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Different or the Same - Christian Standards in the 21st Century

Ron Kelly

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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • June 19, 2018
    9:00 PM

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Father thank You for every meeting from the 1st in the morning seminars through the day the fellowship across the tables the impromptu gatherings on the sidewalk the shuttle ride music the ministry of food and hospitality thank you for the sweet spirit you for our leaders like you for the beautiful humility and nobility that lets us look up today I pray now Lord bless us you have before you promised to be amongst us we humble ourselves Lord we know that we're not we're but we're your children and in a spirit of humility in confession which is praise your name for the greatness of your loving kindness and pray that you gather here with us as we now open the word You've been here I trust the Lord even habited our praise you've heard our prayers you know bless this one as we open the word this we think about the history of the church and its future in Jesus' name I pray. I want to clarify just a few things last night I made a statement could have been misunderstood preachers make them all the time it helps when you listen to the preacher with the eye glasses of love on and know the preacher as he's to be known in Christ because we live and die by our words and sometimes we say things we wish we could retract I don't wish I could retract it but I think I need to explain it I said last night that I had stood up to my mother so I was ready to stand up to some other situations I think you need to understand my mother to understand that comment my mother was expelled from Broadview academy 6 weeks before she graduated she was caught smoking my mom doesn't blame the Academy and I don't think I've ever heard my mom talk about legalism in the church. And she always taught me to be responsible for myself and I just kind of transitioned over into spiritual things so you're not my excuse you might occasionally be a little bit of my reason but in the end I'm responsible for myself and you know what So are you my mom was a wonderful mother is still a wonderful mother when I was a boy I learned that she meant what she said so I learned obey which is interestingly enough if you read Child Guidance one of the 1st lessons a child should learn she wasn't reading child guidance but she was taking advantage of 6 millenia of parenting tradition passed down to her by her mother and father and she passed it on to me and I'm smart enough to know that the people writing the books don't know as much as the collective wisdom of the last 6000 years now I'm not against books and I'm not against learning learn all you can read good books but test them all by the Bible in the Spirit of Prophecy my. Mother taught me to tell the truth she taught me not to cuss and swear even though I had to taste Dial soap a time or 2 in my mouth. I never doubted my mother's love and I want to tell you I was a disciplined young man and I probably needed more than I got I remember one day she came and got me from school and you say well that's good well no that's bad I walked to school I didn't need my mother come and ask where me the problem was she had taught me to clean my room before I went to school and this day I decided to skip it she came and got me so I could go home and clean it yep yeah who until she told me you're going back to school now and every one of those other 6th graders in the public school wanted to know why I had to go home in the middle of the day I can remember once. I didn't know that someday God would sanctify my lips my mother was trying to get it that way with human efforts and those matter but we lived at the top of a big hill and I'd ride down the hill and they were a couple bullies a little farther down the hill and they had long hair and they were now as a dad I understand there was no dad in the picture they were looking for attention but you know they bullied everybody and I didn't like it and one day I decided I was going to get back at him so I'd go to the top of the hill I saw him playing basketball and I said I was going to ride that bike down the hill and when I went by their house I was going to yell out a name like chicken I think it was kind of a self definition of the guy on the bike personally. And then I'd go around the block because you know they'd try to get me but it was a big enough hill I had all the momentum and they couldn't catch me now wasn't very smart because eventually they were going to get me and one day my mom said she wanted to go to the store and I said well I don't want to go you know and she said well you're going well I don't want to go and eventually she just get out of me and I told her I said Ronnie and Johnny They just happened just one of them shared my name Ronnie and Johnny are up the street with another guy who didn't like me and if I go to the store they're going to get me and I think my mother's words were probably too bad. So I got on my bike and it was like I was writing into Death Valley I was about 3 houses away from my house when they walked out I stopped my bike voluntarily because I knew I couldn't outrun them on flat ground there were 3 of them and they'd get me they say one of them straddled the front wheel and put his hands in those days we had big high handlebars and they put their hands on the handlebars probably on top of my hands and all the while I'm thinking it's common it's common it's common. And they threatened me and they said a bunch of things to me but they never gave it to me and then as I pedaled off I turned around to see her they were chasing me and I found out why because 3 houses behind me standing on the sidewalk was my tomboy mother standing like this thank. You. She told me later if only one of them were to be Tonya you would have been on your own but if they were double teams you had be there. But she made me go to that church school I begged I pleaded Finally I cried please don't make me go parents should be parents kids aren't wise enough to make their own decisions they get over it their resilience really the