Good morning my friends and family members. What a great day to be able to share God's word with you. Actually, every day that we can share God's word is a good day. Throughout this week, I have been in my own way searching what to teach on today. A big part of me wants to continue our lesson on speaking blessings. There have been other topics that have come up, but none as much as what we will look at today. Please turn to one of my favorite books in the Bible, and from that book to my favorite chapter. Anyone want to take a guess what it is? Hebrews chapter 11 and verses five and six .
For those that are reading this, online, you probably noticed that the title has a ?. Here is your chance to be involved. As you read this, be considering a title that best matches this message in the comment box at the bottom of this message.
As I look at verses that I have written down this week, as I think of situations that have happened around me, whether it be on the various sites, or from friends that I have talked to, I hear and feel so much hurt from most of them. I have had much conversation from a man on one site that does not believe there is a God. He seems to think that everything just formed on its own. So in saying all this, we are going to look at the importance of our faith in God.
Hebrews 11:5-6 KJV By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Let's stop right here for a moment. In this simple, familiar expression we have the description of the new life; it brings before us communion with God, dependence on His guidance, submission to His authority, confidence in His love and favor, continuous, habitual fellowship, and a mind conformed to God’s mind, and delighting itself in the Lord. Amen? Praise God. Friends, our mind conformed to that of Jesus should be our greatest desire.
(6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
I have had discussions with some who don't believe there is a God. One in particular was a man that I met at a farmer's market a year ago. He made a comment about how this country was going downhill and he couldn’t believe the crimes happening. I came back with the same remark that I have made often. This is what happens when God is taken out of everything. "What do you mean by that," he said? I said, "What you see happening in the world, this country and right here in our back yards is a perfect example of what happens when there is no fear of God. This is what happens when we turn away from praying. This is what happens when the majority of people are not in God’s Word." Some of you may remember in other teachings that I have said that this country was founded, and the founding fathers based everything and praised God for all, including their very lives and were blessed.
I then listened to him tell of stories of why he didn’t believe there was a God. I heard about accomplishments he has made. I shared things that had happened in my life. All in all, there was respect earned by both of us about each other. I think he may take a closer look into the Bible from scriptures that came to me quickly, probably because I was in prayer for God’s words, not mine.
This man had a dad that was a minister. He grew up in the church, yet didn’t hear of the things I've mentioned thus far. This man is in his 60s. He has a bachelor's degree in chemistry, physics and engineering. He taught at a university, but never heard the true word of God. I was totally blown away by this.
What I did hear was that denominations are just happy bickering about what church is the right church. I heard "HOW CAN A LOVING FATHER LET SO MANY CHILDREN DIE?" "How can a good God let this hurricane hit and affect so many people?" Then he asked me, "You say you love God. Why would you love a god that caused you to have the accident that made you lose your leg?" I told him that the minute that I was struck by that vehicle, I knew that I knew that God had spared my life. I knew that I knew that I knew that it should have been my whole body crushed and not just one leg. I love God because when I finally saw myself with Christ on that cross, I finally understood what He did for me.
Some other things that this man and I discussed about church, religion and so on is this. Why I share this is because it may help you in your witnessing. There maybe someone you work with, live by or maybe with, or you may be close to someone who feels the same way as this man does.
So-called Christians are hypocrites. They say Jesus loves you to the lovable (good people) and not to the unlovable. We can say outright to good people these words, but not to the worst of sinners who are an annoyance to our society. He said he has seen religious people with a cause rallying in the streets condemning some evil people declaring that there is hell, and somehow they can never use the words "God loves you." Think about that for a bit.
Think about this my friends, because it's true, and I hope that I have gotten past this. We need to remember Jesus loves all people, yet some can just say, "God loves you" to religious people, but think twice if we can say these to the fallen, to the unchurched or to people who sinned. I love the song Jesus Friend Of Sinners by Casting Crowns. I think the picture painted in this song goes like this. To the "worst of sinners" whom we branded the prostitutes, the "gays", the criminals, the corrupt, and others we cannot declare these words to them. The religious people become so familiar with "Jesus loves you" that they cannot share it to those who are not familiar with it.
