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Logo of 2016 Michigan Camp Meeting: The Harvest is Great

Own It- Part 1

Cory Herschel
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  • June 12, 2016
    9:30 AM

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Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

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Your Father I thank you that we could be here this evening thank you that we could sing songs in praise to you the Jesus you did pay it all and because you have paid it all. The way to heaven is paved if we will but hold on to Jesus and tonight Father I pause for a moment to lift up Pastor hurtful and just ask follow that you would send your spirit to annoy his mind his lips and the she would speak through him that you would use him as a mighty instrument in your hands and learn I just pray that somebody's heart tonight would be touched in that they too would choose to take deeper ownership in their faith for this with praying price name I mean. All right are we happy that it's Can't meeting time two thousand and sixteen. A man I tell you as a pastor this is one of the times of the year you know they say that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year not Michigan it's too much too cold although we didn't have any snow this last year and so the most wonderful time for me is Camp pitching camp meeting I have a hard time deciding which one I like of it was better because they're both great for pastors we come all week before you know you drive in here and you see all these tents erected and you see these fences that are nice and straight and neat you see all these banners all over the place you see all this stuff around the camp and this stuff didn't just happen like that overnight it took a lot of elbow grease and a lot of were and I counted a privilege as one of the mission conference pastors to be able to be here that week before can't meeting and lend a hand in pitching camp so that we can have Can't meeting together so I want to make a just a statement of encouragement to let others know that we are having meetings over here in the Cedar Lake Church this is about the lightest attendance I've seen on a Friday night meeting at Camp meetings so maybe just as young adults I don't know but we we want to see some folks right Pastor Darryl Pastor Steve we want to see some more folks here so let them know even if you're young at heart you can come here I would I would venture to say. Our young adult group is nineteen to thirty five and I would venture to say that there are some in attendance here that exceed that age group by a little bit maybe even by a lot but I won't ask you to raise hands. I'm just saying if you're young at heart it's OK to come to and if you're older at heart older than sixteen or so and you want to come and listen to one of ours we're not trying to steal you away but we'd like to see folks come in and join us too and I'm just happy you're here tonight tonight I'm going to talk as pastoral said about my personal walk with Jesus now I'm not doing that because I'm trying to tell myself S. Body The Bible tells us in Romans Chapter twelve that we ought to live as a living sacrifice Amen and Paul says we ought not think more of ourselves than what we are and so we need to remember that the only reason that we're here the only reason we have a hope for a future the only reason why anything is what it is for a Christian is because of what Jesus has done and it's not about us Amen so I just want to set the precedent with that that I'm not here to share this information with you some of it may be a little humorous some of it maybe a little emotional but the point that I wanted to be is that it's all about Christ and why it is that we need to as pastoral eloquently put it on our faith in Him I'm seeing some of our X. youth people coming in Praise the Lord to see you here I used to be in youth by the way and so I got bumped I don't know if this was a promotion or a demotion but either way I'm happy to be here with you in young adults now and hopefully we're going to stay here for a while pastor All right we're going to keep moving around we want to stay put and we're happy to be here I just want to open up with this. This neat little quote that I found in in a book called The release of the spirit and this book I found this on page forty one it's by a man by the name of Watchman. Name or neat No one is equipped to do God's work simply because he has learned some teaching. The basic question is still this what kind of man or woman is he or she. Can one who is unbroken but whose teachings are right supply the need of the church. So the basic lesson we must learn is to be transformed into a vessel prepared for the master's use this can only be done by the breaking process. Of the outward man you have your Bibles with you in some format. And all this is an archaic way to use the Bible but if you have the Bible in digital format that's all right I one time I was preaching off my i Pad once and I had a church member come up to me a few years ago and say Pastor I just feel like if you're if you're using your bible on i Pad that that's kind of disrespectful and I said What do you mean well because I mean isn't it kind of discounting it I mean isn't the Bible supposed to be in a book and I said Well show me all your scrolls and and then I'll go back to the book because the Bible wasn't like this either you see so praise the Lord that as time progresses we have things that we can use to God's honor and glory even if it is an i Pad Amen somebody should have said a minute all right first Timothy Chapter one Paul says here in verse fifteen first of the one and verse fifteen Timothy was a young apprentice type preacher and as you read through these two letters to Timothy the Paul wrote you find that it seems that Timothy sort of had a character of timidity he wasn't always sure about himself if you noticed that about Timothy because Paul over and over again is reminding him don't worry that you're young Don't let him despise you because of your you don't be afraid don't be ashamed of the Gospel nor me Paul says his prisoner Paul saying we need to be. Faithful we need to fight the good fight we need to pray we need to stand firm. For the Lord first Timothy one in verse fifteen Paul says this is a faithful saying all saying to me I'm not making something up here I'm not telling you a joke this is a faithful This is real stuff that I'm saying and it's worthy of all acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and then Paul says of whom I am chief. That is quite. Stark were the men the Lord came to save sinners Paul says of whom I am chief he is taking he's taking a lot of liberty here to declare such a statement to take ownership of such a title to be the chief the head the first and foremost the word here in the Greek is pro toss. The four most sinner Paul viewed himself in light of who Christ was Paul viewed himself as being the worst person to have ever drawn breath essential is what he's saying I'm the worst person to ever exist so Paul's But he says Christ came into this world to see me and all the rest of the sinners. And I love it that he says however. So in spite of what I just said Paul says I'm for sixteen However for this reason I obtain mercy that in me first Jesus Christ might show all long suffering as a patterning to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life what is Paul saying here Paul is saying I have been made to be an example for you Paul says the reason why the Lord met me on that road and said Saul his name was Saul before his conversion Saul why do you persecute me jesus says to him how many of you here have ever had an experience where you've just been kind of a millionaire even then the Lord shouted right down through Earth right down through heaven and said Why are you bought Why are you persecuting mean I've never had that experience so that must be quite an experience in men to be in such bad shape but you know Paul was very