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As We Near The End Of Time

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • November 18, 2017
    12:00 PM
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Today I want to ask a simple question and that is simply this have you ever received a call that changed everything maybe you know what I'm talking about I magine most of you know what I'm talking about it's maybe that call that you hear something that you were not in to supporting you hadn't woken up that morning thinking that that would be your lot for that day and it drastically changed your day the course of your life or where you would go what you would do the future maybe it was a tragic car accident that you just found out about some of you have gotten those phone calls I remember my I don't remember I wasn't there but I remember being told of the phone call my grandmother got when the plane left P. you see and in the fog of that day the pilot that wasn't trained in his instruments and the plane was gradually turning came back and they crashed and my grampa was killed those types of calls that change everything just like that it's almost at surreal moment is this even happening it could be a moment that a doctor tells you that you've been diagnosed with something and they start to tell you what you can expect what to anticipate maybe even how much time if you have perhaps it's a phone call that deals with one of your children I can still remember where I was when I got a phone call from my wife Elizabeth it's been a few years ago now and she says we got the results back the test results back and she was out in town and she said they said it's come back definitive for Alexander Disease talking about our youngest James they said it's a scary thing don't go online and look well what do you do you get to go on line and look and see when this thing is those moments that change things. And you can't plan for them you can anticipate them but they happen and I don't know about you but but the day is different after that phone call the question did you find your to do list was no longer that important after that car accident after that wreck and and you woke up with all these things on your To Do list and you had to get them all done and you were even stressed about them and now that just gets cast to the side as it does the things that stress you just minutes before no longer consume your thoughts was the triteness of life instantly replaced by some heavy reality were you given an instant clarity on what was most important all the sudden all those things that you thought were important you realize in a split 2nd really that they're not that important and you end up praying prayers like this Lord help me to distinguish between the urgent and the eternally significant that's what I want to talk about this morning help me to distinguish between the urgent all those things that are required of me and all those phone calls to return all those emails to respond to all the things to get done around the house and with work and projects and and all the rest there urgent they need attention but maybe they're not eternally important or significant in the grand scheme of things Lord help me to distinguish between the 2 Now last week we looked at John chapter 4 the woman at the well and we went through that story and you may recall I think it's in the 3rd verse that Jesus tells his disciples we must go through some area remember that it was the long way around it was more mountainous it would take longer besides it's used in like the Samaritans and so it just be the easiest way we could go to the right to the left either of which are better but instead we're going to go right through the mountains. But Jesus has this conversation if you recall. With this woman at the well and it changes her life forever and she goes back and she tells about this man who who knows everything about her and has changed her life and then they come back and they say Surely this is God and multitudes many it says follow after and Jesus stays there for 2 days in some area why and the disciples as they come to Jesus why are you here and or why are you talking with this woman and so on are you still hungry says I have food that you don't know about doesn't eat he says to do the will of the Father that is my food that's what feeds me that's what I crave that's what gives me energy that's the food that I'm all about is to glorify God and so we spent some time I mean even in John 174 we looked at that this last time this idea I have finished the work that you have given me to do certainly Jesus had other things he wanted to do Not everybody was healed that everybody had been spoken to and been able to be pulled out of their sanity and the list goes on and on and on but he prays this prayer and John 174 I have finished I have completed the work that you have given me to do and so we asked the question last week to glorify God that is the essence. Of what it's about fulfilling the task that you were born for to accomplish the mission that God has in mind for your life it doesn't say I finished all the things I want to do but that you want me to do not finishing the work I just said that you want to do but to finish and complete the assignment that God has given you that's what we looked at last week Jesus' life purpose purpose was to daily seek the Father's will and do it each and every day rising up early long before daybreak to be alone to commune with his father Lord I need to know what your will is for me today and even in the garden of guest Emily if there is any other way any other way. But not my will but yours be done was his prayer and so the question we asked last week is what is God's will in my practice or in my business in my relationships with my staff and my coworkers how I use my time how I spend my money how I relate to my spouse and my children my entertainment practice LORD What is your will in each of these I need to know Lord what is your will my health practices because that's all that matters otherwise our lives will be filled with stuff and with things and with to do lists but how tragic it would be to accomplish a bunch of things that are not God's purpose for your life and what you were made and created to do and so this is ended up turning into a series a 3 part series this is number 2 but the 1st part of this series on eternal principles number one God What is your will that's a simple question What is your will I'm trying to order our lives around so that was last week and today Lord help me distinguish between the urgent and the eternally significant again an eternal principle that we need to look at and