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Coming to Christ

Craig Gooden
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In John 6:37 Christ says that "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." Craig Gooden reminds us that coming to Christ is for all who are willing but we must be willing to stand for the truth. He highlights the aims of GYC Europe in hosting Focus events. 

Presenter

Craig Gooden

Craig Gooden currently serves as the Director of the PEACE Centre of Evangelism and a Bible Worker in the North England Conference UK. He gave his life to Christ at the age of 20 and has been blessed to serve the local church, the conference and internationally by way of preaching, teaching and training. Craig has a strong passion to see the everlasting Gospel proclaimed to the world in this generation and his favourite topics of study are Faith and Prophecy. Craig enjoys fellowship, reading, traveling and spending time with his wife Farida and their son Izraël.

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  • June 1, 2016
    10:30 AM
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The A lot was strengthened most awesome and mighty Ridhima Father God I thank you for the opportunity to be gathered here to be able to speak on behalf of you here are the first well the second event where running but the first time here in the U.K. A G Y C focus less on the theme of coming to you. Christ I pray that the message that I speak today will be clear I pray that the words will resonate with everybody who is in this congregation right now but father I am praying that you hide me in Jesus that they've been nothing special about me but everything about you and help me to love you more help each and every one of us here to love you more and the Holy Spirit. I pray and plead that you will increase or move upon the hearts of those who are here and that your manservant simply decrease. I thank you again in Jesus is precious Holy and where the name Amen. The two scriptures that I'll be focusing on today is taken from the Book of John chapter seventeen verse one two three and we also have John chapter six verse thirty seven. And Jesus said in John Chapter seventeen verse one two three his. His just on his way to get seventy and he begins to pray and the prayer they found is split into three sections so they found that the first section Jesus was praying for himself in the second section of the prayer his is pleading for the disciples and then the third section is praying for all of the believers and it starts with these few words here would say is these words Spain Jesus and lifted up his eyes to heaven and said Father. That our. Is calm glorified by his son that by son also may glorify the as that has given him power over how much flesh. How much all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many as there has given him. And this is life eternal that they might know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sense the text the scriptures are talking about a group of people that Jesus recognizes that the Father has allowed to come into his sphere and when we go over to John chapter six for us. Thirty seven we read that Jesus is saying all that the father giver. Me shall do want what will they do all that the father give with me will come to me and Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Amen. He will in no wise cast them out. Now the beauty of this message is that Jesus is saying all can come to him every single one of us and at times we may think you know. Well I've been in church. I have followed him. You may even have been baptized. But your walk with him still needs to grow deeper it still needs to grow deeper and G. Y.C. focus the vision of these weekends is to empower each and every young person every person who attends to reclaim Firstly their Adventist identity. Secondly to become missionaries in this fears of influence and this doesn't mean. Oh you've got to try and find a flight to go some distant land where you don't know anybody. No Sometimes you need to be a missionary in your own home in your workplaces. And your places of study wherever it may be and where pleading that during these weekends we believe that you will reclaim your Adventist identity and you will become missionaries in your spheres of influence in every single place that you go. And that's the aim. That's why we want to have these weekends and we called it focus because we want to focus on specific local countries across Europe the last the first session that we had was in Romania and you had young people just flooding together into one location so that they could be blessed by hearing some powerful messages preached by God's servants. Encouraged to leave the event and to continue working after the event. We called it focused because we want to focus on specific themes with all of you over one weekend and encouraging you all to go forward and do the work this week a number of people have asked me How do you feel about the weekend. Are you looking forward to it. Are you excited and some of them may have been shocked at my response because I was saying well you know I have mixed feelings and they look to the light you hear the silence explain but you're the president of the Y.C. Europe and you've got mixed feelings about the event. This is like me tell you something this event now this week and I'm excited for we're all excited. We will have a deeper walk with Christ during this event and after I'm excited for this but I am anxious to see what you do