RECENTLY THE PRESIDENT OF LARGEST CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT DENOMINATION SAID THAT THERE ARE THREE THINGS NOT BEING PREACHED TODAY.
1. THE WORD ‘LOST’.
A. THOSE WHO ARE NOT FORGIVEN BY GOD.
The Bible tells us that anyone who is not forgiven by God is lost.
Luke 19:10For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Psalms 119:176I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant; for I do not forget Thy commandments.
B. THEY ARE DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE. WE ALL HAVE BEEN THERE. LOSTNESS IS DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE.
–THE PRODIGAL SON.
Luke 15:32It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
HE WAS AWAY FROM HIS FATHER. HE CHOSE IN FAVOR OF A LIFE OF SIN. HE WAS USED BY OTHERS AND NOT GOD. HE WOULD PERISH IF HE DID NOT REPENT.
–THE LOST PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.
Ezekiel 34:16I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
PEOPLE WHO ARE BROKEN (PERHAPS THROUGH HEART-ACHES, ATTACKS FROM THE DEVIL, ETC.), PEOPLE WHO ARE DRIVEN AWAY FROM GOD (SOME THROUGH FALSE DOCTRINES, FALSE CHRISTIANS, FALSE TEACHING IN SCHOOLS, ETC.), AND THOSE WHO ARE WEAK (PERHAPS FROM BEING BEATEN DOWN SO MUCH, PERHAPS THROUGH BEING WEAKENED BY THE WORLD’S VIEWS ON LIFE).
2. THE WORD ‘PREPARE.’
The return of the Lord is an important prophecy of Scripture.
BE READY AND USE THE GIFTS OF GOD.
1 Corinthians 1:7So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
BE WELL ESTABLISHED IN THE FAITH.
BE ESTABLISHED IN GOD’S WORD.
James 5:8Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
DON’T BE MARGINAL, OR WEAK IN YOUR COMMITMENT TO THE LORD.. YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT IN THESE DAYS !
2 Thessalonians 2:1-2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
YIELD TO GOD’S DESIRE FOR YOU TO BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLAME.
1 Thessalonians 3:13To the end He may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.
3. THE WORD ‘REPENT.’
GOD CALLS HIS CHURCH TO REPENT.
Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
Revelation 2:16Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.
Revelation 3:19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
NOT ‘LOVE.’ THAT WAS COVERED BY THE FIRST 10 COMMANDMENTS. GOD DID NOT SAY, “INVITE THEM.” HE SAID “BRING THEM !” IT IS A COMMAND, AND NOT A SUGGESTION.
Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Luke 14:21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:
1. IT IS A COMMAND THAT BRINGS PEOPLE TO JESUS.
THE CHARACTER OF THE PEOPLE TO BE BROUGHT—ALL NEEDY. NOT NECESSARILY WITH GOOD MANNERS, WITH GOOD MORALS, OR GOOD THINKING.
Mark 2:17When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
A. EVERYONE IS LEADING PEOPLE TO SOME ONE, EVEN IF THEY SAY THEY ARE NOT LEADERS. MANY END UP BRINGING PEOPLE TO MORE AND MORE SIN—BECAUSE THEY ARE INVOLVED IN IT THEMSELVES.
Genesis 19:5And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
B. GOD HAS CHOSEN THE CHURCH AS ONE THAT BRINGS THEM.
Revelation 22:17And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Luke 14:23And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
—BRING THOSE WHO ARE NEEDY.
Acts 5:16There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.
—BRINGING THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY SAVED TO A NEW LEVEL OF USEFULNESS.
Numbers 11:16And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto Me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.
2. IT IS A TEAM EFFORT BY THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
A. IT RELIES ON THE POWER OF GOD.
John 15:5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
B. IT DEPENDS ON THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD.
Colossians 1:6Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth:
3. IT IS A COMMAND EVEN IF NO ONE ELSE DOES IT WITH YOU.
A. GOD WANTS TO RECEIVE YOU AS A VERY PRECIOUS PERSON.
2 Corinthians 10:5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
1. BECAUSE WITHOUT GOD WE ARE HEADED IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.
WE CAN SEE THE RESULTS OF DOING THINGS WITHOUT GOD. FAMILIES WHICH DON’T PUT GOD FIRST INHERIT HUGE AMOUNTS OF PROBLEMS FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR CHILDREN, RANGING FROM DRUGS, BOOZE, MURDEROUS FRIENDS, RUN-INS WITH THE LAW, SICKNESSES WHICH CANNOT BE EXPLAINED, AND MANY MORE. JUST BECAUSE A PERSON CLAIMS TO BE A CHRISTIAN DOESN’T MEAN THAT HE IS, OR THAT HE FOLLOWS CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES. MOST PEOPLE TODAY WHO CALL THEMSELVES CHRISTIANS LIKE THE IDEA OF GOING TO HEAVEN, BUT HAVE NO COMMITMENT TO PUT GOD FIRST.
Colossians 1:14-17In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by Him all things consist.
“CONSIST” = literally means “ARE HELD TOGETHER”. Jesus is the one that holds families together. If you are half-hearted, don’t expect Him to reward that.
