Don't Stop Believing

Living for Christ is a goal of every Christian.

Scott Rodgers
Jun 11, 2017    
In this series, Mixtape, Scott Rodgers focuses on the Journey song, Don't Stop Believing. In living for Christ everything we have and everything we do in our life is a result of being a believer in God. Video recorded at Chandler, Arizona.

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.

Scott: 00:30 Oh my goodness. Hello Cornerstone. Wasn't that awesome? Hey Scottsdale, San Tan, we're so glad to be one part, a part of one big family here at Cornerstone. From all of us at Chandler let's give it up for our Scottsdale, San Tan campuses. Man, so glad to be part of this thing. My name is Scott Rogers.

Scott: 00:53 Normally when I come out like this you know I'm like, "Hey Cornerstone are you excited to be here?" but with that kind of intro. Come on man. That was so, so cool. I know you experienced that at your campus as well. My goodness well let me just ask you anyway, are you excited to be a Cornerstone today?

Scott: 01:12 Of course. Man, if this is your first time here you're probably going, "Really? Did that just happen?" And maybe some of you are like, "Yeah. OK. Not so bad, not so bad." No if it is your first time here we're just thrilled that you decided to take time out your day and join us in Scottsdale, or San Tan, or here in Chandler.

Scott: 01:33 Today I have the privilege of kicking off this brand new series called Mixtape and we're going to have some fun. Is it all right if we have a little fun here today? OK I hope so.

Scott: 01:45 Ten of you thought it was good to have fun. The rest of you are going to have to come along for the ride I guess. But you know what, you know a mixtape, this is so cool because, because we're going to have some biblical conversations that are inspired by some classic songs. And isn't this true? That music is the soundtrack of our life. My parents, I think about them and their generation, the music that was the soundtrack to their life was the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly and folks like that.

Scott: 02:16 Some people are like, "Awe, my heart is warmed right now." Your just going back to that era. Others of us, maybe my generation, the soundtrack was was created by Michael Jackson and U2 and Whitney Houston and folks like that. Unless you hung around Tim Beal then your soundtrack was Guns and Roses and Metallica and all that kind of stuff right? Let the record stand that Metallica got a bigger cheer than Michael Jackson. Hmm, a bunch of heathens in this room today. I love it. For my kids it's the likes of Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles and the Lumineers and folks like that. Music is just the soundtrack of our life.

Scott: 02:58 And in 1981 Journey wrote the song Don't Stop Believing. And what's interesting about it is many of you were kind of sitting here going you, you're processing this as your, your campus is playing that song. And you're thinking, " Umm. Is this OK? Is this, what do I do right now? Do you I sing, do I not?" So I'm going to give you an opportunity to actually sing a little bit for a moment OK? How many guys are with me?
Scott: 03:27 All right. I've got 20 this time. So here's what we're going to do. Because I cannot sing, nor would I ever dream of being able to sing like Steve Perry, we're going to give it a shot. But you've got to be with me. You can't leave me alone on this, OK? So we all know this. What's so cool about this song, Don't Stop Believing, is it has endured for decades. Who doesn't know what we just heard, right? So let's give it a shot and you can kind of respond and fill in the blanks, OK?

Scott: 03:55 So it starts out just a small town girl livin' in a...

Audience: 03:55 Lonely world.

Scott: 03:55 She took the midnight train going...

Audience: 03:55 Anywhere.

Scott: 03:55 Come on Scottsdale, San Tan and you know this one. Just a city boy born and raised in...

Audience: 03:55 South Detroit.

Scott: 03:55 He took the midnight train going...

Audience: 03:55 Anywhere.