Somehow, these words are but for the sweet and for the lovable. We never realized that these words, "Jesus loves you," is not an expression nor a sweet quotation. These words were written in blood. This is not a sweet word but a dirty word. Wow brother Jim, have you lost it?, What do you mean Jesus loves you is a dirty word? Jesus became dirty as he carried that cross, as he was spit upon by people, and as he hung on that cross. Jesus went through all of these things declaring that He loves everybody. He did it for you, He did it for me while we were yet sinners. His body was so brutally beaten, you couldn't tell He was a man. His beard was plucked from His face. He hung on a cross completely naked. He was scourged nearly to death. All this He did humbly while everyone tried their hardest to humiliate Him.
Can you remember the time leading up to and right after you gave your heart to the Lord?
God loves you this much. 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. Wow!! Can You imagine willingly sacrificing your child? Your one and only child for people who don’t even know you? That is exactly what God did for us, although He knows each of us. Even before we knew Him. Praise God!! He sent His Son, Jesus, to come live on earth and suffer a horrible death so that we can live a life that will last forever, beyond our own death. God loves you so much, and He wants to give you a life of hope and blessings if only you believe in Him. That my friend, is what you need to place all your faith in.
Brothers and sisters, we have all sinned. I don't care how good a person you've been, you have sinned. If you tell me or anyone else you have never sinned, you are sinning right now by lying.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Ever think or say to yourself, "I am only human?" We all make mistakes. We're all sinners. We often feel we're not good enough for God and separate ourselves from His love. I've heard many say this: "I've done so many bad things. God will never forgive me. I can't forgive myself, so how can God forgive me?" Sin does come with consequences.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death. When someone commits a crime, they are responsible to pay the penalties associated with their crime in according to the law in which you live. The same is true for sinners. The penalty for sin is eternal death in hell and separation from God. But, and this the good, good good, news. Christ paid for your sins, but God demonstrates His own love for us.
Romans 5:8 While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Jesus, Son of God, is the only person to have lived a life without sin. None. No, not one. When He died on the cross, He took our sins with Him. He paid the price for our sins so we that we can spend eternity in heaven.
Salvation is a free gift to you. Listen to this. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.
Some think that being a good man, or being a giving woman or going to church will reserve a place in Heaven. It's not through the things you do, because we cannot earn our way into Heaven. Instead, God gives you salvation as a free gift. All you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ, ask Him for forgiveness of your sins, and receive the life in Christ that is awaiting you. Again my dear friends, faith!!!
This is one of the areas this gentleman struggled with and I have heard so many others who have been misled or whatever. They think just because they've been a good person and because they may be generous they have earned their way to Heaven. Is this what the Bible says? No, and this is where I directed my conversation.
You must receive Christ into your life.
John 1:12 Yet to all who receive Him (Jesus), to those who believe in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.
When we receive Christ into our life, we become a member of the family of God. Praise God!! You are His child. Someone might ask, "How do I receive Christ?" Friends, we studied this scripture during one of the Does God hear our Prayers teachings.
2nd Chronicles 7:14 If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Does this land need healing? You bet it does. Are the majority of this country calling on God or following His commandments? No!!! Perfect example. Look at the immoral things going on in this nation. Abortion, same sex marriage, to mention a couple.
