Good morning my friends, Today’s message is going to touch on many topics. For those who follow the news, you probably have noticed that there seems to be more trouble in every part of the world, including here in the United States. Before we get started, I want to remind everyone that God still sits on His throne and He is still in control and does what He pleases. Those who have been with us for a while should remember the verses where we found this.
I have found where many non-believers say that if there truly was a God that He would not have allowed the tornadoes in Oklahoma to happen. He would not have allowed all the soldiers to be shot and the bombings to have happened. Shootings all over the world wouldn't have happened if there was really a God that loves us. Have you heard these things? It is hard to explain these things to those who don’t believe in Christ. What about the Christians that are being killed? Where was their God? It’s hard to explain to some who don’t believe in Christ. We do have choices, and you don’t have to look very hard to find that this country has made many wrong choices against God’s will. Yes? Also, the Bible tells us that we will be persecuted.
John 15:18-21 KJV If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (19) If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. (20) Remember 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. (21) But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Today, we are going to look at some of the things that Jesus said would come in the last days. I would also like to mention to all of you that Leanna and I have a surprise coming possibly next week. Some of you have heard me mention Pastor Babcock. He has a Prophecy site that I built and help maintain for him called “Full Gospel Home Missions World Outreach Center”.
Please turn in your Bibles to John 16 and we are going to start with verses 1-16. We read in chapter 15, where Jesus warns us about being a follower of Him. The hatred of the world. “If the world hates you, you must realize that it hated me before it hated you”. When we are saved, we are then called to live in a way that is much different than that of society. Amen?
We are told not to live like the world, but that can be a very hard thing to do when we are right smack dab in the middle of it. We are to look toward Heavenly things and be the reflection of Jesus in the things we say and do. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24-25 KJV Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (25) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I think of the rich man who asked Jesus what must he do to be saved and after Jesus said to obey all the commandments, which this man claimed he had done. The he was told to sell all he had and give to the poor and he walked away sad. This is why when a Christian is very much praised by the power of this world and is exalted as a model for all by mass-media, it is good not to trust too much. Jesus said, “If you belong to the world, the world will love you as its own; but because you do not belong to the world, because my choice of you has drawn you out of the world, that is why the world hates you”.
We have two choices: the world or the Gospel. Which of these two will you choose?
John 16:1-16 KJV These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. (2) They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. (3) And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. (4) But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. (5) But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? (6) But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. (7) Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (8) And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (9) Of sin, because they believe not on me; (10) Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; (11) Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (12) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (14) He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (15) All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. (16) A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
When we look through these verses and then look through the history of the church, we find that believers have been persecuted all along. The first disciples of Jesus were persecuted. Doesn’t it seem strange that through all these centuries people would hate people who love God and who are to share their love and their God with the world? It does until you think about the Gospel message.
Here is what the late David Wilkerson had to say about why does the world hate the true church, its pastors and the parishioners?
A true Christian is loving, peaceful, forgiving and caring. Those who obey Jesus’ words are self-sacrificing, meek and kind.
Now, common wisdom tells us it’s not natural to hate those who love you, bless you and pray for you. Rather, people hate only those who abuse, rob and curse them. So, why are Christians so hated?
Jesus says simply, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you…. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:18, 20). Why is this so?
The church, and every minister and believer in it, is hated because of its mission. You see, our mission is much more than telling lost people, “Jesus loves you.” It’s more than trying to accommodate and appease people.
You may draw back in surprise when I remind you of what our mission is. Simply put, our mission as Christians is to take back from the ungodly what is most precious to them: self-righteousness. It is to translate them into a freedom they think is slavery. It is to separate them from damning sins, a blessing they see as only ending in boredom and sadness.
The most precious thing to a worldly person is his self-righteousness. Think about it: he has spent his whole life forming a good opinion of himself. He’s built an idol to his good works. He praises himself that he’s really good at heart and kind to others. Simply put, he’s built his own Tower of Babel, a monument to his own goodness. He is sure that he’s good enough for heaven, and too good for hell.
This ungodly man has spent years beating down his conscience and searing it. He has taught himself to still every voice of conviction that comes to him. And now he enjoys a false peace. He has become so deceived, he actually believes God admires him!
And now, just when he has shut down the voice of his conscience, you, a Christian, come along. And the truth you bring speaks more loudly than his dead conscience: “Unless you’re born again, you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Suddenly, you’re a threat in this man’s mind. You’re someone who wants to deprive him of his assurance that all is well with his soul. All this time, he has thought he is okay. But now you’re telling him that all his good works are as filthy rags.
I tell you, this man doesn’t see you as someone who’s bringing good news. No, in his eyes you’re a tormenter, someone who’s out to take away his peaceful sleep at night.