2. BECAUSE WE DIE. WE SEE DEATH ALL AROUND US.
Even if you are already saved and are resurrected at the Rapture, you will have to leave this old body behind. It will be completely changed as you ascend.
IF YOU LIVE LONG ENOUGH, YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A LOVED ONE DYING. IT IS OBVIOUS.
Hebrews 9:27And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
A man once gave a testimony that as a church reader was reading Genesis 5, he thought how boring this passage was. It was just a list of different people, and how long they lived, who their kids were. He was young, and had never thought about himself dying. Suddenly, as he was listening he realized that one thing each person listed had in common was that they all died. Some lived longer, some had more children, but they all died. He understood that God was speaking with him about death and his need to get ready.
Genesis 5:5And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died. Genesis 5:8And all the days of Seth were nine hundred and twelve years: and he died. Genesis 5:11And all the days of Enos were nine hundred and five years: and he died. Genesis 5:14And all the days of Cainan were nine hundred and ten years: and he died. Genesis 5:17And all the days of Mahalaleel were eight hundred ninety and five years: and he died. Genesis 5:20And all the days of Jared were nine hundred sixty and two years: and he died. Genesis 5:27And all the days of Methuselah were nine hundred sixty and nine years: and he died. Genesis 5:31And all the days of Lamech were seven hundred seventy and seven years: and he died.
3. BECAUSE YOUR SOUL AND SPIRIT WILL LEAVE THIS BODY ONE DAY . . .
. . . AND WHEN THEY DO, WE NO LONGER HAVE CONTROL OVER WHERE WE END UP. IT IS UP TO GOD TO BRING US TO A PLACE WHERE WE WILL LIVE FOREVER. THE DECISION IS MADE WHILE WE LIVE, NOT AFTER WE DIE.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
4. BECAUSE THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES TO DISOBEDIENCE, OR SIN.
A. ALL IT TAKES IS ONE SIN TO BREAK THE LAW OF LIFE.
ADAM AND EVE SINNED ONCE, AND SPIRITUALLY DIED. GOD TOLD THEM IT TOOK ONLY ONE ACT OF DISOBEDIENCE. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU DONE THE SAME ? MORE THAN ONCE ?
Romans 5:12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
A woman received a phone call telling her that her bank account had been accessed by a hacker, and all her life saving were gone. She was devastated. The voice on the other end said that the bank was committed to getting her money back, but they needed to verify that she was one who held the account. They asked for her social security number, and the account numbers. After which, they thanked her for her cooperation, and hung up. Shortly thereafter, she received a call from the REAL bank informing her that someone had accessed her accounts. The first called was a scam. She never fell for anything like that before. She did only once, and lost everything.
What if a man jumps off the top of a skyscaper ? On the way down, he changes his mind and decides it was the wrong thing to do. He complains that it was his first time to try something so stupid. It didn’t help. He died anyway. He did this only once. That is all it took.
ONE SIN PRODUCES AN AUTOMATIC VERDICT OF GUILT. ONLY ONE SIN !
Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
5. BECAUSE EVEN WHEN WE TRY TO DO OUR BEST, WE ARE UNWORTHY TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN WITHOUT GOD.
Isaiah 64:6But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
OUR FEEBLE EFFORTS ARE NOT TOTALLY PURE OR CLEAN ENOUGH TO MAKE IT INTO HEAVEN.
Psalm 24:3-5Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
When faced with the idea that one sin is enough to condemn them to hell, some contend that they are “Good people.” But, consider the number of murderers whose relatives and friends cannot believe they committed a crime. What about their neighbors who say they were always respectful and friendly. Does their good behavior outweigh them killing their children, their wife or others ?
6. BECAUSE OUR CREATOR SAYS THAT WE NEED TO BE BORN AGAIN.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER WHAT HE SAYS ? ONLY GOD CAN DETERMINE WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY. THINK ABOUT IT.
What government can give you a home in Heaven ? Which of your friends can bring you safely all the way to Heaven ? None. You relay solely upon God.
Isaiah 55:3Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
JESUS PRESENTED THIS TRUTH TO A MAN WHO WAS VERY RELIGIOUS, KNEW THE BIBLE, AND SEEMED TO BE VERY SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE. HOW MUCH MROE WOULD THIS APPLY TO EVERY ONE OF US !
John 3:7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
7. GOD PROMISES EVERLASTING LIFE TO THOSE WHOSE SINS ARE TAKEN AWAY AND ERASED.
It doesn’t matter how bad your sins have been, there is a God Who wants to free you from them, and bless you. But, you have to do it HIS way.
WHY WOULD ANYONE TURN DOWN AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE FREED FROM THE POWER OF SIN ? WHY WOULD ANYONE PUSH GOD’S LOVE AWAY WHEN THERE IS STILL TIME TO RECEIVE IT ?
John 5:24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
John 8:51Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.
JESUS SPOKE OF DEATH AND CONFRONTED PEOPLE WITH IT MORE THAN ALL THE PROPHETS.
Luke 16:22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
8. BECAUSE WE CANNOT CONTROL WHAT LIES AHEAD IN A WORLD WE CANNOT SEE RIGHT NOW.
CANNOT GET INTO HEAVEN OR MAKE ANYTHING IN OUR LIVES COUNT WITHOUT HIM.