only thing a child can stand up underneath is not being loved and I don't mean sentimentality I mean them. I mean the rock kind of love. There came a day when I told her. As a Christian I'm not going to the store to buy cigarettes anymore that's what I meant yesterday probably watching right now she doesn't smoke anymore and you say Praise the Lord. She's a nurse mother for somebody I really love and respect you know I try to teach my kids to clean their room and make your bed I didn't do as good a job as my mother to. Probably in a lot of things I don't think I did quite as good a job as my mother's done but I'm not done and Jesus isn't done and but the other day my son came to me and I have 3 boys we were standing in the house this happened this year it happened and my son said to me said Dad you need to get on the internet and watch this video by Admiral Well it's a he said a general some I know now it's Admiral McRaven Craven he's the admiral in charge of the Special Operations for the Marine. He said Yeah dad. It's all about making your bed. I looked at him kind of funny and he said sorry Dad I'd said it all those years it seemed like you didn't think but you know somebody else said it and it sinks you know why you bring your kids to church and prayer meeting and Vespers and all the social skills they're going to connect with some other doll that's going to pick it up where you can't get it to move and they're going to move it for you. That's why you send in the Christian schools 7th Day Adventists Christian schools you know are some of them as Christian schools have some challenges that's because our kids are in a. You have to be an objective parent or you won't be a good partner with the teacher for raising your child my mother didn't stick up for me when I was in trouble with the teacher I was in trouble at home and it worked now if your child has really been wrongly treated you might have to get involved but coach him coaching to love and pray and talk to their teacher 1st because usually the teacher doesn't mean to do anything wrong though our teachers they have a hard job because they didn't birth these babies and raise them up they just got handed to them when they were part way down the road in process and they're helping you fix some of the things that you didn't get right now Jesus said in Matthew 24 verse 12 that at the end of the age the love of many would wax cold you remember why because of lawlessness he says I want to tell you something that's happened in our society that I want you to think about over the last generation or 2 as we've got more wealth we focus more and more of it on our children but if you indulge the carnal nature every time you indulge the carnal nature you are minimizing the capacity to love so there's nothing wrong with gifts and kindness and love and affirmation and warmth but it's very important. That you teach your children how to love through service it's in the home 1st you're too busy to teach them how to work you're too busy labor saving devices are not good for children everybody needs how to run a broom everybody needs to know how to hold a dishcloth and a dish tell Every boy needs a little help from his dad or his mom if there's no dad in the picture learn how to start a little lawn more and how to be careful not to do yourself in and cut the grass everybody needs to be taught how to serve the whole all of nature and all the universe works this way so when our homes don't work this way we shouldn't be expected we should be surprised when our kids grow up and it doesn't seem like they're that terribly interested in anything but themselves they're being taught to be customers but the church is not a business we're a family and we take care of each other and we serve Jesus because he's the elder brother of this family and we serve his father who's our father because. He's so grounded because he's legitimately God because he's the creator because he's the Redeemer one or 2 more things before we look at the history of the church I haven't said it much at the local church that I map because I've been there that long the subject for I would have been in my church for 5 years here in Michigan I'm so thankful for the Michigan conference but I'm at the place where it's probably true and I could say it anyway and I certainly got to the place where I could say it back in Cicero because I pastored there over 1000 years but I would tell the people I would say you know what I know more bad things about this church than anybody else and it was true and I love those people and many of them loved me because the love of Jesus was in my heart and I knew them in Christ and the love of Jesus was in their heart and they knew me in Christ I want to tell you friends. Chesterton said. That it's been said of Christianity that it's been tried and found wanting he said actually it's been tried and found difficult so it hasn't really been tried right your time to pray in the morning your time to lift up before God the gratitude you have for him to pray for the people in your life for your church for the people that maybe don't appreciate you are the ones you naturally don't appreciate it's going to take a divine miracle to give us that sweet primitive collective godliness not just individually it's going to take a lot of discipline and choices but I want to tell you there is nothing like a beautiful church family all it is is a foretaste of heaven and yes it takes a ton of work spiritual work but I surely do love the people of God How about you. All right let's go a little farther I can bring that slide up there this is the last comment before we take the major part of our subject matter Ellen White writes and it's written in many places how touching to see the youth in the Old Age relying one upon the other the youth looking up to the aged for counsel and wisdom and the aged looking to the youth for help and sympathy this next sentence has guided my pastoral ministry and I want to tell you the last church to abandon cross generational ministry and cross generational philosophy should be the 7th Day Adventist Church this is as it should be she says in conflict of and courage which was a daily devotional she wrote the aged Eli with the youthful Samuel this