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For Such a Time as This

Mark Howard
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This message will focus on God’s call to this generation of young people.

Presenter

Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

Sponsor

Conference

Recorded

  • October 22, 2016
    11:30 AM

Series

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The message this morning is entitled for such a time. Is this we've been talking about the three just messages and we're going to kind of we're going to be within the context but we're going to say a little bit you'll see what I mean as we get into the message before we do I want to kneel and ask God to bless our time and I'm going to ask if you would better heads with me as I do so. Heavenly father we do thank you so much for your holy Sabbaths thank you for beautiful day. Lord and all the reminders around us. The beauty that you've surrounded us with of your love for us your everlasting love and desire for each one of us for something better than what this world has to offer so Father I pray this morning that as we spend some time in your word your Holy Spirit would eliminate our understanding and father put a holy purpose within our hearts today to fulfill your will but we ask it in Jesus' name and for his sake. Amen. And I want to start this morning. What they statement that I do not have on the slide in this presentation I shared it in our first evening together in a statement found by the pen of Ellen White in the nineteenth volume of the manuscript releases and it's unfortunate because it's one of the most powerful statements that I've read and when you talk something into the manuscript releases it's usually not very widely heard or known and I remember the first time I heard it it blew me away and it has subsequently done so for people I share it with now I shared it on Monday night. Not Monday night on Wednesday night. But this is a statement as is the light that Christ revealed to his servant in fact let me back up just a little bit and give you some context this was given at a time when there were people in our denomination that thought that we ought to kind of scale back the name Seventh-Day Adventist because putting it at the front was offensive to people and so they said we ought to just act more non-denominational they use the word on denominational. And this was her response. OK In that context and you can do the math as to why I may be bringing that up in the days we're living in the light the Christ revealed to his servant the prophet speaking of John the Revelator is for us in His revelation are given the three Angels' messages and a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power lightning the earth with his glory. Does anybody know what that's referring to the angel that was to come down from heaven lightning the earth. In addition to the three angels she mentions another angel here. So anybody know where that's from as Revelation eighteen and that's what we're talking about this afternoon. It's something that's so if you have minister really spend much time talking about. It's the it's the loud cry angel. It's the latter rain of the Holy Spirit and it's something that is part of what she mentions Here now listen to in this context going to read it again in His revelation or giving the three messages in a description of the angel that was to come down from heaven with great power lightning the earth with his glory in it that is that message of Revelation are warnings against the wickedness that would exist in the last days and against the mark of the beast. We are not only to read and understand this message but to proclaim it with no uncertain sound to the world. Now the only way you can proclaim something with an uncertain sound it's got to be clear in your mind right. We're not just to hear it here. We're not just to come together and congregate and listen to the messages. Why do we come together and listen to messages to clarify it in our mind to strengthen our faith so we can do what share it fulfill the commission of Jesus Christ by presenting these things revealed to John she says we shall be able to stir the people. All the usual subjects on which the ministers of nearly all other denominations dwell will not move them. Now I'm not trying to be critical. This morning but I want to be very clear from inspiration to many Seventh Day Adventists in our day think that if we preach more like the evangelicals will win more people and yet by inspiration we're told that those messages will not stir the people. It's not that they're bad messages to talk about the love of God in the salvation of Christ or the cross. It's not that we should be preaching them. The problem is we live in a world that's gospel hardened and the message of the three angels are designed by God to awaken the conscience and the need for say for Savior. Read again. The ministers the usual subjects on which the ministers of nearly all other denominations dwell will not move them. We must proclaim our God given message to them the world is to be warned by the proclamation of this message if we blanket it. If we hide our light under a bushel. If we so circumscribe ourselves that we cannot reach the people we are answerable to God for our failure to warn the world. That's one heavy duty statement as one thousand manuscript releases page forty one. The reason that we exist as a people and as a church is to prepare the world for the coming of Christ to give a message to the world so they can be ready for the coming of Christ and we can talk together about the blessing and even singing the songs we do about how we will rise in the power of Jesus in our lives and and the greatness of knowing that he rose from the dead in the hope that we can have and that's all great but there are multitudes of people that we pass every day who don't have a clue about that hope and how can we really call or. Selves disciples of Jesus would Jesus walk by somebody who didn't know the hope of salvation and acting different. There's no way and at the heart of Christianity is that desire to share the gospel now the theme. I don't I have not studied Greek I've only studied a little bit but I know enough to know that little word there on the cover this is a UN daily on. OK It's where the word the gospel or what does the Gospel mean. Gospel means good news you ever wonder why God called it something that that that means new. What's what's characteristic of Moos. Somebody has told me before it's new and I could be true but what is characteristic of news I'll tell you what character it's current characteristic of news news is something you share news is something you tell when you hear news and it's not only with good news is it because we're all the time like man did you hear about the terrorist attack. Well I really don't want to but right that's the bad news and we want to tell that the