zealous in his work he was a member of the leaders of the Jews he was a member of the Sanhedrin he was highly educated in the steamed. And he had a lot of zeal. But his zeal was focused on the wrong things. And God saw through all that he says Paul says however for this reason I've seen Mercy Paul looked at this rather God looked at Saul Paul and he said you know I realize the mess that he's in the problem that he's in I realize that his heart is going after the wrong thing but I see potential in this man and he looked through the mess and the problem and he said I'm going to reach down through all that employ him out and we know praise God I'm glad that he did that because most of the New Testament is written by our friend Paul and when I first became a Christian as I started reading my Bible and realized that the Bible was something that was OK for me to read because growing up I didn't know anything about it being able to read it and knowing that it was OK that I could understand it for myself I realized that wow praise the Lord that God did this for Saul who became Paul so that I could have someone to relate to in the Bible because as I started to reflect on and look at my own life I didn't see how God could ever forgive me your want me either and so I've been titled this this talk tonight this sermon if you will the lieutenant chief. You know there are there there is the chief of police and then there's the lieutenant chief and so when the chief is off duty who's in charge the lieutenant she it's OK to speak back if I ask a question you don't have to stay quiet. I like interaction just just so you know Im in Pastor Darrell I know we have that in common don't we. Yes please especially in this context why step down off of here pastoral So you're in the breach of there are you and I said well I guess not so I pulled this down so talk with me when the chief is out the lieutenant chief is in command and so as I hear Paul saying this is a faithful saying worthy of all acceptance Christ came to save sinners of whom I am cheap I look at that and I look at my own life and I see who I was before Jesus I see what he did for me and I say you know I must have been the lieutenant chief of Paul was the pro toss if he was the chief. And I praise God that Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost like he told his that he is there in nineteen and ten Paul says that he found mercy in Christ he found mercy that day on the road Jesus stepped down essentially symbolically face to face with Saul and looked him square in the eye and said What are you doing to me and I love that story we see that imagery of those scales that fall out of his eyes and then he gets his sight and it's not just physical sight but spiritual sight as well Paul met Jesus on the road he was broken the Bible tells us that we either have to be broken against the rock so that we can be fixed or the rock will eventually come and crush us which side you want to be on with him where do you stand tonight in your walk with Jesus are you as pastoral says kind of going through the motions or are you ready to own it are you ready to own your faith this week you know friends I don't know about you but I I tend to believe that the more that I watch this world progress and go on I really don't believe that we have a whole lot of time left here and I know yes as Adventists we say this over and over and over I've been an Adventist now for about twenty years of my life praise the Lord I would never want to go back on that and I'm so glad that more than half my life now I've been a seven they have this Christian I wouldn't trade it in for anything but what I've seen as the time has gone on are things that are unprecedented. To be that as they are now pardon me. One of the things that I that I struggled with as I came into the church is my peer group. A lot of the peers that I had that were raised that were cradle administering were growing up in the church seemed to have very little or very shallow interest in their faith as seven they haven't as Christians and I was looking to looking at myself and saying wow how could you not just think this is awesome to be a seventy seven seven they have a description have this opportunity. And so I want to challenge you tonight as I tell my story that you think about your own story I don't care if you're cradle Adventists what I hope you're not is a cultural Adventist because a cultural Adventist will not make it to heaven I'm here to tell you that and that's not a judgment call it's just a fact we have plenty of counsel the spirit of prophecy that tells us that cultural Adventism does not work we have to be broken against the rock and reshaped by the Potter's hands and filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit we have to be one hundred percent and I and I at seventy have this in our identity who we are as a person so going back to my story starting from the beginning I grew up in Indianapolis Indiana I was an only child I lived in a home that was secular did not have a spiritual emphasis. I was not taught from the Bible we didn't sing hymns at home we didn't watch three B.N. on television. We didn't know anything about health nuggets I knew plenty about chicken nuggets we didn't have a piano in the house that we sat around on Friday nights and saying little praise songs and careful little eyes what you see and careful little ears what you hear I didn't have that growing up instead our home was like. The majority of the populace. You live you work everything you can to get by you pay your taxes. And then eventually die. And the cycle repeats itself generation after generation now of course there were traditional beliefs within our family and some values we weren't atheist by any stretch there was a heavy Catholic influence from my mother's side of the family and so I took an interest in that but when people died they went right to heaven and. You know there was really no such thing as sin because everybody went to heaven when they died you ever been to a funeral how many times you ever heard somebody go to hell in a funeral I haven't ever heard it I've been asked to preach some Sometimes I say Lord help me I don't know how many preach this but God always gives us the right things to say amen pastor Pastor Steve the same into that. But that's how I grew up I didn't know anything about the Lord the Bible was sort of a fairy tale book it was something mystical and unreachable and unattainable it was not something that I could know because it just was something for probably priests and ministers and so forth to have. But I became very interested in the Catholic faith because that's what my mother's side of the family was and so I started to ask questions about that and I obtained a rosary and I started going to mass just as often as I could mostly on Saturday nights with with the family members so that I didn't have to get up early on Sunday was nice that they said you know Saturday nights covered Sunday morning mass that way you could stay up late Saturday night sleep in on Sunday didn't make any difference and you were covered you were just as good as righteous for that mass so praise the Lord for that. I remember one time my grandpa who was not a Catholic my grandpa on my dad's side of the family he was he was the one that took me most of the time to the church when I was with him and he when he took me because I asked him if we would go and he did he was not a Catholic and you know in the Catholic Church and if there are any Catholic brothers and sisters in here friends I love you and I'm not giving you a hard time so please don't take it that way at all I just know what my personal experience is and that's what I'm sharing tonight is my personal experience. Which in the Catholic Church they do communion every single mass I would say every Sunday but they do it every mass so if they have mass I'm sorry I there's Communion a mass on Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon there's always communion there and communication systems little