John 15:5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.
9. BECAUSE WE ARE UNWORTHY TO MAKE IT TO HEAVEN WITHOUT GOD.
Psalm 24:3-5 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
1 Chronicles 11:9So David waxed greater and greater: for the LORD of hosts was with him.
1 John 4:4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Hebrews 11:40God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
1. GOD IS GREATER THAN ALL OTHERS.
One of the things which Israel had to deal with was that all the surrounding countries had their own gods. Sometimes there were many to each country. Israel had to prove that the one true God was greater than all of them. An example of doing that is David slaying Goliath, or Moses bringing out the children of Israel.
WHAT ARE WE DOING THAT SHOWS THAT OUR GOD IS GREATER THAN THE GODS OF THIS WORLD ?
A. GOD’S PEOPLE IN THE PAST SHOWED THAT GOD IS ABOVE ALL OTHERS.
Exodus 18:11Now I know that the LORD is greater than all gods: for in the thing wherein they dealt proudly He was above them.
B. GOD’S WISDOM IS GREATER THAN MAN’S, AND IT IS AVAILABLE TO BELIEVERS.
Luke 11:31The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
C. GOD’S KNOWLEDGE IS GREATER THAN OURS.
1 John 3:20For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
D. GOD’S POWER IS GREATER THAN ALL OTHERS.
Luke 11:32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. John 5:36But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given Me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father hath sent Me.
2. TRUE BELIEVERS SHOULD BE EXALTING THE SUPERIORITY OF THEIR LORD.
John 15:20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also.
A. BEARING TROUBLES FOR CHRIST IS GREATER THAN ALL THE RICHES OF THIS WORLD.
Hebrews 11:26Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
B. WE HAVE A BETTER, MORE POWERFUL LOVE.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 1 John 3:16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
D. OUR WILLINGNESS TO DIE SHOULD SHOW THAT WE HAVE A BETTER PLACE TO GO TO.
–WE HAVE A PLACE IN HEAVEN.
Hebrews 10:34For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Hebrews 11:16But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for He hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:35Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
— WE DON’T HAVE TO DEPEND UPON THIS WORLD. INSTEAD WE APPEAL TO A HIGHER POWER.
Luke 12:24Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?
3. WHAT GOD HAS GIVEN US IS BETTER THAN GREAT MATERIAL RICHES ON EARTH.
Proverbs 15:16Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. Proverbs 16:8Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.
THERE IS A WIDELY HELD BELIEF THAT A PERSON CANNOT KNOW IF THEY ARE SAVED UNTIL THEY DIE. THIS IS NOT SO. IT IS NO SECRET WHEN A PERSON GETS SAVED. YOU CAN’T BE CLOSE TO GOD AND PEOPLE NOT KNOW IT.
WHEN MOSES CAME DOWN FROM THE MOUNT, THE PEOPLE COULD SEE A DIFFERENCE IN HIM. THERE WAS A VISIBLE CHANGE IN HIS COUNTENANCE, HE LITERALLY GLOWED FROM BEING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD.
THE THIEF ON THE CROSS CHANGES RIGHT THERE WHILE DYING BESIDE JESUS. PEOPLE COULD SEE IT. THERE WAS AN INSTANT CHANGE IN ATTITUDE. THE CHANGE IN BEHAVIOR WAS VISIBLE.
BUT WHILE SALVATION IS NOT A SECRET, GOD DOES KEEP OTHER THINGS FROM US FOR NOW.
1. THERE IS A PLACE WHICH IS A SECRET TO OTHERS.
A. WHERE GOD DWELLS IS A SECRET. EVEN SCIENCE CANNOT FIND IT OUT.
Psalms 91:1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
–GOD HAS A SPECIAL PLACE SET APART FOR YOU AND FOR HIM. IT IS A PLACE OF FELLOWSHIP, SOMETIMES CALLED PRAYER.
Psalms 4:3But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him.
–NOT EVERYONE CAN GO THERE. GOD DESIRES THAT WE HAVE A SECRET PLACE FOR BEING WITH HIM IN ADDITION TO COMING TOGETHER.
Matthew 6:6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
Many people will set aside special cleaned and pressed clothing, drive many miles, check their clocks to make sure that they get there on time. The phone rings, and they ignore it because they have a meeting. They have a place to go where they will be seen and spoken to privately by someone who has great knowledge. What are they doing ? Getting ready for a doctor’s appointment. BUT, why don’t Christians treat their appointment with God in the same dedication and seriousness ?
B. WHAT IS A SECRET TO SOME, IS NOT A SECRET TO OTHERS.
–GOD REVEALS THINGS TO PEOPLE FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS.
Daniel 2:19Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven. Daniel 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart.
IT WAS NOT BECAUSE DANIEL WAS SO SMART !
–THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE.
–SALVATION REVEALED TO HEARTS THAT ARE HUNGRY TO KNOW GOD.
Matthew 11:25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
–THINGS ARE REVEALED BUY THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. Luke 2:26And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
–GOD HAS REVEALED OUR FUTURE THROUGH HIS SPIRIT.