Scott: 04:15 Give yourself a hand. Come on that's awesome. That is awesome. How many of you, like we all have our favorite genre of music, and how many of you guys, I mean I like a lot of genres of music, how many of you would say, "I am a country music fan. That's me."? Come on loud and proud country music people. OK. See now I know Aaron in Scottsdale. He's from Oklahoma. So it's like I think it's normal, right? You got to be a country music fan. How many guys are like, "No, rap is where it's at."?Come on the hip hop scene. Anybody? Like, I mean Larry out in San Tan, he's a rapper. Try him out sometime. How many of you say your favorite genre of music is maybe gospel music? Like your like I think it's supposed to be a contemporary Christian music. You know when the church tries to call something contemporary, take it to the bank. It's not. It's just the way it is. But maybe Linn's favorite music is Gospel because he's the pastor and he spoke like gospel music.

Scott: 05:13 Well I want to just suggest that there's only one genre of music that's truly biblical. You can look this up later. Let me just read it to you from the Bible. It's in Psalm 95. And here's what Psalm 95, Verse 1 says. 'Come let us sing', which means rap is out, 'Come let us sing for joy", which means country is out. 'Come let us sing for joy to the Lord. Let us shout aloud.' So here we go, here we go. 'Come let us sing for joy to the Lord. Let us shout aloud' the rock the rock. 'To the rock of our salvation.' Yes an inappropriate use of scripture. But Rock n' Roll is here to stay. And what I want to, what I want to focus on today is the chorus and the name of this song, Don't Stop Believing.

Scott: 06:20 You know in the Bible, and specifically in the New Testament, when it refers to those who follow the teachings of Jesus, those who were followers of Jesus, the Bible calls those folks Christians just three times in all of scripture. The word Christian or Christians is mentioned only three times in the New Testament. Yet when it refers to those who are followers of Jesus it more than a hundred times that a New Testament refers to them as believers or people who believe. More than a hundred times.

Scott: 06:56 And that's why we can sometimes say when gathered together this is a gathering of believers. Though I know not everyone here at Cornerstone believes and I think that's great because I love that you're going to hear this conversation today. It will give you some things to consider. But what does a believer believe? That's what I want to talk about for a few minutes but before we get there, let me ask you this very honest question hoping for some honest feedback. When it comes to your spiritual belief, when it comes to your faith, how many of you wrestle with doubt? Anybody? Raise your hand say, "Man, I wrestle with doubt at times of my faith." I mean I think most of us do. When it comes to what we believe spiritually we just, we wrestle with doubt.

Scott: 07:46 And so I even think it would be fair to say not only are we can we call ourselves a gathering of believers, but at times we could call ourselves doubters anonymous because we're not alone in our doubt. In fact I want to introduce you to someone in the Bible who I kind of call the doubting dad who desperately needed a touch from God. If you have a Bible go to Mark, Chapter 9. Mark, Chapter 9. When we read something specific it'll be on the screen but you can turn there if you have a Bible on ya.

Scott: 08:20 Let me set it up. OK? So Mark, Chapter 9. Jesus and a couple of his disciples have been away for a little bit. You can read it later. And he comes back to the rest of his disciples and he walks into this argument. And his disciples are arguing with some of the religious leaders and Jesus basically says, "Hey what's going on?" And so this man stands up and says to Jesus, "I brought my son to you because he is possessed by an evil spirit. And whenever this spirit possesses him it seizes him and it throws him to the ground. He becomes rigid and he foams at the mouth. He can't even speak. And I brought my son to you to see if your disciples can cast this spirit out of him. And they couldn't." And that's what created the argument between the disciples and these religious leaders.

Scott: 09:05 So let's pick it up in Mark, Chapter 9 and here's what happens. You guys stay with me? OK. So Mark 9 Verse 21 Jesus says this. "How long has this been happening?" he asked the father. And the father replies, "Since he was a little boy." Verse 22 says that, "The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water trying to kill him." Now I don't think that we even have to imagine, for many of us, what this is like because is there any greater hurt than there hurt for your children? And so I get a sense that this man is desperate. He's heard about Jesus. He's like maybe this is my last hope and he brings this kid to him. And then he says this to Jesus, "Have mercy on us and help us if you can." Jesus responds, "What do you mean if I can?" Isn't that interesting? What do you mean if I can. Anything is possible if a person believes.

