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The Harvest Is Great- Part 2

Shawn Boonstra


Shawn Boonstra

Speaker/Director for the Voice of Prophecy media ministry.


  • June 12, 2016
    2:00 PM
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This morning the challenge was to believe that what God assigned us is possible that was the challenge. Tonight we're going to go to the next step. I'm going to challenge you to be faithful to their goal. If I can speak you can do this a promise you Jeremiah twenty seven the countries that are around Israel Oh bunch of little countries are panicking because Nabokov miseries on the march used conquering the world and they don't know what to do about it so they decide they're going to form a coalition we'll go what let's all get together maybe we can take them on so they send a delegation all these countries to Jerusalem and they want to talk to Kings at a coyote look if we form an alliance we can take on King Nebuchadnezzar we could beat them we can stop this onward march and it makes good military sense I mean it's exactly what I'd be tempted to do if I was at a Cairo that would sound really good measure I can't take them on let's form an alliance but in Jeremiah Chapter twenty seven the servant of the LORD is about to explain to everybody why it won't work Jeremiah twenty seven in verse four and command them to say to their masters here's the word they have to send back thus says the LORD of hosts the God of Israel thus you shall say to your masters I have made the earth now there is the source of God's authority those are the opening words to your bible in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth that is the final message to the planet worship Him who made it's been the message of God's people all along the three angels messages if you read the whole Bible is not brand new in the last days it has always been the message read through acts read through Jeremiah read through the Psalms worship Him who made that's the source of his authority that's the reason God sits on the throne revelation for verse eleven their reason they bow down and worship God has created all things that's the source of his authority verse five I have made the earth the man in the beasts that are on the ground by my great power and by my outstretched arm and have given it to whom it seemed proper to me in other words God says I established kingdoms and I established political powers and I will do what I would like to do for six and now let this sink in now I have given all these lands into the hand of net be it couldn't as are the king of Babylon my servant. What did God just call now because now is are my servant and the Beast of the field I have also given him to serve him so all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son until the time of his land comes then many nations and great king shall make him serve them the prophecy of Daniel two written in advance there's already word on the street God has already told everybody never can has or will not be on the throne forever I have allowed him to grow this empire but eventually after his son's son is on the throne belches or another kingdom will come it's Daniel two in AD Vance the lion with eagle's wings will be followed by the bear and the message in this passage is absolutely clear we could finish the sermon right now with one point Nebuchadnezzar is reigning because that's what God wants the earth belongs to him he makes the decisions Father in Heaven is we contemplate what this book says I know again that I don't have the ability to stand here or do you know. How hard these moments are and I know who I am I know or have come from I know what I'm made of now but dust in ashes in asking for a blessing tonight I'm asking that you would still my mind and quiet my heart and that the voice I hear tonight would just be yours I'd like to know that you're smiling when I'm finished because I've been faithful and I'd like for the only voice to be heard in a sot atory him tonight to be yours so I'm asking that you bless me and take that coal from Heaven's altar and touch my lips forgive my sin cover me with the blood of Christ let me be found Lord your faithful servant tonight if this is the last thing I ever stand up and preach then I'm asking that you would place my hands on the pillars and let me pull down the house of day gone tonight I just want to know that you're doing this with me and father when Jesus speaks tonight we will follow. Will Follow the lamb wherever he goes. And I ask for their blessing tonight. In Jesus' name. I was reading the story the other day about a very successful man he'd worked a long time he had a long long happy and successful career and he came to the end of it it was time for retirement or you want to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor and that was something he turned because he was really successful mower successful the most in fact this guy was so successful when he got out of bed in the morning and walked over to the window of his bedroom and opened the drapes and looked outside he owned everything that he saw I mean even if he leaned out the window a little bit and looked at the horizon he owned it all he could not see past the bounds of his property and that's not because he's living on some big spread in the ranch and in the state of Texas they're so proud and. Although as a Canadian I've got to say Texas seems small. It took me fourteen hours to drive to an airport from my town. Not because he's on a big spread in Texas that would be impressive that impresses a lot of people but the truth be told he didn't just own everything he saw this man could get on a horse and he could ride in any direction for three weeks and never leave his property because the man in the story was Nebuchadnezzar the man who conquered all known world in his time and he quite literally gave us the neo Babylonian Empire now