afterwards. You see it afterwards where everything really matters. You see when the when the event finishes some of you will be going back into cars. You'll be jumping on trains you'll be traveling down the same route that you went to get here just in reverse some of you are going back to doors and you know the moment you place the key into the keyhole that you may be entering into a representation of hell itself. Some of you have families that you have to be amongst that that challenge you every single day about what you believe. Partners that you know may not be Christian a life that you have probably been living that you know deep down is not true temptations that will tackle you every single day and you leave here from this what we would call a high moment to go back down into the deep ness of the ballasts the dark moments and oftentimes we go down into those dark valley is without Christ and Jesus said that he wants you to come to him to be with him to remain with him forever more. And that's why these events are here I am so I'm excited and I'm anxious because it's more than just the event. It's a lifestyle and human. We need to grow our commitment with Christ every single day and to do this. It requires you to come closer to him to walk with Him to pray with him to study with him to to search the Scriptures not just in moments of the morning when you can say you know I have read the scriptures and I've got my daily morning fix and now I'm going back upstairs I'll sleep a while or you know then I go off to college and I've had devotion today. I believe devotion should be through the whole day through the whole week through the whole month the whole year continual I heard a man was debating with a number of Muslims once and the Muslim said to him probably How many times do you pray that man looked at him and he said let me ask you first how many times do you pray and they said five times and he went is that all. And they said Well well well how many times do you pray all Christian. He said I pray once they all looked at him confused. He said I begin my prayer in the morning and I ended and in the evening he said I don't say Amen when I finish praying I say amen in the evening when I'm about to go to sleep. I pray with God all through the day and we read into us alone is that we should pray. Without ceasing but it begins with you. Building a commitment a a a connection with Jesus. Now I believe that we are living in some of the most solemn times of Earth's history and I see the hands of you who believe that we're living in solemn times we are living in solemn times I mean just this week you read that the pope met with Islam as one of one of their highest leaders and he called for a global movement for everybody to begin to do away with terrorism not wow you know you meet with the pope and then this is the outcome when everybody is sending these messages around. Oh look this man look what he's just said uneasily met with the pope. Well yes solemn times when living in solemn times when you know the same man goes to America around the streets of flooded with people he speaks to both houses both both sides of Congress and they welcome him with open arms and you could see some of the senators describing as he speaks one of them runs to the table. So he could sip from the same cup the pope drank from and they accepted it. Solemn times solemn times it's solemn times when the Protestant leaders cry out that the protesters over. It's solemn times when the the leaders of the world will bow down to the the popular opinion of the masses and it's solemn times when the masses themselves no longer stand for any moral principles. It's solemn times and you can look this up on the Internet on the B.B.C. the news the article came out I think it was last year a man in telephone makes his way to the top of a car park and due to his internal and external struggles. He goes to the top stands on the brink of the edge of the car park and. Guinn's wavering between the decision of should I go forward and jump or should I fall back and live and over time as it happens you know that people begin gathering at the bottom of the carpark and there seems to be now this ocean of people who are waiting for him to just plunge to his death. And normally you'd think well this did the people would be crying out don't do it and what you had was everybody there with their phones out filming trying to get the best location and all of them were crying out just jump and he jumped and he diet England told Saddam times silent times when you could fall down and people would try to film you first before they try to help you solemn times when the creator of Facebook can say that a dead squirrel in a garden is more relevant to the person who sees it than the wars that are taking place in Syria solemn times it's solemn times when we seem to be forgetting the very principles of this book itself and looking for the that the recognition from everybody else before we just go to God and say Let me take what is true and hold on to this. Solemn times when it's as if we're afraid to speak the truth anymore. It's sometimes we're living in when people are no longer looking on the external but accepting any think you say to them for fear of offending you just a few weeks ago there was a You Tube video that was going around of a a five foot nine white man who stood there and his interview in college students and he asked. Let me say is listen I. How do you feel about the whole issue with the toilets and and you know the people that don't feel