characteristic of new is that you share it and it was not a mistake that God called the Gospel good news and I'll tell you I work. I'm the director of the Emanuel Institute we run a training school similar to the salt program but we actually used to do something more extensive than that and we in our conference were the way training school for our conference in Michigan to target short trainings for late churches for local church members for two week training seven day trainings things like that even today right. Today in the Michigan conference. They're having a conference wide rally for the Bible study Reformation because we want to see every one of our members involved in giving Bible studies to people and leading him to understand the third and just message. So they'll be ready when Jesus comes because the reality is this and we've been told again and again the work in this earth will never be finished by them. In history or by the leadership you go to the early church in the Gospel wasn't preached just by the leadership it was preached by you. It was preached by everybody in preaching doesn't mean sitting up here and talking to a group of people the word in the Greek is Caruso and it means to share something virtually with somebody you could be sitting down. I could be like this and I'm preaching right. And you can do the same thing in the Lord Jesus has called you to do the same thing you know in the book education we are told that when we listen I've trained. I can't tell you how many people and you know why people don't share is two main reasons people don't share today in the administers number one we many of us ourselves question what we teach we have our own questions about what we believe I'm going to tell you a lot of that stems from the fact that we don't share it as much. One of the young men share last night they were given a Bible study to somebody about the into evidence. We're doing that. Do we start to yawn right away. Hey we're going to preach in fact if I got up here today and said today I'm going to preach on Daniel chapter do write. Oh we know didn't say oh we're going to go over that again the image and that did it but he says I shared this with a guy and the guy was just thrilled with it and you know what happens to us when we share with somebody one of those oh. Yawn Aves things and they get excited you know what happens we say home. You know maybe this is worth getting excited about then it works the revival. I remember one of the time when I was my first church in it when I went into full time ministry I was doing a Bible study with a young couple who grew up Christian reform in Grand Rapids Michigan. I'm studying in the funny thing is the guy I'm studying with he's one of these non expressive guys like you can't read him. You know some people they respond a lot and you can kind of seeing gauge where this guy is just kind of deadpan the whole time he just kind of this straight face and I go through the Daniel to study we get down to the end of the study that rocket out without hands and everything got as predicted. It happened just like he said and the only thing left to happen is the coming of Christ and he's just sitting there. I said What do you think. And you know any pauses and he says Why haven't I learned this in my whole life. This is absolutely incredible. We need to tell everybody and I was like Oh praise the Lord but the point is this. The Lord didn't just give us the commission of sharing the message with others for their sake he gave the work to us for our sake. It reminds us of the power of the Gospel and the Seventh Day Adventist faith is a bow finishing that work of Jesus carrying forward the three angels messages. It's not just for the ministers it's for every one of us because we live in such a time as this and again the message today is for such a time as this. I want to go today to The Book of Esther that's where the word is taken from the phrase for such a time as this. Now I'm going to do some things with the Book of Esther today and I'm just going to ask ask for your mercy up front I should say I'm going to do some things with the Book of Esther. But we may look at the Book of Esther a little different today than the way you looked at the Book of Esther. I only say that from experience because I've done it before I did this on three A.B.N. and I got people mad callers calling in and three A.B.N. called me about it and verify that what I was saying was Biblical but it may be a little bit different. So bear with me and if you have a different interpretation that's OK but I think the main point you're going to come to that I that I come to is going to be the same. Esther. How many of you are you don't you have to necessarily grow up bad men as but have read the book the story book The Little my Bible friends brave Queen Esther remember that story. OK I'm not talking about brave Queen Esther day I am I am but I'm not talking about the Bible story book Brave Queen Esther. OK. Now I'm talking and not turning so I got to go to. The Book of Esther right before the Book of Job We're going to go to Esther. Chapter one. I'm going to break down all of this in Esther because you know it would take too much time to get a hit the high points and then make explanation now we're going to start Nestor one verse one Bible says now it came to pass in the days of a hash awareness. This was the has us who reigned over one hundred twenty seven provinces from India to Ethiopia remember the Persians were one of those kingdoms in the End Up to that ruled the world and Hazaras was one of the kings of that world empire of Persia. In those days when King Ahaz where sat on the throne of His Kingdom which was in shew Shan the citadel that in the third year of his reign he made a feast for all his officials and servants the powers of Persia and media the nobles and the princes of the provinces being before him when he showed the riches of His glorious kingdom and the splendor of his excellent Majesty for many days one hundred eighty days in all I long as that one hundred eighty days as a six month party man the king of Persia throws a six month party for all of those it says that's what it says for the nobles his official servants etc In all the provinces of Persia so I don't imagine they were all there for six months before coming in and out and during that time in fact some historians believe that he held this this party. It was for his basically for the honor of his military leaders of of Persia and media you know the rulers etc likely to discuss and plan his invasion of Greece which would happen two years later. So it wasn't just a party. It was it was an opportunity to get together with everybody and kind of cast his vision. OK At least that's what historians think that this meeting had to do with now verse six says well verse six describes a little bit of of how they look like the redecorated the palace I don't. No you can read through