these little wafers that dissolve in an instant you don't chew them they dissolve and one well there's probably three glasses or two glasses I guess when you decide to bring in the size of the church but the ones that I went to were always big so you have these big glasses like this full of red wine real wine so I thought that was kind of cool as a kid to be able to drink wine so I really liked that and so we go to the church and I can member it was winter and we were sitting in the back of the church my grandpa would usually go in about four pieces and we were in a cathedral in this huge Catholic Church in Bedford Indiana I remember I was down there for something in the winter and I mean every thirty seconds you hear somebody. Out and my grandpa in his various southern like graceful way look at me said. Think we're going to pass up on the wind tonight. Because he didn't want me drinking after all those people hacking and coughing and spitting in the cup but I had such this intrigue interest in Catholicism and so I was learning about the rosary and praying the rosary and studying all these things I had little believers catechism I went through the class did all these things and studied just was so intrigued by the Catholic faith that I convinced myself that the Catholic Church was the truth or that at least why didn't know the difference being truth and untruth it was just it was a church that I was supposed to be in because that's what my family was after all. Well about the age of seventy eight years old my parents split up and so I became the product of a bit of a broken home many of us come from that right you know that and act as that happened I essentially didn't have much of a father figure in my life my mother played both roles really on top of having to work in list hours in order to provide for our household. And my dad at the time was pretty an interest in arrested and anything going on with me and so if I was with him on the weekends it was we go to the blockbuster movie store the red giraffe and we each went six videos each I said each. Six to our videos and we'd start on Friday night and we'd watch them clear through Friday night into Saturday and all way into Sunday morning he had a T.V. in one room and I. Had another we maybe get pizza if he had money to get it and we'd sit and have it and watch a movie after movie and it was mostly for me horror flicks and you know hacking and you know those types of things that was that was the diet that I had on the weekends till I started getting a little bit older. And then sometimes I'd hang out with friends that I went to school with I was in public school and so I'd hang out with friends and they all like to do the things that older kids like to do in the neighborhood and so I started dipping into some of those things. And even with my own family sometimes I was tasting things and venturing into things that I probably shouldn't have ensured into an early age but in a secular mindset there was nothing taboo or unusual about that that's just what we did but I had an uncle who was a Seventh Day Adventists I never even heard the word seventh having this before. And he kind of saw this this pattern in my life. And like I said my mom worked a lot of hours when I was a kid and she was a single mom and so a lot of times I would spin nights after night with this aunt and uncle my mom's sister brother in law and he could see some of the things I was getting into some of the habits that I was developing at an early age some of the stuff that I was tasting that I shouldn't taste some of the some of the friends that I was hanging out with that probably weren't the best influence and so he just started inviting me to come over and he'd say hey come in here and sit and let's I like to read some things with you I'd like to share some stuff with the universe I was like you know he's one of those holy roller types. I known that he had some kind of background and then a cost you know the sort of the charismatic Pentecostal that was his background sortied actually served him for a while as a minister in that faith. And he had gotten in the early eighty's he had received a hand bill in the mail that said something about Daniel revelation and he said I'm going to go in and show these people where they're wrong. And somehow they told him he was wrong and he became an admin this go figure. So he started to invite me to come to a few events here and they're. Inviting me to come to Wednesday night prayer meeting and they were doing this little work book called Revelation speaks and I knew nothing about the Bible so while I thought it was kind of neat reading about be nice coming up out of the sea and stars in this woman right in the Dragon all this stuff was kind of neat to me it really wasn't sinking in because I didn't really know anything about the Bible so I wasn't it was probably too advanced right there at the beginning but I went with him nonetheless because he was showing me some attention. Now the person in my life who was really the father figure when I had one was my grandpa my dad's dad. And I would spend summers going down to Bedford and he would he was he modeled to me what a fatherly figure ought to be he would teach me how to how to fix things how to do things how to tie neckties and forgot to tell me when I was eight that's how I learned this look aright. I've been doing it for twenty five years that OK All right thank you that was my grandpa so I learned that my dad would never taught me that. My grandpa showed me how to change oil he told me what parts to a car were and I'm not very mechanical but then again I only had my grandpa till I was about twelve so I didn't have a long time to learn a bunch of that stuff Pardon me I should've gotten some water. I'll make it. But I would go down there and I was very close to him My parents had split up so you figure Thank you. Thank you sweetie. I would go down to Bedford and I would spend time with him and we would go do fun things you'd always get me a membership to the pool down in Bedford I go swimming back in those days you know he'd take me early in the war I was six dollars for a whole summer he would take me in the morning he would drop me off at the pool and I'd stay there all day long by myself like nine and ten years old he taught me how to drive when I was eight they lived in the country so he would take me out in his car and he let me get in the driver seat he get in the passenger seat I was driving I have a son will be in September and I cannot imagine doing that. I cannot imagine it but back then I thought it was great and me who wouldn't do that and I remember one specific time I was about nine or ten years old I was driving down this country road and all the sudden I saw lights and I heard a siren and I didn't have the wind I didn't have the mirror tucked down like I should have but I could see these lights and siren and I looked at my grandpa and he knew what it was and said I just pulled aside I said no and I floored the car and I drove as fast as I could because I thought we were going to go to jail because my grandpa was letting a nine year old drive and I whipped up into someone's yard and into their driveway just to look back as the ambulance went by. And I knew we were fit to be tied but that was the kind of experience I had with grandpa. I was his little buddy. He was my grandpa us I called him. And anything I wanted to do anything I wanted to learn anything that I needed to know he was there to always be and he and he loved me unconditionally and I always sensed that and the rest of the time the other person that I always had in my corner was my mom she always was there to take care of me but again we couldn't live off of a or so she had to work. And so goes the story. But those were the two people in my life those were my pillars in my life and not having a connection to Jesus and only having a connection to temporal people makes it tough when things start changing in your life you know what I'm saying friends when you anchor your your your