Scott: 10:10 Now this this isn't a case of positive psychology. Though that's helpful in some practical ways. But there's something deeply spiritual going on here. And Jesus is saying, spiritually speaking, anything is possible if a person believes. And then it says this, the father instantly cried out, "I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief."

Scott: 10:37 How many of you ever prayed that prayer? God I do believe. God I want of believe. God help me overcome my unbelief. I think to doubt is human. But when it comes to a relationship with God in the things of God believing is necessary. Because as humans we all doubt. We're all going to wrestle with our faith at times. But believing is necessary. And so what do believers believe? What do we believe? We talk about this.

Scott: 11:17 Well I'll just suggests this. That believers really believe primarily two great things. Believers believe that believers have someone to believe in. And believers have something to believe for. We have someone to believe in. Something to believe for. Ok so who do we believe in and if we're if we're a believer?

Scott: 11:41 Well let's go right to Scripture. One of the most famous verses in all the Bible in John Chapter 3 Verse what? Verse 16. And here's what it says. 'For God so loved the world.' And listen to this through, through the filter of the conversation of doubt and belief, OK. 'For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.' Thank God for that. And then Verse 18, 'Whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of Gods one and only Son.'

Scott: 12:31 Who do believers believe in believers believe in? Believers believe in Jesus the Son of God the savior of the world, crucified, risen and coming again. Do I have any believers at Cornerstone today who believe in Jesus? Don't stop believing in Jesus. Come on say that. Don't stop believing in Jesus. Hold on, Scottsdale way out did you Chandler. Let's try this again. Say this. Don't stop believing...

Audience: 12:31 Don't stop believing.

Scott: 12:31 In Jesus.

Audience: 12:31 In Jesus.

Scott: 13:11 That's who believers believe in. Jesus is the son of God. The savior of the world according to what we just read. Crucified for us. Risen again and scripture would say coming again, risen and coming again. As believers we believe in Jesus.

Scott: 13:09 But what are we believing for? Well because we believe in Jesus we're believing for something and that something is for God to fulfill his promises in our life. I'd love to give you that one concise, simple Bible verse but really we're talking about the totality of scripture here. When it comes to believing that God will fulfill his promises in our life. It's all throughout the Bible because we believe in Jesus, God is going to fulfill his promises in our life.

Scott: 14:05 Well what promises? There's lots. That God loves us unconditionally. That God's grace goes deeper and further than anything we've ever done. That whenever we confess our sin to him, He without hesitation without any reservation fully forgives, completely forgives and finally forgives. That when we pray, He hears us. That He's created us for a purpose and that none of us are a mistake. But God has created us for something significant in this world for his glory. He promises that if we choose to live life in alignment with what he teaches that he'll be able to bless what we do in our life. He wants to teach us, as Linn was talking about recently, how to parent, how to do relationships, how did you marriage. There's a lot of promises that God has for us because we believe in Jesus and because we believe in his crucifixion and his resurrection, we then can therefore believe that God's going to fulfill his promises in our life. And then in all this life is said and done the greatest promise perhaps of all is life in his presence and eternity. What do believers believe? We believe in Jesus and we believe that God's going to fulfill his promises in our life.

Scott: 15:33 I love thinking about Abraham when it comes to this conversation because the Bible actually calls Abraham the father of our faith. Why, why would God call Abraham the father of our faith? I think it's because he modeled what it's like to believe. Read this sometime, in Genesis 15, God comes to Abraham and he basically speaks to him and says, "Hey. You're going to have, you're going to have a child." And God's plan is that through that child God would make himself a people, a group of people that he would reveal himself to, not for them but for the whole world. And so God says to Abraham, he says, "Hey you're could have a child." And Abraham is basically like, "Come on God. I mean look at me here. I'm about a hundred years old and my wife she's like 90 and we haven't been able to conceive. At this point I don't see this happening. This is crazy." And God says, "No, no, no, no. You will biologically conceive. But let me show you something else." And God basically says to him, "Go out and look at the stars. Count them if you can because that's how many offspring you're going to have."