Sound familiar to before you came to know Jesus as your Savior? Maybe some of you still feel like, Man I wish I still could do the same things I did before. You might be thinking, I sure miss the bar scene, or maybe thinking I miss the movies I used to watch. Why is it so bad to hang out with drug buddies? Friends, you need to stay away from these things. When the enemy starts putting these thoughts of one more drink won’t hurt you, one little joint I smoke, or a pill to get high isn’t going to bother you. You’d better not fall for that lie. I just want to go to one porn site, just this one time. Get it out of your mind, because once you have that thought, you are hooked again. Lust of the flesh.
Church, we are to be different than the world and in the name of Jesus, that is what I pray for all who attend these services each week, those who will be joining in the near future. And for the ones who read these messages every week, We will be different. We will fear God. We will seek God’s face and want to be all that He has planned for us. We will be His disciples. We will be world changers. We will be His light in this dark and dying world. We will be the ones who share the Gospel with the world. We will be the ones who pray for the sick. Now make it personal. I will in the name of Jesus change from the wicked ways that have not pleased God. I will sow GOOD seed into my son, daughter, grandchildren, husband, wife, niece, nephews, uncles Grandparents and friend’s lives that don’t know Jesus as Lord. I will start from this day to do all things as if I were doing it for the Lord. I will read my Bible every day, from this day forward because I want to know God, His ways and what He has planned for me. I will read my Bible because I want to increase my faith….faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I will read God’s Word and meditate on it so I know how to be a witness to those that God puts on my heart, who don’t know Him. Is God speaking to anyone? I will read and meditate on it because Proverbs 4:20-23 KJV My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. (21) Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. (22) For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. (23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Halleluiah!! Glory to God!!
I will be the prayer warrior that I was called to be. I will be the husband that the Bible speaks of. I will be the wife that I was called to be. I will have the love and compassion of Christ to my neighbor, coworker school mates and everyone that I might have had problems dealing with. I will be more forgiving to those who have hurt me in words and actions. I can do all these things and more because of Christ in my life who strengthens me. Glory be to God!!!
Romans 8:35-39 KJV Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 4:4-8 KJV Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
These are the things I want for my life and for yours, and we all can have them when we let the Holy Spirit be our guide. Thank You, Jesus!
Jesus said to Satan when He was tempted in the desert, and we can do the same thing whenever we are tempted against God’s word. Luke 4:4 KJV And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
Church, the next time your heart fails you with fear, hurt, loss, loneliness, or a wound, apply the medicine of the LORD. It’s only the well-fed heart and soul that are healthy. Amen?
John 6:63 KJV It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
God’s word has never been more available than it is today. Friends, you can go to Wal-Mart or most book stores and pick up a Bible. You can get a used one at a salvation Army or thrift store. You can even download Bibles free from many sources on-line. I prefer e-Sword and have had it for years now.
Friends, for those who say they don’t have time to spend in God’s Word, you don’t fool me and don’t think for a minute you are fooling God. I was at that place once before. Make time. Soon you will desire to be in it. Get into God’s Word and God’s Word will get into you and bring His life into your existence and bless you.
Jeremiah 15:15-17 KJV O LORD, thou knowest: remember me, and visit me, and revenge me of my persecutors; take me not away in thy longsuffering: know that for thy sake I have suffered rebuke. (16) Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts. (17) I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation.
If we don’t daily and often ingest His words, we have no one to blame but ourselves for not ingesting them, devouring them, and receiving of their inherent and divine medicinal properties. When we do, healing, joy, rejoicing, restoration, and wholeness will result. Praise God. God’s Word is so powerful and living. I am amazed at how often scripture that I have read over and over and over teaches me something new. The Bible is alive.
Friends as I close today, I urge everyone this week who is hearing this message, reading it at another time on-line, please, please, please, if you have not been in God’s Word daily, please start today. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it, because he will try. I guarantee it. Satan is the father of lies and he comes to steel, kill and destroy your life. When we get God’s Word in us, we learn how to sense the enemy when he sneaks in and how to get rid of him.
Friends, this is not how I thought this message was going to go. I thought it was going to go in a totally different direction, but God had another plan. There is someone that needed to hear, or read this. Maybe many. I would ask, if this touched someone’s heart, please contact me so that Leanna and I can pray with you. We do believe in the power of prayer. We have witnessed many prayers answered in others lives. Salvation, healings, jobs and the list goes on. Praise Jesus!!!
Don’t let pride get in the way of asking God for needs in your life, don’t let doubt rob you of a miracle.
Acts 20:20-32 KJV And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, (21) Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. (22) And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: (23) Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. (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. (25) And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (26) Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. (27) For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. (28) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. (29) For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. (30) Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (31) Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (32) And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
I want to ask all who have heard, or who have read this message to visit jandlministries.weebly.com, and on the home page let us know how these messages have touched your heart. I would also ask that if you have prayer concerns or praises, click on the prayer and praise tab and share with us so that we can pray and praise God with you.
Good morning everyone and welcome to today’s message from J and L Ministries. We have been studying the importance of sharing the Gospel with others for the past couple weeks and there is much more for us to learn, but I felt led to go another direction this morning. I am in hopes that we can pick up where we left off next Sunday, God willing.