existence and your identity in people and then you start to lose people. It's very scary and so my grandpa. Developed cancer. At the end of one nine hundred ninety four. And I was still kind of young then I didn't really for see what that meant and so I didn't take it as hard when I heard the news but just a little over a year later he's come to the cancer and that was one of the hardest things I ever had to face as a child and so when he died that sort of sent me on a downward spiral with my attitude and my behavior. And I wore a mask for my family and they always thought I think that I was an angel and I wasn't anything wrong. But that wasn't always true. I was sneaking and I was any chance I got I was sneaking with my friends from school and I was smoking cigarettes just as much as I could. I was drinking alcohol every chance I got. I was spending time with I was spending time with my cousin and his friends and they were starting to get into marijuana and all those things and I was a little nervous about that I tried it a couple times but I was always scared of it because I didn't want to go to jail and so you know they always knew they were showing those cartoons I grew up on cartoons probably some of you didn't but I do Tom and Jerry when Tom was after Jerry the mouse Tom always had one little angel on one shoulder and the other one on the other in the one had a pointy tail and more and the other one had a halo and the one with the halo was always like Oh Thomas don't do it because to Jerry and the other one was like Get him do in the jab and Adam with the pitchfork. And I always had those even as a kid even though I didn't really have a connection. With Jesus at the time and I didn't know anything about faith I had those I had those going on. And with my friends I remember one time it was during middle school and went over to a friend's house one afternoon he was sitting there and he had a bong a water bottle full of marijuana and he lit it up and he was smoking and passing it to all the friends and they handed it to me and I was holding it in my hands and I looked at that and I could hear the halo louder than the devil that time. And I thought Noma pass on this I don't know what was talking to me at that moment but I said no I'm going to pass because for some reason I just felt like the minute I try that the police would come and take me away to jail and so I just passed it along to the next person. But see there were enough things going on my uncle could see oh the kids think that the real smart that they've got everybody fooled my little boy thinks that all the time he thinks he can tell me things I don't know at all what's going on a seven year old's mind because I've never been seven right but my uncle started saying you know what about this he started sharing this and started sharing that and he had this book and it was an interesting book I had never even heard of before it was called the desire of ages never heard of that book. And I thought well let's you know I mean he's reading the story and I mean the stories were just so amazing and I was like really there's that much detail about who Jesus is and who he was and like so we can know who Jesus as a person is and he had a way about he was very he was very sly he took that whole wise a serpent and harmless as a bit of thing real seriously because he would share it with me like it was just neutral information and really it was heart changing and piercing information and he knew that it was and he knew the right things to share at the right times and that's a Holy Spirit. And so we started studying the Gospel of John together while he was reading chapter after chapter of desire of a just to me and I was starting to see a picture in my head of who Jesus Christ is he's not a fairy tale he's not a figment of our imagination he's a real person and he really is got and I started to become more and more interested but I put my guard. In every chance I could do a little something rebellious I would do it almost in a way to tell him that I wasn't interested I decided to go get my ear pierced because I just wanted to do that because I was trying to let him know he wasn't going to take me any further so I went and got my ear pierced and he didn't say a word about it and then he started taking me to the church and things started kind of leveling out this was after my grandfather passed away things start leveling out I was still hanging with the same friends but I calm down a little bit Mom was working just inless hours. And then one day I came home from school in the eighth grade I got off the bus and there were so all these cars in the parking lot of the apartments we lived in. And there's it's never a good sign when there's a lot of cars from family members that don't usually congregate at the same time right that's usually not a very good sign. And so I thought what is going on me my dad was there my uncle and aunt were there and not the same uncle and aunt Well there were two sets of uncles and aunts there that never happened. I mean I had all these people and I'm just like what is this all about and so I get off the bus and I go in and here they all are staying with the somber look on their faces and my aunt breaks it to me that Corey your mom was taken off in an ambulance from work today now here I am twelve years old and just my grandpa had just died so my father figure that I had just died and this is just a few months now on the road in the summer time we're getting close to summer school is about to let out you're your mom was taken away in an ambulance and they don't know what the problem is but they're pretty sure it was a massive stroke. And then they went on to say something like you know and she'll probably never walk again and the last time they were talking to her she had regressed in her mind to back when she was a teenager and she's giving her maiden name is your name and she hasn't you know she doesn't know anything all this stuff and I just I mean I just kind of became a basket case because here I am twelve years old and the whole foundation of my life is gone at this point who I mean who's going to take care of me now my rule of my aunts and uncles I mean I couldn't imagine that my dad would let me come live with him. And if he did it would have been him that was raising me so I'm thinking Lord what is going on here and I just I just flipped out and I did the one thing that I knew to see I was starting to learn things in the recount or in his R.V. just rather and the Gospel of John and I've gone through some of that book of Revelation speaks but I I did the only thing I knew to do and I went into my bedroom and I grabbed my rosary and I just started going through those prayers I had read Matthew chapter six. And I'm thankful that the Bible says that our Father in heaven pities us like a father to these children he knows our frame and remembers we are dust the Bible tells us that he winks at our ignorance for a time in men that was my season of ignorance and so I grabbed my rosary and I started down the glory be the father and then the hail marys and then our fathers and the Hail Mary's and the Our Father and the Hail Mary which is absolutely pointless and meant nothing. But God knew where my heart was and he knew I was doing it any answer to prayer because a few hours after all this was happening we've been told that you know likely nursing home status never drive again and never be able to we're be you know be completely paralyzed on the right side completely invalid and all these things a few hours later we get a phone call that says we don't know what happened we're here and we're we're wheeling Your her back to M.R.I. and the next thing we know she just snaps too and it's like when we do at the hospital. Like nothing it happened when they did the test there was no sign of a blood clot or anything that ever existed somebody should have said Amen to that. And so I was praising God for that because I knew that that spark something in me that said there is a God in him. That answers