like men anymore and they want to be women and how do you feel about that and you heard people responding saying well if that's how they feel it's fine. And in fact just a few weeks ago I said to my wife I said I need to hear this for myself so i Phone Pizza Express in Manchester and I phoned them and I said listen if I was to book a table today. Oh yes it's fine. Yes yes yes you want to book. So maybe I'm from a best not to line. And I'm sat down and I'm on the phone with them and I said How would you how is it OK if AIM person wanting to book a table if they want. If a man wanted to use the woman's restroom because he believes is a lady would that be OK with you. She giggled a little bit and she said. Definitely it's fine. OK she said it's a bit of a strange question no I said well maybe you haven't seen what's taking place in the world right now and she's like no no no it's fine it's why not afraid to offend the other person because of what they are really saying and this man he stands there interviewing these different people and he says OK then I I I would feel if I told her my woman and all of them said well that's fine with us. He continues the interview he says How would you. I am I believe I'm seventy years old and I'm like No they're all going to say no you're not and they all said Well I'd have to ask how you got to that conclusion. However if that's how you feel then that's fine. Really. And you could see them laughing because what they see denial is what they're saying. And then he said. So would it be OK for me to go to school with other people of that age. And you could see people saying. And then he would just come out if that's how you feel and you believe you need to go there and learn again then that's why I'm really. So then he thought right I really need to challenge this thought so he said OK I'm a Chinese woman. Suddenly they're like that simple. And then you could see them ready to say that's not right but it just came out if that's how you feel then that's OK then he said right. I'm a Chinese woman that feels that I'm seven years old. And I'm I'm six foot something tall six foot five tall and you could see them really. But if that's how you feel then that's OK solemn times we're living in when people are denying the very troops that they see for the fear of offending somebody else as the saying goes if you don't stand for anything you will for for everything. In fact a lady by the name of Ayn Rand said that the uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. She said that they come to be accepted by degrees by precedent by implication by erosion by default by dint of constant pressure on the one side and constant retreat on the other until the day when they are suddenly declared to be the country's official ideology us. Lo and behold we're living in a time where we can see this literally happening in front of our eyes. It's a time when your conscience is being pushed down where you literally have to be forced into a position and that and people by law. The government by law will be. Getting to push a voice an attitude. That's persecuting your own conscience challenging what you see but telling you that you can speak out against the truth. And is not this the same thing that the reformers had to go through in the old days but we find that they had a secret place where they found their strength to hold on for truth to stand for truth to preach the truth individuals will accept security at the cost of liberty as long as they are OK and in a safe place. However that safe place. They're retreating to is not the safe place for the worst place to be because late Ses in the Bible the law when they say peace and safety behold son of destruction comes and it makes me think of some stories I've heard of are when when World War two was taking place and you had people that would be in the churches and close to the church would be a train line and as the train would be passing by with its luggage of individuals on its way to the concentration camps as they could hear the child going along of the train the people in the churches would do their best to sing louder and louder and louder. Because they wanted to drown out the sound of the train to make it seem as if it's not really there. Whilst being in church. You can be in here but we should not be denying what's taking place outside. We need to stand for the truth. We need to preach the truth. And I believe that this weekend. You will be encouraged. You will be empowered you will go forward and preach this truth not just by word but by life your actions your deeds the things you see the way you speak. Somebody should be able to look at you and say Are you a Christian because you sound different to the rest. You walk different to the rest and God needs a people who will stand for the truth though the heavens may fall God needs a people who will stand and remain firm as the needle is to the pole never moving but always willing to go forward even if it means by death and this is where I read when you read that book great controversy and you read about men like house and Jerome when you read of people like John Knox and when the queen would say that she fears his prayers more than an approaching army when you hear when people would tell them you need to recant will give you another option and you need to recant and they say well what have I done wrong. They stand for the truth and even with the flickering of the flames they're still preaching and proclaiming and singing the songs of the gospel because they were