is as it should be God would have the young possessed such qualifications of character that they shall find Diego light in the friendship of the old. That they may be united in the enduring bonds of affection so those are approaching the borders of the grave now it is no surprise and shouldn't come as a surprise you that the world right now is trying to make every old person look so ear relevant that it's not funny it's as if the young people will never be old themselves but your churches which are Jesus' churches the body of Christ and the church that I'm associated with we need to be modeling what society start to wake up and say every young person needs a disciple a disciple or or a mentor you know we've known that all along the family can't be replaced and so I'm appealing to you not just to adopt make it your churches mantra but make it your personal missionary endeavor to connect with young people like God expand your heart Parents teach your children to learn to address an older person to look at them to speak up help them to spend time with them and find out what interesting people they are this is one of the neat things about the mission trips is you've got older people sit around tellin stories that young people they almost can't hardly imagine because the world so different now than what it was people sit around everything's virtual and they use their thumbs well back a generation or 2 people use the rest of their body to do exciting things and sometimes things they would never repeat in the stories are pretty interesting all right this book was printed in the last few years by Larry HURTADO entitled The destroyer of the gods I have a goal sometimes preachers are inductive and let you figure it out sometimes they're deductive and they tell you where they're going I'm going to tell you where I'm going because I want you to know what my point is because I'm going to go through a fair number of slides here's my point we know that solved before it was Paul persecuted the Christian church. But what I want you to know is that the animosity of the Jews towards the way as it's referenced in the New Testament only mirrors and maybe with not any more the he Ment's or animosity than the rest of the pagan world so here's the nutshell of what I'm about to show you and I'm going to document it this isn't hard to do this is not a 7 damages book but it is an excellent historical resource and what I'm about to show you is that while the early Christian church was loathed hating a misunderstood for the 1st 3 centuries it managed to conquer all the gods of the Roman and Greek Pantheon and eventually because it had done the conquering Constantine would make it the official religion now in America that's running in reverse a generation or 2 ago you never would have seen laws the official lies and formalize same sex marriage the reason it got formalized is because the culture has changed but that's the very same reason that there is no Zeus and no Jupiter and when I say to you if I called you if some poster called you up and said Do you believe in God you wouldn't say which one you see the Christian and Judaic understand if monotheism conquered the pagan Roman pantheon of gods how did they do it how did they succeed especially when they were so misunderstood. The dominant pagan view of Christians was negative often involving wild rumors among the general populace and more studied ridicule and could Teac among the elite We have some of that same critique among the elite today do we not a new and wicked superstition is one such negative character mission characterization of Christianity by the Roman writer Sue Tony a 6 2nd A D. During the 3rd A.D. there where 3rd century there were occasional Imperial sponsored an empire wide efforts against the movement these were spasms of violence to spread the suppression especially under certain emperors such as death. Now in his book HURTADO quotes Rodney stark and this is what he says a successful religious movement must retain a certain level of continuity with its cultural setting and yet it must also maintain a medium level of tension within that setting as well that is a movement must avoid being seen as completely alien or incomprehensible but on the other hand it must also have what I mean by distinctives distinguishing features that set it apart in its cultural setting including the behavioral demands made upon its converts I want to tell you something today that the churches that are growing in America are what we call high demand churches. The churches that are dying in America and I just had someone talk with me about it in the last day or 2 are the churches that have aligned their value system with the culture and they now have none of this left I want to think about this especially in relationship to the ministry to our young people there has to be a clear difference between being an insider to the group. An outsider classic liberal forms of modern Christianity so most of the mainline churches of America have often been concerned to align themselves with the dominant culture affirming its values even shifting in beliefs and practices markedly to do so but the danger in this can be that unless there are also distinctive features and demands of being here it of the group people cannot see the point of becoming one or the worth of remaining one now I'm going to tell you before we're all said and done how that Church of the 1st 3 centuries after Jesus survived not only how it survived but how it grew not only how it grew but how it conquered and I want to give you just a little bit more of some of the 1st hand references about this history plan he says that he released this was the governor of the thing here which is Turkey he was a servant of the Roman empire he released any of these talking about Christians who would confirm these claims in other words they said oh I'm not a Christian anymore he would release them by reciting a prayer of the gods to the gods making supplication to the image of the Emperor with incense and wine and cursing Christ if they said I'm not a Christian and they would do these things he would let them go things which it is said those who are truly Christians cannot be made to do it even though he found no indication