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The Harvest Is Great- Part 1

Shawn Boonstra
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Shawn Boonstra

Speaker/Director for the Voice of Prophecy media ministry.

Recorded

  • June 12, 2016
    9:30 AM
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Father in heaven this morning I know who I am. And I know how utterly incapable I am of standing here and representing your thoughts and so I'm asking that you would forgive my sin and you would cover me with the blood of Christ this morning that you give me the ability not just to think clearly but to represent you faithfully. To be true to your word. So that the only voice we will have heard when this service is over is the voice of Jesus. And I'm asking that. We would hear him. And we covenant with you that when we hear Jesus speak we will follow. For we prayed in his wonderful name Amen. I don't know where Amazon dot com was when I lived on the Alaska Highway I would have loved to have had Amazon dot com there was a famine of reading material on the Alaska Highway I used to have to go out once a year I would save up for camp meeting and drive fourteen hours down to the conference office thirteen hours whatever it was and hit every bookstore along the way in every bookstore on the way back and get all the books that I needed for an entire year because all they sold in the town I was living in was Harlequin romances and coffee table books and I'm not a romantic guy those books didn't appeal to me in the slightest so I don't know where Amazon dot com was in those days but I can tell you now that I may be their biggest customer I love Amazon dot com and it's an event in my house when a book comes from Amazon dot com Once upon a time I had an assistant who one day a book came from Amazon dot com she knew not to open that mail it was sacred and she knew it was so sacred she would actually draw a ribbon and a bow on the box because it was a gift for me it was like my birthday in every day of the year and when I got a new book I would disappear into my office and I would sit in there I've closed the door for maybe twenty thirty minutes and just pour through my new title and one day I got this book that came in I was so excited I've been waiting for it for a long time it was a back ordered and it was this book on ancient Babylonian history and I don't mean it could measure history that's the neo Babylonian Empire I mean way back when all the way back to Nimrod and and to hammer Rabbi into the very roots of the Babylonian Empire and I was sitting at my desk thumbing through this book and I got down to about Will page sixty eight and I'm reading about how they built the original city or something like that and suddenly this thought pops into my mind what are you doing reading a history book Shawn your entire life you have utterly hated history. It's true in high school I hated history if I was ever I see a few kindred. Spirits this morning when I if I were ever young people put your fingers in your ears for a moment but if I were ever found off of school grounds during school hours you could count on which course it was it was during history I couldn't what is the point I thought why would you study a bunch of people that are already dead you cannot change their minds about anything and that is the past and I want the future I hated history and to make things even worse we had Canadian history it's the most boring history on the face of the planet and some of you are so I know I'm offended all the Canadians among the brother in this morning but you know it's true we have the most Dole history on the face of the planet we're too polite for anything exciting. And I remember opening the textbook and I thought there's got to be something in here interesting and I saw it there was the subtitle over a paragraph that read the biggest civil disturbance in Canadian history of this is going to be good this is going to be great I'm going to get some action finally if the history will become interesting do you know what the biggest civil disturbance in Canadian history was according to that book it was the went to pick general strike of one thousand nine hundred nineteen now by show of hands this morning how many of you have ever heard of the Winnipeg general strike of one nine hundred nineteen not one do you know why it's the most boring civil disturbance in the history of the world. It's a bunch of angry Canadians that's hard to picture all by itself six thousand of them in front of Winnipeg city hall and their agitated it's after World War One there's no work and they're upset and at the height of their anger. They pushed over an electric street car. That was it big a civil disturbance of Canadia I hated industry I hated history and at least you had interesting history I looked longingly at my American cousins Oh if I only had those stories to read you through the T.V. in the harbor you fought the redcoats the French I like their history they storm the best deal they were chopping off people's heads when you're fifteen Those are the stories you want an electric street car at the height of our anger we pushed over an electric street car. I hated his story. Now here's what I want you to think about this morning and I want you to follow me very very carefully. I did not grow up a seventh they haven't missed and some would argue I