strengthened in the place of prayer because they came to God himself first. And as it said as it read in John Chapter seventeen verse one to three Jesus was speaking to the father is speaking to the father and his saying look the time has come the hour. Is he a it's now the time is no glorify the eyes on that by son may also glorify the as though has given him power over not some flesh but all flesh that he should give it give eternal life to as many as would come to him and then you read in John chapter six verse thirty seven that Jesus is saying listen all have come to me all the willing to come and God opens up those doors so everybody can come to Him And Jesus accepts the invitation knowing that whoever the father gives him will be allowed to be with him and the beauty is that for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever believes in him. Should not perish but have everlasting life and God looks at each and every one of us not as we are but as we can become in him. So somebody asked me the other day crane. If God knows who will die and everybody's everything that will take place then surely he's already designed that people should live and people should die so why should we bother with all of this stuff and I had to explain Had to him until the time the probation closes God does not see anyone as a sinner he sees them as they can become in Christ but they are allowed to make the decision and when that decision time is closed off then it will be said Let him who is unjust be unjust still let him who is filthy be filthy still but let him who is right for us be righteous still and let him who is Holy be holy still These ones who have made the decision to come to Christ's Amen. You know that word in John chapter six for us thirty seven that word about the first word it opens with is all all that the Father giveth me all it comes from a Greek word which means pan all a man of by the name of Kim Carr that he worked for Intel as an engineer. He was responsible for trying to find a way to link P.C.'s to mobile phones and they were going to call it panned but at the time and pen they said look it stands for all but they needed to create an acronym for it so it was called personal area network pan whoever was it is within the area is able to connect as long as they have power but what they said was that there was too many people using the word. So at the time when they wanted to launch this thing. That would. Be able to connect us to entities that normally unnaturally would be separate They couldn't call it perm. And at that time. Jen was reading about a Danish king Danish Viking came by the name of her old Black Hand her old black turned to rule between the years of nine five eight and nine seven zero nine seventeen. He was a famous King known for you. Nineteen. Parts of Denmark to Norway but turned in the U.K. language is Bluetooth and it's interesting because they say that the king himself had booty. So maybe that was the title they just gave him king Blatter and King Bluetooth and how many of us in here use Bluetooth it's known that this king when he had brought in and he was ruling he converted the Danish to Christianity. He had he was well known for uniting people together they wanted to call him power instead it was called Bluetooth the personal area network the uniting of two opposite forces two opposite. And that is so they can be brought together to be one and what we find is that God invites all through the power of the cross through this this personal area network that all who see the cross can come to him all who see that cross or at the moment when that cross was activated when Jesus Christ died on them that moment when he became sin for us so that we could be made the righteousness of God in him that moment that as as Jesus spoke in John Chapter sixteen and he told the disciples you will all leave me but I will not be alone because my father will always be with. To me that same Jesus upon the cross we hear him crying and pleading out My God my God why have you forsaken me. So we've been on the cross Jesus felt alone and we read at the same time and we understand that as God would have beheld Jesus because we understand that by His stripes were healed. He had to be bruised and become sin for us so that we could have this opportunity that when Jesus Christ was on the cross. I was talking to my wife about this and we had to say it could it be that God beholding Jesus on the cross. So everything that he ate it in everything that he love. Weird combination. Yet a wonderful wonderful opportunity that Jesus would die for each and every one of you personally. Amen. And he did this so that through the cross God was able to create a personal area network. He was able to create this Bluetooth thing opportunity for us to be connected to Jesus Christ for the rest of eternity and there's no battery that dives a man this battery dives. I've seen people use these things as bibles and the like get out of my Bible mines to work. Understand the point I'm making. I'm simply saying once you come to Him He will not cast you out that God invites all to come to him to join him. And these tools that he uses to bring us we read that on the cross Jesus Christ something killed him. When they pierce the soldiers pierced Him with the spear they were shocked that he was dead. So quickly sin and the separation that it caused from Jesus and this connection he had with the power that was strange that moment when that gospel Chuen began to play on that instrument of justice and as the tune was