we know historically that he didn't build the neo Babylonian Empire all by himself his dad gave him a running start at that empire they'd been under assault by the Assyrians for a long time they kept showing up at Babel on the Assyrians and sacking the city and attacking it and so never can AS Hers dad went up there and finished that problem he conquered the Assyrians and paved the way for Nebuchadnezzar to be a wild success and as you know he was a wild success before you know it he's down in Egypt knocking on their door and by five ninety seven B.C. he is in the apple of God's eye of the city of Jerusalem and he takes it to. He is now the undisputed king of the ancient world he is so successful that everybody remembers him to this day you can travel around the world and talk to people in various cultures all over the planet and if it wasn't a culture that was isolated from the rest of the world they still remember him to this day all over the planet there is a latent memory of Babylon a network of measure everywhere on this planet he was that successful and now in this story in Daniel Chapter four after a huge success I mean huge successes on the battlefield huge successes rebuilding the city of Babylon he is proud of what he's done and he has a right to be proud he did more than most of us could even begin to imagine he looked at the old temples in the city of Babylon that his dad had been working on and they were kind of tattered and broken down in an embarrassment and the Babylonians before never can as. Came to the throne were kind of embarrassed of their old Babylonian religions and so he ripped down all the old pagan temples and he put up brand new ones and they were war just had people became proud of there were no nebby could never had a religious streak in him he was a spiritually minded kind of guy and he rebuilt those temples in our body so proud they're starting to name the captives after their gods belt the shadows are Shadrach me shag a bit and to go there was a revival of Babylonian religion Undernet they could measure then he turned his attention to the royal palace I mean his dad had a nice house it was pretty nice but never could never thought that is not nice enough for the king of Babylon and so he worked on it anymore poured cedar and gold and silver an edict that place out to the point where other kings from other nations would visit Babylon and look at their jaws were dropped because they could not afford to build but now because or had built it was the AK killer then he worked on the city wall you know about the city wall because it comes up in almost every prophecy seminar that you've ever been to it was so high no army could go over it so thick nobody could go through it a wall so big that Herat of the says you could actually target take a double chariot and turn it around on top of that wall a triple line of walls around the ancient city of Babylon and when he was done that everyone in side felt perfectly safe they would say things like I see it as a queen and you find that language in the Book of Revelation they felt entirely secure inside the city inside the city he did a couple of other things that are mind boggling somehow he managed to engineer a tunnel underneath the Euphrates River went from one side to the other we're still not quite sure how he managed to pull that off it is an engineering marvel of the ancient world and then above the river you know the river ran through Babylon in and there were two walls along either side and bridges across the engineer to bridge over the Euphrates with special pillars on it that would slow the water. Down so the bridge would never erode and the water also would never you rode the foundations of Babylon he was an engineering genius it was spectacular and then one day his wife just kind of a generous term I checked this again the other day and she was a concubine but one of his favorites apparently because she came into the throne room and said to him nebby I'm not sure she would call him Nabby that probably would but something Nippy could never honey. Yes honey what's the matter she said I am so happy here in Babel on. Good vibes that I worked hard to make it pretty she said I know it's really nice but. No guy likes to hear that when you do this is such a nice birthday present but. What's the matter honey she said well I grew up in Persia Have you ever been to Persian havoc in Israel of course I've been to Persia I conquered everything what about it she said Did you happen to notice that in Persia we have big beautiful snow capped mountains and they're gorgeous and I miss them and Babylon is nice but we're out here on the plains of Dura it is so flat here you can watch your dog run away for two weeks you can still see him on the horizon and. And this is gorgeous but I miss my mountains he built her a mountain in the middle of the city. He built through a mountain the Hanging Gardens of Babylon which the Greeks called one of the Seven Wonders of the Emmy this place with when people say Babylon was one of the wonders of the world that's almost an understatement it was so mind boggling it was so beautiful it was so gorgeous that it's almost hard to overstate it it really I've seen a lot of things in this world the Taj Mahal drop dead gorgeous but it is not Babylon the Red Fort house for five thousand lives in and gorgeous but it is no Babylon I've seen much of Picchu it is unbelievably gorgeous but there is nothing in this world to this day. To rival what Nikken is or built it was stunning there is a reason it stands out in the collective memory of the human race and frankly there's a reason that it gets ascribed the Medal of gold in the head of the statue it was that gorgeous never can as or accomplished a lot more than people think he did and at the end of his career he's proud it's time to sit back and take a rest he did exactly what many of us would do at the end of our careers