Scott: 16:51 And then Abraham says something incredible or scripture says something about him. It says this, 'Abraham believed and God accounted it to him for righteousness.' I find it amazing that part of God's plan, a necessity in God's plan, to reveal himself to the whole world, to redeem all of mankind back into a relationship with him, required that he finds someone who what? Believed.

Scott: 17:21 Abraham's the father of faith because he modeled what it's like to believe. In fact, turn to Romans 4, if you want to real quick because I want to point this out. This dude, he's like a spiritual stud if you ask me. He's got he's got like this grit when it comes to believing and here's what it says in Romans 4, Verse 20. 'Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise.' I mean come on, that's awesome. And then it goes on, "In fact his faith grew stronger and in this he brought glory to God.' Verse 21. 'He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.' He was fully convinced God is able to do whatever he promises. As believers don't stop believing in God's promises. Come on and say that with me, don't stop believing in God's promises. That's what we're believing for. We believe in Jesus and we believe for God promises.

Scott: 18:23 I love his attitude here and I think it's one that at least challenges me that I want to try to embrace. Because I believe in Jesus and his resurrection, I now believe in God's promises for my life. And here's the attitude. God said it, that settles it. Try saying that. Say that, God said it, that settles it. I mean that's really the attitude of the believer even as we wrestle with doubt. No, no, no, no, no, no, God said it. That settles it for me.

Scott: 18:56 Several, l well back in the 80s probably, is when I think it was, maybe late 70's. 70's are fog to me. I was like a little kid. It was in the 80's probably. The 80s were the best decade ever. Anybody else here. OK, Alright? Back in the 80s there was this thing called the Pepsi Challenge. Anybody remember the Pepsi Challenge? So if you don't, if you're not familiar with the Pepsi challenge, you guys out in San Tan, the Pepsi challenge was that they would take people and they would they would blindfold or pour some Pepsi in a cup, some Coke and a cup. And it was a taste test. And if you said Pepsi was better than Coke you might get on the commercial. However the commercial and the test were fundamentally flawed, scientifically flawed, in every way because everyone who loves Jesus knows that Coke is way better than Pepsi.

Scott: 19:59 So let's just get this out of the way right there. This is the devil's child right there. So Coke. When was the last time you went and bought a can of Coke or Pepsi and and you, and you, and you, did you really believe that it was what the label says it is? Probably can't think of that time right? You see we believe in a lot of things. And our decisions and our behaviors are the result of what we believe in so many areas of life. And I can't remember a time when I went to the store and buying a can of Coke and walking up to the, imagine walking up to the Coke in the soda aisle and you look at it you're like, "I want to get some Coke. I'm grilling some burgers and man we get some salads and Coke is this the perfect thing. Is that, is that really Coke? I mean it says it's Coke, but I don't know. Hold on, let me call my wife here. Hey it's me. Yup, Walmart. Yeah I'm in the soda aisle. If i'm in Michigan, I say the pop aisle. If I'm in Alabama I say the Coke aisle. And the last time you bought Coke was it Coke? OK good, good. No, no, no, no, no, no, I'll talk to you about it later. Got to go back. OK. OK so got that."

Scott: 21:37 We don't do that right? Because we know what's in there is what it says on the outside. Well let me just make sure. Some of you are thirsty now aren't cha? Know what, it definitely is better than Pepsi. It is what it says it is. You see we, we, we know what we believe. We don't doubt that Coke is Coke.