Throughout the week, I have had many discussions with believers and non-believers and we will leave it at that, about their relationships with Christ. One of the sites I am blessed to be with called me on something that I added in a prayer that has been heavy on my heart. Friends, anyone can say that they are a believer of Jesus Christ. We can wear t-Shirts with scriptures on them. We can sing songs praising God. We can read and know the Bible from cover to cover, and that will not save you. Satan knows scripture. We can even be deacons or pastors of a church. That does not make us saved. I have had conversations with some who don’t even know why they are saved. Sounds impossible, doesn’t it? There are so many out there, and when you have the compassion to lead others to salvation and you hear testimonies of some who claim to be saved, you will be amazed.
Most of you know that I am on many Christian sites, posting prayers each morning and share the sermons I write. There are some of these sites that post stuff that is more of the world than Facebook. That should not be. When we are saved, we are a new creation. The old man or woman is gone. The things that we did that were sin should not be what we desire any more. Jesus living in us should be what others see. The love and compassion for others should be at the top of our list each day. The filthy talk should be gone. The actions that hurt others should be gone. The garbage of some of the soap operas that people are so addicted to should be a thing of the past. Our whole way of thinking, talking and our actions should be totally new.
Please turn to the book of Colossians chapter 1. For those who have been with us for a while know that the book of Colossians is one of my favorite books of the Bible. Apostle Paul wrote the church of Colosse. I don’t have time to go through the whole book, but I want us to look at some of the issues Paul addresses to them. I think we can find many of these same things hindering the churches here in America today. Amen? Let’s start in verse 9.
Colossians 1:9-10 MKJV For this cause we also, since the day we heard, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, (10) that you might walk worthy of the Lord to all pleasing, being fruitful in every work and increasing in the knowledge of God,
Church, I find this to be very satisfying and as a guide for all of us. Apostle Paul said that He prayed without ceasing for this church and… that they be filled with wisdom and spiritual understanding. To me that speaks of a heart cry that Paul had. Do we pray for the church? Do we pray for other brothers and sisters? I hope so. I know that Leanna and I have many praying for us and I am so thankful to God to have those kinds of friends.
Paul prayed that they be filled with God’s will in ALL, not some of His Wisdom and Spiritual understanding. Notice he didn’t say man’s understanding. God’s ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. They are so much better, but we need to come to the place in our life where we can understand that and believe in faith on these things. Praise God!!!
Verse 10, we see that Paul prayed that the church would be walking worthy of the Lord to all - pleasing, being fruitful in every work and increasing in the knowledge of God. My friends, as I go about my daily routine, I don’t see the fruit in many claiming to be Christ like. I hear many of those who claim to be Christ-like using His name in vain. I see them involved in games on-line that I would never dream of being part of. I see them saying hateful things to others, including their children. How is that being Christ-like? How is that staying away from worldly things? Now, I am not faultless, I have my issues, but I try to correct those things when I smarten up to realize that Jesus is watching me at every moment and I do want to please Him. The back-stabbing and back biting? You see and hear it all over the place.
I mention every week that believers need to be in God’s Word every day and in prayer. All human beings who have accepted that there is a God, and that the Bible is His revelation to man, need to seriously apply themselves to finding out its basic message. Many of those calling themselves Christians seem to do a poor job at this. For many, a few verses they may hear on Sundays, a Bible somewhere in the home that is never opened. They may remember a handful of Bible stories. I want you to all think about this. It’s no wonder that with such a laid back attitude to God's mighty Word of truth, there’s so much confusion and uncertainty in the lives and minds of so many. I have witnessed ones that, because they go to church rarely, and own a pew or two, think that they are mighty Christians. Those things are works. Works will not save any of us. We cannot earn our way to Heaven. We cannot buy our way into Heaven. What does the Bible say that one must do to be saved? You don’t have to turn to all these verses, but please, please write them down and when the enemy tries to tell you otherwise, rebuke him with God’s Word. Amen?
John 10:1-18 KJV Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. (2) But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. (3) To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. (4) And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. (5) And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (6) This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. (7) Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. (8) All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. (9) I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (10) The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (11) I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. (12) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. (13) The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. (14) I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. (15) As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. (16) And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
Oh my friends, when we can get a full understanding of what Jesus was saying here, it will change your lives forever. I also would like to mention, and some of you have heard me tell this before....I have raised sheep with my parents. We had in excess of 200 breeding ewes. For those who are not familiar with sheep, ewes are female sheep. Rams are males. Because of the two breeds we raised, we could have two lamb crops a year. In other words, each ewe could give birth twice a year and we would hope for twins or triplets each time. So, when I say 200 breeding ewes, that meant that there were many more sheep on the farm of many different age groups. What I am trying to say is that I know what sheep are like and I know how to be a shepherd, so I can relate to what Jesus was saying here, even if I didn’t have an understanding of the Bible. The ones that were there when Jesus said these things didn’t understand. Let’s look what He said next.