he reaches around Pats themself on the back for a job well done. And honestly what what's wrong with that. We do that don't weigh we do we come to the end of a project you know that went pretty well is it wrong to know you did well probably probably not I mean I've done it you've you've done it there's a whole eyelet hallmark for it with cards for people who came to the end of a successful career everybody congratulates everybody at the end of a successful career what's wrong with that except except the Bible says the moment he utters one word of self-congratulation. You who uses He is mine Daniel four and verse twenty nine now here's what we're going to do I'm going to jump in at the end of the story that's really bad chronology and it's not fair I mean you're going to have to go to your tents or your trailers or wherever you're sleeping tonight and read the rest of the chapter later on because I'm going to start at the end of the story that's really bad chronology but I only have one point to make and I'm hoping that it makes that one point and that happens to be really bad homiletics go down to the homiletics department at the College of tell you you're supposed to have three points in a prayer I've never had three points I only have one hopefully you remember. Daniel for twenty nine at the end of the twelve months it's the end of the story with there's a whole year that you've missed. At the end of the twelve months he was walking about the royal palace of Babylon the King spoke saying Is not this great Babylon that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and. For the honor of my Majesty. He's on the roof of his palace he's thinking back over his whole career he never can never remember that fourth grade teacher he used to mutter when he graded your homework and cover it with red ink and that kid is as dumb as a bag of potatoes and you wouldn't even be in this school if his dad wasn't the key remember that teacher you showed him look at what you Bill. Remember the eleventh grade homeroom teacher never can as Remember that one one who sat you down and said you better prepare for a career in fast food because that's all I see in your future now they can measure you better learn to say Would you like to supersize that because that is all your grades represent. Remember that if you show them all look at you Bill one of those teachers is now teaching in the backwater of the Empire in a mosquito bitten village and the other one died on the front fighting the Libyans because you sent him a look at what you've done that he could never look at what you've built. Install logs. What's wrong with that. Those need deserve a reward or don't don't we still give out whatever the equivalent is of a gold watch now when somebody comes to the end don't we mean what's right what does he do wrong he accomplished a lot except. He didn't accomplish the one thing God asked him to do. And there's my one point that's it we get in with if you use this one life God has given you if you use this why the short life span from the cradle to the grave if you use this short bit of time that God gave you to accomplish everything and anything except the thing that God put you on earth to do then you might be wildly successful by worldly standards but you will be disobedient. Disobedient I mean no sooner do the words fall for never can is mouth than hears a voice falling from heaven that's it now begins or I have had it you lose it oh. You know when a voice comes from heaven in the Bible it only happens a handful of times you should probably pay attention it usually has universal application I mean think about the times when it happens it's not all that common it happens at the baptism of Jesus he comes up out of the water avoid this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased God announces that the seed of the woman has just come to crush the head of the serpent it's a big moment everybody should pay attention God streak says Ten Commandment Moral Law God spoke all these words saying when the voice comes from heaven you should pay attention listen carefully it usually has universal application verse thirty one while the word was still in the King's mouth a voice fell from heaven King Nebuchadnezzar to you it is spoken the kingdom has departed from you. At the moment of his greatest triumph. He loses it. What do you mean I'm going to lose my kingdom I worked my whole life for this I worked my whole life for this it's mine oh never could never that is not all you're going to lose verse thirty two they shall drive you for a man and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field they shall make you eat grass like all. Have a good as or don't don't you understand what's going on here these people do not love you they don't love you they're not loyal you don't have these people's hearts you are not as influential as you think you are nobody cares here once you've outlived their usefulness to these people never can as are they are going to put you in a field. Like an animal don't you understand that's one of life's most painful lessons. Let's be really honest in this world most people only have use for you as long as you prove useful. Then it's over they don't care Nebuchadnezzar don't you understand they're not going to put you in a hospital you are going to spoon feed you applesauce three times a day to sponge baths a week you're not going to get a corner suite at Johns Hopkins with a forty two inch plasma T.V. they're going to put you in a field. Why. Because you threw away what I gave you. You threw it away you didn't use it the way I intended don't you understand me because Or I'm the reason you have this kingdom I gave this to you I'm the only thing that you have when everything else in this world passes away all you have left and never can is or I'm not going to force myself into your life I'm not going to force you into the kingdom of heaven I'm not