never grew up at all but I did not grow up a Seventh Day Adventist So here I am this high school kid who hates history I don't see the point it bores me and along comes a group of. People known as the Seventh Day Adventists and you guys look history I mean it's all you talk about you have charts with dates and number lines and you have all these people with historical sounding names you Ryan Smith Hiram eds and it is actually everything that a history hater hates. And along you come so here's the question I want you to ponder with me this morning as we consider God's work. What are the odds that a bunch of people like you are going to reach a kid like me with your message what are the odds now if you were to go to the so-called church growth and marketing experts they're going to tell you now I've been to them they have some valuable things to contribute to our discussion once in a while and I've been to them I've listened to what they have to say and I know what they'd say they'd say the odds are not very good you can't reach a kid like that with a message like yours the demographics prove it if you start talking about Babylon to me to Persia and Greece and Rome and the reformation in the wall density and he's going to leave before the first sermon is over and sermon forget about sermon you can't preach a sermon to a kid like that he's the M.T.V. generation you've got to entertain him it's not going to work if you want to reach that kid you're going to have to change your message and you're going to have to change your methods. And you know something I've seen the studies. And on the surface it looks pretty good I mean logically it makes sense these people have their finger on the pulse of modern culture they've got the data they've got the charts they've got the cultural studies they've got their pulse on modern thinking they've got the numbers to prove what they're saying and because of that unfortunately too many of us are listening to what they say. The studies say the West is getting less and less religious I saw to Newsweek magazine so maybe we should do something different we should preach less and less Bible. Come on man you know marriage is not give me a break you are not non-religious in America anyway let me interject a thought here I have lived in secular places in America is not one of them do you know that when New Hampshire ratified the American Constitution in seven hundred eighty nine Not bad for a kid who hates history right. When New Hampshire ratified the American Constitution in seven hundred eighty nine church attendance was seventeen percent seventeen you know what it is today thirty four it's still double now what it was when this country was founded don't tell me that we are not a religious nation this is a religious nation full of religious people there's no question about it but some people are listening to the studies that say oh America is getting less and less religious We need less and less Bible we're listening to these people and if the experts say Well young people they don't really like church so maybe it's time to make church look like it isn't church and we listened to that what they're missing is that over in Western Europe they've already gone through that phase and all the kids are asking for old school a turgid courtship from the eighteen hundreds because it's new and cool secular people they tell me don't really care about Bible prophecy they don't even believe in God so it's probably time to rethink this business of preaching out of Daniel and Revelation and people sit and they listen to it because they appear to have the numbers the statistics to back up what they say it makes sense to us and it appeals to our logic. Or maybe if we're honest straight. It actually appeals to our fear because God gives us this message three angels messages read them again and he says take this message and go and preach it to those people and we look at the message and we like it but then we look at the people we're supposed to preach it to and it scares us all be honest scares me terrified sometimes we say that's not going to make sense so when the experts come along with all those numbers we can breathe a sigh of relief oh well if it's not possible it's not possible I mean we would preach the three angels messages to the public if it were possible but apparently it's not so we'll have to wait for the latter rain in the Lord will finish the work and righteousness. There's only one problem with all those studies Well there's a number of problems but there's one in particular I've gathered them and I keep them in my office and I spread them out on my desk once in a while and I look at them and I ask a question well who can I preach our message to based on these studies this group says I can't preach to those people in the study says I can't preach it to those folks and this one says I can't preach it to those folks and by the time I've whittled down who I can preach it to there's nothing left the audience that's left over looks nothing like the crowd in our scripture reading this morning they were John was shown a crowd so big you couldn't count it it looks nothing like the numberless multitude the Bible says our work does not fizzle out it does not peter out it does not whimper and go into the darkness it ends with a crowd so big you can't even count them when I look at what's left over after I look