John 10:25-38 KJV Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. (26) But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. (27) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: (28) And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (29) My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. (30) I and my Father are one. (31) Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. (32) Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? (33) The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (34) Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? (35) If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; (36) Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (37) If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. (38) But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
Praise the Lord!!
I hear so many who when asked if they are saved say, “Well yes Brother Jim, I was baptized when I was 3.” Ohh, really? So you gave your heart to the Lord when you were 3 knowing who Jesus was and put your faith in Him? I repeated a prayer after someone when I was 16 or 17 and I went about life like I always did. I know I wasn’t saved; there was no fruit at that time in my life.
Please turn to Mathew chapter 3. A 3-year old knew how to repent?
Matthew 3:1-3 KJV In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, (2) And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (3) For this is He that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
For those taking notes, here are a few scriptures.
Jesus said in Luke 13:3 I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. The apostles listening to Jesus in Mark 6:12 And they went out and proclaimed that men should repent. Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be proclaimed in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Peter said in the temple Act 3:19 Therefore repent and convert so that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
I find there are those with little Christian background who decide to try to figure out the Bible's message, but find that everyone they approach tries to offer them a package deal of doctrines and human philosophies which do not fundamentally reflect the words of the Bible. Dear friends, it is all about an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. The basic message of Scripture has a beauty and strength that only increases after being viewed and proven from many different angles. Grasping the real truth of the Gospel as taught in the Bible's pages will affect every part of our lives, leading men and women the world over to properly give glory to God as He intended, both now and for eternity. Glory to God.
Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
To achieve this, be sure to pray for God's help in understanding the Word before you read the Bible. Catch and understand this next verse.
Acts 20:32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the Word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Praise Jesus!!
My wife and I are so determined to feed the inner man that dwells within, and also to learn mentally, that we play CDs every night when we go to bed.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
I believe that even when our minds are at rest, or we are asleep, that the Word of God, which is Spirit, feeds the Spirit within. I know for me, because of playing these CDs, scripture seems to come to me much faster. I can speak God’s Word out against the attacks the enemy throws my way. I have scripture memorized when I feel led to pray for those who are hurting.
Acts 17:30, "Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
All people everywhere, and that includes you and me, are commanded by God to repent. Repent of what? Repent of our sins. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves; and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). Repent of not fully serving and following all that God says. All people everywhere, and that includes you and me, are commanded by God to repent. God is pleading with us to repent. He greatly desires that we turn to him. He tells us in 2 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
God wants us to repent so we can be saved. He is patiently waiting on us. But eventually our time will run out. The longer we put off repentance, the harder our heart gets.
Friends, we are not guaranteed tomorrow. This world gets crazier every day. I don’t wish this, but look at the bombing in Boston, Newtown and Colorado shootings, there are drunk and drugged up drivers running our streets. What about earthquakes, tornados, floods and our health? Anything could happen from now till the next 12 hours.
Repentance is not just being sorry. 2 Corinthians 7:10 says, "For Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death." If one is only sorry he got caught, then this will not lead to repentance. Godly sorrow helps bring on repentance. Repentance is not sorrow for sin, but one cannot repent without being sorry he has sinned. “Let the wicked forsake his way…let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him…for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:7). In repentance, one must first understand he has sinned, feel sorrow for the sin, and then stop and turn away from that sin. Repentance is a change of heart and a change of mind. We must make up our mind to stop living life our way and start living it God’s way. It is making up our mind that henceforth we are going to serve God with all our might and do everything He says.
Matthew 22:37, Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
In other words, we must do it with all of our being. Paul says, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:1-2). To show our repentance we are to “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance” (Matthew 3:8). Why should we repent of sins? “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Spiritual death is separation from God in eternity. Unless one repents he cannot go to Heaven, but will eternally suffer the torments of Hell. We must give up our sin and “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body” (Romans 6:12). “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sin shall have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Repentance is a change of heart, which results in a change of actions for the better. Without repentance we cannot receive forgiveness and be saved. Where we spend eternity, in Heaven or Hell, is determined by our repentance. I love this verse. All of Heaven is anxious for us to repent. Jesus says, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).
Romans 2:4 says, "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing the goodness of God leads you to repentance." God has been so good to us, and this should cause us to want to please Him in every way. God, because of His love for us, has done so much for us, and because of this we read in 1 John 4:19, "We love Him, because He first loved us." This should cause us to want to repent and do all the things that He has asked us to do, otherwise we do not love God. Jesus said in John 14:24, He who does not love Me, does not keep my words." 1 John 2:4 says, "He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Do you know and love Christ? If you do, you will want to do everything that He says. In John 14:15 Jesus says, If you love Me keep My commandments.
My heart is breaking because friends, you know there are ones close to us who have wicked hearts. Let's not be hypocrites, you know them. They are good people, but they haven't turned from their sin. For those who may be reading this online, they maybe ones that sit next to you in church. Again, there are so many churches right here in our community not teaching the whole Bible. I am not trying to badmouth these churches, but isn't it our responsibility to share the gospel? To share the truth? I am not saying that a genuine Christian isn't going to sin. I sin. You sin. 1John 2:1 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
2John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it.