of criminal actions planning nevertheless judge Christians as holding a perverse and extravagant superstition this is the common mentality of the day he also predicted that his firm actions would stem its spread and restore the revenues of the pagan temples that were almost deserted along with the celebration of the traditional rites of the gods but it didn't work that way. Let's go on to Lucian the poor wretches this is another Roman historian the poor wretches of convince themselves 1st and foremost that they're going to be immortal and live for all time in consequence quants of which they despise death even willingly give themselves into custody most of them Celcius another historian characterize Christians as lower class simpletons easily diluted their faith more to be pitied than admire do you hear echoes of this in the 21st century Don't be discouraged friends you've got good company the early primitive Christians who conquered the Roman Pantheon the general Pagan reaction to early Christianity seems to have been negative popular and sophisticated complaints allegations ridicule critiqued harassment and even some state approved efforts at least by local authorities such as plenty to stamp it out if you were to go out in the streets of almost any city today at least in most western nations now this is HURTADO the author of the book at him and asked people Do you believe in God you'd probably get one of 3 replies yes no or I'm not sure likely no one would ask you what you mean by God or which deity you have in mind even modern atheists presume that there's only one God to doubt we may think of religion is something you do for example on Sundays or if you're Jewish on Sabbath or if you're 7 day Abas but in the Roman Empire what moderns called religion was virtually everywhere a regular and in trickle part of the fabric of life now I'm going to I'm going to clarify where I'm going in the next little segment here I'm going to tell you what you're going to hear and then when I'm done I'll probably tell you again one of about to suggest and explain to you is that religion was everywhere in Roman culture it just wasn't Christianity. Everywhere members of Roman households the family and their slaves to gather daily to reverence the household layers a layer was just a name for a household or localized God So they gathered every day for worship to I wonder if we're gathering every day to worship the true God in freedom I'm appealing to you friends while you're at camp meeting give Jesus permission to rework your family schedule so you're seeking persecution gone residents of a given city might be expected to take part in periodic expressions of reverence such as procession and sacrificial offerings to the Guardian god or goddess of the city so let's imagine there's a prego parade going on and it's for the Guardian goddesses of the city and you don't stay from the lowest to the highest fears of society all aspects of life were presumed to have connections with divinities of various kinds there was really nothing like the modern notion of separate secular space of a life free from deities and relevant ritual what they're saying is what Hurtado is saying is everywhere you went there was religion it was in the common space it was in the economic space it was in the educational space it was in the home so some of these gods you'll recognise if you were going on a sea travel you might want to make an offering to Poseidon if you wanted healing maybe Asklepios matters of love Aphrodite you heard of the Roman Pantheon which included Juno Jupiter Mars and Venus and the Greek Pantheon which included included Zeus and Athena there were gods for the guilds divisions of the army city authorities the Empire and the Emperor in the Roman era generally Heidi meant a readiness to show appropriate reverence for the gods any and all the gods and outright refusal to worship deities was deemed bizarre. And the social and we're still impious and ear religious and I want you to think Christianity against this backdrop there's only one name given among men whereby you must be saved and that's to Jesus the exclusivist stance of early Christians was so odd unjustified and even impious in the eyes of ancient pagan observers and critics that they often accuse Christians of being what now you've probably never heard that before this man was was. Actually an advisor to one of our theologians this man sat on the critiquing committee of one of our theologians at the B.R. I when I talk about this book he recognized the name immediately knows the man personally the idea that early Christians were called atheists is amazing experts say of how religious the age was but they were all idols for example in the account of the martyrdom of Polycarp which you probably heard stories about an elderly 2nd century Christian leader the hostile crowd demanding his execution our picture to shouting away with the atheist given the social pressure against their stance we may therefore wonder how consistently and fully Gentile Christians carry through in the abandonment of idols called for by teachers such as Paul Now let me tell you how it works there are about 60000000 people in the Roman Empire. In the 1st century A.D. the historians say there may have been a 1000 Christians Well we know there were more than that because the Bible tells us in one day there were 3000 baptized and later on the number was up to 5 so but the secular historians say in the 1st century there may have been a 1000 Christians in the 2nd century from 100 A.D. to 199 they say the number probably grew to about 200000 and in the 3rd century from 200 to 299 the number went all the way up to around 30000000 Christians now that's before Constantine made Christianity the state religion there were people who came to the 1st councils after religion was legal and they came on their stumps and as amputees they came branded and burned in those 1st 3 centuries Christianity broke the back of the Roman pantheon maligned misunderstood em persecuted but they won the day for Jesus Christ can you say amen that primitive Christianity amazed the masses eventually over time things began to change Christianity was not like Judaism it wasn't ethnic It was chance ethnic It didn't