God’s Provision in Challenging Times

Rod Hutton August 15, 2021 John 16:1-15
Outline

3 ways to avoid stumbling when facing opposition to your faith

I. Embrace Christ’s Warning about Mistreatment – 16:1-4

John 16:1 - These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

John 15:18-19 - If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

A. The purpose – to keep us from stumbling

John 16:1 - These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

“Stumbling translates a form of the verb skandalizō; the related noun literally refers to the bait stick in a trap. The term here refers figuratively to the disciples’ being caught off guard like an animal ensnared in a trap. Had Jesus not warned them of the persecution they would inevitably face, the disciples might have become shocked and disillusioned so that their faith might have faltered.” (John MacArthur, Commentary on John 12-21, p. 190)

B. The problem – people who hate you because of your faith

John 16:2-3 - They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.

“The work of the Holy Spirit in the church is done in the context of persecution. The Spirit is not a guide and a helper for those on a straight way perfectly able to manage on their own. He comes to assist men caught up in the thick of battle, and tried beyond their strength. Jesus makes it quite plain that the way before His followers is a hard and a difficult way.” (The Gospel According to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 692)

II. Celebrate Christ’s Gift of the Holy Spirit – 16:5-11

John 16:5 - But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, “Where are You going?”

John 13:36 - Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”

John 14:5 - Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”

John 16:6 - But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.

A. Because of what the Holy Spirit would do

John 16:8 - And He, when He comes, will convict the world…

“The Holy Spirit does not minister only to believers, but also to the unbelieving world. Though the word convict judicially implies a negative connotation, theologically the Spirit’s convicting ministry is an exceedingly positive one. His goal is to bring sinners to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.” (John MacArthur, John 12-21, p. 196)

Zechariah 4:6 - …Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

B. Because of how the Holy Spirit will convince people

1. Concerning sin

John 16:9 - concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me…

2. Concerning righteousness

John 16:10 - …and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me…

Hebrews 13:20-21 - Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

3. Concerning judgment

John 16:11 - …and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

1 John 3:8 - …The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 - For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

III. Follow the Spirit’s Truth in His Word

John 16:13 - But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

A. The product of the apostle’s Spirit-filled ministry

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2 Peter 1:20-21 - But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

B. The truth that points us and others to Christ

John 16:14 - He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Last weekend, I spent Saturday ripping out some old cabinets in our garage to out in sturdier shelves and help get organized and regain some space. One of the things that caused me to do was to go through all of my tools that I have collected over the years which then caused me to ask is this tool going making it back to the drawer or going away. Well, honestly, I kept far more than I tossed because I was thinking I just might need that again in the future. Because sometimes you just need the right tool to get the job done right.

Makes me think of a day when I did not have the right tools. Long, long ago, when I owned a small little Acura I decided it would be better if I changed my own oil, save a few bucks. Also, thankful that the Navy had an auto shop that I could come in and work on my own car, so I got it up on the lift and I am under the car, drain the oil, then locate the filter.

There is then one rule that we all need to know about removing the filter – say it with me – “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.” If God’s revelation through his word were not already complete, I might ask that He add that.

Now, particularly when you are underneath what you are loosening, make sure that you verify you are looking at things and say it again, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.”

But wait, Acura, made things a little tougher – instead of the filter being directly visible from under the engine, I had to reach up, in, over and around to feel, but not see the filter. Now comes the problem, and there has to be a problem, or it would not work well as a sermon illustration – I did not have the right tool to reach up, in over and around, so I dug around and found a wrench that I could at least get a grip with and I took a big turn on that wrench and it moved a little and then stopped. Then it struck me, because of the up in over and around, I had just pulled righty-tighty, and now there was nothing in my toolbox that would take it back lefty-loosey. In fact as I tried, I destroyed the filter housing, which meant I could not just put in oil and take it to a professional.

I am thankful for the men at that auto shop as they then helped me find the right tool to painstakingly reverse the twist on that oil filter 1/16th of a turn at a time. My 30 minute oil changed turned into 4 hours of agony

here’s the point – sometimes using the wrong tools, or worse using the tools wrong can lead to disaster, wouldn’t you want to work smarter, not harder?...and often having the right tool makes all the difference in the world…

Now, here’s why we’re talking about this today…when you think about the mission and ministry God has given you in this world…it is not always going to be easy, in fact we might find that it is not just hard, but that the world is actually fighting back against you.

