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's 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's how that slimy devil works.
Ask almost any Christian, and they will share the same story. I've been there. Until the past couple of years, I've 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 11:2-4 . Apostle Paul talks about the deceptive power of the enemy. One thing I'd 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's 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's proof that Jesus wasn't 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're driven by a spirit of fear, we don’t act out with power, love and a sound mind.
Please turn to 2nd Timothy 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 steal, kill 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 crooked 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're 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's 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.
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 of reasons why the lost don’t want to hear the Gospel. First, we know that the Bible says that to those who 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's 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 dying and going to hell?” Think about that quote for a minute. I mean, really let it sink in. This is why I praise God that our grandson is here almost every Sunday. I know that he, even at a tender age, is hearing the truth. From there, he has to make the right choices from the seeds sown. Praise God!!
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're 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've mentioned in many messages that what we pray for should line up with God’s Word. Amen? We know because we've 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're 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'm 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'm sure that everyone here, listening, or reading this can name at least one.
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 from this son’s dad that he had this spirit from when he was 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 disciples 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've seen the importance of prayer and some of you who have followed our ministry know that I've been fasting at times and have seen the results. Friends, there's so much more to discuss and I hope that you all join in next week.