prayer and listens and knows what we need before we order. And so that took place. What went from being a diagnosis and prognosis of. You know half halfway vegetable state to now she snapped out of it and three days later she's back at home. Back at home no physical therapy none of these things that's a miracle. And I knew only God could have done that. And so that really sparked my interest. And just a little bit later after that experience we getting into the fall of one nine hundred ninety six. Little bit later after that my uncle says there's this meeting this set of meetings that are going on at the church and I'd like to invite you guys to come I'd like you to hear. And so I started going to these meetings it's called net ninety six body here remember net ninety six all three of us. How many of here were born before one thousand nine hundred ninety six OK Well most of how many of us were more than five years old in one thousand nine hundred six OK that explains it. All right that's why. But you know Elder Mark Finley right he's now Speaker and director emeritus you know he's but in those days Mark family was like the guy OK He was the got for me he was the face of Bible you know me I didn't even associate like I wasn't like the face of badness Randall's and he was like the voice of the Bible for me because he did it in such a way that as I listened I didn't see pretension I didn't see this whole Benny Hinn mockery going on I didn't see you know Jan I'm Paul or I didn't see Jim and Tammy Baker I saw somebody who seemed to have a home heart of humility and contrition who love the Lord and just wanted. Me to know what the Bible says and I have never experienced that ever prior to that from anyone else preacher wise and so I was drawn to it and I was listening to it and those meetings began and everything was starting to go nice and I was starting to feel different to my life was starting to change direction I was starting to become repulsed by some of the things that I used to be drawn to praise God. And I could see that happening in my own life my relationship to my cousin who we were like brothers growing up began to divide and start going in different directions because there was a difference in who I was and who the path he wanted to and never thought that would ever happen when we were kids. And so I would go to these meetings and I was just learning and then he talked about the Sabbath he talked about the mark of the beast and I was just blown away by this information it made me angry because I felt like I've been lied to I said You mean to tell me I've been going to this other church and they're lying to me and I got angry. But also excited excited that I was finally hearing something that one made sense and two they were telling me yeah you just a dumb kid can understand it yourself too. You can study it and know it yourself even. Know well not quite those words but if he would he would have said it like this and so eloquently I cannot master other families anyway so I listen to those sermons well about halfway there was a six week series he was holding those series in the Chattanooga Convention Center that's a little reference to put in the back your mind for just a little later note Chattanooga Convention Center he was holding those meetings in one thousand nine hundred six. We're halfway into the series and I am just oh I am just eating it up I cannot get enough. And what was so amazing is you know why I dressed back in those days you know now it's like skinny jeans and all this stuff in those days the wider the leg of the gene the cooler you were I mean I had some wide leg Jean. And I wore those jeans. Sloppy looking to because the bigger your clothes were on you the more they hung and drug on you the better the better you were the more cool you were I look at that not what in the world was that generation thinking Oh it's awful anyway so that's how I would dress to come to the church and those people at that little church where they did with welcome me I Corey were glad to see you here again I'm thinking why did these people want me to be here. I mean I'm just a hill Jack from way back to you know like what do they want me here. And so I just come in and they were just happy to have me in there after one of the meetings. I come home from school one day. I walk into the door the apartment and there's my mother laying on the couch and I remember she just had this miraculous recovery came home from this massive stroke that should have really done her in and the Lord took care of it and there she is laying on the couch couldn't even muster the energy to get up and go to the bathroom to vomit just laid there in vomit into the carpet. And what I haven't told you is she had Crohn's disease from when she was really young and I had surgery earlier when I was younger and now this thing and come back with a vengeance there she laid again. My world was getting rocked because here now I'm about thirteen at this at this juncture I just turned thirteen and that summer. And she's. She's laying there and I'm thinking so. You mean to tell me that you healed her from this other thing which was major to just let er waste away this way and die right in front of me and it made me mad I was mad I was angry at God. And I felt rebellious and so finally my uncle had convinced her that you really need to go to the hospital and so she did once our doctor they said you go to the hospital I believe she was taken by ambulance or I can remember exactly where she was taken to the hospital one way or the other I was young those details are a little bit fuzzy. The long and short of it is she would've ospital and what we found out was the Crohn's disease was so inflamed it was so bad that the upper colon where the Crones was had actually have you ever heard of perforated colon. Essentially that's what happened. It was so inflamed and so messed up that that there were openings that happened in the cold like a burst in the colon and the and the infection and every the bowel and every other thing was just leaking into the rest of her abdomen and all over the place that's not a good thing. That's not a good prognosis. And so when they found that out they said surgery has to happen like yesterday we've got to do surgery right away if there's any chance of survival and they were saying fifty seven fifty percent is you know fifty percent is really a that's a stretch I mean we're being generous by saying fifty percent chance it should pull through that surgery as bad as she was and I just kind of threw my hands up like a board. What is going on and I remember I was sitting in that apartment and. I was yelling top of my lungs saying God what is what is wrong with you. Why would you do this to me aren't you glad that The Lord understands that we are frames of dust feeble and frail and he understands where we come from. I'm glad that he does but I was yelling at the lord no was saying you know what it what kind of sick thing are you doing to me how could you do this how could you let this happen what are you what game are you trying to play or do you even exist. It was my attitude. My uncle came along I was there in that apartment alone I was going to go anywhere he came he said listen come with me to the meeting tonight. And I said I'm not ensuring that that meeting you go to the meeting by yourself and he said please come to the meeting tonight and he was persistent I don't know why I don't even know that he at that moment knew why but he was persistent come to the meeting tonight you don't need to sit here and well on this so I finally was like well he's going to strong arm me into this I might as well just give in. And so I went through some clothes on and on remember this I remember like it was just I had a I had short had a pocket like this one button up it was like a teacher that a pocket in it and I had a little pack of Swisher sweet cigars filtered cigars that I had hidden in my bedroom and I went and I grabbed those cigars and I put them in my pocket and to wear them to church that