Scott: 22:12 And no one encouraged us that are believers, when it comes to who God is, and who Jesus is, and God fulfilling his promises in our life, let's have that, let's strive for that same level of belief. Man, God said it, that settles it. I want to introduce you to one of the most famous doubters in all of the Bible. Anybody I know who it is? It's Thomas. Absolutely.

Scott: 22:39 Turn to John, Chapter 20. Let me set up the scene for you here because Jesus had been crucified. He's risen. And now he's appearing before his disciples and hundreds of other people for the proof of his resurrection. And Thomas and the disciples are kinda gathered together hanging out. And Thomas is not there. He probably had to go returns his Redbox or something like that. And at that time Jesus appears to the disciples. Scripture says he had, bam he's there in his resurrected state. Well then later on after Jesus was gone Thomas returns. Imagine being Thomas in that moment. "Dude. While you were away Jesus stood right there. Right there. He's alive. That was incredible. And you missed it because of your Redbox."

Scott: 23:42 Now here's what Thomas says. John, Chapter 20. It says in Verse 25, Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands from being crucified and put my finger where the nails were and put my hand into his side with a spear was plunged really hung on a cross." What's he say? "I will not believe." You see doubters have to see it to believe it. Been there. Anybody else? Sometimes I'm there still. Well Jesus comes back in appears to them again later on. And now Thomas sees him. And he has a conversation with Jesus. Here's what Jesus says in verse 27. He says, "Put your finger here. See my hands? Reach out your hand and put it into my side." And then what's Jesus say? "Stop doubting and believe." You know as much as we wrestle with doubt, as much as it's human it's normal. I think there comes a point in time when we grow in our relationship with God where he just says to us, "Hey I get it. But you know what. Stop doubting and believe."

Scott: 24:59 And then Thomas in response says the words that believers say to Jesus. What's he say? "My Lord and my God." He doesn't go like, "Oh my God." That's not that kind of statement. He's like, "My Lord. My God." And then it goes on. Jesus responds. Verse 29, 'Because you've seen me you have believed.' Now watch this. 'Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'

Scott: 25:32 You see when we're living in doubt we have to see it to believe it. But as believers we believe it, then see it. How many of you have seen Jesus physically standing in front of you, he's appeared to you physically? Raise your hand and we'll get you some help. Jesus says, "If you're a believer you're blessed." Why? Because you believed in him and have yet to see him. Let me read it again. 'Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.' That's many of you, many of us.

Scott: 26:18 So how does this apply to everyday life? I think in a big way. Last, last Sunday. I was, I was in Phoenix last weekend and speaking at a great church here in the valley and I'm heading home Sunday night and I'm in Sky Harbor Airport. And I'm tired. You know, just pretty tired. And I've been trying over the last few years to be more intentional about practicing gratitude, being thankful. And especially when I'm tired and all I'm thinking is I want to catch a flight back to Sacramento and I know I'm not going to get home until midnight. I want to go to bed and get some sleep. And that's all on my mind I'm like, "Now just be thankful, man, be thankful for what's going on your life and then what you get to do." And so here I am. I'm in Sky Harbor and I'm on that, I don't even know what you call that that, the motorized walkway. I don't know, you know the escalator. It's flat. Let me, let me explain it this way. People who don't travel, it's that thing that moves that when people who don't travel they actually stand on the left when they're supposed to stand on the right. And you're like, "Come on man, let's get going." So I'm walking through the airport. I've got my backpack on and my little pull along suitcase. Never check a bag. That's free advice. So I'm going through the airport and I'm really exhausted. I'm tired. I'm going to my gate and I look out to my left from that little moving walkway thing through the windows I see South Mountain and some airplanes. And I just had this thought. It had nothing to do with my conversation with you today. It actually has everything to do with it. But I was thinking about this conversation when I had the thought.