and I have tried to get your attention I sent you that dream I showed you the head of gold would pass away and that the only kingdom that lasts forever is the kingdom of my son which stands for ever and ever I tried to get your attention I walked through the flames when you tried to burn my servants I have tried and I have tried and I have tried and if you don't want me I'm not going to force it now because of the problem is if you don't have me at the end you've got nothing else that's true for you to. I don't know how many of you have had a brush with death. But I can tell you there's a moment when you've got nothing but Jesus. Not. One day we all learned it passes away my youngest daughter when she was really little cone up so fast I don't like it on the other hand I kind of like it because we have an office in that but when she was really little she made a fort in the garage. Took a wardrobe auction of the big wardrobe boxes for moving with the big flap on it she turned it on its side and made the flap a door and she cut little windows in it and decorated it with flowers and filled it with teddy bears and pillows and she even wired it for electricity I It worried me a little bit but I was so proud of it I didn't shut that down she put a bare bulb paying it inside a cardboard box so that she could go in there and read and she loved that fort and she loved that port and she loved that fort until it fell to pieces. And it came time to move on never forget I'm loading the truck and I'm pushing the last thing in and pulling the door of the truck shut and I feel a little hand pulling on my coat daddy now. What about my forte isn't it going on the truck I turned around and looked at that sort of thing in a heap in a corner if I would pick it up it would fall in half said Honey there's no room on the truck. I doubt it's my Ford I love it I made it I know honey I know that you're for it but it doesn't even fit on the truck I can if I open the door again half the truck's going to fall out we can't we can't take it tears welled up in her eyes that that's not fair. No honey. They sure are going to have to learn enough and we build in this world is going to last forever nothing that you know that's. As a matter what you've built in the end all you have is Jesus and if you don't have him when it all passes away you don't have anything else. It really does come to an end folks for everybody the moment comes when the last dollar has been made the last property has been purchased the last romances ended the last campaign has been won or lost the best last bet has been placed the last drink has been served the last lie has been told and it so they will dry you for men verse thirty two your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field they shall make you eat grass like oxen seven times will pass over you until you know that the most high rules in the kingdom of man and gives it listen carefully gives it to whom ever he chooses. That very hour of the word was fulfilled concerning of the goodness or and a king now at the pinnacle of his career becomes an animal Now why would God do seem so harsh doesn't. He just says good job I did a good job and he turns into an animal. Receives so hard why does God do that he's just doing what so many people do does God punish him that way because of pride I'm sure that's a big part of the answer that's the easy part of it he's prideful this is my kingdom that I built. Sounds just like Lucifer I will ascend into heaven I will sit on the throne above the stars of God I will sit on the mount a congregation the sides of the north it is pride there's no question about it that's a big part of the problem it's obviously part of you speaking with the voice of Lucifer but there's something else in this story you should not miss and think there's a message here for God's last a remnant people. Follow me carefully listen here. Back in Daniel Chapter Two we need not be can as are for the very first time I mean in the Book of Daniel you appears in Second Chronicles he appears in Jeremiah but but really you don't get a character study of him until the Book of Daniel and he appears for the first time in Daniel Chapter Two any wakes up in the middle of the night in a puddle of sweat terrified of a dream he's just had and Daniel approaches him in Daniel Chapter two and he tries to explain the dream of the statue Daniel two thirty seven he says something very important medical has are in again this is not a complicated point this is so simple Listen to this Daniel two thirty seven you Oking are a king of kings for the God of Heaven has given you a kingdom. Power strength and glory and wherever the children of men do all of the beast of the field in the birds of heaven he has given them into your hand and his major ruler over them all who let me ask you again who've gave the kingdom of Babylon to know who can as or who gave it to Him God did what's the secret of never can as are success it's mind boggling the secret of never could measure success is the God of Abraham. You don't want to miss this part God gave never been as Or that kingdom and he did it on purpose you had to design for this pagan King you had a plan for an epic in his or he was supposed to be a servant of the most high God wrap your brain around this is not just some even King who's a problem for the children of Israel he's a servant of God in the words of the Bible he doesn't know it yet but that's what he's supposed to be this is not just some foreign godless invader who happened to get lucky and sneak past the angels that are outside the city of Jerusalem and take the city this king this he even who ruthlessly conquers the world and burns down the temple of God in Jerusalem and kills the children of Zedekiah right in front of him and puts the King's eyes out and then leads thousands of God's children. Captive in change to a strange land somehow that guy is also chosen by