way to show my deceased my disdain and discuss toward God. And I wore the swisher so you could see them you knew what was in my pocket and I did it on purpose. And I walked into that church at age thirteen with essentially cigarettes in my pocket just to see how they reacted you know how they how they greeted me when I came in I Cor he was so glad to see you here. Come on in. And I was just so disgusted that I sat in the very last pew in the very back I didn't want to say that I had been sitting in this Pew because that's where my uncle always said that was his he had a pillow They kept there that he sat on every week it was his feet. He did it and I did that night I sat clear in the back of the last pew and my aunt my mom's sister my uncle's wife who wasn't a Christian either she sent back there with me. And they were up linking her family's meetings these were live uplink OK over satellite remember the days when they would make fun of how could you tell the administers No you guys are too young to remember this but they would make they had this old cartoon strip that was a joke it was like How can you tell the advantage churches from all the rest of them and they would show all the other churches on the street that had a steeple in the atmosphere which had a big satellite dish on the top rather than the steeple So that's how we would get met ninety six and it was alive on police and I remember I was sitting back there and something different happened that night that never happened before but I wasn't really paying attention half hour one here I could hear what was going on but I wasn't looking at the screen I was not engaged like I had been I was sitting back there sulking and feeling sorry for myself and blaming God for everything. It was all his fault. And he was a monster. And as I sat back there I kept my head down I wasn't looking my it was scratching my back because I really always like to have my back scratched I still do. That was a hit for my wife. I still like that and she was trying to comfort me she was just as much a basket case as I was but she was trying to be the adult and she leaned in and she said it's going to be OK Cormac How do you know it's going to be OK You don't know that we can't say they're on it's going to be OK I promise it'll be OK and she just kept rubbing my shoulders in my back and I was like yeah it's not going to be OK I'm like What am I going to do what am I going to do. And she's like you'll be OK Well the music kind of started there was to say there were no there was one screen in the middle the church still hasn't missed like that and this lady comes across the stage on the screen live uplink from Chattanooga Tennessee and this lady walks up to the microphone and she says Good evening everybody which you know that's how they always started welcome to net ninety six with Pastor elder Mark Finley and they are ready aim in you know we're well we're so glad you're here tonight and I stop it and she's gone and then she pauses for a moment she says but tonight we're going to do something a little different and she paused and I heard that so this year perked up just a little bit she said tonight before Elder family comes out in presents on and I don't know it's twenty years ago I don't remember she said but I do remember this part because this is a part of my life changed she said tonight. Tonight before the meeting starts the world her family talks we're going to share with you a health nugget Now remember I told you I didn't know what it was very familiar with chicken nuggets. But never a health and I get annoyed I'm like What is a health nugget OK I had been to a few admin is full of shit dinner potlucks. And I remember my uncle said Now half of this food will be really really good and the other half is unfit to serve to a dog that's what he said to me he said that to me and I took and I took that advice. And he pointed out to me the dishes that he thought I would be able to tolerate an item and they were OK but I thought wow this is a little weird never had it was on you quite like this one but OK. But I started to you know it's amazing how the Holy Spirit works in the little things because I began to develop a taste for that little by little as in the Bible say something about beholding as in a mirror that same image from glory to glory that step by step walk with Jesus it's amazing how he doesn't not you know he doesn't always make a cataclysmic change overnight but he works with you where you are and if you let him if you do what I say for it if you let him he'll continue to take you from one step to the next day man but what I have found about Jesus is he will never part grab you by the hair and drag you along you have to be willing to go along with it in men. In every aspect she says we're going to do this health no get in then it kind of as she speaks and narrates it pans away to this other video that's going on in the background while she narrates over it and she says tonight we're going to talk about a disease that has afflicted thousands and thousands of people in the United States however to us at this point it is a pretty obscure thing we don't know a lot about it. But a lot of people are suffering with this disease and for a lot of people it feels hopeless and endless and she went on and on and made all these statements like this and I wasn't listening now friends before I left the apartment that night I looked up into the to the ceiling with my eyes open and I yelled at God and I said Who are you you're a monster and if you ever ever want me to serve you if you ever want me to give my heart to you. You'll show me something tonight you will show me something tonight. And I said that those are my last words be careful what you ask for for it's. Because the Lord knows when to come when he's never early He's never late but he comes right on time and I was sitting there as my mother was being prepped for emergency surgery at St Francis Hospital in Beech Grove Indiana I'm listening to this out of my ear and she says this disease and then she shows a man and this man has had forty six surgeries and he's gone through this and then this other woman she's been through this and they thought their life was over but they said at Loma Linda University Medical Center. They came up with a new way to deal with this disease by simple changes in diet. Simple changes in lifestyle and this new breakthrough medication going to what it was. Individuals can flick did and suffering with this disease. Can Live Long normal and healthy lives tonight we're going to tell you about drones disease. And I was just like I just sat there like whoa. You know how it's you know there's sometimes in the in the movies they like to just slow things way down to a crawl to make a point it was like the whole world did that in my head it was like. Because here I just yelled at God I cursed God. Told him what for like I knew something and he put me right back in my place right there. In that moment I saw were you when you win. And I knew I didn't have to worry about anything something changed in my mind at that moment something in my heart changed I wasn't perfect yet. Still I'm not by the way I say yet still. Like Paul says in Philippians I believe it's a chapter of reasons I haven't quite attained yet but the one thing I do what do I do I forget the past and I keep on pressing What forward looking upward to the prize to that upward call. That blesses hope that Jesus has for say men and that night I said OK word whatever happens it's in your hands and from that point forward my life was never the same I. I started I became my height my high school my middle school and high schools evangelist I was like everybody is going to want all this information I mean if the Lord came to me that personally and told me this stuff everybody wants to know it him and pastor or everybody wants to hear it and so I would be sitting in the barber chair getting my hair cut and there's this woman cutting my hair and I'm telling her all about the Sabbath. And of course she would want to know what. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes and look at me like OK. Well they'd cut but it didn't stop me and the more read my Bible the more bold my became because I realized that this was the Word of God it wasn't just some other book on the shelf and what was so amazing was about two years after that experience that I gave my heart to the Lord I had studied and I'd studied and I studied spent hours and hours reading my Bible I would just devour the Bible. I read the great controversy or read the desire of ages I read steps to Christ and I devoured those books and it will Church there are many Annapolis I had people who became my spiritual family. They became my the carious family if you will and I come there and I would just be I would just find a haven of solitude among them because I was a here people who are interested in the things I'm interested in they want to they want to teach me and they would share these things so amazing. And two years later on October tenth one thousand nine hundred eight on my mother's birthday I was baptized into the seventy having a shirt. Now a lot of times I forget it went into the session because I get wrapped up in these details and then at the end people are like so Pastor what happened to your mom lot of times that does happen because I forget because I forget that not all of you know the story already Amen. And so the question would be how did my mom fare after all this right that question all right well let's see Mom would you stand up and praise the Lord I had the opportunity just last year in July to baptize both my mom and my sister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church it took me almost twenty years but I didn't give up on it. And I could go another hour and a half tell me the rest of that testimony. But what's interesting is you know my dad basically dog custody over the phone because I was getting baptized on Friday night he told me just all these words and things that would never repeat especially not in a church. As a pastor I'm going to ordain to morrow so I better not say them. But it didn't stop me you know when Paul says here he says. That he tells Timothy I'm just looking little bit later this charge I commit to you son Timothy according to the prophet the prophecies previously made concerning you that by them you may wage the good warfare. He's constantly reminding Timothy stick with it and I never forgot those things as I would read my Bible I would remember that I have someone bigger on my side than any person that could come up against me and I would stick with that and no matter what kind of what kind of hassle I would get from family or friends or whatever no matter what kind of being made fun of or being told I was being berated or oh you can't do that because it's the Sabbath. None of that was going to stop me I thought you know what I don't care what happens in my life I will never stop being Seventh Day Adventists Christian God brought me to this place. And I said Lord I'm not just the seven am a church isn't just a church that I'm going to attend I am a Seventh Day Adventist that is who I am in France that's what we have to that's what we have to we have to get to that point we've got to quit riding influence we've got to quit playing the game going through the motions just because we know words like the calf which I hate that word that someone had been a swerd I hate or going to the caf friends it's cafeteria OK I've been in that Mr twenty years and I cannot wrap my head around that one but we know those terms you know we know what the G.C. is and we know what big Franks and fried chicken are and that's great however that will not going to still have a. Heaven is not about big Franks fried chicken the calf It's not about this subculture while I love the subculture that we have in this world I love the culture of Adventism I really do because it's who have been for the last twenty years I love it but about five years into my own walk with Jesus I realized that it was more than that. That would get me to heaven. You know there were times where I go on these little valleys where I get a little you know get a little compromise the end my walk with Jesus when I was young and I would you know I never would walk away from him but there were just little things I was like I can be a little loose on that and I can be a little loose on this and I can do a little of this and then I realize just because I know about the Sabbath and just because I return a faithful tithe does not mean I'm going to heaven I have to own it I have to have it is part of who I am day in and day out Jesus says unless you take up your cross daily and follow me you can't be a part of. Also as I must die daily there's this daily and I would say moment by moment experience that we all have to have we have to experience that. And so I just went ahead forward I started working when I was fifteen and nursing home by this time I was a died and will lead the nest and I was working in this nursing home and this nurse came along she said hey there's this girl I want you to meet I've been working there a couple years a seventeen by this time and I want you to meet this girl and she's really into church like you are not oh Lord what does that mean there are a lot of churches out there and they're not all administering. There's this girl that's really in the church like you are and I was like whoa. And here's their number I was like OK So current lord I've already committed to you that I will never ever enter a serious relationship with somebody who does not see eye to eye with me when it comes to the Bible because I could not be a part of putting together a home that was not on level ground Amen Pesaturo I'm not going to steal your thunder on that imma let you have that but that was my commitment that I made to the Lord. But I met this girl anyway and she was a Baptist and she was really into church just like I was and I thought Lord you're Give me a battle is too big for me but I'm leaving it in your hands and if if this is a person that you want me to have a relationship more than just acquaintances with that is in your hands. Well I'm married to that girl today and she joined the church in two thousand and one and I praise God for that we moved away to Tennessee and went to Southern administering a versity where I studied theology. My dad retired from his job he moved down to Tennessee be closer to us and I think just because he wanted to live in Tennessee anyway. And I told my wife I said I think my dad likes you better than he likes me I said So you have more liberty I said You tell him if you're going to come and live in the vicinity where we are you telling he's not allowed to live anywhere near us unless we goes to church every Sabbath I said just see what he says to you because this was the guy that knowing me say tort terrible things about the church and make fun of it and you know only some of the amnesty the only I can't I can't repeat it just you know when you're Samedi Sam would fall off the you know the lot of the tall precipice and the little things that he would say going down. The big stick that was my dad only much louder and more in your face. But I told her to say that and she did as bold as I think I've ever seen my wife being. I mean I can hardly ever call someone to give them a grocery list anymore but she was willing to be bold and that. It's our it's we. And she said it she said it to him well but you're going to come live down near us you have to go to church every Saturday he goes Well OK I said what he said that to you she said I was like well we're going to hold him to it then. And sure enough he came down he never missed a Sabbath he went with us every week. Six months into that I said dad I mean you're coming to Sabbath school you're going to church you're good you're participating in functions why not learn more about what we what we believe in why you're coming to church and he said OK and he did Bible studies with us and finished a whole series and