that and then it says in verse eight in accordance with the law the drinking was not compulsory for so the king had ordered all the officers of his household that they should do. According to each man's pleasure Queen Vashti also made a feast for the women in the royal palace which belong to King as waris on the seventh day when the heart of the king was Mary I need to back up see and I missed over the part that in addition to the six months or at the end of the six month in verse five it says this When these days were completed the king made a feast lasting seven days for you all the people who were present in Shushi in the citadel from who are great too small that who was invited everybody was invited. OK so the any added military offers everything officers for six months at the end of that period. He had a seven day feast and everybody could come as it was a big high time for everybody in his insurers Shannon the Citadel where the palace was and all of this. OK in its during this time that Queen Vashti also had a feast for the women. Now first hand says on the seventh day of the king's feast. When the heart of the king was what. Mary with wine. He commanded men who men because the harborough not big Are you glad you were born in Persia. Maybe you were born in Persia. But these are interesting names aren't they. Course I know how it goes my sister in law is Chinese and when and you know when they come to America. They take names like Jill you know or something like that she goes by. Lynette but that's not her name a name and don't John. But Lynette is her Americanize name so it may be but I look through these these these can be a mouthful sometimes to go through. I mean human biz the bone a big a bag the Z. thought R. and carcass seven. Seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahaz who Erris to bring Queen Vashti before the king wearing a royal crown in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials for she was beautiful to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his Unix and therefore the king was furious and his anger burned within and now let's just break this down. Here's basically at the end of this whole big six months. King has a seven day feast and at the end of a seven day feast he's what drunk and in his drunken state he's as you know I love to have my wife come before this Augusta assembly of mine and do what show off her beauty. Now if you're a principled woman is that a good idea. Oh yeah I think I'm going to show my beauty off to a bunch of drunken men probably not the best idea. Certainly not a respectful thing to do and she chose not to go even though she was the queen even it was a king's command. She said I'm not going to do that now it's interesting and I want to notice this. From the screen from the book. Do I have this turned on from the book. Page or prophet to King sorry and the clicker is not advancing for me. So there we go when this command came from the king mass he did not carry out his orders because she knew he was under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Next slide please. For her husband sake as well as her own she decided not to leave her position at the head of the women of the court. Let me make something clear right now there are times when your spiritual decision that is not only for your good but the good of your friend may not be appreciated by your friends as a Christian. We don't just an act in reference to what people like and what people want because I pastor our Cademy church I hear it all the time we get in committees we like but the kids would like that. You know so. Thing. It really doesn't always matter with the kids like now I can say that because I've been a parent for a long time and it's not just kids it's your friends. If you give into it you live in a way we talk about Peter last night when I was Peter's problem. Peter always wanted to do what was likable by everybody. Praise the Lord that Vashti was faithful but her faith was lost or the crown the Bible says a king's advisers came in and so a king. We can't have this we can't have her going off and defining your orders or we're going to do about it. Let's get rid of or and let's bring somebody else in. So Enter ESTHER into the picture. Now let's go to chapter two says after these things when the wrath of King Ahaz where subsided. He remembered Vashti what she had done and what had been decreed against her. Then the king's servants who attended him said that beautiful young virgins be sought for the king. Apparently the king was lonely he regretted the decision like you always do when you're under the influence of alcohol. Not when you're under after you're under the influence of the Bible says you know what the Bible says about alcohol right at the last it stings like a viper not at the first that's a big problem at the first it feels good. That's why a lot of people are so I grew up learning it wasn't good but I had a couple drinks I felt really good Sure you did you felt really good to do something stupid and then you're like oh now I get it at the last it. What's a bike bites like a serpent stings like an adder Viper or depending on the translation reading. Well he came to his senses kind of regretted it. But as servants say look we're going to find another girl for you. And so it says in verse three Let the king appoint officers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they may gather all the beautiful young virgins to Shushan. Citadel into the women's corridors under the custody of he guided Kings unic because stowed in of the women and that beauty preparations be given them then of the young woman who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti this thing pleased the king and he did so and shoeshine the Citadel was a certain Jew whose name was Mordecai the son of J. heir the son of shimmy I the son of Keesha Benjamin I have been carried away from Jerusalem with the captives who had been captured with Jack and I am the king of Juda who never can as are the king of Babylon had carried away and Mordecai had brought up had asked that is Esther his uncle's daughter for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman was lovely and beautiful when her father and mother died Mordecai took her as his own daughter. So it was when the king's command decree were heard and when many young women were gathered at shoeshine the Citadel under the custody guy that Esther was also taken to the king's palace into the care he guy the custody in of the women now verse nine were in verse nine of chapter two. Now the young woman pleased him and she obtained his favor. So he readily gave beauty preparations to her. Besides her allowance then seven choice made servants were provided for her from the king's palace and he moved her and her maid servants to the best place in the house of the women asked her had not revealed her people or family for more to Kauai had charged her not to reveal