at all those it looks nothing like the promise to Abraham that oh hey Abraham come wake up what is it Lord wake up come out of your tent come down to the riverside I want you to scoop up a handful of sand how much do you have Abraham I have a handful know how many grains do you have a I don't know I can't count that's right that's how many descendants you're going to have now look up in the sky how many stars come on Abraham how many stars do you I don't know you know we can see about five thousand with the naked eye now with the Hubble telescope we know there's one hundred billion in this galaxy alone how many stars how many I don't know I can that's how many descendants you're going to have the studies look nothing like the promise of God. So here's a question this morning I mean either God made a mistake with the message he told us to preach in these last days and the audience he told us to go to or maybe there's a problem with the study. And I'm not against academia I love academics give me a choice all holed up in a in an office somewhere with a stack of studies in books I love it but I just have one question for everybody just one question how often in thousands of years of human academia have the academics been infallible. There is a reason that the sixty six students there's a reason that your textbook is in its sixty seventh edition have to change all the time or sings we've assumed were true for years did you know did you know that scientifically we knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that men had more teeth than women we knew that for hundreds of years you know why we believe that it's because one day is Aristotle's parading around in front of his class as Pagans are prone to do they like to parade around Jesus sat when he taught and here I am parading around he's parading around and I don't know what he's teaching but somehow his mind makes a jump and he says at one point and man have more teeth than women everyone looks at each other it's Aristotle's got to be true Nobody counted for hundreds of years nobody thought let's open up Mrs Aristotle's mouth and do a check. So for hundreds of years he said look the problem is I love study you want to get all the education you kin we've been counseled to do they get all the education you can it's good to study the problem is when you start to take yourself too seriously and put complete faith in your own results. The Bible does speak about this condition where you can be ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth never find somewhere to stand and know things for sure that's a danger. You can human academics have always been prone to mistakes so if it comes down to what God asks of my life and what God asks of my church and what God asks of all of us if it comes down to choosing between that and what the experts are telling me I'll tell you which one is the safer bet the grass withers the flower fades but the word of the Lord stands for ever if you have to make a choice choice is obvious not once in two thousand years of Christians ever had to apologize for what's found in the pages of the Bible not once have we ever we've had to apologize for how we behave we've had to apologize for the things that we've done but we have never ever had to apologize for the promises of God If you have to make a choice the choice is obvious any study that contradicts the Word of God is just flat out wrong and I know so because I'm the kid who hated history. And here I am a quarter century later ripping open my two thousand book on history now I love it because I can see Jesus doesn't matter who wrote that textbook it could be an atheist who wrote that textbook but I can still see the hand of God nudging human history toward the second coming of Christ and the Kingdom of God on earth I can see it no matter how I love history now because now history shows me God at work in Jesus is coming when we discount the work of the Holy Spirit we make a grave mistake. Grave Mistake The experts are role do you mind if I speak boldly this morning if you mean you weren't already oh no no no I'm just getting warmed up. Some of the reasons people give for not doing what they now call traditional evangelism drive me nuts. First of all drives me nuts when you call it traditional because you're trying to dismiss it it's traditional rites been going on for two thousand years and it's worked the whole way through but don't try and dismiss it. People give me Sean you can't just go out there reach people who live like secular pagans with the message of the Bible sounds like it makes good sense except the one point in my life I was living like a secular heathen I know that's not true because here I am and I've seen thousands come with my own eyes since then. Studies prove you can only reach people over fifty five with the traditional prophetic approach. That start to bother me more and more now that I'm getting close to that mark and. It sounds good except for the fact I was twenty two when I joined this movement and I have literally watched tens of thousands of young people come in ever since I know that's not true I know the promise of God is good pastor the only people who come to a traditional evangelistic meeting is somebody who's never ever been to college we have to do something else for the academic mine nonsense I might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I