matter what national background you had Christianity was trans local It didn't matter where you were we were mandated they were mandated to go everywhere in the name of Jesus and they did Christianity is one of the reasons that books were adopted over the scroll much sooner because when these people met they needed a place to put more information than a big long scroll in a book was more efficient. The entity made slave owners and slaves themselves one at the foot of the Cross and the A class C. A which was a name for the governing Rock who had privilege and citizenship became the name for the church and so can you imagine being a slave and your slave owner is at the same meeting and your listening because most of Rome was illiterate but can you imagine the amazing education taking part as week by week and day by day the church gathered to hear the reading of the scrolls and it changed things around Roman men were amazingly perverted but when they became Christians that changed little bitty babies especially if they were girls were thrown out to die sex selection is something you have heard of probably it's estimated that the Roman Empire needed $500000.00 new slaves every year and probably $150000.00 of those were for sex trafficking and most of them came from these girls that nobody wanted but the Christians would adopt them and raise them up and lead them to Jesus and you know the ranks just swell now it was beyond the belief of the Roman constituency to think now we're going to get down to the brass tacks it was beyond the realm of understanding almost it was preposterous to think that the Creator God who made the heavens and created the earth and all of its infinite diversity actually had a read Demp to reconciling personal interest in anybody. But this is what Christianity teaches and it was the love of the Christians for Jesus they did lay down their lives it was the love of the Christians for each other it was this very simple primitive childlike faith I didn't say childish I said child like and the love of God even though the empire was decidedly prejudiced against those early Christians the love of God and the high moral standards of the church like a mighty army move the church of God And today if someone says Do you believe in God You don't say which one why does this matter because nobody should ever tell you that it's the high moral standards that it's the the high cost churches that are causing our young people to run away and are running our people out of the church there may be loveless people in the church there may be socially illiterate people in the church there may be people with low social I Q's in the church that nobody's talking to and they might be part of the problem if they're their friends love them help them grow but don't be confused the love of Jesus is for them and the one that might be offended by their missteps the truth the matter is the love of Jesus the simple beautiful fact and I'm a child of the creator of the universe this is the driving force of Christianity as it was then so it must be today so what did it look like the purplish color is the 1st 150 years the green colors the next 150 years and consonant didn't come about for another 20 or so years. I reference to this quote before the Christian ideal has not been tried found in Juanita's been found difficult and left untried I want to assure you this evening Franz that the highest standard of the Christian Church the one from which many people would love to have a legal istic Blessed are the one from which people would love to turn out the voice of God at times is when God says you need to love that person you need to forgive that person you need to love them enough to follow Matthew 18 and go talk to that person if your bible turn over the Book of Revelation Revelation Chapter 14 or 6 every child should know these by heart every adult should know these by heart I have a hard time reading verse 6 because I memorized it in the King James version which is probably one of the best versions to memorize in but the Apostle Paul did not preach out of it I saw another angel fine in mid-heaven having the eternal Gospel to preach to those who live on the earth I like to say to every nation kindred tongue and people saying with a loud voice Fear God and give glory to him because the hour of judgment is come and worship Him You made the heavens and the earth and the sea and the springs of water I'm going to pause right there an angel in this case with a megaphone voice is the way God Invision his church communicating for him the word means messenger and Jesus didn't give the work to the angels they're working to prompt us you can have the aid of the education of the angels take advantage of it pray you can have the presence the securing presence of the angels pray but at the end of the day the one who does the talking is usually a human being. What they have they have the eternal gospel Listen friends Paul writes in The Book of Hebrews talking about the Old Testament church that they had the gospel preached to them I want to tell you the gospel is eternal because the Gospel is God Himself before there was sin there was a holy law and without a car all bent to sin in the law is only good after Adam and Eve sinned the law can't save us but before they see it when God said don't do it that was a gospel message if she never would have taken from the fruit God's law which represents 2 years would have been made in a perpetual continuance and I wouldn't be here preaching here today and the heartache that comes to you and I would never have been written in the annals of history this is an eternal gospel and when the sin problem is finally dealt with the eternal gospel will go on existed before sin it will exist when sins done because the eternal gospel is God himself saying to those who live on the earth and to every nation kindred tribes and people he said with a loud voice Fear God and give Him glory now I have to absolutely batten the hatches down on this this is not the kind of fear that repels you from someone if your Bibles and turn over to Psalm 130 Psalm 130 This is a holy reverential saw for a God who can't stand to see a planet lose out on eternal life that's why it's a loud voice some 130 