Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

Look at the Mess We’ve Made

Posted: March 19, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Drama Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Best Fight Scenes – Batman vs. Bane, Napoleon Dynamite, The Other Guys

Big Idea for the Series: Conflict is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to be bad.


  • Conflict is inevitable.Term it what you want… disagreements, fights, quarrels, or as it so often gets labeled in High School: Drama.
    • We get annoyed, upset, and angry with each other. We say things we shouldn’t say. We get offended at someone else’s words. A conflict arises and far too often things get worse before they get better.
  • But conflict doesn’t have to be bad.
    • We all have tendencies with conflict… Some of us treat it like day-old cheap Chinese food – Avoid at all costs.
    • Others of us treat conflict like the gym – We love the opportunity to flex our muscles and show off our biceps. We run into conflict to show how powerful we are by fighting until we get what we want.
  • But conflict is a great opportunity. God has purposes in all of our conflict that he wants to accomplish in us.
    • This is why running from conflict can be so horrible.
      • We cut off friendships at the first sign of trouble… with nice phrases that cover over the real reason was because we got into a fight and refused to deal with it.
    • In fact, the best relationships are the ones where conflict happens (perhaps often) and is handled well.
    • We shouldn’t want a relationship that is conflict free… anymore than we would want a car that has been crash tested.
    • A car becomes safer because it has been crash-tested so many times.
    • A relationship becomes sweeter because conflict is faced and handled well.
  • “We often think that if God really cared for us, he would make our relationships easier. In reality, a difficult relationship is a mark of his love and care. We would prefer that God would just change the relationship, but he won’t be content until the relationship changes us too. This how God created relationships to function. While we would like to avoid the mess and enjoy deep and intimate community. God says that it is in the very process of working through the mess that intimacy is found. Which relationships are most meaningful to you? Most likely they are the ones that involved working through difficulty and hardship.” (Lane and Tripp)

Over the next three weeks we are going to treat this issue of drama and conflict by asking and hopefully answering three questions:

  1. What causes conflict?
  2. What does God want to do in our conflicts?
  3. How should we respond to conflict?

Passage: James 4:1-6

 Big Idea: We fight because people get in the way of what we want.



Posted: February 22, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Stupid and Serious Warning Signs

  • When I talk about lust, I wonder if you approach is as you approach the stupid warning signs? Brushing it off… thinking it’s no big deal, thinking the warnings that are put out are just the words of an old-fashioned book and an out-of-touch youth pastor.
  • Or when I talk about lust, do you approach it like you would approach a very serious warning sign? That how we respond to lust (and all sin) is a life or death situation that shouldn’t be written off but should be weighed very carefully. That how we respond has serious consequences.


  • I realize I’m probably talking to 2 or 3 different groups on a night like this.
  • Group #1 – “Lust really isn’t that big of deal… it doesn’t really matter if I look at pornography, have sex with a boyfriend or girlfriend, masturbate, or use other people in my fantasies.”
  • Group #2 – “I know lust is a big deal, and I struggle with it almost every day. But I feel like I’m trapped, I seem to make no progress in fighting it… all I ever feel is more guilt and shame.”
  • Group #3 – “I can’t believe people would struggle with that. I mean if you have sex in high school you’re a slut, if you look at pornography your gross, and I can’t believe other people might struggle with these types of thoughts.”
    • To the first group I want to give a warning with the goal that you start to take the fight against lust seriously.
    • To the second group you already take the fight against lust seriously… you just feel overwhelmed by it. You feel like you are in a street fight in which you are badly outmanned. I want to both give you a comfort and remind you that you are not badly outmanned.
    • To the third group… just because you may not struggle with a certain sin does not mean you should look down on those who do. Rather, you should realize the only thing that keeps you from this is God’s grace, and you should have the humility to realize that you struggle with other sin in your life… and so take what is said tonight and apply it to that sin.
  • Our lesson will be driven by feeling the weight of lust, the tidal force of God’s grace, and the seeing the power we have been given to fight back against lust.

Passage: Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Corinthians 6:9-15

Big Idea: Lust is sexual desire unhinged from God.

  • Sex and Sexual desire is not bad, it is a gift from God. BUT like all of our desires, sex finds its proper place in being submitted to God.
  • A roller coaster is fun if there is something holding you down and strapping you in. A roller coaster is terrifying and deadly if there is no harness keeping you in place.
  • Sex is good if it’s within the confines of God’s will – marriage. It’s deadly and destructive outside the confines of God’s will.
  • Lust is sex that falls outside of God’s will… this includes hook-ups, sex with a girlfriend or boyfriend, adultery, oral sex, making out with and feeling up another person for the sole purpose of sexual arousal, looking at pornography, watching anything on TV that causes you to be sexually aroused, masturbating, and thinking about someone in way that they become the object of a sexual fantasy.

Main Points:

  • Lust will destroy you.
  • Jesus alone saves you.
  • Who you are shapes what you do.


Anatomy of Sin

Posted: January 23, 2019 by keystoneyouth in Death Row Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Who Wins in A Fight?


  • How many of you go hunting? How many of you go bear hunting? How many of you would go grizzly bear hunting?
  • If you have watched the Movie the Revenant you have a picture of how crazy a Grizzly Bear encounter can be. The bear attacks quickly and keeps coming back in an effort to kill Hugh Glass. It won’t give up, won’t run away, won’t back down, until Hugh has finally managed to kill it. (Perhaps show video for Senior High).
  • Imagine yourself in that scenario. There is no going into the fetal position, no convincing the bear to run away. Either the bear dies or you die.
  • This is what happens when you encounter something from the outside that threatens your very life. But what about the thing that resides within all of us that threatens our very life… sin.
  • Over the next seven weeks we are going to be going through a series called Death Row where we look at some of the common sins that still tempt, enslave, and kill us. Why?