it. And we're just going to read on through because a lot of our points and we're going to drop points out of the passage reading here verse eleven says and every day. Mordecai paste in front of the Court of the women's corners to learn of asters welfare and what was happening to her each young woman's turn came to go into King as where is after she had completed what. Twelve months. Preparation I don't know what that says I mean if somebody said you know we're going to make you beautiful you have a year. I don't know I used to take that but that twelve months all of them and twelve months I guess it didn't single anybody out of beauty preparations and it goes on to describe those it says. Again in verse twelve woman's turn came to go into King as verse after she completed twelve months preparation according to the regulations for the women and thus were the days of their preparation apportioned six months with oil of murder and six months with Per fumes and preparations for beautifying women. Thus prepared each young woman went to the king and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the woman's quarters to the king's palace in the evening she went and in the morning she returned to the second house of the women to the custody of cherished as the king's unic who kept the who do concubines she would not go into the King again unless the King delighted in her and called her by name. Now when the turn came for Esther the daughter of Abigail the uncle of Mordecai who had taken her as his daughter to go into the king she requested nothing but what he got the king's unic to custodian of the women advised and Esther obtained favor in the sight of all who saw her so Esther was taken to King as waris into his royal palace in the tenth month which is the month of T. bath in the seventh year of his reign. The King loved Astor more than all other women and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the other virgins. So he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. Then the king made a great feast a feast of Esther which I understand to keep this day from one of my church members who happens to be. I want to say this as Syrian in her national. Ali says he'll keep the Feast of Esther for all his officials and servants and he proclaimed a holiday in the provinces and gave gifts according to the generosity of a king verse nine hundred seventy when versions were gathered together a second time. Mordecai sat within the Kings gate. Now Esther had not revealed her family and her people just as Mordecai a charger for Esther obey the command of Mordecai as when she was brought up by him. Now let's put some things together here about this story that I think are curious as a few things that we want to draw out. First of all you know King Cyrus had issued a decree to let all the captives go back home to their homeland. Are you aware that I want you to notice the statement here under the favor shown them by Cyrus nearly fifty thousand of the children of the captivity had taken advantage of the decree permitting their return. However the great majority of the Israelites had chosen to remain in the land of their exile rather than undergo the hardships of the return journey and the reestablishment of their desolated cities and homes. Now I suppose they could be good reasons drawn out of that the bottom line is this morning. I did not go home with the rest of the captives it was inconvenient. He decided he was going to stay in Persia I guess he had a good job there and Esther was growing up in the Bible doesn't tell us how old Esther was at this time though IMO The Bible also tells us though that. Esther's real name was her Dasa Now if you read the little children story book it says Esther's really was a DAS of but she was also called Esther which means. What's a meter member a star is not a nice it doesn't mean a star but you know what it has reference to it doesn't reference to Stars has reference to the Fatah or the Babylonian goddess or Ashtar if another foreign god is now Mordecai's stay. As in Persia. Doesn't reveal that he's a Jew make sure Esther doesn't reveal that they're Jews and renames or with a non jewish name something that would be more in harmony with the pagan world they lived in now I know. Wait a minute. I have read some state was even a spirit of prophecy I mean it talks about how faithful Mordecai I'm not saying he wasn't faceless and she wasn't baseball I want to say this from reading and we're going to look at I want to draw out a couple of things from this passage. I want to tell you that there are a lot of faithful Christians in this world today who know nothing of the Bible Sabbath doesn't mean they're not faithful. But I'm going to tell you something if you think your Christianity is a set right now you're in big trouble because Christianity is ever learning ever growing and ever advancing you're walking with Jesus Jesus isn't standing still there are things you learn and you grow into and I think this story shows us a little bit of that we know for whatever reason the Bible doesn't give the reasons why Mordecai didn't go back. Like I said he didn't go back to his homeland he stayed in Persia and Esther's name was a name that connected to the Goddess is the star an asterisk is Esther what was offered by her uncle as a replacement for the queen which meant he was offering up to her to be equal on equally yoked with the king of Persia right. I was not a really good idea to marry a pagan King just a little bit of information for you young ladies here. If you want to stay faithful to your faith. Don't go marry somebody who is a leader in another faith. These are all things that were written in the Law of Moses these are all things that God had given very clearly and in his instruction that they should have known well but they're the items in the story that lead us to think that maybe there was some growth that needed to happen in the experience of Mordecai N.S.T.. Under Mordecai's command Esther didn't reveal her people or her family and it goes on through the twelve months of preparations and then we come down to verse twenty after she'd been brought in the king's palace is says. Still nobody knew her family or people because Mordecai had told her not to ensure obeyed Mordecai I know that's a credit in estrus favor because evidently she grew up being obedient compliant she was a rebellious child right well let me ask your question how do you spend twelve months with heathen and they don't realize you're an Adventist don't you think when the Sabbath rolled around that might give somebody a clue. Don't you think when they put on clean food in front of you that would be a clue. Yes or no. How do you get through with twelve months and nobody still knows. Unless you're really not living that much of an admin as lifestyle. OK you do the math on it. We passed all that period of time and then when the twelve months were finished and she went