I wasn't able to lead this man to say the prayer of salvation, yet I gave him some things to research and to chew on. This is what I had hoped for and it may happen another time. One thing that I would want to mention. If God leads you to witness to someone, give them a sample prayer to pray for Christ to come into their lives, but don’t tell them they are saved. You don't know that they truly meant it. Only God knows their hearts. This is something that really bothers me. Many pastors or evangelists, when they lead someone or a congregation through the sinners prayer, they tell them they are saved. I really encourage people not to do that, but do lead them to a Bible believing church and especially a Bible believing Bible study
Here is a simple sample prayer. Prayer is simple communication with our Savior. You must acknowledge that you are a sinner and must be willing to turn from sin and allow God to change your life. By believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose from the grave, you can invite Him to come into your heart. Let Him take control of your life as your Savior.
Pray this prayer to receive Christ into your life:
Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and need You in my life. Please Lord, forgive me of my sins. I believe that You died on the cross and rose from the grave. Please come into my heart and life. Thank you for helping me turn from my sins and follow You. Thank You for now being the Lord of my life and Lord, I ask You to fill me with the Holy Spirit to guide me in Your ways. In Jesus name, Amen.
Friends, time is so short before something big happens. I'm not going to say such a date, but it could be within the next couple years that all hell hits this country. With all the diseases being introduced to this country, what seems daily, we may not be alive tomorrow. Famines are on their way. Wars and rumors of wars? Oh boy, if only some of you knew what's going on that the media refuses to share. What about the earth groaning? Suppose it is?
Church, this is where you and I need to be more serious than ever before. Do you have a loved one that doesn't know Jesus? Maybe a co-worker that God keeps tugging on your heart to talk to? Maybe it's just an acquaintance that you know God wants you to share the Gospel with. Will you? Or are you going to keep putting it off? This is where every time I bring this up, it gets deathly quiet. Happens every time. This is where fear sets in.
Maybe it's time for us as true believers and true lovers of Jesus to walk and talk like we have Jesus living in us. Here's a challenge to all who hear or read this message. Get out to the street, look for someone who is branded as worst of sinners by our society, and start by whispering as if you are speaking to that person and say, "Jesus loves you."
I want to take the time to listen to a short song. While you're listening to the words, I want you to think about your worst sins. I want you to remember a time that you were the furthest you thought you could be from God. Maybe it was a time that you said you hated God. Maybe you were in an adulterous affair, or into thievery, lying. You know what your past was.
Jesus still loved you even before you came to know Him as your personal Savior. There are so many lessons to be learned reading the Bible of ones that the religious leaders brought to Jesus or condemned him for being around that their sins were forgiven because they put their faith in Christ.
Jesus Loves you. What I am in hopes for everyone to get out of this message is three things.
1. I want you to make these words real in your life. Think for a moment the worst sin which you have done in your life and the sin for which you have been ashamed of, and declare verbally with boldness, "Jesus loves me." God loves you, not based on your performance. Not because of how long you've been going to church. Remember, God loves you already, even in your worst.
Everyone say this. "Jesus loves me." Make it real, because He is real and He really does love you, more than you will ever know.
Jesus loves you.
2. Friends, secondly I want you to all understand that when we say, "Jesus loves you," the "you" stands for everyone. All kinds of people. Change the you with any kind of sinner you can think of, and the words will still fit, because it is Jesus who loves, not us. And when we see these people, how Jesus loves them, then we can learn to love them, and love them truly.
I heard a testimony from my wife that made me so proud of her. Without going into detail, she had a chance to make some money for a job she did a few years back and she has done it since then too, because that's how we are. When she had finished the service she was hired to do and saw how little this family had, yet were so very happy for what they did have, she did this service for free.
Friends, money isn't everything. Loving people is where we should all be. At times we need to volunteer our services for others. I'm not saying that every deed we do should be free, but if you're saved and let the Holy Spirit guide you, you will know.
3. And I will end with this. I am in hopes that you'll be inspired to share the Gospel message with everyone you know. I am in hopes that you'll strike up a conversation with even strangers, then when the conversation turns to God and your faith, that you will pray for God’s words to come from your mouth. Friends, don't be ashamed of talking about Jesus. He died for you. The Bible says Jesus prays for you along with His angels.
Praise His name!!