2John 1:8 Look to yourselves, so that we may not lose those things which we worked out, but that we may receive a full reward.
2John 1:9 Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son.
I love Mathew chapter 7. To me it says it all, but in this verse Jesus tells how to get to Heaven. Matthew 7:14 KJV Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Does everyone truly understand what Jesus is saying here? If you are a genuine Christian, a child of God, you will walk in the way of righteousness as a style of life. And if you step off that path of righteousness, the Father will come for you, discipline you and put you back on the path. Living like the world on some of these sites is not the path that God has chosen for you. There are many who have professed to have gone through the narrow gate and yet they live in the broad way like everyone else of this world.
Matthew 7:16 You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Look at your life, how you talk, walk, dress, treat others, passions, desires.
What kind of fruits are showing in your life? Is Jesus in there somewhere, or is He something you do on Sundays and Bible study nights? He should be the center of each of our lives. What is the fruit in your life? Do you walk like the world, talk like the world, watch the things on TV of the world, dress like the world? Do you experience the same joy of the world? Is God someone that you think of periodically? Here is one that runs wild in this area. The dirty ugly spirit of religion. The Pharisees in this area are terrible. And yes, I know all about that spirit, because I was like that. I would have been one of the ones that Jesus continually rebuked.
Matthew 7:17-21 Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. a good tree cannot bring forth evil fruits, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them.
Church, I so appreciate you being here today, or reading this online. I want to offer prayer for anyone that needs it today. I pray that when you get home, or have some alone time that you can look at the scriptures used in this message and then pray that the Holy Spirit shows you things that need to be changed so that the light of Jesus shines through you. There were so many things I would have liked to share.
Good morning friends and family. What a glorious day the Lord has made. Amen? I am excited today to start part two of sharing the Gospel, because that is where my compassion is. For some time, my prayer has been that God would lead me to those who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Any of you had that same prayer? It should be each and every one of our prayers, and I hope by the time we are done, all of you might have the same compassion. Amen?
Timothy 2:1-5 KJV I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (5) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
2 Peter 3:1-12 KJV This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: (2) That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: (3) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (4) And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. (5) For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: (6) Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: (7) But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (8) But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. (9) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (10) But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. (11) Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, (12) Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
One thing I could never understand is why those who have experienced the saving grace of our Lord Jesus, why they wouldn’t want to share what He has done for them with everyone they know. Now I know the enemy (Satan) will put doubt in our minds. Satan will put fear in your minds and his voice will tell you these things: “Your brother or Sister isn’t going to listen to what you have to say about Jesus”, “Your parents will disown you if you bring up God”, “Your friends will laugh at you if you even mention anything about Christ”. Hmmm, sound familiar? It should, because that is how that slimy devil works. Ask almost any Christian and they will share the same story. I have been there. Until the past couple of years, I have had many times that I felt an urgency to pray with people and that fear would set in. Sometimes after much prodding, I would ask if that person would mind if I could pray for them and the answer was always yes. As I said, that crooked legged devil will throw distractions. What finally helped me with this is, If God put someone on your heart to pray for, why then should we have fear? Make sense? God did not give us fear. Well Brother Jim, if God created me, where did all the fear that I have bottled up come from? Glad you thought to ask that. Let’s let the Bible tell us. Please turn to 2nd Corinthians 11:2 and 3. Apostle Paul talks about the deceptive power of the enemy. One thing that I would like to mention before we read these verses is this. For those who have been following J and L Ministries for a while have heard me say this and have done this with us. Hold your Bible up. Do we all believe that every word of this Bible is from God? Do we all believe that God is the same yesterday, today and forever? He does not change? He is not a respecter of persons? So, if what He said during the time Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church of Corinth, it goes for us today? Praise God.
2 Corinthians 11:2-4 KJV (2) For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (3) But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (4) For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Friends, these verses need to be taken to heart. Because I am on so many Christian sites and also post daily prayers on some secular sites, I see much of what people post about the Bible and what their thoughts are. I tell you there are some deranged beliefs. One that I just saw as I was writing this is that there is proof that Jesus was not crucified on a cross. Come on, the proof is in the Bible. He was raised from the dead on the third day. That’s proof enough for me. How about you? All these new religions and beliefs. The sad thing is that many are going to perish because they can’t decipher the truth, because they don’t know what God’s word says, because their Bible sits on a shelf collecting dust.
What Paul says in these verses is about the deceptive power of the enemy. Satan is the father of lies and will do whatever he can to keep us from walking in the powerful life of Christ. Amen? One of the weapons he uses against us is fear. When we are driven by a spirit of fear, we don’t act out with power, love and a sound mind.
Please turn to 2nd Timmothy 1 7-10 Here we will see fear is not of God.