Sometimes, if not often, you may find that some people will initially respond to your faith in Christ with either disdain, or ridicule, or alienation, or downright hatred and discrimination…

It might feel like you’re up against an immovable object, like a stuck oil filter, The world’s culture does not want to loosen up and it does not want to move…How do you make an impact for Christ in this culture in which we live?...

Do you know what you need?...

You need a tool that’s not in your garage and it’s not at the auto shop or the rental store either…

but it (and more appropriately) He, is available to every person who chooses to be a follower of Jesus Christ…

With that in mind, please open your Bible to John 16…page 86 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you…

I want to thank you for continuing our journey together verse by verse through the Gospel of John or even if you are just joining for the first time this week, we are thankful to be celebrating this theme of Enjoying Life in Jesus’ Name…

With today’s passage, I want us to see God’s Provisions in Challenging Times

There’s no question that these are not particularly easy days to be a follower of Jesus Christ…especially if you choose to live by the principles of the Word of God and you want to make a difference in your family, and at your workplace, and in our community…Live your life and speak the Truth and it will not be long before the stuck filter of our culture pushes back.

If that causes you frustration and raises questions of why…Are you surprised? Would the disciples have been surprised that the world would push back?…

What we will find today is that first Jesus warned His followers about this, but He didn’t just leave them to be frustrated. He also provides for us the right tool so that we don’t have to be stuck…

- read John 16:1-15…

Today as we rejoice in God’s Provisions in Challenging Times

I want us to fill our toolboxes with 3 ways to avoid stumbling when facing opposition to your faith

First, we need to choose not to be frustrated because of how the world treats us, but we need to

I. Embrace Christ’s Warning about Mistreatment – 16:1-4

Jesus begins this chapter with the words… John 16:1 - These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

A couple quick questions that we have to start with - what “things” is Jesus referring to?

Remember how I described that John turned back the speed dial back in Chapter 13 - this passage is part of the same evening in the upper room, sharing the Passover meal

By now, the public invitations are over, and Jesus is focused on His closest disciples and giving them final comfort and instructions before He goes to the cross…

So what are “these things”?

In chapter 15, Jesus had told them that… John 15:18–19 - If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

That had to have been deeply troubling for some if not all of the disciples…recently some had asked Jesus when or if he was going to usher in His Messianic kingdom because they were still looking for a political savior.

And now Jesus keeps speaking about leaving and how they will face stiff opposition because of their belief in Him…so Jesus raises this topic again in chapter 16 now telling them why they need to know…

A. The purpose – to keep us from stumbling

- John 16:1 - These things I have spoken to you so that you may be kept from stumbling.

- Bible teacher John MacArthur explains that - Stumbling translates a form of the verb skandalizō; the related noun literally refers to the bait stick in a trap. The term here refers figuratively to the disciples’ being caught off guard like an animal ensnared in a trap. Had Jesus not warned them of the persecution they would inevitably face, the disciples might have become shocked and disillusioned so that their faith might have faltered (John MacArthur, Commentary on John 12-21, p. 190).

John MacArthur describes the meaning here for stumbling not just as simply falling down, but as being baited, and deceived such that we fall into a trap. Jesus is warning about stumbling where we don’t just get up and brush of the dirt, we can be caught off guard and trapped like an animal. Jesus wanted them to know in advance, not so that it would be avoided, but so that they would know and believe and follow Him in challenging times.

Here’s the point – if we embrace Christ’s warning about mistreatment, we don’t have to be angry with opposition to our faith…or frustrated, or irritated, or proud, or self-righteous, or forceful…even if the opposition seems to be getting worse, or more intense…we are experiencing, at least to some degree, exactly what Christ suggested we would…

- so, what’s…

B. The problem – people who hate you because of your faith.

- John 16:2–3 - They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.

Being made outcasts from the synagogues was more than just they couldn’t go to temple, it was a complete separation from Jewish life, spiritually, physically and even economically. They truly lost everything, but that was not the worst…

Based on historical records, only one apostle died of old age, the others were all killed for their faith by crucifixion, stabbing, stoning and beheading. This hatred continued for the early church fathers and again in the reformation when men sought to challenge the world and even church culture to follow the truth.