in before the king. What does it say she went in she spent the night she went from the women's house and she went back to what House. You know what a concubine is what happened to the faithful I'm going as a girl you understand what I'm saying there are a lot of things in this story that lead us to say you know what maybe Esther wasn't exactly where she needed to be and I told you I share this view of Warren all we could all bristled up because Esther is that YOUR of the story. Well let me make a point here this morning. Esther And David in Samson and none of them are the heroes of the story. God is the hero of the story and those Bible stories are not to show us how great the people were but what great things God can do through people who weren't so great and I don't want to say again Esther seems to be she was obedient she had good principles but somehow or the other seems to. I mean that she had things to learn in her walk and maybe I'll put it this way. Maybe I'll put it this way. Nobody's born converted just because you were raised in a Christian home does not make you a Christian raised as an admin as you might a raisin administering keeping the sabbath than none. Clean foods and who knows what that doesn't make you committed to God There comes a point in everybody's life where the god that they've learned about has to become their own god right. You read the story of Joseph when Joseph was taken out of Egypt to be a slave. Ellen White says and patriarchs and prophets that as that caravan was carting him off to Egypt he could see the hills that just beyond were his father's tents but he had no way to go. They were carrying away from home and home is getting further and further in the distance and she says at that point. Joseph knelt down and he prayed to God and I want you to know something else if you read the story of Joseph you know good little Joseph Joseph was kind of a brat that was spoiled when he was growing up by his dad. That's why his brothers had an issue with him. The people in the Bible were real people just like we're real people. But God can make real people heroes and when Joseph saw himself getting away from home one wife says he knelt down there in that wagon as he was being carted off and he it and at that point he asked God the God of his father to be his God there must come a time in everyone's life where you choose to serve God for yourself and I want to tell you something in my experience. I grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church for period of time. My mom and dad got divorced. I lived with my mom my mom ended up leaving the evidence church for years I was fourteen years old. We left the administers we left religion all together. It's funny to me it's funny to me to hear seven A.M. yesterday say you know we got all these rules of amateurs we just need be free from let me just give you a quick news flash here. I was free from all the rules of Evan tism for ten years of my life when I was fourteen years old a little bit more than ten. So I was twenty six years old and it was anything but freedom. It was anything but freedom. It's not freedom not to know Christ is not freedom not to serve Christ and I praise God that he pursued me all that time. But when I was twenty six years old I had to make my own decision to follow Jesus and let me tell you something. My commitment wasn't my mom and dad's commitment. I began to read my Bible when I decided to follow the Lord I followed some things my mom and dad never followed and says. What do you do when you're crazy. Why do you think you're doing that. I mean you think they'd be happy but you know what we're not always happy if somebody comes in and they want to take a step further than we are because now maybe I have to take maybe I should be taken that step. I just want you to understand that Christianity is a personal decision to follow Christ it's not your moms or dads your brothers or sisters your friends your husbands or wives. It's your decision. It has to be your decision if it's never been your decision. You're not a Christian because your Christianity starts when you decide to see or serve Christ and I believe in the story that what we're going to see happen is a transition in the life of master who grew up. Yes with some good principles but she had never made God her god that god wasn't done with her yet he put her in a position with what I least I'm seeing here some weaknesses. You know you don't have to be perfect for God to use you. You don't have to have everything together and all lined up for God to use you in fact in. You wait for that to happen. You'll never be used God takes people where they are and puts them in service that will help them to become what he wants them to be for manual Institute our text for him in your mark one seventeen. Mark one seventeen I'm going to test you on this and you're probably going to get it wrong. There's a kind of it it's kind of a trick thing. But Mark one seventeen says. Follow me and I will make you. You've got it wrong because you're thinking. Matthew right. This is what Mark does follow me and I will make you to become fishers of men you know I like that one because if you're going to become it. It means you're not that now but it doesn't matter. God can make you what you're not and that's the powerful thing about God That's a powerful thing about the stories in the Bible. David was a man after all God's own heart who committed adultery and covered it up with murder and God doesn't indorse his adultery or murder but God shows that in spite of it. He was able to bring David back and still use him in his cause. It doesn't matter where you've been in your experience God is calling you now at this time on Earth history God had Esther and put her in a prominent position. Why because he knew what he could do through her and none of you. None of you are where you are today by accident. God sees ahead what he wants to do with you and your life. Well. Esther comes into the king's palace and we have this thing that comes up between a man named Heman Oka Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman we see that back checked. Chapter three verse once the Bible says after these things King as well as promoted to Hayman the son of Ham a death of the what. The a gag I get that ring a bell for anybody. We're going to come back to that minute the sun have a death of the a guy in advance of him and set his seat. Above all the princes who were with him and all the king's servants who were within the king's gate bowed in paid homage to him and for so the king and commanded concerning him but Mordecai would not bow down or pay homage. Then the king's servants who were within the king's gate said to Mordecai. Why do you transgress the king's command. Now it happened when they had spoke to him daily and would not listen to that he would not listen to them that they told it to him and to see whether Mordecai's words would