playing and it began to bring and come to its close the heartstrings of Jesus begin snapping and breaking away as he is dying while he feels the separation that the sinner will feel if they hold on to sin and Jesus says I became this. So you can live a happy life ever more praise God he didn't just die. He was resurrected powerfully resurrected Jesus did this for you and I and today. Each and every one of you can come to Christ. You see coming to Christ doesn't just mean it's just a one day thing it's an everyday thing every single day you're coming closer to him just a few weeks ago I had to say to the Lord I am. Am I really having the experience I need to have with you. So I said we to changes need to be made because the more I'm seeing that where these solemn times are multiplying is the more I'm seeing that there is a need to have a deeper relationship with Christ because guess what all of those solemn times I told you about the things that we're seeing happening now the pope traveling around the world the world leaders bowing down to him the church is breaking up. Well guess what that will come and that will go but if you do not have a relationship with Christ you will leave you will leave him. The amount of times I've heard people say oh yes the shaking is happening. It is but will you be shaken now when I hear the complaints in the churches or not I hear people moaning and complaining of. This person and that person and oftentimes I have to ask would you be willing for that person who is the worst sin of that worst enemy that you have in the church would you be willing to have your name taken out the Book of Life. So they could take your place and be in heaven and they're like Ha ha you're talking about Moses' No I'm talking about you. We know that our place can never be replaced by anybody. We know that. I can't save anyone in my own strength but the point I'm making is this Do you have that love in your heart that passes your own understanding that you would be willing to give up your own place if it were possible. It's not possible but if it was that you'd say I love you so much that I'll be willing to not be there just so you could be and then we read on the cross that Hope did not present to Jesus or resurrection but he still pressed through we read in the Old Testament that when Abraham was ready to offer of the sacrifice of His Son and the son says oh but with the sacrifice he says you know the Lord will provide himself one and he did for the person of Jesus Christ to day we need to come back to him and if you are already there. You need to come closer to him and I'm finding that as we come closer to him. There are three elements that bind up to make up a Christian walk and those elements I believe you will be empowered through this weekend to continue in daily and Firstly it begins with prayer and I've found that the more time I'm spending with him in prayer is the more I'm finding I need to change. It's the more uncomfortable it becomes because he begins telling you there are wrongs in your life that you need to make right there are people that you need to talk to and ask them how I'd. Done anything to offend you and be willing to hear what they say and not try to make a difference but be willing to say I'm sorry a life where I'm willing to do everything to please the others a life where I am willing to be the eyes for somebody else and the mouth that can't speak and the hand that calm pick up and walk with things themselves the feet that people need to walk with are you willing to do that for the person who needs to also come to cries. But you find that in that area of prayer in that dark room where God doesn't allow any other artificial light to come in in that room that once the door is closed behind him that dark room of prayer where he is then enabled to take his image and produce it on the human hearts so that when you leave that dark room of prayer and go back out into the world. You look different that blank canvas has now become painted with the name of Jesus Christ. There is a change that takes place you begin to see things differently. You begin seeing temptation making its way to you. So as it's approaching you find yourself on your knees asking for strength to overcome and he will give you the power to overcome because he says that he who has begun a good work in you will finish it and he will keep working in you over and over and over until it's completed and sometimes you know there was a time when I was praying to the Lord humble me God just humble me and I would go to these parts at night time and I'll be praying. Nobody else will be there or not be pleading just humble me and then it's as if he was giving me an opportunity to change my prayer. So I went to the book selected messages unarmed to splitting through the book and as I'm flicking I read a quote that says Do not ask the law to. Mumble you know it's about this is this is this is wrong. You know the must have been you know you're reading the quote over and over again. Maybe she was just wrong. That moment. No you were praying in Rome the Bible say is that we should humble ourselves before him if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray I will hear them. So I said Lord Well why should I not ask you to humble me and the thing is that God wants to take you from way you are to where he needs you to be and if God was to humble you in a way that you are not ready for you would break down. You can't just come before the Almighty and expect him to just make you the perfect being that