1 Corinthians 2:9-11But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
C. THE LIGHT SHOULD NOT REMAIN A SECRET THAT WE HAVE BEEN WITH GOD.
Luke 11:33No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
3. THERE WILL BE NOTHING SECRET IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT.
A. YOUR SINS WILL BE REVEALED UNLESS THEY ARE HIDDEN BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST.
Matthew 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
B. BUT WE ARE HIDDEN IN CHRIST.
1 Corinthians 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
C. YOUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION IS NO SECRET.
PEOPLE DECEIVE THEMSELVES ALL THE TIME INTO THINKING THAT GOD DOESN’T REALLY KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN YOUR MIND. HE DOES. NOTHING IS A SECRET TO HIM.
HE KNOWS IF YOU HAVE BEEN HALF-HEARTED IN YOUR COMMITMENT TO CHRIST.
HE KNOWS IF YOU HAVE NEVER TRULY BEEN BORN AGAIN. DON’T TRY TO CONVINCE YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE SAVED WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE THE EVIDENCE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED.
This is a common question when Believers recognize that this world has gone past the patience of the Lord, and judgment worldwide is around the corner.
WE DON’T LIVE IN HOPELESSNESS.
There is always something to do for the Lord until He comes.
He didn’t leave us on earth to watch the news and get depressed. He left us here to finish up the work He assigned to His Bride.
This week there was a record breaking 165 degree heat wave in Iran. An unknown number of people died. The government issued a mandatory 4 day heat wave holiday, where people were NOT to come to work.
In the fringes of this heat wave, in Pakistan, 600 people died. In India, over 230 died.
When will see similar things hitting where we live ? What we are seeing on earth down is simply a small amount that is leading up to God’s judgment during the Tribulation.
REVELATION 16:8-9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
(THERE WILL ALSO BE TIMES OF FREEZING COLD JUST AS DEVASTATING AS THE HEATWAVES).
What about the people who see it coming, and wonder, what can we do in the time we have left ?
WE NEED TO FINISH THE WORK GOD GAVE TO EACH OF US TO DO.
JESUS COMPARES OUR WORK TO THAT OF A PERSON BUILDING A TOWER.
Luke 14:28-30 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.
JESUS SET HIMSELF AS OUR EXAMPLE IN FINISHING THE WORK OF THE FATHER.
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
PAUL WAS CONCERNED ABOUT FINISHING ALL THAT GOD ASSIGNED TO HIM.
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN I AM FINISHED ?
Answer: “When God calls you to your reward in Heaven.”
1. BE A LIGHT TO THE LOST.
A. A STRONG LIGHT IS MOST VALUABLE IN THE DARKEST HOURS, NOT AT NOONTIME.
YOU WON’T CONVERT THEIR SINFUL HEARTS TO RIGHT THINKING UNTIL YOU SEE THEIR SOUL CONVERTED TO CHRIST.).
Matthew 5:14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
–SHOW THAT YOU KNOW THE TRUTH AND IT IS VALUABLE TO YOU. –SHOW THAT YOU HAVE A LIVING SAVIOR WHO HELPS YOU DAILY.
Luke 8:16No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. Luke 11:33No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light. Luke 11:35Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.
B. THE LIGHT IS OBVIOUSLY DISTINCT FROM THE DARKNESS, YET THE TESTIMONIES OF SOME PEOPLE IS NOT SO DISTINCT FROM THE LIFE OF THE LOST.
C. BE AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE BRETHREN. HOW ?
–BE WITH THEM FOR WORSHIP. SHOW THAT GETTING TOGETHER IS IMPORTANT TO YOU. –SUPPORT EACH OTHER BY ENCOURAGING WORDS, AND YOUR PRAYERS.
James 5:16Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
–SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER BY WORDS THAT BRING THEM TO REALITY BEFORE GOD.
Galatians 6:1Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
–BE AN EXAMPLE THAT THEY WANT TO BECOME, TOO.
1 Timothy 4:12Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
2. BE FAITHFUL TO GOD’S PEOPLE AND HIS WORK.
A. WHEN UNDER TRIALS FAMILY IS IMPORTANT.
YOUR SPIRITUAL FAMILY SHOULD BE IMPORTANT TO YOU ! (THAT’S WHY WE ARE CALLED ‘BROTHERS AND SISTERS’).
B. WARN THOSE THAT YOU CARE ABOUT.
THE BIBLE MENTIONS TWO ROLES, THE PORTER AND THE WATCHMAN. BOTH WARN OF DANGER, BOTH ARE IMPORTANT, BUT HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT ?
—PORTER IS THE PERSON WHO GUARDS THE GATES. —WATCHMAN IS THE PERSON WHO OBSERVES WHAT IS GOING ON OUTSIDE THE GATES.
–IT DOESN’T MATTER IF THEY WILL LISTEN, OR NOT. YOU HAVE TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT REGARDLESS OF SOMEONE ELSE’S LACK OF CONCERN.