was in college when I came to this movement and I've watched tens of thousands come with their master's degrees and Ph D.'s and joined this movement in the last twenty five years I know the promise of God is good and folks it's time for us to stop talking ourselves out of doing et. It's trying to believe that God knows what he's doing. He didn't make a mistake with this message he didn't make a mistake with the audience he sent us to preach it to he didn't make a mistake with the methods he gave us people have often said Sean you know especially they don't say it so often anymore because they've given up but when I got started they'd say what's your niche going to be shown what are you going to be going to be a youth pastor are you going to be you know are you going to be for white collar blue collar what niche are you going to preach to and I've resisted it for twenty five years because when I open my Bible I only find one niche sinners you know what's great about that niche there everywhere you find them all over town folks do you believe for one minute that God is in heaven this morning gathering the angel saying Gabriel come on get a pen and paper I made a big mistake I did not see the post modern secular generation coming and I gave the church the wrong message for the last days we better do a rewrite do you see it for a moment then why do we live like we believe that one of our biggest problems is not that we've lost our desire to see people come to Jesus I don't think that for a moment I don't think we've lost the desire to see our pews fill up our hearts ache when we see those empty spots in our church pews but we somehow got in this idea that the work is up to us it's up to us we think that Jesus gave us an assignment guys I want you to go make disciples of every nation and then he left for heaven leaving us asking but how I don't know you figure it out will be back in two thousand years not at all we think it's up to us to figure out how to do this and so we've been making some really really incredible mistake because we think it's up to us I'm driving across the great state of Missouri notice I worked on it I'm listening to the radio and on the radio they mention the Church of God chicken grill Well that got my attention I got to know what's in church I got chicken grow so I turn up the radio a little bit what is the church you got you can grow Here's what it was here's this church and they can't get men to come to church that's true all over the place because we are stubborn there's a reason we die younger than the ladies because we never back down and we're always stubborn and will never admit when there's a problem we don't ask for directions result kinds of things we won't do. So they're wondering how do we get men to come to church and someone said I've got an idea why don't we have a barbecue we'll have a tailgate party in the church parking lot after church and we'll get the best chef in town barbecue chef to come and barbecue chickens after church my goodness were there a lot of men a church next week. Lot I'm in and the barbecue got bigger every week more and more meant did you realize there is a at tailgate party after church they all came and the barbecue got bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and the church service got smaller and smaller and smaller because you can't bait and switch it does not work doesn't work it was a notable denomination somewhere in northern Europe I won't get any more specific than that they were wrestling with the same thing we can't get young men to come to church or read their Bible so they they printed about twenty to twenty three years ago they printed a special edition of the Bible for young men and I'm not kidding. Bikini girls in the margin of every page. Flew off the shelf they sold millions of them not one of them was ever read and the services just got smaller till they started closing churches. It's not up to us how this works we do incredibly stupid things when we try and take over incredibly stupid things in the Netherlands they said we can't get anybody to come to church and these are my people the Dutch I like Michigan I'm in my home turf I landed in Grand Rapids yesterday and they practically speak Dutch and that's it and we can't anybody come to church we'll let the drug dealers do their deals here in the sanctuary in the pews that we get people in the building sure did how many converts do you think they saw zero nine it doesn't work let me ask you a question. New York Times in two thousand and seven was observing how Christians do everything and anything to bring people to church including video game parties. And they ask the question is New York Times no friend to Christianity the article ended with this question What price are these we people willing to pay to appear relevant Wow. That's a good question isn't it maybe the better question is. What makes our message relevant to people. Somehow we've got the idea that it's up to us we need to make it relevant it's not God's plan I want you to think about this carefully let me ask a different way. Is it our job to make people think that this message is relevant. Or. Is it our job to find people who do think this message is relevant. Those are two different tasks I want to show you a paragraph you guys ready up there I said I would call for it I'm going to call for a paragraph from desire of