And the problem still exists today. A NYT’s article once claimed that more people had been killed simply for claiming to be Christians in the 20th century than in the prior 19 centuries combined.

For you and I, I don’t believe than any of us could speak about any kind of treatment we’re facing that merits the use of the word persecution…but many here are experiencing estrangement from friends or family members, or ridicule because of what you believe, or distain, or discrimination, or hatred in some way, shape, or form.

- Commentator Leon Morris made this observation - The work of the Holy Spirit in the church is done in the context of persecution. The Spirit is not a guide and a helper for those on a straight way perfectly able to manage on their own. He comes to assist men caught up in the thick of battle, and tried beyond their strength. Jesus makes it quite plain that the way before His followers is a hard and a difficult way. (The Gospel According to John, The New International Commentary on the New Testament [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979], 692).

Now what about the person who might say – I really don’t have any evidence of this kind of treatment anywhere in my life?...you realize that may not be good news…

It’s like the old story of the godly couple who prayed for a child and prayed for a child and the Lord finally granted the request later in life…but regrettably the wife died while giving birth to a healthy baby boy…

So this man, even in the midst of his grief sought to raise his son in the nurture and admonition of the Lord…because of his love for God but also to honor his wife’s memory and wishes…

Their son trusted Christ and began to grow in him but after high school graduation he was unable to find work where they lived and so in the summer before college he took a job away from home in a logging camp…

His father knew the reputation for godlessness that many of those camps had and so every day he prayed that his son would be a godly example and witness, and that he would be able to stand up against the ridicule of the other men…He worried about the kind of abuse and persecution his son might face…

When the end of the summer came, and the man greeted his son and asked how he endured the way the men treated him for being a Christian…and his son said, “that’s OK dad, they never found out…”

I pray there are none of us today who would respond in a similar fashion…it’s OK because no one at work knows I’m a Christian…no one in my neighborhood…no one on my ball team…no one on social media…it’s OK dad – they never found out…

That may be an even worse form of stumbling than the one envisioned in this text…

Let me bring us back to the text – what about those here who can say – I do face opposition to my faith in various forms…and it feels like I am stuck and I can’t move…

We all need the right tool to unstick that filter…which is why we’re invited in the next verses to…

II. Celebrate Christ’s Gift of the Holy Spirit – 16:5-11

Jesus says that it is actually good for you that I go away…because then I will send the gift of the Holy Spirit to enable you to accomplish the mission you’ve been given…

There is a tool…a Person, who is able to supernaturally unstick that filter of unbelief…

Let’s pause briefly here…because there is a good question that if we do not answer, some may be caused to stumble because it can look like Jesus contradicts himself…

You may recognized an immediate problem in verse 5 when the Lord says… John 16:5 - But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, “Where are You going?”

What’s the issue?....Earlier the same night, Jesus has been asked that very question at least twice…

- John 13:36 - Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.”

- John 14:5 - Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”

Surely Jesus hadn’t forgotten their questions---they had just asked them…and nor had John forgotten their questions…he had just written them…so what’s going on here?...

It is most likely that earlier that the disciples were focused on what they were about to lose…and not on what Christ’s death would accomplish for them and anyone else who choose to believe in Him because of their subsequent lives and ministry…

See, here’s a challenging thought – what if the darkness – with all of the pain and frustration it brings – actually provides a better backdrop for the light of the gospel to shine through?...Jesus’ glory shines that much brighter in a dark world

- especially if there’s a new tool Who’s about to be given…

Sorrow didn’t have to fill their hearts…[John 16:6 - But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. ]

Why?...

A. Because of what the Holy Spirit would do

- John 16:8 - And He, when He comes, will convict the world…

Let’s look at that closely. I would encourage you to listen to this next quote very carefully, because it brings great hope to people like you and me who really want to make a difference in our world…

The Holy Spirit does not minister only to believers, but also to the unbelieving world. Though the word convict judicially implies a negative connotation, theologically the Spirit’s convicting ministry is an exceedingly positive one. His goal is to bring sinners to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (John MacArthur, John 12-21, p. 196).

So we could just as easily use the word “convince” here…and who does the convincing? Who will unstick the filter of unbelief?

Is it our wisdom, or our might, or our debate skills, or our political posturing, and on and on?...