Mark 13:34For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left His house, and gave authority to His servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Ezekiel 3:17Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me. Ezekiel 33:6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
3. KEEP THE LOVE FLOWING.
“CHARITY” – Literal translation “LOVE”
1 Corinthians 13:2-4 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 1 Corinthians 13:8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 1 Corinthians 13:13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 14:1Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 1 Corinthians 16:14Let all your things be done with charity. Colossians 3:14And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
–KNOW THAT THE TEMPTATIONS ON EARTH WILL INCREASE. You need to be more solid in your commitment to the Lord. –KNOW THAT OTHERS WILL HAVE TO BE STRENGTHENED. You will benefit if you help others to be strong. –KNOW THAT MANY WILL NOT DO THEIR WORK FOR GOD, AND SOMEONE MUST PICK UP THE SLACK. Don’t be afraid to try something you may never have done before. God is able to empower you and give you strength.
Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Matthew 17:20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
At least once each day when I pray, I thank the Lord for giving me another day to serve Him. This week, He stopped me after I said this and asked, “Do you realize how valuable that gift of one day really is ?” I could not go on praying for the wonder of all that He showed to me. I couldn’t utter a word as one wave of truth after another came pouring down from Heaven. I want to share just a couple of those blessings with you today.
Deuteronomy 4:39 Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
On the internet there appeared a photo of a raccoon standing up like George Washington crossing the Delaware River, standing on the back of an alligator. It was a once-in-a-lifetime view. It would never happen again. Have you ever wished you had a camera because you knew the photo would be one that could never be repeated ?
George Freemont loved golf, and made arrangements long in advance to go golfing with some executives who were visiting his company for just one day. While near the second hole, he received an urgent call. His mother was dying and wanted to see him before she left. His mother had not spoken to him in years, and their relationship appeared to be broken till she lay on her deathbed.
George decided to continue playing golf and ignore his mother’s request to speak with him. Sitting at her funeral, it came to him that he had lost that one small time in his life when things could have gotten right between them. He tearfully lamented his decision. It was a decision that he could not redo, could not take back. It was done, and it was over.
It was a day in his life when the bitterness of decades could have been erased and peace could have been made. Such a thing would never happen again. He couldn’t get it back no matter how hard he tried or how long he cried. It was gone.
There are some things that will confront you today that you can never have back. You might not be aware of them because you take them for granted. But, once gone, this day cannot be retrieved. You cannot redo it. It is valuable. It has slipped through your hand and dropped into a book that you cannot alter.
1. SOME PEOPLE KNOW THE VALUE OF A DAY BUT OTHERS DON’T.
Matthew 13:45-46 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Jesus told about a man who understood the value of a single pearl. Others did not see the value of that pearl. Who would sell ALL that they had to obtain one simple pearl ? It didn’t matter what others thought of Peter, James, John….and YOU… What mattered is that Jesus gave His all for His Church. For YOU. To HIM, you are valuable. To others, they can take you or leave you.
A. SOME HAVE NEVER BEEN TAUGHT THAT IT IS A GIFT FROM GOD.
IN GHANA, PEOPLE WITH FLASHLIGHTS AND BUCKETS WOULD WALK THE STREETS, AND PICK UP DIAMONDS, AND THEN TAKE THEM INTO A DEALER WHO MIGHT GIVE THEM 10 OR 12 DOLLARS FOR THE WHOLE BUCKET. THEY NEVER UNDERSTOOD THAT JUST ONE OF THOSE DIAMONDS COULD SELL FOR A THOUSAND DOLLARS IN EUROPE OR THE UNITED STATES.
B. CHRISTIANS IN AMERICA ARE USED TO AN ABUNDANCE OF EVERYTHING.
WE HAVE SO MUCH THAT ONE OF OUR NATIONAL PROBLEMS IS THAT WE HAVE TOO MUCH TRASH. MANY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE SO MUCH LEFTOVERS THAT THEY THROW AWAY ENOUGH FOOD EACH WEEK TO FEED A FAMILY IN A POORER COUNTRY FOR THAT ENTIRE WEEK.
We easily take the opportunities God gives us as things that will be repeated the next day, and if we don’t use them then, they will be there the next day. Not so. Each day is valuable and many of the things we have one day we will not have the next.
2. EACH DAY IS AN INVESTMENT. WE INVEST THE HOURS INTO THE WORK WHICH GOD WANTED DONE, OR WE USE THEM FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
A. WE ARE STEWARDS OF ALL THAT GOD GIVES TO US.
THAT MEANS, WHEN HE GIVES US A DAY, WE MUST GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF HOW WE HAVE USED THAT TIME FOR HIM.
Luke 16:2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.
B. IF WE USE THAT DAY FOR WRONG, WE WILL SEE IT POISON THE DAYS THEREAFTER.
On one day, the prodigal son decided to go ahead with his plans. He had already made some arrangements, packing, gathering things together. But, that day is when he left home and carried out his foolish plan. On the many days that followed, he suffered greatly because of it.
Luke 15:13-16 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
3. CAN WE LEARN TO VALUE THINGS PROPERLY ?
Let’s pretend that you have been the beneficiary of $1 million dollars. After you pay taxes on it, you have a lot of money left. So, you buy a couple new cars, buy that new house you have been wanting, put in an Olympic size swimming pool, pay for your child’s college tuition in advance, give money to your friends who wanted to get out of debt, go on a vacation around the world, but a new RV and do some traveling with just your spouse…. and then you look at your bank statement. It says that you have only $ 1000 left. Will you be more careful with that remaining money than you were when you first got all that money ? Of course !
