One God” teaching not only denies humans becoming God, but denies the divinity of Jesus Christ.
0338 The Indispensable Man
0339 Why the Holy Days
0343 An Attitude Adjustment
An overview of the book of Ecclesiastes with Dart’s excellent commentary on it, and how it applies today.
0345 Guilt or Gratitude?
People who don't know God have no one to thank for the good things, and thus feel guilty. Some then try to impose that guilt on all of society. Those who know God, however, know the source of blessings, and are grateful to God for them. We ought to be grateful for our troubles as well. Suffering and trials prepare and train us so we can help others similarly afflicted. They help toward our salvation, not for their own sakes, but what they do for us, transforming our character and therefore behavior. You can’t just “fill out your time card”, you have to overcome and that requires difficulties and trials. Therefore be glad and rejoice in them!
0347 Thankful for the Hard Times
Paul was thankful for his conversion experience and thankful even for the thorn in the flesh that he was not delivered from. Mentions of Garner Ted Armstrong, Herbert W Armstrong, Roderick Meredith, Herman Hoeh. The peace of God is tied to being thankful - the Philippian jailer. Story of Dart's childhood difficulties leading to him meeting his wife and subsequently her brother, who was in WCG. We will have persecutions as Jesus did; will we be thankful not only for them, but while in them?
0350 Breaking Up Is Hard
Dart goes over his resignations from WCG and CGI and discusses things we need to look at if we are considering leaving a church:
  1. It can never be undone.
  2. Be sure you are doing no harm.
  3. Consider who you’re going to hurt and how.
  4. Humility is crucial.
What we should look out for in ourselves:
  1. Self-righteousness
  2. Excessive pride
  3. Selfishness
  4. Unforgiving Spirit
  5. Unwillingness to admit mistakes
  6. Being too quick to judge
Also addressed: “Where 2 or 3 are gathered” and divisions in fellowships due to calendar disagreements.
0352 Seven Laws of Prayer
An excellent guideline to prayer and things to consider when praying:
  1. It is appointed to man once to die. We should prepare for death and look beyond death.
  2. Prayer without works is vain. God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves.
  3. We always need help to pray.
  4. I am God’s servant, not vice-versa.
  5. Absolute honesty is required. After all God knows.
  6. Prayer takes time, attention, and meditation.
  7. When it comes to words, more is not better.
03DGH Does God Heal Today?
Why does Jesus sometimes heal and sometimes choose not to? How does lack of belief affect healing? Unbelief vs uncertainty. "Faith is placing our trust in Him no matter the outcome." Faith, persistence, arguing with God all made a difference. How does sin tie in with healing? Why Jesus had to suffer. Why do we have to suffer? Our character and our faith is far more important than any suffering we might have to endure. Sickness is the evidence of sin, leading to the ultimate end of sin, death. Healing is the down payment of forgiveness and healing, the ultimate end of which is eternal life.
03HG The Hatred of God
There are people who hate God. They want all evidence of God expunged from society. There is a war going on. Many statues, monuments, and public displays are not opposed, unless it is Bible-related, then it is fiercely opposed. Dart gives Biblical examples of how, if you are a bearer of God's Word, they will hate you. It is out there. It is real. It comes to the point that anything having to do with God will send the God-haters into a blind rage.
03OBP On Being Perfect
While Dart mentions that the Greek word for perfect can also mean complete, that is not the thrust of his message. Rather, he points out the pitfalls of perfectionism and instead encourages excellence. Maintain high standards for yourself, but don't expect others to conform to your standards. Biblical adminitions for excellence. Conduct your affairs so that people will know that Jesus is your lord without you having to say a word.
03RES Respect
Dart looks at self-esteem, self-respect, thinking too highly of oneself, self-exaltation, disrespect. Self-esteem is destructive; self-respect is constructive. Vanity, esteeming oneself too highly shows a lack of respect for others. Speaking evil of no one. Do not bring a railing accusation. Division is evidence of carnality. Your anchor is in Christ. To follow men in opposition to other men, according to Paul, is vanity, divisive, and carnal. We are not reliable judges of ourselves. What Paul meant by “I am free from all men.” The importance of humility in Paul’s ministry and indeed for all of us in relating to others, and in showing them the proper respect.
03TLP
03TNP The Next Pentecost
How might God perform a Pentecost miracle today, especially given our divisions? Story of Ahab and Micaiah and the lying spirit. The gift of tongues on Pentecost resulted in a discernible, understandable gospel message. The importance of maintaining your personal integrity with God,no matter what is going on both in your church and outside. Admonitions for the church from Revelation 2 &3 and Ephesians 4. Tips to building your faith to share with others: 1) Read at least one chapter of the Bible daily; 2) Serious, focused prayer 3 times a day.