stand for Monica had told them that he was a Jew you know what great friends right there like yeah let's see a Mordecai says he's not going to bow down I wonder how firm he is in his believes a game and guess what there's a guy anymore a guy and he's not now. And now and what in the King are Haman follows it up and finds out. That's the case and gets irate with Mordecai. And as the story goes on. He actually arranges with the king to exterminate the Jewish people not just Mordecai the Jewish people Mordecai's people finds out he's a Jew. Now a little insight here is the fact that the Bible says He was a gag is a name a gag ring a bell to anybody. Some of you remember the name a gag. That was the king that Saul brought back from battle when when Saul sent a win win. God since Saul in after the Malik kites and he told him I want you to destroy the male a cut nation and bring nothing back. It was customary to bring back the kings or some kind of spoil from the war to show how great you were God said no don't do that we're not going to do it that way yet Saul characteristically disobeyed the command of the Lord brought back some of the livestock and he brought back the king. KING A gag and when he brought him in before Samuel the prophet Samuel said Saul what are you doing in essence you weren't supposed to bring this back and Saul said look you know I saw it and have a lot of good say God said the Prophet Samuel then looked to the King and King a gag says to Samuel. Hey look man he got an Imagineer the king. That was brought back and here's a prophet of God telling the king that brought you back. You are supposed to kill all these people and you're sitting over here near the King and. Surely in this when he gets a Surely the anger of the battle is passed. And the Bible says the prophet Samuel took out his sword and hew gave a gag and pieces before the Lord. Haman was in a gang great thing that might be a little revenge there potentially he found out. Mordecai was not bowing down to him and all by the way he was a Jew and he set out to exterminate all the Jews got the king's Grant set things in motion set a date and according to the Bible in the laws of the means in the Persians you can't change it. Once you've made it law so much so that in the course of the story we're Esther actually goes into the King and obtains privilege from the king. The king can overturn the law. All he can do is make another long say OK well you guys can defend yourselves. And I'm not going to go to that right now but Hayman was given the right to exterminate the Jews and that brought the crisis is going to take us to chapter four and I'm not going all through the story of Esther but I want to zero in on chapter four this is a response. Now there's this decree the Jews hear about the decree they've proclaimed in all the land and the Jews now are in a customary way. Fasting and praying and mourning and they're wearing sackcloth which was a sign of that morning which was not news to someone like Esther now that becomes important as we look at something here very shortly. Chapter Four knows what it says in verse one when Mordecai learned all that had happened. He tore his clothes and put on what sackcloth and ashes this is not something you reach into the closet or what am I going to wear today. Oh let's get the sack cloth about it and not any other ashes some oh good I'm going to put those on today. It's not an accidental or incidental thing you do. It's a very deliberate thing you do as a Jew It's a sign of mourning. Don't miss that the Bible says He put on the sackcloth and ashes he went out into the midst of the city. Cried out with a loud and bitter cry. So here's more to cry again crying out with this bitter cry wearing the sack of these really made himself a spectacle. He went as far verse to as the front of the king's gate for no one might enter the King of Kings gate clothed with sackcloth and in every province where the kings commanded a clear arrive there was great mourning among the Jews was fasting weeping and wailing and many lay in sackcloth and ashes. So Esther's maids in Unix came and told her and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she said garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sack cloth away from him but he would not accept them. Now I've read some commentators who has said Esther was just feeling sorry for what a crime she heard about so she sent him a change of clothes. That just doesn't wash. If you're if you're customarily morning if you find out your friend is crying about something and they're really broke hey you know your friend you've been crying for twenty four hours now. What do you do send her a box of Kleenex and a note says Call me when you feel better. You know you're going to go and say what's wrong. Tell me about it. Can I help out is not right. Why was Esther sending the clothes to more to come by because he was making a public spectacle and she was worried about what might happen he's going to draw tension to us and this is going to be Esther was wavering here. I don't want to say wavering might be a strong word but she didn't get the full import of what was going on and evidently she wasn't fully aware of what was going on. She just knew that Mordecai's making a spectacle of himself out here take some close to him and tell me get cleaned up verse five says a yes then Esther called had one of the Kings Unix whom he had appointed to attend her and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai to learn why and why this was remember he would accept the clothing and come back as he has not taken him won't why not go find out. So how that went out to Mordecai in the city square. That was in front of the king's gate and Mordecai told him all that had happened to him and the sum of money that he had promised to pay into the king's treasuries to destroy the Jews. He also gave them a copy of the written to create for their destruction which was given a shoe SHANN that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her and that he might command her to go into the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people. So having returned and told Esther the words of mourning. Then Esther spoke to had that gave him a command for Mordecai all the king's servants and all the people of the king's provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king who has not been called he has but one law put all to death except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter the may live yet I myself have not been called to go into the King for these thirty days. So they told Mordecai Esther's words she basically says look I. Or stand the pincher in but nobody can go before the king it to for me to go in before the king could be my death. I would have to risk my life to go in before the king. OK So the message is sent to Mordecai and here this to me is the most powerful of the most powerful passages in the Bible. This