The Christian has a limited income of days. We are given the choice of how we will spend them. When you get older, you often evaluate what you should do with the remaining ones. They become more precious, and you often plan them out more carefully than when you were young.
HAVE YOU EVER REGRETTED NOT SPENDING ENOUGH TIME WITH SOMEONE SO YOU COULD BRING THEM OUT OF THE WORLD AND INTO THE JOY OF THE LORD ?
TIME IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN NEVER GET BACK AGAIN.
SOME PEOPLE GO TO GAME SHOWS, ENTER RAFFLES, OR GIVE A HUGE AMOUNT TO A POLITICAL CAUSE JUST TO HAVE DINNER OR SPEND A COUPLE HOURS WITH A FAMOUS PERSON. IMAGINE WHAT THEY WOULD DO IF THEY GOT TO SPEND A WHOLE DAY ! BUT, CHRISTIANS HAVE THE BLESSING OF EACH DAY WITH GOD. HOW MUCH CAN WE LEARN ? HOW MUCH INSTRUCTION OR CORRECTION CAN WE GET IN THAT TIME SO WE CAN PLEASE GOD MORE ? EACH DAY IS IMPORTANT, AND NONE SHOULD BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
HAVE YOU EVER WANTED JUST ONE HOUR TO GO BACK AND APOLOGIZE TO SOMEONE, OR MAKE THEM SEE THAT YOU REALLY CARED ? YOU CAN NEVER PICK UP THAT MOMENT AGAIN.
THERE COMES A DAY WHEN NOTHING YOU DO CAN CHANGE YOUR STANDING BEFORE GOD. THE PEOPLE OF NOAH’S TIME HAD A LAST DAY ON EARTH. ONCE GOD SHUT THE DOOR OF THE ARK, THAT DAY WAS TO BE THEIR LAST.
HAVE YOU EVER SPOKEN TO SOMEONE, AND THEY SEEMED INTERESTED IN YOUR FAITH, BUT YOU DIDN’T SPEAK THE WORDS THEY NEEDED TO HEAR ? THE OPEN DOOR MAY NEVER BE OPEN ON ANOTHER DAY. THEIR OPEN DOOR COULD HAVE BEEN OPEN FOR MANY DAYS, BUT ON ONE PARTICULAR DAY, TI WILL CLOSE. IF THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED THE LORD, THEY WILL SUFFER FOR THEIR SINS FOREVER.
There was an old man in a wheelchair who knew that so long as he was on this earth, he would be unable to walk and run as he once did. Some visitors from out of town came to see him, and he was happy. He gave this this testimony. He said that he received Jesus Christ as a teenager. He grew up with very little rebllion. He loved his church and was always there. He taught a Sunday School class, and he sang in the choir. He gave out Gospel tracts and on Christmas he decorated his house with lights outside to proclaim the Good News. Then, he said that the most important day of his life was when he received Jesus as his Savior and Lord. Not even his wedding day compared, and he had been married for 50 years. He can remember the birth of each of their children. He can remember recieving awards from the company where he worked for 30 years. But, the most important day was his day of Salvation.
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)
BRINGING PEOPLE TO JESUS is not the work merely of professional evangelists.
It is the work of every saved person. Each of us has a particular role to play in accomplishing this work. It may be by personal invitation to know Christ as their Saviour. It may be by faithful prayer. It may be by the financial support of God’s work.
And when the men of that place had knowledge of Him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto Him all that were diseased;
WHERE WOULD YOU BE IF SOMEONE HAD NOT CARED ENOUGH TO GET INVOLVED BEFORE GOD ON YOUR BEHALF ?
1. WHAT IF NOBODY BRINGS THE CHILDREN ?
A. Some would say they would have been just as well off. NOT SO. They got an
earlier taste of the goodness of God, and would carry that seed planted in their
And they brought young children to Him, that He should touch them: and His
disciples rebuked those that brought them. Mark 10:13
WE MUST BRING THE CHILDREN TO JESUS, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT
WHAT WE WOULD CALL, “GOOD KIDS”. DISCIPLINE IS REQUIRED,
BUT ALL MUST BE GIVEN A CHANCE.
B. Bringing people to Jesus is what makes the community a better place to live.
Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases
brought them unto Him; and He laid His hands on everyone of them, and
healed them. Luke 4:40
*THINK OF WHERE THE HIGH CRIME AREAS ARE. THEY ARE WHERE
BIBLE-TEACHING CHURCHES ARE DEAD, OR NON-EXISTENT.
2. WHAT IF WE FEEL THAT WE ARE INCAPABLE OF DOING IT?
*Considering the consequences if we don’t – we must make ourselves capable !
Just as many people go to school to take a course so they will be more
effective in their jobs Christians must take up their Bibles, study them,
kneel before God and submit themselves to the Holy Spirit, so they might improve over what they could do before.
A. It takes faith to bring people to Jesus.
And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good
cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. Matt. 9:2
B. It’s not enough to bring people to just religious folks.
And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Matt. 17:16
C. We can expect the Lord to deal with people honestly. (Not as many religious
people do for their own feelings sakes.)
And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him,
he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas,
which is by interpretation, A stone. John 1:42
3. WHAT IF WE FAIL TO CARE FOR THOSE WHO NEED THE HELP OF CHRIST?
1. We will be judged for it.
2. We will allow people to dwell in the false hope that something else can
satisfy their needs.