age have to thirty seven because this one paragraph is the best one short one paragraph short summary of how evangelism is supposed to work that I have ever seen in my life and so I'm going to read you this paragraph written a little more than a hundred years ago now. And then we're going to unpack it from the Word of God I'll show you this take a look at this the apostles and he mother glasses now. The apostles were memories of the family of Jesus is not my main point this morning but that's a big one if you're not part of the family of Jesus how can you ever share Jesus. You've got to be a part of. They'd accompanied him as he traveled on foot through Galilee they had shared with him the toils and hardships that overtook them they had listened to his discourses they had walked and talked with the Son of God and from his daily instruction they learned how to work for the elevation of humanity I felt so powerful I went like that and they changed slide. Now here it is no don't do it again I was just showing how I do it now underlying stuff is important we're going to study it then I'll let you go for lunch as Jesus ministered to the vast multitude that gathered about him who minister who is the minister Jesus His disciples were in attendance eager to do his bidding and to lighten his labor they assisted in a ranging the people bringing the afflicted ones to the Savior and promoting the comfort of all and watch carefully they watched for interested hearers explained the Scriptures to them and in various ways work for their spiritual benefit they taught what they had learned of Jesus and were every day obtaining a rich experience is the best short summary of the process of leading people to Jesus that I've ever seen so let's unpack it there are five points Jesus is the minister the disciples watch for intruders did hearers they explain the Scriptures to those people then they tell what they know of Jesus and they retained a rich experience there it is in a nutshell so let's on hacking first point. Jesus is the minister not you. It's not our message it's his message. There's a story in The Book of Revelation it's my favorite passage although anything I happen to be reading in the Bible is my favorite passage that day but revelation four and five is a special favorite I love it you remember John standing in the throne room of Heaven he sees God on the throne the scroll written front and back sealed with seven seals and a voice asks who is worthy to open the scroll to loose the SEALs thereof and they couldn't find anybody and John Weeps that scroll is important significant because it's Chapter five of Revelation and if you look at Chapter six of Revelation you realize that when those seals are open church history begins to unfold I'm old school white horse rides the early Apple style the church the red horse Christian suffering under Roman persecution the black course Constantine so-called conversion the pale horse the church slipping into the dark it's the whole history of the church all the way down to the falling of the stars in eight hundred thirty three and if nobody can open that screw. Church history cannot begin and they can't find anybody and then John sees a lamb looking as if it has been slain walking into the throne room. What kind of language is that sanctuary language that's where you find a slain lamb this is a sanctuary scene and I'm convinced there's room for some disagreement I suppose but I've become convinced over the last twenty some years that the scene you find in Revelation four and five is actually the installation of Jesus is Heaven's high priest when he goes back to heaven he takes the scroll and now Church History can unfold as he begins to open the seals he can't begin until he's driving listen when Jesus went back to heaven he said to the disciples you're going to go from here to Judea to Samarium to the uttermost parts of the earth but I want you to stay right here in Jerusalem on till. The Holy Spirit comes so they wait in Jerusalem and on the day of Pentecost the spirit falls in there now able to preach to people from every nation tribe tongue of people right there on the spot and in all that wonderful confusion I was in confusion and all that wondrous miracle Peter stands up and he says something remarkable in Acts chapter two in verse thirty three he says Jesus has just been exalted to the right hand of God the Father listen carefully and he has just received the gift of the spirit in the shed it forth on us we always say that it's the disciples who received the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and it's true. But it's not technically what happened Jesus received the Spirit and then shed it forth on the church beneath Now listen to this psalm it's prophetic it's almost hundred thirty three Listen carefully behold how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity that's the day of Pentecost it is like the precious oil upon the head what's oil a symbol of Holy Spirit running down the beard the beard of Aaron whose air of high priest running down the edge of his garments It's like the dew of Herm on the day of Pentecost Jesus receives the spirit it flows over him on to the church beneath and all the action really is in Heaven's sanctuary the whole plan listen carefully the whole plan of the church is run from heaven sanctuary Jesus opens all seals he does it all we don't do