I baptized my father never ever thought that they would ever go. And he's got a lot of rough edges that need to be smoothed over like we all do. That was a huge step and I just always had this burden Lauren. Someday you're going to bring my mom and the church you did not save her life twice for her to squander it away and lose eternity. And that was my prayer over and over and my mom and I have a pretty close relationship as you might imagine. Being a single mother always being there with her and so was I ever did I ever sugarcoat things too you know. And so I was pretty direct when I was there and I just speak my mind anytime I was around or I just preached the gospel whether she wanted to hear it or not. And a couple of years ago she came to a baptism. But I did hear one of these little girls and I think it touched her heart and soon after that my sister me the decision that I want to be baptized and so the pastor from the church there where I was baptized where they called me and said OK now I want to get your mom in on the some like well of course and he says what should I do I said just go in there and take an extra set of lessons and I'm with her to all you're doing will shine and see with the Holy Spirit. And so he said OK I'll do that and he said Now when we get to these topics like like the Mark of the beast and and we get to topics like the State of the dead and some of these hot button issues how should I handle those things with your mom I said Listen she's had me as a son for as an admin to sort of last twenty years I think you can just hit it right straight on it's nothing she hadn't heard before and he said OK that's what he did and like I said last year I had the opportunity appetizer both of them appear in Michigan so both parents baptized my wife and baptized member my sister baptized before I left Tennessee I was studying with my brother in law my wife's little brother Tony. His mom didn't like that at all she's dyed in the wool Baptist she didn't like the shin like when I stole her daughter away in the administration she sure did like it when I still are babies on the way either but I said you know what Lord I'm stealing for your kingdom. And I remember one time Tony came to me and he said Well Corey My mom says that you're just brainwashing myself absolutely are going to wash all that false the ology out. The men wash it out clean it up and he loved that so we studied and studied and studied in. The years back five or six years now it's been I got to baptize him in just a few weeks ago his wife got baptized it's just I tell you the Lord is so good isn't me and I'm telling you this like I say we fall into this slump sometimes where we say oh you know especially cradle admin to say oh yeah my grandparents have been preaching that my parents have been preaching why I didn't have grandparents and parents preaching. Me. And something in a way I'm kind of think I would trade my experience of all what I like to have gone to an admin to school yes. But you know what I'm glad because he has forgiven much loves and much Amen some thankful for that but I don't discount anyone's testimony who is a cradle administers we've got plenty of those in here and you ought to say praise God thank you ward that I have this opportunity I can't tell much of a privilege I counted to be able to raise my son in this church this is all he gets to know growing up how much Jesus loves him how much Jesus wants him in heaven I love that I get to do that I love that I get to send him through adolescence occasion praise God for that I'm so things well I'm glad that I'm in ministry in a place where I can preach three messages with full force something full for that so friends as I close I probably own way over time but I am not in the X. has to be there let me go on I'm not even looking at the clock so I apologize I guarantee you pressed L.B.J. still going and. He can go well I'm getting your name tomorrow so just bear with me OK Just in closing I want to say friends. That God is good and there is there is absolutely nothing in this world that I have found. That can take the place of what I have found in the Lord what I have found in Christ what I have found as being seventy M. as Christian I'm thinking of the Holy Spirit I'm so thankful that the Holy Spirit prompted us to use this slogan on it because we live in a time in our church where the devil is really active in our church and he's trying to change the face of Adventism he's trying to change how we do ministry he's trying to change how we reach our communities he's trying to tell us that we just teach our friendship gospel and that's all that we need and it's just love and fluff and coffee and donuts. And that is long as you fill the seats because you people's friends were all going to heaven and were happy and were just riding the wave together. Friends. The Salvation is found in the Word of God and the Word made flesh is Jesus. The only We're place we're going to find it we have to be serious we cannot fall into this this cultural Adventism it is the most dangerous place to be it's more dangerous than being completely lost in the world because when you're lost in the world you know where you stand. But when you're a cultural admonition Well I think Jesus expressed it this way in Revelation three sixteen as a matter fact I just mentioned this afternoon. Jesus this is Jesus talking about cultural Adventism pastoral he says so then because you are luke warm and neither hot or cold so if you're hot you're on fire for the Lord you're you're you are dedicated to the Lord and His service your heart belongs to Jesus your identity is I'm a seven then it's hers that's who I am. He says or coal that's lost in the world but because you are neither hot nor cold. I will vomit you out of my mouth those are G.'s. His words not mine. Friends I don't want to be spewed out of someone's mouth I want to be standing with my Lord comes in the clouds and I look up and I want to say that promise this is my God I know him I've waited on him and he will save me I'm going to rejoice friends your time is now to own it. Don't squander Let's pray. Father God. Thank you Lord for how good you are thank you for your church Thank you for the message of truth thank you for your bible thank you for the Spirit of Prophecy thank you for the doctrines of the seven they have in this church which are not from the Seventh Heaven church war is. Here your doctrines and you have been trusted this church to teach them to the world and every single person in here tonight where you're holding accountable and responsible to respond to you. In a loving response as Lord yes you women take my whole heart let it be completely consecrated to you what if there's anyone in this place tonight who has not made that decision to own their feet. To stand firm on the rock which shall not move if there is a person here who is teetering on the fence if there's a person here who is living in compromise tonight Lord if there's a person who has not yet made any decision for you Lord tonight is the night don't let it go till tomorrow because we're not promised tomorrow morning the message of the administration is being has been being preached for over one hundred sixty one hundred seventy years. Really. That message that Jesus is coming soon we don't want to be like the scoffers that Peter talked about we want to stand in faith and say a hundred years is nothing in the vast scope of eternity and so even if and if the Lord should tarry another hundred years he still coming sued I don't believe it will be that long but Lord that's up to you and not us but Lord I lay down in my bed tonight now I don't breathe another breath in the in this come for me the next thing I see is Jesus come so I've got to be ready now every person in this room has to be ready now Lord let us by your grace. To own. For we pray. Jesus' name in. 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 audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.

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