No, it’s just like we read in the book of Zechariah…Zechariah 4:6 - …Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.

This is why we don’t have to go through life frustrated, or worried, or angry, or afraid…

Because when the Holy Spirit came, and He is still here with us, in us today, He will convict/convince the world…He will unstick the filter of unbelief.

And it is not just that He will, Jesus tells us how…

B. Because of how the Holy Spirit will convince people

1. concerning sin

- John 16:9 - concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

The Holy Spirit’s first work in the unbeliever is not in showing them all the things they do wrong. We are capable of knowing that because it is written on our hearts. Romans 2 teaches us even those who do not have the Law, show the work of the Law written on our hearts, our conscience bearing witness.

So, what sin? When He comes, He will convict the world of sin, singular, not plural…that sin is that the world rejects Jesus, they do not believe in Him. The only solution to our greatest problems begins be unsticking the filter of unbelief, the rejection of Jesus Christ.

Let me give you an example. Whether you watched the Olympics or not, it was not long before we get pulled into a discussion about athletes speaking out and raising the issues of social justice and racial tensions either by kneeling pre-game or how they responded on the medal platform. We could get into an endless argument about who’s right and who’s wrong and on and on…but that is not the point…

Regardless of your position on that matter, do you think the athlete’s actions will result in any lasting change in race relations in our country and our world?...

Probably not?...why?...

Because racial tension is not a cause, it’s a symptom of a greater problem…which is what?

We only need to read the first three chapters of God Word to know…racial tension is a symptom of the curse of sin…

And the only cure for that is the finished work of Christ of the cross…

And what is it that the Holy Spirit has been sent to convince the world of…sin…

let’s push that one step further – when we say racial tension is a symptom of the curse of sin, we’re talking about everyone else’s sin, right?...

Or is it possible that all of us struggle with judgementalism to some degree or another…

And what would happen if we said something like – I struggle with the temptation to judge people who are different than me…and I know that’s sin…and that’s why I chose to place my faith and trust in Christ to be forgiven of my sin and to try to love others regardless of their ethnicity the way Jesus wants me to…

What could happen when a person who doesn’t yet know the Lord hears you talking like that…How could the Holy Spirit use that moment of authenticity in your life?...Possibly to convince someone else of their sin and their need for a Savior…

Whenever the church or individual Christians position ourselves as “the people out there are sinners and we’re not”…that often shuts down the conversation…

But when we start by acknowledging our failures and weaknesses…and our understanding that Jesus “had to go away”…He had to go to the cross…because that was the only way our sin could be addressed once and for all…

The positive expression of your belief could be used by the Holy Spirit to convince someone else of their need to believe…

- now, how else does the Holy Spirit convince people…

2. concerning righteousness

- John 16:10 - and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me;

What’s the point there?...the power and the efficacy of the resurrection of Christ…

Ever think about why you never see a figure of Jesus hanging on a cross around here…because our Savior was the Son of God…an infinite Person who could pay a finite price for our sin and then be miraculously raised from the dead…He was going to the Father because His work of salvation was complete.

Hebrews 13:20–21 - Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

That it was His work, not ours is the one of the most important truths that we need to know. Ephesians 2:8 says

Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.

Our standing before God – our very identity – is certainly not wrapped up in our work our righteousness…it’s wrapped up in His…

This is why 2 Cor 5:21 is so important… 2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So what does that have to do how we position ourselves with others who don’t know the Lord?....

The last thing we would want is to get into cultural arguments that would give others the impression that we thought we were inherently more righteous than anyone else…

We want to find as many ways as we can to affirm that the only true righteousness we possess was given to us a free gift from our loving Savior…and our hope and prayer is that others would receive that gift too…

Let’s suppose that someone says to you [like someone recently said to one of our church members] – I wish I had the peace that you do…

What a great opportunity to say something like – that’s because I know that because of my faith in Christ, I know the heavenly Father sees me clothed in the righteousness of His Son…so I don’t have to be anxious about the approval of people…

And what does the Holy Spirit do with affirmations like that…He convinces others – I know I can’t be righteous on my own…and now I’ve heard that Christian acknowledge the same thing…I need righteousness from the same Savior that provided theirs…

- so the Holy Spirit convinces people of sin, and of righteousness…and

3. concerning judgment

- John 16:11 - and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

John would later write this in his first letter… 1 John 3:8 - …The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

Every time an unbelieving person sees a follower of Christ living in victory…resisting the devil and having our adversary flee…it’s another opportunity for them to be convinced by the Holy Spirit…I need a relationship with a powerful Savior who can enable me to do that too…

He doesn’t need our anger, and our pride, and our forcefulness, and our self-righteousness…

Paul said it this way - 2 Corinthians 10:3–4 - For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

Does your life, your testimony, and the consistency of your witness, demonstrate that you truly believe Christ kept His promise to send the Holy Spirit to guide and empower the mission He has given us to do?...