2 Timothy 1:7-10 KJV For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Oops, stop. Pause. Hit the brakes. Church, read verse 7 again? Soooooo, if fear didn’t come from God, where did it come from? That’s right, Satan. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. When you or I are about to witness to someone, there he will be. Your heart might start to race. Doubt will set in. Distractions will come. Boyz will the distractions come. The enemy doesn’t want you to share the Gospel with a lost soul. Church, you can get through this. I say you can get through this. Praise God. We can rebuke that crocked legged, slime ball with God’s word. Let’s continue with verse 8.
(8) Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; (9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
Wow church, as one of my favorite pastors says, “That speaks volumes”.
Brothers and Sisters, fear causes us to trade power for an overwhelming, pervasive feeling of powerlessness. When we start thinking that we’re at the mercy of our past and our circumstances, we discount the power that is ours through the Holy Spirit. Fear can talk us into trading love for lust because fear makes us decide that we are not going to risk our hearts again. Love which enables us to hear, believe, hope and endure all things, is the incentive to all obedience. Where fear keeps us from loving, love is the driving force behind everything else in life.
Some of you may have dealt with fear all of your lives. It may have been a major stronghold as a child. The enemy will try to use that fear to convince you that you will never be anything different. That slimy devil will put thoughts in your head that you will never amount to nothing. Maybe that is what you heard from others all your life. The enemy will try to convince you that God can’t change you. That He isn’t real. Am I speaking to anyone today? Is the Holy Ghost tugging at your heart? I want to tell you that scripture says differently. God’s Word says just the opposite of what the enemy has lied about to any of you here or reading this later.
Friends, listen up. Jesus came to save the world. God created you and knew you before you were in your mama’s womb. He has a perfect plan for you. By the way, Happy Mother’s Day to all you beautiful moms.
God’s Word says that Jesus came to heal the sick. He came for those who desperately need him. He came to set the captives free. Is there anyone here with burdens today, any sick, any who have not been set free? I tell you that when you can really see that this is what the Bible says, you will begin to believe it.
Oh friends, please get what this scripture is saying. Please turn to 1st Corinthians 2: 9-16.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 LITV (9) according as it has been written, "Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard," nor has it risen up into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those that love Him. Isa. 64:4 (10) But God revealed them to us by His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. (11) For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of a man within him? So also no one has known the things of God except the Spirit of God. (12) But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. (13) Which things we also speak, not in words taught in human wisdom, but in Words taught of the Holy Spirit, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things. (14) But a natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (15) But the spiritual one discerns all things, but he is discerned by no one. (16) For "who has known the mind of the Lord?" "Who will teach Him?" But we have the mind of Christ. Isa. 40:13
Friends, I can see a couple reasons why the lost don’t want to hear the Gospel. First, we know that the Bible says that to them that perish the Gospel to them is like foolishness. I also think because of what so many churches here in America have been doing, there is a bad taste in many people’s mouths. I don’t think I need to point any fingers, as the true believer knows what is scriptural and what is not. People are looking for something that feels good. People want a message that doesn’t put them down. Many are after rituals and tradition, because that is what they know. What happened to a relationship with Christ? As the late David Wilkerson cried out, “Where is the anguish? Where are the Sunday school teachers that weep over the kids that are dyeing and going to hell?”
What about your loved ones and best friends? Are you concerned for their eternal well-being? Do you care whether they spend eternity in heaven or hell? Do you pray for them daily? I want us to see what Apostle Paul says in 1 Timothy chapter 2. Again we are going to see the heart of God wanting all men to be saved, but notice what he said about praying for all people, and that means even for the elected officials.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 KJV I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; (2) For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (3) For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; (4) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Church, I want to look at some verses that shows that God listens to our prayers. Please turn to Psalms 116: 1. I have mentioned in many messages that what we pray for should line up with God’s Word. Amen? We know because we have read that He wishes no man or woman perishes, yes? So is it His will that we pray and He will hear our prayers for salvation for our parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins, brothers, sisters and friends? Even those people we don’t know that we might have just met this very second and pray for their lost souls? Let’s read King David’s prayer.
Psalms 116:1-4 KJV I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. (2) Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. (3) The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. (4) Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Praise God!! Now let’s go to Mark chapter 2. I could do a whole study on this passage we are about to read, and we may at some point.
Mark 2:2-12 KJV And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. (3) And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. (4) And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. (5) When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. (6) But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, (7) Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? (8) And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? (9) Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? (10) But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) (11) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. (12) And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
There is much to say about this passage, but the one thing I want you to notice, maybe 2 things, is this. Nothing was said about the man with Palsy’s faith. Verse 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. I am sure this sick man was believing in faith too, but we don’t read that. Praise Jesus for being so compassionate.
I want to close with one last passage and we will continue this next week, God willing. Next week, I want to go into more detail about how we can see our loved ones saved. Anyone have loved ones that need Jesus that don’t know Him? I am sure that everyone here, listening, or reading this can name at least 1.
Please turn to Mark 9:17 and we will read through to 29. I want everyone to take notice of what Jesus says to His disciples on this issue.