Big Idea: Either we kill sin or it kills us.

  • The Christian life involves becoming more like Christ. This is what we refer to as sanctification. And a big part of that process is to fight against the sin that is still present in our lives. (John Owen – “Be Killing Sin or It Will Be Killing You”)
  • This is based on Romans 8:13 – “For if you live according to the flesh (which is the word Paul uses for sinful nature here), you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
  • Kill sin… or it will kill you.
  • Goals for this series:
    • 1) I want sin to be exposed in this series. And so, if you listen to this series and are never once convicted of sin in your life… then this series has failed.
    • 2) The other and ultimate goal of this series is also that we would fight against sin in our lives and that we would replace it with something better. And so if you only feel convicted by this series and never respond with action and feel hopeful in the fight against sin, then this series has also failed.
  • My goal tonight is to show you the importance of identifying and fighting against sin by giving you a small anatomy of sin.
  • To do that I want to look into Jeremiah 2
  • But before we do… let’s get a definition of sin so we are all on the same page: Sinning is any feeling or thought or speech or action that disobeys God.
    • Sinning is any time I think, feel, speak, or act in a way that disregards God or thinks that we know better than Him.

Main Points: 

  • Sin kills our happiness.
  • Sin robs us of our freedom.
  • Sin hides from our sight.
  • Jesus gives us the power to kill sin.


The Wrestler

Posted: October 25, 2018 by keystoneyouth in Strange Encounters Lessons
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Attention Funnel: Greatest Fights

  • What would you say some of the greatest fights in history have been? Real or fictional?
  • We have been doing this series called Strange Encounters… where we look at some of the interesting encounters people had with God in the Old Testament.
  • Tonight, we look at an encounter where God shows up and literally has a wrestling match with someone.
    • Read Genesis 32:30 – This is the end of the encounter, but I just want you to see it to know that I’m not making up that Jacob encounters God in this story… because it’s all a little bit weird.
  • I want to look at this encounter bit by bit to see what we can learn about what it means for us to know God and encounter him.

Main Points:

  • We encounter God in our weakness.
  • God wants to change us more than our circumstances.
  • It’s in submission to God that we win. 
  • God becomes weak so that we can encounter him.


Attention Funnel: Pet Peeves – Things that Make You Irrationally Angry

 Screen Shot 2018-09-15 at 7.25.11 PMIntroduction:

  • There are certain passages in the Old Testament that people may point to in order to show a problem with God.
  • They are passages where we encounter God’s anger. On the surface, it might seem like God gets irrationally angry and does horrible things.
  • I want to take a look at a couple of these encounters tonight to see if that’s true, or to see if there’s something else they might be teaching us.

Big Idea: We don’t appreciate God’s grace until we appreciate His anger.

Main Points:

  • God’s anger is aimed at sin.
  • We assume God’s grace is ordinary.
  •  Jesus gets what we deserve, and we get what we don’t deserve.


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Attention Funnel: What Things Look Like Under a Microscope

Series Introduction:

  • When you put something under the microscope, you take a closer look at it in order to better understand it.
  • That’s what I want to do in this series. I want to take a closer look at some of the common questions/objections to the Christian faith in order to see if there is something wrong with what we believe.
  • I want to do this for two reasons…
    • 1) I want to encourage you to ask questions about what Christianity says is true.
    • 2) And I want you to be better equipped to engage and reach those around you who don’t believe in the gospel.

 Lesson Introduction:

  • What is the worst punishment you’ve received?
    • Dad who were jean shorts all around town in response to his daughter wearing clothes her mom and dad didn’t approve of.
    • Dad who shoots daughters computer in response to something she posted online.
    • The second one is clearly an over-reaction. It’s giving a punishment that seems so far over the top that it’s ridiculous.
  • I wonder if when we think about Hell, we picture God in this way? As the out of control Dad whose punishment seems harsh and unfair.
  • The question I want to look at tonight is: “How could a loving God send someone to hell?”
  • It’s a very serious and very good question to ask.
  • Especially if we may not personally be a Christian or if some of the people that we know and love are not Christians.
  • And my initial response in the form of a Big idea might shock you, but stick with me and I hope you’ll see why I believe the following statement is true.

Big Idea: Hell magnifies God’s love.

  • In other words, hell actually helps us to see, understand, and appreciate the depths of God’s love for us.

Main Points:

  • Behind every question is a set of beliefs.
  • A loving God is a God who judges.
  • Hell is life apart from God.
  • Hell should bring joy to our heart and urgency to our hands.


Women Remade

Posted: April 17, 2018 by keystoneyouth in God's Greatest Invention
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  • Refresh: Over the past month we have been doing a series on gender – what it means to be a man or woman.
  • Two weeks ago, we started talking about women – What did we say about women? –Women encourage, nurture, and provide strength.
  • As we did with men, I want to talk about hurdles that women face.
  • Perhaps one of the biggest struggles/hurdles that women face is that they are told that they are only as good as their physical appearance.
  • Tonight, I want to look at this hurdle, show some of the issues it causes, talk about how God remakes women.

Big Idea: Find your value in what God says about you.

Passage: Mark 5:24-34; James 4:1-2; 2 Corinthians 5:17

 Main Points:

  • Sin leaves women covered in shame.
  • Comparison and perfectionism become ways of dealing with shame.
  • Only Jesus deals permanently with our shame.