Scott: 27:54 And here's what my thought was. I asked myself this question. I know I'm weird. I was like, "Man, how much of my lifes experience is the result of my being a believer in Jesus?" Walking through the airport that's what I asked myself. How much my life experience is the result of being a believer in Jesus? And even before that little walkway ended where I had started using my own legs came, I was thinking, I thought, man. You know I'm married to Shelly because I'm a believer in Jesus. She and I met in our church. Being a believer is what crossed our paths and because of that we have three kids. So those, our specific kids are in a way the result of me being a believer in Jesus. And then I thought about our marriage. And we've been married for quite a while and there's been ups and there's been downs. And I thought man you know there were seasons when, early in our marriage, we thought we might not make it through this thing. But you know what kept us in the fight? We were fighting, yeah, you know what kept us in the fight? It was that we're believers of Jesus and we embraced what scripture says about marriage. That it's a covenant. And so we're like man, let's try to make it through this thing.

Scott: 29:20 We've made so many mistakes as parents. I'm shocked that our kids are not bent over in life, like this, walking like this. But you know what? In all of it we've tried to parent in a way that reflects that we're believers in Jesus. When I was in, more in the business world, I wanted to be a person who did business in a way that reflected that I was a believer in Jesus, which meant yes I'm in it for profit, but I'm also in it for good and the good of others. And so how I respond to this situation needs to reflect my values as a believer in Jesus.

Scott: 29:57 And then I'm literally, this thing hadn't even, it was flooding through my mind. And then I thought well I'm exhausted today and I'm getting on an airplane. I'm going home because I got to be at that really cool church and I did that because I'm a believer in Jesus. Everything was the result of being a believer in Jesus. Where does this come in to everyday life? I would say that believing that Jesus is the son of God and believing that God will fulfill his promises should saturate everything about our life. In fact I would challenge myself first and maybe the rest of us by saying this. That if my behaviors and my values and my lifestyle isn't aligned to the teachings of scripture, as a believer in Jesus, I'm living more in doubt than in belief. Because I believe there's a different way that's better than what God has said.

Scott: 30:55 As imperfect as I am. I'm the billboard for it. I was on that walkway in Sky Harbor going man, my whole life, the highs and the lows, what I get to do is the result of being a believer. I think as believers that should saturate our life. And then I thought, if that plane goes down and I don't make it back to Sacramento, where do I go? Because I'm a believer in Jesus my spirit steps out of this frail, broken body and spends eternity in the presence of God. Because I'm a believer in Jesus, you see, believing saturates everything.

Scott: 31:51 Let me read something out of John 20 and I'll wrap it up. It's not going to be on the screen but you can look it up later. It says in Verse 30 and 31 of John 20. 'Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples which are not recorded in this book.' John 20:31 then says, 'But these' what's recorded in scripture, 'are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in his name.'

Scott: 32:31 You see believers believe in Jesus and they believe because they believe in Jesus they believe God's going to fulfill his promises in our life. That you may believe that Jesus is the Christ and that by believing you may have life in his name. Let me close with this in the words of Jesus. Stop doubting and believe. And in the words of Journey, Don't Stop Believing.

Scott: 32:31 Let's bow our heads and let's pray.

Scott: 33:13 Father God, we embrace this reality that believing is the doorway to everything that you are and everything that you want to do in our life. Lord I pray for those of us who are here today that are wrestling with doubts. God I pray that today that, that you'd affirm in our hearts, God, that because we believe in Jesus, that Jesus is the son of God. You are the savior of the world. You have risen. God may forever settle the rest that you will fulfill your promises in our life. And Lord I pray for those of us here who may not yet be a believer. With our heads bowed in our eyes closed just want to say this to you. If that's you maybe before you even go to bed tonight try to pray. And maybe pray something like this. God I want believe. Would you help me in my unbelief? And see how God begins to reveal himself to you in your life. Father God we thank you. Thank you that we believe in Jesus and we believe that you will fulfill your promises in our life. It's in Jesus name that we pray. Amen.

Recorded in Chandler, Arizona.
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Cornerstone Church
1595 S Alma School Road
Chandler, Arizona 85286