bursts for this is the kind of fear the Sama says writing. This is the New American Standard And I tell you I write in my Bible I write neatly but I've got Revelation 146 and 7 next to this verse because this is internal gospel message which offers forgiveness and reconciliation and that's what the sourness is talking about in some $130.00 this verse forces but there is forgiveness with you that you may be feared it's not the kind of fear that motivates you to act out of self-preservation those people are going to end up with the mark of the beast its only thing that's going to survive the end days and the troubles is coming nobody is going to die for a doctor and they're going to drive for a doctor in the put them in touch with the living Christ I won't be dying for the Sabbath I'll be dying for the Lord of the Sabbath as I honor him by keeping it God for there is forgiveness with him that's the message the hour of his judgment is come but God is not looking to condemn he's never had the condemnation mentality he's looking to redeem and to reconcile the judgment is the final closure of the what the universe knows about 2nd sin is going to go away but before it goes away the final words have to be said the final pronouncements have to be made. And worship Him This church has been raised up to protect worship this church is the only I'm going to be careful this church is not the only church that knows how to worship this church is raised up to preserve worship when all the other churches don't know how to worship so don't go to the world to figure out how to worship they do know how to worship all they do they have music stadiums and other stadiums and they'll go to these places don't mind making large offerings and they have no problem praising and they know how to hype and work people up. There will be a false revival before there is a true one and if you live by feelings not by the Word of God you'll be swept away feeling good all the time and you'll wake up when it's too late we're subpoena worship Him who made heaven and earth and the sea and the springs of water this church that's preaching this message is going to hang on to a clear understanding that we didn't happen accidentally we were designed to be loved by God churches have abandoned the inspiration of the Scriptures which is written into this line of God's people are not going to and I want to tell you something our dear Jesus is so modest there's not a friend like the lowly Jesus no no one when he said he who is faithful in little will be faithful a much we didn't know back then what we know in the last year or 2 we are studying parts of the Adam and parts of matter that we never even could have begun to believe even existed a decade ago but Jesus put it all together and it's all held together in Christ I want to tell you we know so much about what you can only see through electron microscopy and sometimes only by accelerators atom molecular accelerators that there is absolutely no way in the world that every new level of order that we find came into existence as an accident it was created by an omniscient omnipotent God. Evolution has about run its course intelligent people know that there are systems within systems and they couldn't have developed in a linear fashion they had to be put together by somebody who knew what they were doing and it's an awesome thing and every time you watch a sunset or a sun come up every time you hold a little bitty baby every time your blood clots on your finger and every time a bruise eventually goes away you can be praising God that in spite of sin he's created a way to have a good existence but it was by design I'm not going to spend a lot of time on 9 on verse on the 2nd angel's message or the 3rd but I do want to skip down to the last part of the 3rd verse 12 year is the patience of the perseverance of the saints who keep the what they keep the commandments of God and they have the faith of Jesus turn back over to chapter 12 were 17 last verse it's very similar so the dragon was enraged with the woman and went to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and they have the testimonies of Jesus testimony of Jesus turned over to Revelation 1910 The Bible does explain itself and I don't want anyone who is not as familiar with the 7th day have his messages maybe you are to get out of here without the simplest understanding of what constitute the remnant Church of God I fell at his feet to worship Him John was swept off his feet now this is an apostle who's written part of the Bible and he's carried away by the razzmatazz of what he seen it's almost overwhelming That's why we're directed to be in the word because if it could overwhelm him in heavenly places imagine what the mastermind deceiver is going to do to us we mortal easily impressed humans you can afford. You're supposed to be building an edifice of fate you can't afford a single day not meeting with Jesus because you need to put another brick in the wall every day and you need the steel reinforcement of singing some good Him and you need the mortar of prayer to know that it all has meaning and God was talking to you in the word that day no miss a day to be with Jesus you don't get another one back I fell as feed to worship him but he said to me Don't do that don't you love this we were made a little lower than the angels but we're going to be we're going to actually be elevated to a posture beyond them when Jesus comes back to get us home it's just not exactly how it seems like it should work but this angel said I'm a fellow servant of yours not a beautiful way to live we need to live the same way and your brother and we're a family friends church not a business it's a family your brother and your sister who hold the testimony of Jesus worship Jesus for the testimony of Jesus is The Spirit of Prophecy Now I know that we've kind of co-opted that phrase to represent the ministry of Ellen G. White and it's exactly correct and completely appropriate she has the marks of a true Bible profits this church while it's a little David size church has a gull live a size impact and God has been doing mighty works because he knew we were little but he said and he says all of you in little churches in one of those minor provinces