Mateen at MoRanch (Part 1 of 2) – Perseverance

These are my notes from the opening keynote address shared by Mateen Elass at the 63rd annual Mo-Ranch Men’s Conference near Hunt, Texas, on May 2, 2014.

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:7-12 NIV)

1- Timing is everything

Genesis 3:3

Gal 4:4 at the right time God sent his Son

“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4 NIV)

Theme of OT: God is a covenant God
– he perseveres
– his goal is to take ruined lives and restore them

God sets the stage si the glory may clearly shine upon His Son

2- Irresistible Grace
– from TULIP

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30 NIV)

“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:3-6 NIV)

3- From beginning to the end: God’s purpose is to draw us into fullness of joy with Him

God calls us to be and to make disciples

“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him.” (Psalm 37:39, 40 NIV)

Reference to movie “Cliffhanger”
– God reaches down to pull us away from the abyss

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV)

“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

God does not give up on us:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38, 39 NIV)

Theme of this conference: God is the one who is going to shape your life:
– he has willed it, now you must walk it

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:12, 13 NIV)

You don’t deserve God’s love or grace, neither do I
– but God’s grace is not about what we deserve

Contrasting the vision of Heaven between Muslims & Christians
– Muslims have a purely sensual view of heaven, where God remains distant

Rev 21 & 22 describe the Christian heaven
– God is at the center
– God wipes away our tears, the most intimate act

“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 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 them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:2-4 NIV)