A. The most unlikely people can be brought to salvation. (No reason to
dismiss their worth to God. He died for them exactly the same way
He died for you.)
But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto
them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him,
and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
B. Sometimes those beaten up by the world must be brought back to the Lord
And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine,
and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care
of him. Luke 10:34
C. Believers can be brought out of the prisons of their situations.
But he, beckoning unto them with the hand to hold their peace, declared unto
them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, Go shew
these things unto James, and to the brethren. And he departed, and went into
another place. Acts 12:17
TITLE: HEART-v1.0 software installation.
INVOLVING TECH SUPPORT PAGES 101.10A-316.99Z.
SITUATION: A Customer has been having problems with some really high-tech stuff. She calls CHRISTIAN SUPPORT CENTRAL for help. The following is a print out of the dialogue that occurred between the customer and the CS Rep as they tried to get to the real problem she had been having.
Customer: Hi. I’m not very technical, but I think I am ready to install now. What do I do first?
CS Rep: The first step is to open your HEART. Have you located your HEART ma’am?
Customer: Yes I have, but there are several programs running right now. Is it okay to install while they are running?
CS Rep: What programs are running ma’am?
Customer: Let me see….I have PASTHURT.EXE, GRUDGE.EXE, and RESENTMENT.COM running right now.
CS Rep: No problem LOVE will automatically erase PASTHURT.EXE from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory,but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually overwrite all other programs with a module of its own. However, you have to completely turn off GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ma’am?
Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?
CS Rep: My pleasure. Go to your Start menu and invoke FORGIVENESS.EXE. Do this as many times as necessary until GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM have been completely erased.
Customer: Okay, I’m done. LOVE has started installing itself automatically. Is that normal?
CS Rep: Yes it is. You should receive a message that says it will reinstall for the life of your HEART. Do you see that message?
Customer: Yes I do. Is it completely installed?
CS Rep: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other HEARTs in order to get the upgrades.
Customer: Oops…I have an error message already. What should I do?
CS Rep: What does the message say?
Customer: It says “ERROR 412 – PROGRAM NOT RUNNING ON INTERNAL COMPONENTS”.What does that mean?
CS Rep: Don’t worry ma’am, that’s a common problem. It means that the LOVE program is set up to run on external HEARTS but has not yet been run on your HEART. It is one of those complicated programming things, but in non-technical terms it means you have to renew your entire Internal Drive System.
Customer: Oh, my. What should I do? I don’t think I could do something that sounds so complicated.
CS Rep: Actually, you can’t do it on your own. You simply have to RECEIVE the complete renewal from this end. It is a program called SALVATION.101. And this program changes all your settings, from your configuration to your autoexec files. AND it effects every program on your computer.
Customer: But won’t that erase everything on my present drive ?
CS Rep: Yes
Customer: Well, I don’t know if I want to do anything that radical just yet.
CS Rep: Well, Ma’am, it’s free–Someone already paid for the program for you–but, you would have to download it now.
Customer: Can’t I change everything on my computer on my own, instead ?
CS Rep: You could try. To date, no one has ever gotten everything right. Actually, everyone who has tried has ended up crashing.
Customer: Wow. I guess I really need to get this program running right away. I do need it, don’t I ?
CS Rep: Yes, Ma’am. Everyone does. Because we all get those faulty programs, and we need a program that will clean them all up, and get our internal drive made new.
Customer: Well, this really sounds wonderful. You are so helpful !
CS Rep: Well, you shouldn’t thank me. I didn’t create the program. The most wonderful, brilliant, intelligent Person I know did. His Name is Jesus.
Customer: Well, Let’s get started ! I am excited !
CS Rep: O.K. Then, I can see you have faith in this program, so I’ll begin downloading right away. Click on the following files and then copy them to the “MYHEART” directory: REPENTENCE.DOC, FORGIVENESS.DOC, and NEWLIFE.DOC,
The new system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching any faulty programming. Also, you need to delete DOUBT.EXE from all directories, and then empty your Recycle Bin afterwards to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.
Customer: Got it. Hey! My HEART is filling up with really neat files. SMILE.MPG is playing on my monitor right now and it shows that WARMTH.COM, and PEACE.EXE, and CONTENTMENT.COM are copying themselves all over My HEART!
CS Rep: Then LOVE is installed and running. You should be able to handle It from here. One more thing before I go…
CS Rep: We have a continuing program that you should download daily to keep everything going just the way it should. It is composed of three files. PRAYER.EXE, and THEWORD.EXE, and OBEDIENCE.EXE. Actually, you should start off each day running each one of them.
By the way, remember that all this is freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everybody you meet. Not one mortal man gets any royalties from it at all. And, it is something that everybody can use, too !
Customer: I will. Thank you for your help. It is so wonderful that Jesus made all this possible !
The day is over, you are driving home. You tune in your radio. You hear a little blurb about a little village in India where some villagers have died suddenly, strangely, of a flu that has never been seen before. It’s not influenza, but three of four people are dead, and it’s kind of interesting, and they’re sending some doctors over there to investigate it.