God. Somehow. That's not comfortable at all. I don't like it. I read it and I don't like it it's so much easier to say us and them in this world. It's so much easier so much easier say these are clearly God's people and these people are clearly not God's people that is so much easier. To look at this story the chosen people of God are dragged away in chains in a pagan idol worshipping King is told by a Hebrew prophet God gave you this kingdom. That upsets my way of thinking frankly I don't like it it's mind boggling but the lesson is really clear listen carefully God will work with whoever he needs to to get this work done God's purposes for his sons Kingdom will never be thwarted by our refusal to cooperate they won't be God's purposes will be accomplished with or without us never can as are his hand-picked to be a servant of God He's not the only one either Cyrus was too he was read Second Chronicles thirty six the original ending of the Old Testament we've rearranged the order of the book somewhat but that was the original closing book and it ends with Cyrus king of Persia saying I'm God's anointed servant and he has called me to build him a temple in Jerusalem. God will work with whoever he wants to to get this work done now when you meet the can as Or it's pretty obvious he lost. Not ready for translation not by a long shot he still worshipping idols he's killing people easy arrogant means full of pride but when you see the way that God patiently labors with this guy and the way that you see this stubborn King avenge me soften and give his heart to Jesus. And you hear that God gave him that kingdom pretty obvious that God's Chosen People are not just found among the genetic descendants of a true that should be obvious anyway when you read the Old Testament milk is a dick priest of most high God not a child of Abraham. Rahab Canaanite prostitute. Mobile God will use who he wills to accomplish his purpose. He's got his people all over the face of this planet revelation eighteen tells us that they're in Babylon That's why God has to call my people out that. People were shown what he's suggesting people don't need to be a part of the room yes they do when you get called out of Babylon you've got to come somewhere in God's calling people into his remnant church and we do need to be here this is his last day remnant movement no question about it and our job is to go out there among the peoples nations kindreds and tongues at this world and find those people and bring them home. Told us to go find them but if you and I won't do it if I won't do it gotta find someone who will always bothered me that there were candidates before Illinois. Always bothered. God uses never can as Or why because Israel kind of blew it. She was supposed to be a like to the Gentiles read the book of Isaac you're supposed to be alike to the Gentiles He puts them right in the crossroads of the ancient world so everybody could see them everybody could see the temple and its services in the sacrificial animals and ask the question What is this and they could tell the story of Messiah but they didn't do it they would not be a light to the world so what does God do he finds another person of influence to get the word out because his work will not be stopped by our indifference God's work will not be stopped because we want to put different things on our agenda God's work will never be stopped because we don't think it's important God will finish the work and bring in the kingdom of Jesus Christ no question about it they were supposed to be alike to the world. But in the end they're so completely unfaithful to the coal that the Bible says they were capable of putting their children in the arms of Molech a red hot iron they would cook their children to death. The devil had to be laughing at that because one of these days one of those firstborn children just might be the promised one and he would have been killed before he ever got started. That's on faith. So what does God do we round them all up and send them back home read the story carefully where did they come from they came from Kal DIA that's where Abraham came from that had to be embarrassing with every little step across the desert it is not just any nation that comes in conquers Israel folks it's the country they left it's Khaldiyeh they're being sent back home. And God picks another influential Cal the in to get the attention of the world a man who is nothing like Abraham in fact he still worshipping terrorist gods yes. And he expects her to do something for him because listen carefully God does not favor people for no reason God does not raise people up for no reason God does not bless people for no reason if you are. Here I'm listening to my voice God has called you and there's a reason your here he raises people up he calls people for a specific reason you and I are not supposed to be sitting in the pews of a church holding them down in case the wind picks up that is not our color. We are not museum pieces in the Church of God He raised up a movement to move as a raise people up for no particular reason he blesses people for a reason what was the reason with never can never listen to the Bible carefully Nebuchadnezzar is described as a tree that is shade to the beasts of the field in the nations of the world Daniel for verse eleven this is a description that we can answer from God the tree grew and became strong its height reached to the heavens And it could be seen to the ends of the earth now that's where the message is always supposed to go this gospel the kingdom should be preached to all nations Nebuchadnezzar supposed to feed the world its leaves verse twelve were lovely its fruit abundant and you know it was food for all the beasts of the field found shade under that the birds of the heaven Daulton its branches and all flesh was fed from it let it sink in Neb it could measure is supposed to be a light to the. Well as