is what Mordecai says and I want to tell you let me let me back up a little bit. Let me back up and let's just make application. Folks we are living in a time where Bible prophecy tells us that the very same thing is going to happen to us why was Haman so mad at Mordecai because he wouldn't bow down to him and this coming at a time when those who are faithful to God are going to be portrayed just like Mordecai. When Mordecai was presented to the king in and he even said looking there's this guy Mordecai. He didn't tell him it was more by the way if you read the story because Mordecai had saved the king from a an assassination plot. So later on in the story when the king finds out that it was Mordecai then Haman was trying to destroy humans and on the gallows the point in the story is this we are living in a time when if you're faithful to God it won't be long friends before the Pete when you read about ISIS in the news when you look at our national response to the horror of ISIS. It's not going to be ISIS is going to be Seventh Day Adventists make no mistake there are a lot of seven there of us today are working so hard to be popular with the world. Jesus said of the world hated me. It's going to hate you too. I'm not saying we try to be hated by the world but the fact is it's going to come and when that comes a decree is going to be made and those who choose to be faithful to God are going to face that decree this is where they were here the decrease has been me. Mordecai says Esther you've got to do something. God has put you in a position to be able to do something I can't do that if I had to do that I would risk. My life word comes back to Mordecai and notice what he says to Esther verse thirteen or to the servants to tell Esther and Mordecai told them to answer Esther do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king's palace any more than all the other Jews for if you remain completely silent at this time relief and deliverance what. That's a statement of faith right there. Look relief and deliverance will arise God will not let his people suffer God is going to intervene I don't know how he's going to do it. Esther you're in a position to do something about it but if you want to be silent. God will bring deliverance. But you in your father's house will perish. God has placed you as young as seven Day Adventist in one of the most privileged positions that there is in this world to bear witness to the truth of Jesus Christ before the coming of Jesus Christ and you can decide to absorb yourself and something else in this world and put it off and God will bring deliverance in another way but you are going to miss out on the blessid opportunity God has given you. Esther you in your house are going to perish you're not going to save yourself the decrees still been made. They're still going to find you out and you're a Jew and you're going to perish with the rest of us. On top of it or the danger is going to come your way God is going to bring deliverance but you're going to perish because you didn't stand for what was right but what does he say. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this what powerful words some of the most powerful words spoken to her and spoken to you and me today who knows but that God has put us where we are for the very time we live in has put is in the place we are with the circle of influence that we have. Have for such a time as this you are not where you are by accident. The people you work with are not there by accident. I don't even care if they're seven am to say where but in a seventy avenues are they really are we really ready for Jesus to come. The apostle Paul says no one lives to himself or dies to himself. You have an influence given you by God how are you using that influence. You may know the story of this man Pastor Martin during Nazi Germany he was with a group called the Confessing Church work with Dietrich Bonhoeffer he ended up finally getting arrested for his faith and in light of that you probably heard a statement has been used and repeated many times from many different people speaking afterwards about that arrest he says. First they came for the socialists because Hitler didn't like socialist he said I didn't speak out because I was not a socialist then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me. God has given you a voice to speak with God as you've given your mind to think with God has given you a will to make a decision with what are you doing with those privileges of God those blessings of God those talents of God. Notice this statement here the trying experiences that came to God's people in the days of Esther were not peculiar to that age alone. The same spirit that in ages past led men to persecute the true church will in the future lead to the pursuance of a similar course towards those who maintain their what their loyalty to God The decree that will finally go forth against the remnant people of God will be very similar to that issued by has you as against the Jews today the enemies of the true church see in the little. A man a company keeping the Sabbath commandment who are more to come by at the gate the reverence of God's people for his law is a constant rebuke to those who have cast off the fear of the Lord and are champing on his Sabbath. We're seeing these things and they're heating up the world that we're living in is going to pieces in our government in our church in our world. You've got natural disasters political unrest and all of this just like the Bible said I'm going to tell you from my standpoint. I've been in the church for twenty years now and twenty years ago I said Jesus is coming soon. But it was nothing like it is now I can express to you. I know you heard the stories people my age and older say well we used to say Jesus is coming soon and yeah yeah yeah. And he didn't come and yada yada yada and we are and it almost sounds like he's never going to come but I'll stay with the Apostle Paul is near them. When we first believed and I told you on the first night for those who are here for those who are I'm going to repeat it. There are many of you here that I personally don't believe you're going to be able to enter into the field you're here to get a degree but you are going to be able to stand before the kings of this earth to witness for Jesus Christ. I think that's the time we live in I could be wrong about that. I'm not a prophet of the son of a prophet but I'm just telling you don't get out of college plan to go forward. Do your thing but make your spiritual life your priority. Remember that above everything else. God has put you here to be witnesses for him in the book education. It tells us this I'm finishing up with a statement God's purpose for the children growing up beside our hearts is wider deeper higher than our restricted vision has comprehended many a lad of today will yet stand in legislative assemblies in halls of justice or royal