Mark 9:17-29 KJV And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; (18) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. (19) He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. (20) And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. (21) And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. (22) And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. (23) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (24) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (25) When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. (26) And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. (27) But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. (28) And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? (29) And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
We see that Jesus after hearing fr0m this son’s dad that he had this spirit from a child. One of the first things that I want you to notice is this. (19) He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. I find that first, we need to have faith in what we ask. The dad said that he brought the boy to the disciples and the boy wasn’t delivered. Even though the 12 deciples and many others walked with Jesus and saw all He did, they still lacked in faith. I also want you to notice what Jesus said in verse (29) And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
We have seen the importance of prayer and some of you that have followed our ministry know that I have been fasting at times and have seen the results. Friends, there is so much more to discuss and I hope that you all join in next week.
Greetings Brothers and Sisters. Are we excited this morning to hear what God has for us today? Oh my friends, it is so good to know that God loves us. Amen? Everyone hold on to your Bibles. These verses come from Psalms 139:14- 18 and I would like for Leanna to read them from the New King James version.
Psalms 139:14-18 KJV I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (15) My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. (16) Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (17) How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! (18) If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Praise be to the One true living God. Thank You God for creating us, Lord, and knowing us, even before we were in our mother’s womb. Thank You Lord for knowing what we ask even before our words are spoken. In Jesus’ name. Church, say with me. Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life from the dead. Again. Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life from the dead. Make it more personal. Praise Jesus who paid my debt in full and raised this life from the dead. Praise You Jesus.
What an awesome God we serve. Amen?
This is something that has been put on my heart a while ago for this area, but will fit in whatever town, state or nation, if we apply these principles. I pray that someone would grab hold of this and run with it, all for God's Glory. Praise the Lord!! Amen?
I have a question for everyone. How much love do you have for people? For those who have been with Leanna and I from the beginning, you might remember the series we did called “Having the Compassion Of Christ.” Anyone remember? Do you love all people? Do you love all your family members? Mother-in-laws? What about your neighbors? All of them? Even the one that bad mouthed you a couple weeks ago? What about those who might be in high school? Do you have love for the one that bullied you yesterday in school? What about those who spend many hours on-line? You might have posted a picture on facebook that had a verse from the Bible on it and a so-called friend insulted you because they thought that was dumb. Can you honestly say you love them?
Let’s turn to Romans 13: 8-11. In these verses, Paul mentions many things that we need to pay attention to. We will look at where true believer’s attitudes should be toward civil government. We will also look at the law of love toward others. Jesus told us in Mark 12:29-31 this.
Mark 12:29-31 KJV And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Romans 13:8-11 KJV Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (11) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Friends, my compassion….and it should be each of yours, too……is to witness to the lost. Satan has a field day distracting believers from accomplishing this. The enemy puts such fear into people’s minds to prevent them from doing what Jesus told us to do. Let’s look at some starting with Matthew 4:19
Jesus told Peter and his brother Andrew in Matthew 4:19 KJV And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Matthew 28:18-20 KJV And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Did you notice all power has been given to our Savior? Also did you notice that it is in Heaven and on earth?
(19) Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (20) Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Please turn to Mark 13:1. We are going to start with verse 1, because I want you see that Jesus spoke about things that we are going through, right now.
Mark 13:1-11 KJV And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! (2) And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (3) And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, (4) Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5) And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you: (6) For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (7) And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet. (8) For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (9) But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them. (10) And the gospel must first be published among all nations. (11) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
Please turn to Mark 16:15, but want I want to point out is when we share the Gospel with others, let us not try to do it in our own words. I remember when I was first saved, I was excited and I tried to share the little bit about the Bible with others and they probably thought I was a nut case. I have found that when I pray for God to give me the words to share and I rely on His strength, people understand much better. God knows each and every heart of all men and women.
Mark 16:15 KJV And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
For some time, I have wanted to see this community that I live in to be saved and lovers of Christ. One might say, “Brother Jim, you live in a oppressed, depressed drug, alcohol, porn-infested area. An area that has so many churches and such a religious spirit and claim they are the only true religion”. Yes, in the natural realm it would seem like it is a lost cause but with God all things are possible.
“So how do you plan on pulling this dream off Brother Jim?” You might be thinking, “How can you start to see your community come to know Christ as their Savior”? Start by just loving our Communities. Start with Prayer. Friends, we can do this. Why? Because it is God’s will for us to succeed in this endeavor. God says in His Word that He wishes no man, or woman perishes. What endeavor? Church, the endeavor I want to talk about today is taking back Brownville, Brownville Junction, I have to include Milo and all the surrounding towns, just for a start for me. The community that those of you who have been so faithful listening on Skype, those who may be listening on the phone and those who read these sermons faithfully on line. Please turn to Colossians 4:2.
I mentioned this over a year ago during a Bible study….get yourself a notebook that you can add names of those that are neighbors to. Start praying everyday for them to come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Add those that you might work with or go to school with. Every time you meet someone new, add them to your list.
Colossians 4:2 KJV Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.