it Zephaniah don't despise the day of small things these little churches are the little bitty capillaries they may feed in to a little bigger artery but I want to tell you what the heart is pumping the blood out and back is Jesus but the Spirit of Prophecy is more than Illinois the Spirit of Prophecy. Is every time that for the love of God and humanity you do what you're supposed to do to lovingly proclaim the message of hope mercy and truth to a dying world it's not just for the preachers although I hope the spirit of prophecy is moving in my heart mind lips Tang tonight as I stand before you but this work of edification exhortation even correction there is a spirit in this church like the spirit of John the Baptist that loves deeply and dearly but will also proclaim the truth even at a price. Got my baton one titled this message if you were the remnant grab the baton If this but time was full of a 1000000 doses of an anti cancer agent and I said you they will expire on December 31 2018 spread them as fast as far as you can you can't charge you have to do it for love but this is all there is and if you don't get him out by then there are wasted I want to know what's in your heart I want to know whether or not you'd say you know what I don't know how I'm going to live I don't know how I'm going to me I don't know how Magasin the car but I know there's a 1000000 people out there who could live if I made the focus of the next 6 months finding as many people as possible and convincing them that I actually have a cure we don't think enough Mrs Weiss says we should stand on the threshold of eternity and we should look at what Jesus has in mind for us the real center of attraction is not the golden streets it's not the Garden of Eden restored it's jesus us it's the fellowship with the angels it's freedom what we have to offer is way better than this 2008. Both the men's and the women's Olympic team in Beijing were abysmal It's a strange coincidence but both of them in the 400 meter relay in the 2nd lane on the last lap at the last pass on the same day I believe. They both botched the passing of the baton now if you read the E.S.P.N. article I have America owns that race they got disqualified in a pre trial heat the Jamaicans with only one percent of the population of America dominated the day the writer said speaking of the dashes she he said the Jamaicans made ashes of the Americans in the dashes which you know there's a lot of races that are lost because the baton doesn't get passed that night 11 out of 30 teams 32 teams dropped the baton this is what the runner said on the men's team Davis Patton said I take the blame for this Tyson Gay said I take the blame for this Bubba Thorn said you can put it right on my shoulders he's the coach for some reason that same spirit was not in the woman's team my hand was there the stick was there what I'm telling people is that the stick had a mind of its own it's not my fault it's not her fault it's not either of their fault but the off their their I recall wrote correction it's the fault of both Every generation gets a chance to pass this thing every generation needs to be trained to receive it from their earliest days their soccer their cello their judo their violin and none of it is as important. As knowing our dear sweet Jesus and making sure that the Kingdom of God is sought 1st I was stunned. The 1st day I found out in my sweet little Cicero church which was the 400 some odd member church that some of the parents were skipping adventures to take their kids to play soccer there is nothing intrinsically wrong with soccer tell it comes before the Christian discipleship of your children and then everything is wrong with soccer and it probably reflects well other things are wrong in your home sports is a god of this age I have a book on my shelf back in Burien strings real sports is religion in America the only thing is we're coming up to a day in time when the last generation is going to get the pass and maybe there won't even be anybody on the track to carry it no there will be people on the track to carry because Ellen Weiss says in the book Acts of the Apostles that the call will be answered the question is are we intentional about the discipleship of our own lives our own influence our own money our own education our own children which are Jesus' children and the highest order of self actualization if there is such a thing exists actually actualization in Christ would be to be used by God to bring one more soul across as spiritual Jordan and know they have assurance in Christ and they can face the future without fear I once ran the Chicago marathon at least most of it for confession I was there in millennial Park already 5 of their 1000 runners in different corrals kind of makes it sound like we're cattle more properly there were more like horses they put the fast ones at the front and the slow ones at the back the crowd was so big it took me a half hour to get to the starting line after they shot the blank off I went past the big silver bean I was running down underneath one of the roads when somebody came up alongside of me now I want to tell you when you train for a marathon you better have a little bit of time because it tends to dominate your life. And as I was starting off I was feeling good I think I generally felt good for 18 miles. As I was starting off this guy came up alongside me and he's he's he's running pretty good and he's talking to me and I'm looking at him some men right but I knew immediately he wouldn't finish the race now take a guess out of $45000.00 entrance how many finish the race just in your own mind get a number because about $150.00 to do this the right mind. Pay $145.00 to make themselves feel terrible after about $345.00 hours of beating their body to death well it works like this when you get into your forty's and you realize your youth is slipping away you've got to prove yourself this not all gone I looked at that guy I could listen to that guy and know he wasn't going to make it you know why because he was running in cowboy boots and jeans and he had no big bomb he had not prepared he wasn't even really an official entry in the race $37000.00 plus people finish that race you know why because once you