any of it read the Bible carefully it teaches that God gives people the gift of repentance Romans chapter two God brings people to the cross of Christ Jesus said no man can come to me except the Father drolls him the Holy Spirit is the one who brings people under conviction not OS it's all his work and none of it is up to us and you can search your Bible from cover to cover you will never find God telling us to come up with another plan. Is not there point one was Jesus speaks to the multitude sees the minister point to the disciples watch for people who exhibit interest and all combine point three with it they explain the Scriptures to those people now you'll notice they were trying to make people interested. That's a biblical in Possibility Paul says the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God they are foolishness on to him not. Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned. If someone is genuinely secular. And there's not too many of those that actually exist people swear up and down they're secular but when I sit down and talk to them there's oh I'm an atheist more often than not find out they're angry at God they don't disbelieve they're just mad at him or to be mad at someone you're pretty sure doesn't exist but if somebody was truly secular There is nothing you can do in the make them interested in spiritual things nothing that's not what I write that's what Paul writes There's nothing you can do to change that you can't make people interested you can't makes you wonder why we spend so much time and effort talking about how to reach people who aren't interested when all that while there are people falling off the trees all around us who are interested read gospel workers page one thirty six there's a remarkable dream there where we are told do not pick green berries please don't touch them pick the ripe fruit. You can't make people interested God handles that part when the disciples did was look for people who were interested who are listening to the voice of Jesus and showing some interest in when they found those people they explain the Bible to them and that makes sense because those people are hearing the voice of the Spirit in their hearts and then you open the Bible with those people a book inspired by the Holy Spirit and when they hear the words of the Bible they recognize the voice you and I are just there to help them connect the dots and invite them hope when I finally got this my life got so much easier I used to worry about who I got to give an ultra cool what if I'm not convincing enough what if I go on for twenty five minutes you know how it goes is there just one more. What if I'm not commit then I got it you don't have to be convincing at all because you can't what you have to do is appeal to people who are feeling the conviction that the Holy Spirit of God brings and that's different we watch for interested hearers and we explain the scripture to them read the book of Acts there's no such thing as a cold interest anywhere in the book of Acts I challenge you to find a. Day of Pentecost to Peter baptize develop man from every nation under heaven X. Chapter eight Philip I got a Bible study if you and you are late he's riding in a chariot He's halfway through the book of Isaiah and he doesn't understand Phillips the last one to the meeting. We're always the last one to the meeting God gets there first Acts Chapter nine and a nice i got a Bible study for you love Bible studies Lord who Saul of Tarsus Saul of Tarsus I can't give a bottle study to Saul of Tarsus he kills Christians don't worry about it already pushed him over he's been blind for three days he's waiting in the dark for his Bible study. Acts chapter ten the first Gentile convert who is it Cornelius a devout man who's already giving gifts to God's work. God stirs conviction there's no way you can do it you look for conviction you don't create it. It's everywhere people are ready to come home all over the place I was grocery shopping on a Friday afternoon I'm not home very often on a Friday but when I am genius and me out to the grocery store to get stuff but I'm not allowed to go all by myself. Because I'm going to second guess everything she's ever bought and I'm Dutch I buy the cheapest thing on the shelf every time. I'm a Dutch oven is now that's cheap. And I'm walking through the store I have to be on the phone taking instructions from my wife and I'm walking up and down the aisle get this toilet paper get that peanut butter and I put it in the cart and as I'm walking around the lady behind the deli counter thinks I'm talking to her because she keeps you can't see the phone so I hung up I said well that's so rude I hate it when people do that to me I said I was talking to my wife and she's not so OK I forgive you but now that I have your attention I have a whole roasted chickens on sale five dollars each. So that's that's a really good deal she said How many do you want I said none. None why wouldn't you want any chickens I said I'm a vegetarian she says you're just making that up so you don't have to buy any I said not all. I'm a vegetarian I don't eat I don't eat chicken she said why would you be a vegetarian it boggles your mind why anybody I said well I just found out it's better for me. That's curious so you aren't always of it here no no I became one later in life Oh said I used to be a vegetarian a sin really you used to be a vegetarian years Yeah that's interesting then she said something remarkable she said you don't understand I was really vegetarian I don't really vegetarian is but I was really vegetarian so I'd really have edge attorney and were you she said we were so vegetarian that every weekend my mother made a special K. roast. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but at that moment a bell went off in my head I thought you know there's only one group of people on earth that would be Special K. rose. So I changed the language a little bit I said hey yeah I said that's fascinating I dropped the word vegetarian I said you grew up avenues to night and she said Yeah she said I said I know what I know and I'm going to have an ist minister and God sent me to the deli counter today because I bet you haven't been to church in the years. And she hung her head and started to cry. She said I was praying about that this morning or fallen off the trees all around us and were busy trying to reinvent it hopes crowds are bigger than they ever have been let me tell you as an evangelist they're more responsive than I've ever seen and we're wasting all our time talking about what do we do for people who aren't interested locusts on the right berries the green ones a little time will ripen disciples watch for interested here's the explain the Scriptures to them. Such a profound principle that even on the road to a May is here's a couple of post moderns right they used to know everything that they should believe in they had everything nailed down and secure now the messiah has been crucified they don't know what to believe anymore and the kick in the dirt. And Jesus appears and he could have just flashed through in his glory I'm here I'm back know the Son of God The resurrected son of God beginning at Moses and the prophets he expounded on to them in the scriptures all things concerning himself what does he do it gives them a prophecy seminar. A Bible study and if that's how Jesus does it that settles it for me for ever I can't convict people but I can find those that are under conviction and share what God's word says with them connect the dots. Point for the disciples told people what they personally knew of Jesus. That's really why you're there. You're the testimony. As most people are hoping it's true. And to listen to the voice of the Spirit in their hearts they will read the Word of God in the next place they're going to look is you is this work very few people hope it's not true I was holding an evangelist meeting one time a guy came twenty some heights and he at the end of it said I don't know if any of this is true we don't even know if Jesus actually existed I thought you don't come twenty some nights. And not believe us so open a Bible I said let me ask you a question. You hope this is true or do you hope it's not any sank in his seat and he started to cry I said I'd be a fool. To want that to not be true so now we can get started one of my favorite stories is Daniel Chapter six because I'm a chronic insomniac I've never slept through the night my whole life. And there's Darius pacing the floor I love the story he can't sleep. And he probably hides that from the kingdom he doesn't want them to know when he's worried and a lot of your neighbors are hiding their concerns from you they're putting up a break from what I promise you they have sleepless nights when they come under conviction I promise. Darius has made a deal that ends in death it's irreversible Daniel's going to die kind of like what we did as human race we made a deal with the devil that ends in death and we can't change it early in the morning he runs down to the Lion's Den or more accurately really the tomb because it foreshadows the tomb of Jesus they rolled a stone over the door and sealed it and in the morning he who should have been dead is alive. And he calls out Daniel are you OK it's not what he asks read it carefully Daniel the God whom you serve continually has he been able to save you. Why that question because if he can save you and maybe he can do something for me. God sends you in detail what you know of Jesus or number five because they followed God's plan the disciples obtained a rich experience. So many of us are poking through a drudgery we think is religion. Drag ourselves around there's such little joy sometimes among Christians. I know it. I walk the streets of every city I go to I get up early in the morning I walk the streets all over the world are such little joy in our world. I just look at people's faces. And I get up in some churches mornings and look across the Saints and. Some of you look sour and think there's got to be something more it's got to be something more in Joshua chapter one Moses is dead. Joshua assumes the mantle of leadership that's got to be tough right following us or example you're following a huge success like Moses you almost always want to follow someone who didn't do all that well he's got to follow Moses and Jesus comes to him you've read the book of Joshua and if you haven't you should. Jesus comes to Josh was the commander of the Lord's host sword drawn let's go let's go into the Promised Land. Joshua gets the whole plan just Joshua and Caleb are left over at this point from the original generation Josh was got to go back and explain the whole plan to the children of Israel. They're going to have