courts as witness for the King of Kings some of you sitting here are going to stand before the rulers of this earth. Earth. Only God knows what lies in your future to every household in every school to every parent teacher and child upon whom has shone the light of the Gospel comes at this crisis. The question put to Esther the Queen at that momentous crisis in Israel's history who know with whether they are come to the kingdom for such a time as this our friends today I want to tell you we read the story of Esther at least in my estimation when Esther started out her commitment level wasn't what it needed to be perhaps there are weaknesses in her spiritual experience just like there may be weaknesses in your spiritual experience perhaps there are commitments she hadn't made just like commitments today that you haven't made but God brought her to a point in her life where she evaluated the crisis and realized what God was calling her to and when those words of her cousin came to her. Who knows but that you were put in this place for such a time as this. She took her stand. I want to tell you today that the Lord Jesus has brought you here for such a time as this. How many of you want to take your stand with him today. If that's your desire stand your feet with me today say Lord Jesus use me in spite of my weaknesses in spite of some of my lacks of commitment or whatever I want to be used in your car. Yes And while we're standing today I want to make a special invitation and maybe somebody here today. Or maybe somebody here today. Who knows very specific is something God has been calling you to make commitment in maybe it's making a certain special commitment to him and service. Maybe it's making a commitment to get something out of your life that you know shouldn't be in your life something that's hindering your relationship between you and him. And today the Spirit of God is calling you for such a time as this to put that thing aside and say Make your full commitment to Jesus Christ is a somebody here today who would like to make that commitment by coming for with me today the Spirit of God is inviting you today. If you need to make that commitment that specific commitment that only he and you know. I'd like to invite you to come forward. I want to have a special prayer with you today. God bless you. And God bless you. Is there somebody else today. I don't know and I don't need to know it but Jesus knows it and you know it. And today you have an opportunity to come and make that decision and commit yourself to Jesus Christ God bless you. Perhaps you're standing where you are and thinking I want to make that commitment but I don't feel like I have the strength to make that commitment or friends none of us have the strength to make that commitment that's why we need Jesus but he's here today to give you that story and if where you're standing you're feeling the spirit of God talking on your heart. He's telling you I'm here to help you. I'm here to give you strength I'm here to strengthen you and help you to fill the place that God has has for you in this world right now that place of mission that place for such a time as this. God bless you. Sisters or somebody else here today. A man I wish human words could express I wish I even had a concept of the privilege we're looking at to fill the place God. God has for us at this time in earth's history of the blessing that we are going to be I'm going to tell you that we are going to be the means of people being in heaven not us and it directly but indirectly Jesus is going to win them but he's going to do it through you and me. There'll be people in the kingdom of God if we commit our lives to Jesus who would have been there. Otherwise. So if there's something holding somebody here back today. You know you haven't made in the full commitment to Jesus and he's longing to use you in the fullness of His power you want to let that thing go put it aside and say I'm going to take my stand with Jesus. Today I'm a pastor and I'm a father and so I know that just showing up to church on Saturday doesn't mean a whole lot of anything. Or maybe some of you here today who are going through the motions and you know it you know it you think the Lord doesn't know it not only does he know it but he's inviting you to come to him and make it real today. Perhaps even as you're listening. You're thinking of things in your life even recently decisions you've made that you regret and you want to put those behind you. And plant your feet firmly on the rock Christ Jesus is there one more today needs to make that decision. Is there one more today needs to go. Doesn't matter what your status is you could be a leader you could be a pastor you be a teacher you could be a professor doesn't matter. We're all sinners saved by grace. God bless God bless you. God bless you. Sister. Every decision for Jesus. We make is the best decision will ever amen. Now I'd like to bow our heads together for a special prayer and I might you to bring your Has with me as we pray Heavenly Father Father as we look at this story in the Bible. Today we can't help but see some of the parallels with the times that we live in we can't help but see the way that your power is displayed through these ordinary people and it's a reminder to us that the same power will be displayed through us. We're not where we are by accident. The students are here by accident at Southern they're not here. They're not in their jobs by accident. They don't have the neighbors they do by accident. None of us has anything that we have by accident but there is a God who is our deigning in directing everything and you have called us father and those who are of. Stood today have recognized that in the word those who have come forward know that there is a special something that they've been wrestling with and so father they've come forward to give that over to you and at the same time they known that without you. They can do nothing but with you all things are possible so Father we come before you with humble hearts today asking us asking you father to do for us what we could never do for ourselves father we don't want to live pretentious lives. We want to live genuine Christian lives we want people to see Jesus in us we don't want our Christian life to be a farce but we want that living relationship with Jesus that will testify to the world around us of His good news of sound. So Father I'm asking today again for all of us especially Gores the Lord those who have come forward. You know what the need is in each situation. I pray that you would lead them to victory in Jesus. I pray that you would receive them with open arms and father used them you know my you way in your service. We ask and prayed in Jesus this media was brought to you by audio 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 sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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