you you desire to be in an instant. It's a daily walk and you'll find that the closer you come to him is the more sinful you will see that you are and you will see I need him more and more and more Already man that I am who can deliver me from this body of sin. I think God through Jesus Christ you read in Romans eight press wonders therefore now no condemnation to those who walk not after the flesh but after Jesus Christ Spirit him him. So what God does He say is in this walk of sanctification what we will do is step by step. I will help you. So you will eventually arrive at the place I need you to be but it's a daily walk with him and that daily won't begins with you coming to Christ's prayer and the searching of the scriptures for we read in seconds and with a chapter three verse fifteen to sixteen that all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God and it's profitable for doctrine for reproof for correction for instruction in righteousness that the man. God may be throughly furnished perfect unto all good works and what we find is that the word in there that say is given by inspiration of God means it is God breathed. So these words when you read them. You not only find strength for your soul in that dark room of prayer but you find here that if these words are God breathed then they give life because I read that when God breathed into the nostrils of Adam he became a living soul. So we've got breathed into these words then when I accept them into my life I also become a living recreated soul. So this study and then we have mission preaching this Gospel were ever we go. Jesus said that when the power has come upon you. Then you will be witnesses on to me and then he begins to tell them where and you know he ends in the scripture on to the uttermost ends of the earth and then you read through the book of Acts and it closes with Paul preaching his gospel from his own rented accommodation but it doesn't finish the book of Acts continues even through till today and it will only finish when Jesus Christ returns because that book though it's called Acts of the Apostles it should be named acts of the Holy Spirit because we see the acts of the Holy Spirit from the beginning right through to the end moving up on the dark places of the earth moving up on the darkness of your own heart to change us to help us to finish the work so multiply and to share this truth wherever we go and we are told that though the dogless of the world will multiply the truth will go out more powerful than it did even in the days of Pentecost. But it begins with you. Prayer study. And mission being a witness where you go. Being a witness sharing the true. I have with Jesus because I've had a real experience with him and I've said to people time and time again the worst experience you can ever have is an experience of never having an experience with Jesus because it's still an experience you've just not experienced him and it's the worst experience you can have because you'll find that when you do experience Him you will be looking back on your life thinking what was I missing out on but it begins by coming to Christ being ready for service wherever you go you know on the seal of an old missionary society. There's an image of an ox and this ox it's standing between an altar and the plough between the altar and the plough and what you have is the out standing there and it's got under the bottom are ready for either ready to be sacrificed for the Lord already to work for the Lord. But whatever the situation is. I'm ready for either. I'm ready to be sacrificed on the altar that the Lord requires me to be sacrificed on and if it's not by public death then it's by spiritual death to solve every single day ready to work with him all the time because we read that is is a burden is light his his yoke is easy. You are not alone in this work and even if you do feel alone maybe at home at your places of. Study at your places of employment. I read that with Christ. You're always in the majority. So we never ever alone. Amen. My appeal today I simply want to ask you for those of you who want to say that during this weekend and after this weekend. I want to. Firstly accept God's help and his strength to continue but also after this weekend. I want to be ready for either. I want to be ready that if I have to be sacrificed. I'm ready for that if I have to work and accept this plow that God will give me I'm ready for either. And the plow you will accept is your plan with him not desiring to do somebody else's work or to be somebody else you be you in Jesus. Just be you in Jesus. You can do what nobody else can with him because you all have a specific work to do with Christ. So if your desire this weekend is to say Lord I want to come closer to you. And afterwards I want to be ready for either. It's going to ask you to stand with me this evening and we'll close with a prayer. Dear Lord. You see each and every person who is standing here this evening. Father we come before you saying that we want to be ready for either but we have to be willing to follow you. We have to be willing to come to you with our whole hearts and I'm praying that during this weekend. There will be right. Revival and there will be reformation in our lives and there will be a living of that revival and Reformation when we leave here. Thanking you for what you will do because you. This is this media was brought to you by all. You know first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.

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