so for that and we're going to stay in the book of John we're going to turn a chapter 11 so if you brought your Bibles when they need to John in the 11th chapter a well known story here about Lazarus I'm not going to put it on the screen I hope you have something you can look at there's a Bible in the pew in front of you if you didn't bring anything for reading from John Chapter 11 beginning verse one now certain man was sick Lazarus of Bethany by the way this is the longest narrative in John besides the crucifixion just an interesting note there and so Lazarus the sickies and Bethany the town of Mary and her sister Martha it was that Mary who anointed the Lord verse 2 with pregnant oil and wiped his feet with her hair whose brother Lazarus was sick therefore the sister sent to him saying Lord behold he whom you. Love There's a special relationship there he's like to go be with these individuals is a safe place for him and so the word comes Lord behold he whom you love is sick notice even Jesus loved ones got sick and so verse 4 when Jesus heard that he said this sickness is not on to death but what for the glory of God that the Son of God may be glorified through it to keep verse verse 5 Now Jesus loves Martha and her sister and Lazarus so when he heard that he was sick he stayed 2 more days in the place where he was now he was a couple days journey to this place where Lazarus was but here instead of hopping on some form of transportation or walking or doing whatever he could to get there he stays. Never have those moments when you pour your heart out to God and you're in to supposing that God is going to do something. God is going to change things God is going to to work and act he's going to heal he's going to do whatever it is and you're just certain that this is the case and then it doesn't happen time passes. Nothing changes changes and God just seems to be silent Could it be that as we pray as we give it over to him he tries to whisper in our ears this sickness is not on the death for the glory of God or the Son of God may be glorified through it could he ever be responding to us in that way in his silence and you know this story as well as I know the story you say how can that be true Lazarus does die but is it truly unto death. Because again you know the end of the story anyway will move on later in verse 11 he clarifies our friend Lazarus sleeps but I go that I may wake him up. 1st 12 minutes I was the Lord of the sleep so get well however Jesus spoke of his death but they thought that he was speaking about taking rest and sleep and so in verse 14 he says very plainly Lazarus is dead for 17 so when Jesus came he found that he had already been in the tomb for 4 days now Bethany was near Jerusalem about 2 miles away and many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary to comfort them concerning their brother and now Martha as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming when and met him. But Mary was in the house and verse 21 now Martha said to Jesus Lord if you had been here have you prayed that prayer Lord I know you're all powerful lord I know you could have intervened Lord I know this is not too difficult for you lord I know this would have given glory to you if you would have done this simple thing you can almost hear the frustration the longing she's in a vulnerable place she's sad she's confused and she says Lord if you simply would have been here for the one that you loved my brother would not have died but you follow that up with verse 22 but even now I know that whatever you ask of God God will give you Jesus said to her Your brother will rise again there's hope for your brother and we see Marxist ideology he says I know that he will raise again in the resurrection at the last day she doesn't say he's in heaven or anything else I know I'll see him again at the last day at the resurrection when the trumps all sound I know all these things and Jesus said to her I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me though he may die he shall live and whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die do you believe this Jesus trying to communicate I have something bigger here than you know anything about and I want to use this example this illustration of Lazarus who falls asleep in Christ as some of the 1st fruits of who will be raised back to life by the power of my name and he said to him Yes Lord verse 27 I believe that you are the Christ the Son of God who has come into the world and then Mary she takes her turn verse 32 to Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died but I think there was something that needed to die in Mary and Martha So it could resurrect a deeper faith in them and those watching verse 33 Therefore when Jesus saw her weeping in the Jews who came with her weeping he groaned in the spirit and was troubled and he said Where have you laid him they said Him Lord come and see and as Jesus wept short his verse and all of Scripture verse 37 could not this man who open the eyes of the Blind also have kept this man from dying These are the Jews these are the ones that are coming along to be helpful could your god have done something I thought you were a religious person you go to church faithfully you give way too much of your resources to the church you give your time and on and on I thought God would have had you on the back here couldn't he have done something. Verse 38 And Jesus again groaning and himself came to the tune it was a cave and a stone lay against it and Jesus said take away the stone. Martha the sister of Him who is dead said to him Lord by this time there is a stench for he has been dead for days and Jesus said to her did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God So they took away the stone from the place and the dead man was mine where the dead man was mine and Jesus lifted up his eyes and said Father I thank you so you have heard me and I know that you always hear me but because of the people who are standing by I said this that they may believe that you sent me now and said these things he cried with a loud voice he cry with authority as the Son of God He says Lazarus come for and he who had died came out bound hand and foot with a grave cost and his face was wrapped with a cloth and Jesus said to them loose him and let him go friends is a powerful story. But this helps remind me of this very simple idea because we oftentimes say Lord if you had simply been here the whole idea the whole implication is Lord you don't get it you don't understand why I think years ahead of your thinking but it's not that way at all it's the other way around God says My thoughts are not your thoughts my ways are not