to take his word for what he's been told kind of like there's a whole generation in the remnant church that we used to have people who heard directly from God but now they've passed on and we're going to have to take their word for what they saw is God It is time to go in I've been told we should go into the Promised Land and conquer it that's great Joshua We want to go in we don't want to be like grandpa and grandma and die out here in the desert we're ready let's go we should probably build a bridge over the Jordan river no bridge what's the plan then no bridge Joshua it's flood season that river is six feet deep we're going to go through the river and you're going to follow the ark follow the Orkut six feet deep We've been in slavery for four hundred years we don't have any tall soldiers they're all going to drown in the river follow the ark. Why because the command center has always been the heavenly sanctuary in the throne of God. And to follow the ark of to the promised land so they step into the river in the waters part how Josh will I can't believe how that worked that was great what next let's start picking off all these rinky dink little villages no no I think we're going to go after Jericho sure. It's big and they're tough we better get started we need battering rams and we need more swords and spears and bows and it's time to open a foundry and start making we don't need any weapons what do you mean no weapons have you seen the people in Jericho Joshua We need weapons no no we're going to follow the arc. We're going to walk around the city seven days in a row they're going to pick us off the city will one by one we're going to follow the ark doesn't make sense Joshua I don't care if a Makes sense it's what we were told to do follow the ark care what the stats in the numbers say follow the ark. And march around that city. And interesting thing happens when those walls fall down you'll notice they never touch them because the commander of the Lord's host was there first. You and I are in charge of precisely None of this or call is to do what we've been told. We're only told to do one thing. You'll make disciples of all night the only one thing you notice when the walls of Jericho fell there was a mighty shout just like there's a mighty shout of the Second Coming of Christ first US alone eons for there was a trumpet blast just like there will be a trumpet blast at the second coming of Christ First Corinthians Chapter fifteen and you'll notice it says in Joshua six in verse nineteen and after the walls of Jericho fail the gold listen carefully the gold the silver the brass and the iron were absorbed into God's Treasury just like in Daniel Chapter two when the statue was crushed the gold the silver the brass and they are blown away and the stone the represents the kingdom of Christ filled the whole earth what did the Israelites learn that day if you do what God asks he takes over and does it for you follow the are we broke trust with God in the Garden of Eden that's what we did we chose not to believe him anymore and so God's given us a job to do that will rebuild that trust. Take this message and preach it to those people that doesn't make sense Lord I know but you're going to learn a thing or two along the way we live in California the kids were little we had this house it's going to sound grand but it was a dump. But it had a circular staircase that's the nice sounding part I mean I think we bought it because it had a circular staircase and a house full of women and we could play you know Gone With The Wind on our big sock circular staircase and when Jeanne was out. I used to let the kids climb up the outside of the railing of that banister. And sit there was a little area about eighteen by twenty inches at the top of the stairs on the outside of the railing and they would sit up there and there's like this hard floor down below because I see all the women going oh no believe me your husband's doing this. Job to bring a little endangerment to our children and I would sit there and they dangle their legs and laugh and then I would yell one word Yeah you got it. And they would come off like lemmings so fast like a barely catch a bang bang and they'd run up the outside of that banister and sit up there dangling their legs again laughing job and they'd jump and I'd catch him in the run up in the jump again and they'd jump again and we keep doing that till we heard Jean's car pull into the driveway. And then we played Lego or something you know. Genes actually watching the streaming feed this morning. And then the day came. When it climbed up there. Or stood beneath them and I said John. And they hesitated I saw. Her. Hesitating you know your eyesight is not what it used to be. You know back surgery and if you miss. Your stand what we did to our Heavenly Father knew. Jumping So he gives us one job to do I mean when you get to heaven you're going to live by faith when you get there understand that you're not going to know everything when you get there Lucifer wasn't allowed in the councils of God you will. Get runs by faith so he's given us an exercise to teach us to start jumping. Take this message. With. This media was brought to you by audio force a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about. It if you would like to listen to more sermons Visit W W W.

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