God has placed you in a sphere of influence for a reason and a purpose. It is not an accident where you live, where you work or might go to school, and the community in which you find yourself living. Begin praying for God to open doors and to use you for His glory where you live.
Do we know our neighbors? Should we get to know them?
James 2:14-20 KJV What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (15) If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, (16) And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (17) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. (18) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (19) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (20) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
How can we love people if we are not willing to know them? We need to listen to their needs.
Galatians 6:9-10 KJV And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
If you are only there for people when it is convenient for you, then it is not love. Friends, we need to be intentional.
1 Peter 3:14-18 KJV But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; (15) But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: (16) Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. (17) For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. (18) For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.
As you and I get to know people and meet needs, we are then able to share Christ. Here are some examples of how you might get to know people in your area. Have a dinner party or barbecue, get involved in the town functions, go to the local coffee shop or general store and sit and have coffee with the gossipers. It may be a good chance to sow seed. Partner with God’s church. I know we are going to see a harvest. I had a friend and sister in Christ tell me a while back, “There is going to be an explosion.” She is right. There is going to be a huge explosion of lost souls coming to Jesus, if we get out of our comfort zones.
Learn to love others. Get rid of all that unforgivness that has kept you from blessings that God has for you.
Ephesians 5:1-2 KJV Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.
The call of God is for us to be people of love…to bring heaven to earth.
Philippians 1:9-11 KJV And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; (11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Brothers and Sisters, God has placed us in our community for a reason and a purpose… to just love. Amen? Jesus was born during a very trying time. Then He taught on things that were biblical, but not what the religious leaders were teaching. We are blessed to live in a beautiful community, but our call is to love. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. And how can we love unless we are willing to know the people around us as well as being willing to step out and meet their needs?
Church, it is not enough to talk about love, but we are called to live a life of love. Imagine the difference we can make together in our community if we just love. The more we love and have that compassion of Christ, the more we will love ourselves. I hear all the time from people, “I don’t know my neighbors.” I remember when I was younger; everyone knew everyone and their business. It was the way of life. Neighbors helped neighbors and money was not the objective. I wish that was still the way. When Leanna and I do things for others now, people’s mouths drop when we don’t ask for anything in return. It is a way of being a blessing to others.
The commandments God gives us are like the banks of a river that controls the ﬂow of the river. When we violate God’s commandments, we cause the river to run over the banks, and thus it loses its power and beauty. If we add commandments not found in the scriptures, we widen the banks of the river so that it becomes slow and stagnant and loses its life and vitality. And within the stream of the river there are numerous decisions that need to be made that cannot be speciﬁed in advance. The Bible does not anticipate every situation we will encounter. We need the Holy Spirit and wisdom to discern what is best to do as different instances arrive in our life. Scripture informs us that love is the guideline. But there is no attempt to calculate in advance what we should do in each circumstance of life. We read the scriptures, pray, seek wisdom, and rely upon the Spirit in attempting to discern God’s will. After saying all this, the lost do not know these things of God. Amen? They know nothing about being saved, lost, blessings and so on.
Friends, I mention almost every Sunday to be in God’s Word. Here are some reasons why. We increase our faith. Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God. I feel it is important to start memorizing scripture. Why? So we can use scripture in our prayers. We learn God’s heart. We learn how to witness. And we learn how we should live our lives to mention a very few.
I led a study back a few years ago on witnessing. We spent many weeks with people using a prepared lesson including DVDs, booklets, posters and tracts. It was really a great teaching tool. Toward the end, we were to go out into the public to witness and use the things that we had learned and practiced for these several weeks. This is sad and really frustrated me to wonder if those who attended really are concerned about their loved ones and good friend’s eternal future. Not one of the ones who attended were willing to witness.
I love to share God’s Word and I hope by the end of today’s message, everyone of you will understand just how important it is for those who don’t Christ to get to know Him, and also how important it is for us to share.
Proverbs 14:25 KJV A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.
Jamess 5:20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
Acts 26:18 KJV To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Mark 8:38 KJV Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
And we will end with these verses in 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 KJV (3) But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: (4) In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
I now look for reasons to pray for people, even in public. I didn’t used to. I was so afraid of rejection. Not what others would think of me because I wanted to pray for them, but that they would just say “no” if I asked if I could pray. I almost always have a t-shirt that has a gospel message on it, and often people will ask me how I dare to wear them. I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I am not ashamed of Christ. It also opens the door for those to ask me questions about the Bible.
Friends, it could very well happen where the freedom to share the Gospel here in the US may no longer be. Laws are already in affect where our military can’t share. Rumors have been floating around that it will be a thing of the past for us to share online. There are rumor upon rumor of things that we won’t be able to do to reach this dying world.
Do you have unsaved loved ones? Start praying and sowing seeds. Want to see God open doors for you to be a witness to this world and to see Him bless you? Start your day in prayer, dying to self, reading and meditating on His word. Ask Him what His plan is for you during that day and go with it. Amen. For those who are interested in a copy of Praying Effectively for the Lost, drop me a note and I will mail you a copy.