your ways and I have ways of glorifying the father that you never know nothing about and the glory will far surpass that if I would have done it your way Lord if you would have been here it was urgent to heal the sick man but it was eternally significant to raise him from the dead do you see a difference the healing of Lazarus would have been a good thing but raising him from the dead was a great thing. It was urgent let me go back he was urgent to cure sickness but it was more urgent to reveal the loving character and the resurrection power of God that could call him from the grave into new life God says you specialize in good things I specialize in great things healing Lazarus would have impressed people but raising him from the dead so demonstrate the power of God causing many Jews to believe and glorify God I have ways I have plans you know nothing about that's why it's so important to grab that person turn a principle God What is your plan for my life what is your will for this situation for this sickness for this illness for this tragedy Lord how can you use this for your glory Jesus I believe was able to distinguish between the urgent and the eternally significant because he was so connected with his father and so he stays for 2 more days and he weeps as he sees everybody go through all of this yet they don't have an understanding but he says I'm going to do something far bigger and far better than you can understand now there are many things in life that are good to do but there are some things in life that are great to do and I don't know about you but I want to be in tune with my Heavenly Father so I can really honestly not do the good things and focus on the great things isn't that what we are called to do and I believe God longs to show us and to use us in those ways but we're too busy doing good things this one comes from testimonies volume 6 page 24 is the very essence of all right face to do the right thing at the right time that's the essence of all right say the right thing at the right time say the right thing at the right time do the right thing at the right time be it the right place at the right time. But it begs the question right how do I know let's keep reading God is a great master worker No it doesn't have your name there it says God is the great master worker and by his providence he prepares the way for his work to be accomplished aren't you thankful for them we think that we is nominated this is our work this is our privilege it is but he is the master worker and he's the one that puts us and sends is on assignment and by his providence he prepares the way for his work to be accomplished he provides opportunities opens up lines of influence and channels of working if people are watching the indications of his providence and stand ready to cooperate with him they will see a great work accomplished So wait what do I do fall uni's every day say Lord I want to work with you today I want you to set my agenda today I want you to show me today the difference in the urgent and the things that are eternally significant finishing the quote their efforts rightly directed will produce 100 fold greater results then can be accomplished with the same means and faculties in another channel where God is not so manifestly working my whole purpose is to see where God is working and follow the spirit I have a 100 fold greater results or not I have all these things and they're all good things I'm going to go go go and we end up back to that place spinner again that we talked about last week and we keep all these things rotating up in the air and God says this To bad because I could help you spend a 100 plates and you probably wouldn't get so stressed out in the process of his trying to do this quickly but I want to talk about this in light of current events. And I realize and I can get so excited and drawn in by some of these things so we're just going to try and do it like a pebble skipping across a pond because let's face it you have news too and you've seen these things these are new things but my point in all of this is where are we in our history and isn't important to ask God what is your will for my life today right now in 2070 help me to discern right between the good things the depressing things and the eternally significant things this was just this week magnitude 7.3 earthquake of Iran Iraq is the deadliest of 2017 the earthquakes in Mexico there were 2 of them back in September killing a host of people. Some are saying it's the deadliest or the strongest earthquake in almost 100 years. This wasn't that long ago do you remember this I mean this was phenomenal and you follow some of those paths I tell you erm A In my opinion again is just my opinion but what do I know but if Irma would have taken the trajectory that they had said it was going to right at the middle of Florida you virtually wouldn't have much left of Florida was there a lot of things that bad things that happen and people just absolutely there were I'm not trying to to minimize their tragedy I'm just saying I think in God's providence he allowed that thing to be pushed just a little bit to the left not to mention Puerto Rico about $1000000.00 this is almost a month ago Americans without running water $3000000.00 without power this is one month after Hurricane Maria. I mean this is like not just current events this is like yesterday events HARVEY The coffee's natural disaster in U.S. history estimated cost of 190000000000 I don't know if that's close or not but but again just like yesterday we had California wildfires raging all over the place most expensive disaster of its kind they're saying because of the Napa Valley and some of the places that it just turned to nothing right and not just in California $4500000.00 acres total acres burned in 2017 that's like this year Redwood agonist Academy there's pictures of it burned I pray that will be a blessing meadow know where Redwood avenues Academy is in terms of how they're doing as a school or anything else I know that we've had other schools that have been hit by tragedies and the Lord has blessed and they've been able to rebuild and have a nicer facility that met their needs better I pray that the case instead of what they have now this Vegas shooting unbelievable I mean just the rapid fire shots one after the next after the next to that it is a welcome home not to mention. What are we calling this guy Rocket Man or something I don't know what's going to happen with him I don't know but we have this big arm armada that's making its way across the ocean we have this war of words and power and all the rest I mean do what my whole point in all this is what are we waiting for to