You don’t think much about it, but on Sunday, coming home from church, you hear another radio spot. Only they say it’s not three villagers, it’s 30,000 villagers in the back hills of this particular area of India, and it’s on TV that night. CNN runs a little blurb; people are heading there from the disease center in Atlanta because this disease strain has never been seen before.
By Monday morning when you get up, it’s the lead story. For it’s not just India; it’s Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and before you know it, you’re hearing this story everywhere and they have coined it now as the “mystery flu”. The President has made some comment that he and everyone are praying and hoping that all will go well over there. But everyone is wondering, How are we going to contain it? That’s when the President of France makes an announcement that shocks Europe. He is closing their borders. No flights from India, Pakistan or any of the countries where this thing has been seen. And that’s why that night as you are watching a little bit of CNN before going to bed, your jaw hits your chest when a weeping woman is translated from a French news program into English. There’s a man lying in a hospital in Paris dying of the mystery flu. It has come to Europe.
Panic strikes. As best as they can tell, once you get it you have it for a week before you know it. Then you have four days of unbelievable symptoms and then you die. Britain closes it’s borders, but it’s too late. South Hampton, Liverpool, North Hampton and it’s Tuesday morning when the President of the United States makes the following announcement:
“Due to a national security risk, all flights to and from Europe and Asia have been cancelled. If your loved ones are overseas, I’m sorry. They cannot come back until we find a cure for this thing.”
Within four days our nation has been plunged into an unbelievable fear. People are talking about, “What if it comes to this country?” And preachers on Tuesday are saying it’s the scourge of God. It’s Wednesday night and you are at a church prayer meeting when somebody runs in from the church parking lot and says, “Turn on a radio! Turn on a radio!” And while the church listens to a little transistor radio with a microphone held up to it, the announcement is made. Two women are lying in a Long Island hospital dying from the mystery flu.
Within hours it seems, this thing just sweeps across the country. People are working around the clock trying to find an antidote. Nothing is working. California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts…It’s as though it’s just sweeping in from the borders.
And then all of a sudden the news comes out. The code has been broken. A cure can be found. A vaccine can be made. It’s going to take the blood of somebody who hasn’t been infected and so, sure enough, all through the Midwest, through all those channels of emergency broadcasting, everyone is asked to do one simple thing: Go to your downtown hospital and have your blood type taken. That’s all we ask of you. When you hear the sirens go off in your neighborhood, please make your way quickly, quietly and safely, to the hospitals.
Sure enough, when you and your family get down there late on that Friday night, there is a long line, they’ve got nurses and doctors coming out, pricking fingers, taking blood and putting labels on it. Your wife and kids are out there, they take your blood type and they say, “wait here in the parking lot and if we call your name you can be dismissed and go home.” You stand around, scared, with your neighbors, wondering what in the world is going on and if this is the end of the world.
Suddenly a young man comes running out of the hospital screaming. He’s yelling a name and waving a clipboard. What? He yells it again! And your son tugs on your jacket and says, “Daddy, that’s me.” Before you know it, they have grabbed your boy. “Wait a minute, hold on!” And they say, it’s okay, his blood is clean. His blood is pure. We want to make sure he doesn’t have the disease. We think he has got the right type. Five tense minutes later, out come the doctors and the nurses crying and hugging one another – some are even laughing.
It’s the first time you have seen anybody laugh in a week, and an old doctor walks up to you and says, “Thank you sir. Your son’s blood type is perfect. It’s clean, it is pure, and we can make the vaccine.” As the word begins to spread all across that parking lot full of folks, people are screaming, praying. laughing and crying. But then the gray-haired doctor pulls you and your wife aside and says, “May we see you for a moment? We didn’t realize that the donor would be a minor and we need…we need you to sign a consent form.”
You begin to sign and then you see that the number of pints of blood to be taken is empty. “H-h-h-ow many pints?” And that is when the old doctor’s smile fades and he says, “We had no idea it would be a little child. We weren’t prepared. We need it all!” “But- but, I don’t understand. He’s my only son!” “We are talking about the world, here. Please sign. We…we need it all!” “But can’t you give him a transfusion?” “If we had clean blood we would. Please, will you please sign?”
In numb silence you do. Then they say, “Would you like to have a moment with him before we begin?”
Could you walk back? Could you walk back to that room where he sits on the table saying, “Daddy? Mommy? What’s going on?”
Could you take his hands and say, “Son, your mommy and I love you and we would never ever let anything happen to you that didn’t just have to be. Do you understand that?”
And when that old doctor comes back in and says, “I’m sorry, we’ve got to get started. People all over the world are dying.”
Could you leave? Could you walk out while he is saying, “Dad? Mom? Dad? Why…why have you forsaken me?”
And then next week, when they have the ceremony to honor your son, and some folks sleep through it, and some folks don’t even bother to come because they have better things to do, and some folks come with just a pretentious smile and pretend to care. Would you jump up and say, “EXCUSE ME! MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DON’T YOU EVEN CARE? DOES IT MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?”
I wonder, is that what God wants to say? “MY SON DIED FOR YOU! DOES IT MEAN NOTHING? DON’T YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I CARE?”
Father, seeing it from your eyes should break our hearts. Maybe now we can begin to comprehend the great love you have for us.