a going to happen in Jerusalem so maybe it could happen in Babylon of all places. Now because you think I gave you all this by accident you think we were born in heaven and the angels pulled out a globe and we blindfolded Gabriel and spun the globe and he dropped this finger on a country and we just blessed whichever one he landed on now we can measure Don't you see I gave you all this stuff for a reason God always gives us all this stuff for a reason and makes you wonder why God raised this movement up on the most prosperous nation on earth and it also makes you wonder why maybe we're sliding into ruin so quickly. God gave the remnant movement favor for a reason there was something we are supposed to do the children of Israel were supposed to be alike to the Gentiles and they didn't do it so God sends them to Babylon I mean they're out living like Babylonians anyway seems to be what they want he sends them to Babylon and when they get there he shows them what was always possible if they'd only lived up to it right when they're out working in the fields digging in the mines laboring like slaves for their Babylonian overlords suddenly God uses a young Hebrew prophet and the most unlikely man on earth becomes a believer. And shows him here's what would have happened if you'd been faithful a roofless pagan is now called to do the job Israel is supposed to do and by the end of the story never can as are singing the song of Moses and the lamb Oh he is not yes he is listen listen carefully Daniel for thirty four years what he say and it was in our scripture reading tonight his dominion is an everlasting Dominion His Kingdom is from generation to generation verse thirty seven now I never can as are praising extol in honor of the King of Heaven all of whose works are truth and his ways justice Osho that's not the song of Moses in the Lamb No here's the song of Moses in the lamb from Revelation Chapter fifteen right marvelous are your works Lord God Almighty just untrue are your ways all nations to come and worship before you for your judgments have been manifested by the end of the story never taken as are of all people to sing in the song of Moses on the lamb and a pagan King is fulfilling the Gospel commission it's exactly like Jesus said do not think to say to yourself we have Abraham for a father I can raise up children Abraham out of the stones one way or another I can assure you God's going to get the message out I don't know about you but I want to be there when it happens I'd like to be on the inside of that one wouldn't you I want to be the one singing the song of Moses in the land I want to do that I want to be there I want to be faithful to the call and I don't know how to be faithful to the call I'm just a human being you're just human beings and we have lives that are a mess but God still and trusts us and gives us all this stuff so that we can get the gospel message out and I don't know what to do no neither do I I'll tell you what we're supposed to do be faithful that's what you're supposed to do listen to me very carefully God raise this movement up for a reason this is not just another denomination not a chance this is not just one more expression of Christianity not a chance this is not just a side note an item of interest in the long development of Christianity this movement has been raised up by God to do something very specific and to say something very specific and to be something very specific and if we lose sight of that that if we lose sight of the fact that God wants this world to find very specific spiritual food in the branches of this tree if we forget the mission and the message God gave us when he raised this movement up if we let go of the one reason God raised this movement up then we are in danger of losing our minds to. We are you mind if I ask some bold questions you do mind I'm going to ask him anyway. I'm just getting warmed up again. Let me ask you this she I mean it's easy to get distracted I want to be clear. Let me ask this though. If a stranger stood outside your church board meeting with the glass to the door and he used would they be able to tell what the God given mandate of this movement is by listening we gave the agenda for a church business meeting to an outsider just handed it to them here look at this would they be able to tell at the priority of our movement is or what it's supposed to be I mean would it be obvious is it looked over at that we believe Jesus is almost here would it be obvious that we have a burden for the last I've never been a fan of poetry I really not my thing I'm trying to learn. Because the better people seem to love poetry so I bought some books and I'm reading it there's one poem of always liked it was Lord Byron and you got to go figure I ended up as an avenue preacher in the only poet I ever liked was a pagan hedonist. But it was that one poem She Walks in Beauty like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies and all that's best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes I like that poem because I used it on this girl like twenty seven years ago we've been married for twenty three years now so that one pretty good that one works. But as a rule like I don't I don't like poetry. I do remember my first exposure to the English poet John Donne No it was in high school. One of those days when the teacher was going on and on and on and on and you got to understand young folks that we didn't have Twitter or Facebook there was no way to escape the classroom we could not get out of there and we just had to use our imaginations and so we're visiting different places in the world well he's going on and on in about forty minutes into his lecture on whatever it was I still don't know. Suddenly an ambulance goes by the high school who it's so loud goes right underneath the classroom window that he stops mercifully. And he walks over to the window and he sticks his head out