have happen for us to get serious that's what I'm asking what are we waiting for to have happen well I'm going to wait until the Sunday law passes. Well I mean you can look at Donald Trump this is something he planned in the interim before he actually took office his 1st time overseas trip right he was trying to unite the 3 largest world religions through this trip and so the 1st place he goes is is Saudi Arabia. To appeal to Islam then he goes from there to Israel to appeal to Judaism he goes to the Western Wall the 1st sitting president to do that scene as the last remnant of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem which was destroyed and so this is a huge sacred place and so there yes and he touches the wall and so on so forth so last stop number 2 stop number 3 is of course the Vatican where he's going to meet with the pope and the pope gives him then his latest in cyclical which in the whole thing is about climate change and Sunday as the Sabbath to help support climate change and all of these things and so he gives this the present Trump signed copy and what does Trump say says I'll read it I'm going to read it what are we waiting for to have happen and then just a few weeks ago you had Lutherans and Catholics and method as and reform and Anglicans they draw together in a deeper communion they're trying to put all differences aside basically saying the Reformation is over we can do better what is this article say our witness is impeded by our divisions Let's is all come together in unity we can do more to gather down here at the bottom what do we do with the gift today we will be willing ourselves to be reformed again and always saying aside our differences because we are caught up in the grace that is found to face we will find from God alone the strength and grace to be united blessing to this world so our witness of unity in diversity overcomes our fears of each other let's just all come together when we waiting for. But somehow in the midst I mean this is all around us this is happening but we just we're just so busy or so so tired with everything and it's all good stuff but it's not internal eternally significant stuff prophets and King 626 says Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise number the parable attend virgins I mean the church is or the woman is the pick of the church in Scripture right and and the virgins they have pure doctrine they don't have all they're not defiled by impure doctrine but even though aside about the 5 foolish and the 5 wise we're talking about all 10 are what sleeping there's not one Virgin that's awake when the bridegroom cometh which tells me it's going to be an overwhelming surprise nobody can say I called it I knew was going to happen I saw all these things I had all my my charts in the basement and I watched the news all the time and I was pretty good scripts you're improvs and I knew all of it and I've nailed it no you didn't you were asleep. And you're going to say whoa I didn't see it coming like this I didn't see it coming this fast I didn't see it changing overnight like it did now again I could be pegged as an alarmist and I'm not trying to cry wolf wolf I'm not I'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow but I'm saying what if it does what are we waiting for so I'm not trying to hype something up out of fear we can write I'm just saying we deliver right all the time we need to be in connection with our heavenly father every day because the reality is this today and it did yesterday and 10 years ago I could be hit with a Mack truck and that's it for me and what a shame if I'm not asking God What is your will for my life what is eternally significant for my life and maybe we're just avoiding those things because those are tough questions so I'm just going to do what's good in the film my life with what's good but someday you're going to get that call. And that call going to come and it's going to change and shatter everything Lord help me distinguish between the urgent and the eternally significant the call that changed everything here's what it's going to be going to change everything. And what is the 1st day that we know so well for the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God That's the call is going to change everything and the dead in Christ will rise 1st and after that those who are still alive in our level be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air so we will be with the Lord for ever friends on that day what are your to do list will matter I'm not saying nothing will there may be so a lot of things I need to do is that will matter I'm just asking the question what's going to matter now again you still have to do certain things that you know cutting the grass is not eternally significant clean the house ironing your dress clothes whatever it is I get that but in the whole course of what you're doing what you're valuing and what is most important in life you need to be asking that question often daily hourly What's your will for my life and is it something that's urgent or system that's eternally important because I don't know but you promised to reveal it to me and you have promised to to cause me to be a 100 times more successful in making eternal deposits and reforming my own character and imparting good and truth to other people around me in my sphere of influence that I cannot do and so I just surrendered to you again today how can you leave me today because on this day so much of what you and I fill our lives with is not going to matter but let's focus on the things on the day that will Let's be about the things that Will and let's just pray these eternal principles God What's your will for life my life and God help me. To distinguish between the urgent and the eternally important that's my plea Dear Heavenly Father I pray that you will help us we need help there are so many good things that we can occupy ourselves with polo or we want to do great things not for ourselves but for you and for your cause and for your kingdom and so Lord whatever way your Holy Spirit is impress upon our hearts whether be more time with our kids or our grandkids or our spouse less time making a living and more time involved in the church whatever it is that you have pricked our conscience with Lord help us to give those things over to you and say Lord I want you to reprice your ties my life because I want everything on my list to have eternal significance when you come as our prayer in Jesus' name amen 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 or if you would like to listen to more service pleaded Visit W W W audio verse or.


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