Do they know that you know that you know that you know…or will you come home to say It’s OK dad, they didn’t find out that I was a Christian…

In order to not stumble in the face of a culture that rejects Jesus, We need to embrace Christ’s warning about mistreatment, and we need to celebrate Christ’s gift of the Holy Spirit, and lastly, we need to…

III. Follow the Spirit’s Truth in His Word.

Jesus promises his disciples that…

John 16:13 - But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

Just as I mentioned when we studied John 14, we need to understand that this statement was specifically for His disciples who were with him in the upper room, those who will become apostles, to whom God inspired by the Holy Spirit to give us the Scriptures…so we give thanks for

A. The product of the apostle’s Spirit-filled ministry

In seeking to follow the Spirit’s Truth in His word, we give thanks that

2 Timothy 3:16–17 - All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Peter made a similar comment when He wrote…

2 Peter 1:20–21 - But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

This is why, in our conversations with others, in our counseling, we are not using human wisdom…we are looking for opportunities to share the Word of God and let the Holy Spirit do His work…

Friend, if you don’t yet know the Lord…it’s very possible that the conviction you feel right now is the work of the Holy Spirit of God…the question is, do you want to follow your feelings? Or do you want to turn to truth

to determine your eternal destiny?...

Romans 10:17 - So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

What will you put your faith in? [ develop the gospel]

You might be asking, but how do I know it is the Spirit of Truth Convicting me? Because it is…

B. The truth that points us and others to Christ

- John 16:14 - He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Our greatest application all of this is to trust the work of the Holy Spirit and to choose our thoughts, our words and our actions in a way that points to Christ. John the Baptist prayed that “He must increase, but I must decrease.” When we choose to seek the same in our hearts, we open the door for the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us.

So why do you NOT need to be worried, or frustrated, or angry about the apparent hardness of some or perhaps many of those around you who don’t yet know Christ?...

Because we’ve been given a tool to unstick even the unbelieving heart…the Holy Spirit of God…

We have a marvelous opportunity to put this message to the test right away…

  • Will you be a part of growing God’s Kingdom right here in Lafayette this Fall?
  • Which of your unbelieving friends can you invite to our Worship night on the 25th and allow the Holy Spirit to do His Work?
  • Who will you invite to come to Intro to Faith? Or an FCI class, or your NBG? And allow the Holy Spirit to do His work?

Do you think the Holy Spirit of God can use your example, your testimony, your witness to unstick a filter of unbelief in those He has placed around you…in way you could never do in your own strength and wisdom?...

and you may say – well, no one is ever really watching the way I live or listening to the words I say…are you sure about that?...

God has given us the perfect tool and prepared us that we might not stumble in the face of challenging times. Your testimony is the story of His victory, a tool that the Holy Spirit can use mightily. Let’s not take that tool out of His hand.

Authors

Rod Hutton

Roles

Pastor of Northend Ministries - Faith Church

Director - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

Executive Director - Vision of Hope

Chair of the Northend Properties Board - Northend Ministries

Certified Biblical Counselor - Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries

Bio

B. Mathematics – University of Minnesota
M.A. – National Security Affairs – Naval Post Graduate School
M. Div. – Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Rod Hutton and his wife Kathy have been married for 34 years. They have five children, Chris, Tim, Malia, Grace and Josie. The Hutton’s came to Lafayette on assignment with the Navy to Purdue University which afforded the opportunity to attend Faith Bible Seminary. In 2018, Rod retired from Naval Service and joined the staff to lead the efforts in opening and operating the Northend Community Center and in 2019 he was ordained as a pastor with Faith Church. In 2024, he transitioned to the role as Director, Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.