decide you're going to do something like that you prepare to do it and then when the time you do it therefore since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses let us lay off every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us and let us run the race with in durance every time I came back from one of those runs and I had the last 10th of a mile in front of me I would speed up and I would quote this scripture keeping our eyes on Jesus the author in the finisher of our face who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross and he sat down at the right hand of God Glory Hallelujah you're no ordinary church friend. You've been entrusted with 5 distinct truths most protestant churches from the day of Luther forgot one maybe to Jesus gave us 5 and he gave us an educational system and an understand of the human body to boot what are we doing with it what in our lives is so important we can't make some time to take the baton and run the last leg of the other race what is so important that our kids need to know this do we think they need to be Mr P.H.D. or M.D. or D. men or T.H.D. or whatever it is Smith Kelly there's nothing wrong with intelligence but the mastery of the universe wrote through the prophet that the strategy of the Scriptures would expand the mind like nobody else and if you've been to any hell seminars in Michigan and listen to Vicki Griffin you know the mind is like plastic and it does grow it does expand it does gain capacity our church schools have an advantage because the home the church and the school are working together and the Bible is the centerpiece of study and God design that we could get brighter and healthier and stronger in that environment that tell you what my goal is my goal is that I could commission and inspire as many people as possible to be like it says in the Old Testament how beautiful upon the mountains of the feet in them that bring good news you've been given good news don't let it be twisted into some kind of works oriented got a sure myself and God it's going to be OK if you don't love Jesus start there that's where it starts and yes that is law and grace can bind the 2 together it's not cheap sentimentalism nor is it without affection it is the combination but I want to tell you friends the motivation that's going to take us through the motivation that needs to be in the heart of our kids that they love Jesus. And they love not their lives and to the death unlike the early Christian church. It's going to look like the world has this in a headlock you can't buy you can't sell but the mighty power of the Holy Spirit's going to come down and he's going to break the arm of the adversary and set us free and we're going to go through out as a mighty rushing wind empowered by the Holy Spirit and we're going to win not lose and I'm anticipating that we make the last laugh and we take the good news all the way up to the gates of heaven and we cast our crowns there before Jesus but this baton is the reason this good news is the reason this eternal gospel is the reason and brothers and sisters I'm appealing to you recalibrate Reno armory prioritize starting your private personal world this church is not a business don't try to run it by business practices run it by the inspired writings run it on your knees run it in love for each other and run all the way up to the gates of the kingdom but whatever you do don't drop the baton father it is incomprehensible that you would make us your children rebels and wretches that we are and yet transformed and wonderfully remade to the power of your love and belonging your glory is all the more exhibited by the degree of wandering that's represented in our line and thank you that your arm is not short but that it can save and thank you that your god abundant in mercy thank you for this glorious message you've given us and forgive us when we inadvertently affirmed our status as the remnant church when maybe our definition was far too narrow indeed Lord that's what you call this too that's what the message represents that's what the body is supposed to do is communicate that all can be a part of the family of God but the time is running now. Lord I want to pray that nobody here tonight will live in fear of you only the holy reverential fear that your God of grace and mercy and that yes indeed judgment will come you don't overlook sin you paid a high price what I pray Lord replace whatever may be in our heart that's the wrong kind of fear with the right kind of holy reverential Ah that recalibrates and re motivates and refocuses us to serve you out of true holy principle of love forgive us when we thought about the future like the future doesn't include your coming we've given lip service to it but you've said in the Old Tote Testament there's so far from me they're serving me with their lips but their hearts don't reflect and Lord we must know that their lives then did not reflect the real prioritisation in heaven so I'm praying Lord I believe your spirit has been amongst us and I'm praying the law as your spirit is moved on people's hearts that they would know as the person who came up to me last night knew what you were asking of them what changes must be made for indeed Lord you've put the baton solidly in our hands through the generations that have preceded us. Through some faithful servant of yours parent teacher preacher coworker Thank you oh praise God hallelujah thank you and please forgive us corporately when we've taken the blessings and used them for the American dream and save us from imbalance lord you've given us more than most of us joy in using it for you D.H. is how to properly order on our own homes please seal this knowledge in this decision in the hearts of those listening here tonight may we go out rejoicing you didn't pass us by that we get to run the race that we have a part where there is behind the scenes or whether it's up front in public. We're all pressing together in the name of Jesus thank you so much for all the talent you put in our lives in our corporate experience and we pray to unite and thank you for this Michigan conference can't be. Less us now as we retire we fellowship than we were Jesus. 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