the window and we hear him utter a sentence Ask not for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee we thought well that's weird and he looks up and he can see that we're curious are no teachable moment we're trapped. He starts right up again Oh that's poetry kids oh no. Fell for it. It's poetry it's written by John Donne he wrote it right after he survived a terrible illness it's a poem about death well that sounded promising you know oh it's going to die that's guts got to be a good one. I remember he read us a whole thing you maybe you had to learn it no man is an island entire to himself each man's death diminishes me for I am involved in mankind. There for sin not to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee. He explained it he said you know they they all lived in little villages I knew that most of my family still lives in the villages in Europe. They would have one church in town and when something bad happened they'd ring the bell and everybody would stop because something bad happen and you're going to know who it is it's a small village. He said But John Donne is saying look the question isn't who died this is because every time a human being dies we all lose. We all lose human race gets a bit smaller and boys don't you ask who's riding in that ambulance out there because don't you understand it's all of us and. Every time somebody is out there it's the whole human race taking another hit from dead in like thirty five thirty six years. I still remember what he said we're all in this together when somebody dies you can't say. That it wasn't me because it was all of us been made in the image of God We all come from the same source of life and. That means we all lose when somebody dies might remember Jesus telling the story of the fair seeing the tax collector Ferris's pray and big. Oh God I thank you that I am not like other men extortioners unjust adulterers even this tax collector yes you are. And you don't get it we're all in this together all of those he's just as lost as everybody else that tax collector dies and his sins we all lose if the fairest dies in this INS we all. Ever notice how Daniel always lump sum self in with everybody. Janja line we have sinned against you. We understand you don't get to distance yourself from everybody else we're all in this together we all lose something if somebody dies in their sins all of those because if somebody dies in their sins folks the lost lost haven't loses something there's a piece ripped out of God's heart don't ask for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee I wonder sometimes what would happen if we could actually hear a bell ring every time somebody goes to a crisis. That Make a Difference being number one being. As if you know be a lot faster than I can promise you have been here. More net that they feel every one of them. As you know what Jesus paid for that person most days we don't even think about it we sanitize the way we talk about it in the twenty first century we don't want to say people will last as it sounds so negative or we talk about them like they're misinformed or. Maybe they'd be a little happier or better adjusted if they came to church. It's not what the Bible says the Bible says there are. Laws if people were just misinformed all they need to teach or if people are depressed they maybe need a life coach God didn't just send a teacher in a life coach sent a savior because we were dying in our sins we can't afford to misjudge even for a second how expensive it is for somebody to be lost and I know we don't want to say there's only one way to heaven that's not popular in the year two thousand and sixteen I get that and I get the Bible says that people in heaven who never heard the name of Jesus it does it does say that but you don't build your theology on the exceptions How often do we think about the last I worked in the General Conference building for a little while let's pick on them. And there's a big atrium in the middle and. If you've ever been in there you can stand on the west side of the building look across to the side there's all these meeting rooms and glass. And they're very busy I'm proud of our church they're working hard they really are and late at night I'd come out of my office. And I'd stand there and just watch all those meetings go on those people work hard they work late I get tired of everybody criticizing those folks I know them they work hard and they've got a burden for souls they do. And don't don't critique they're busy and they're hard working hard but I would stand there and watch those meetings and it's for meeting rooms across three floors high. It kind of looks like the display at Petco it's like all the cages right I would be like putting fish food in and I would just stand there and I would remember what it felt like to be lost. That you know. If Jesus comes now. I remember what they felt. And wonder I wonder how often in those meetings. Last come up often do they come up in union committees conference committees churchwarden. The dining room table Jesus came to seek and to save those often do we think. What if we could get transcripts for every meeting we've been to. And take out a ruler measure how much space was spent on each top. How much space with the B. for the missing children I once lived in this apartment building that was awful it was a dump I got fooled I was a young guy. Got fooled by the brochure it said executive apartments it looks so look jury. I signed up without looking life's first painful lesson it was so bad it was so bad I used to lay in my bed look out I could see out the window and I could see a guy who slept in the dumpster and I thought he's smarter than me he's not paying for that. And it was it was it was bad. And there was a soccer field next to or people would gather from the community and play soccer and. Or is this mom planned soccer one day and she turned for just a moment turned around again and her son was gone and I don't know why they thought it was so important but he ended up on every milk carton in North America that they must have thought something bigger was behind this he was all over the place. And we all gathered in groups and we combed the neighborhoods called his name Michael you know weeks went by and. The group got a little smaller. Month went by another group but it's smaller and then the other day I thought it's been thirty years since I thought about this kid they never found him I forgot. You know who didn't forget. Is mom. Not a chance can a woman forget her nursing child God says in Isaiah and not have compassion on the son of her womb surely they may forget unbelievable. Yet I will not forget you see I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. What if we could hear a bell ring every time how would it change the way we live each day. We don't have a bell so I've wondered what could we do what if we had a moment of silence every time we prayed just a minute of silence wonder if that might be the iron band around the stump brings the tree back to life a very successful man. Comes to the end of his long and successful career and he is. So successful when he gets out of bed in the morning he can go to the window and he can look outside and he cannot see past the bounds of his property even if you leans out the window a little bit. It's not because he's living on a big spread in the state of Texas is impressive as that would be it's nothing. Because this man could actually get on a horse and travel in any direction for ever and never leave his property. Because the man in this story is Jesus the man who conquered the universe with and readable love and an unbeatable cross. And one particular morning he gets up and he goes out into His Kingdom he's looking for somebody he knows really well and he sees him walking around on the roof of his mansion. And he draws closer hears the man Mutter is this not great Jerusalem that God is he feels a hand on his shoulder he doesn't even have to look he knows it's jesus lord it it's good to see you. It's good to see you to know you can a zero waited a long time for this Lord how did you get that scar in your hand. That's right you don't know so they sit down and Jesus tells him the story. And his eyes fill with tears as he realizes how extensive heaven is or G. really did go through the fiery furnace after all didn't you. Imagine he says I thought Babylon was great looks out across the city and his eyes fill with tears how did you know Lord how did you know why didn't you just quit why didn't you give up it because he can as her I knew. I saw the day you were born I followed you your whole life and I knew I could get you. I knew it that's why I sent my whole nation to come and get you it seems to mean epic you know as are today it was worth it imagine the king of Babylon at home. In the New Jerusalem imagine you. At home in the New Jerusalem if God has given you what you have there's a reason for. When when Jean and I came to the Lord twenty. A long time ago it was phenomenal and I remember I still talk called up the pastor was a big guy he baptized us both on one arm he did push both on one arm and arm and we went I've tried that since you really do have to be a big guy to pull it off. And I've talked to him all the time he's failing now it's almost over we talk all the time. And he told me a story said you know you know that meeting I said how could I forget that meeting there are like seventy two people baptized one evening in that church and. Took that church from like eighty five in attendance to three hundred eighty five in a year and he said I had to talk the church board into that meeting. So what they didn't want to do. Too expensive too much hard work who knows if it'll work. I had to prevail upon them so first I had a little meeting in the church basement for free to convince him it would work I am so glad he prevailed I called him the other day I said you know. Go back till the church before you're pushing one hundred thousand baptisms now don't you dare talk somebody out of it why is God given you what you have what are you here what are you waiting for are you in the kingdom are you out of the kingdom are you in the family or are you out of the family. Are you in the work or not God's raising up a remnant movement in this world to be in a movement you've got to move and I know it's scary but jesus threw himself all in and tonight he's asking for the same thing from you are you in. Who are you tonight are you in the stand up wherever you are are you in. Our heads in prayer Father in heaven. Is restamp here and we look over the rock that is our lives and we realize what price Jesus paid for us how expensive heaven was and how deep your love for us is fill us with your Holy Spirit. Give us eyes to see the world the way that you see it Lord bless us give us somewhere to share Jesus tonight within the sound of my voice there's somebody here who has always felt like God has called them in tonight's the moment to respond to that if you have felt God tap you on the shoulder today. I want you to raise your hand and let Heaven see it of a look at the hands that are going up as the Army of God There are some here of let things stand between them and Jesus. They need to make a decision they need to come home. You feel God whisper in your ear tonight did you feel his hand on your shoulder saying I want you it's time to come home. Raise your hand let haven't see that all of a look at these hands look at these hands we choose by faith tonight to believe. That you love us. You have saved us. And you have called us and exercising the courage that only you can give us we will move far. And follow those lamb wherever he goes. For we pray you. Jesus knew. 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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