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Safe and Secure on the Wrong Side of Jordan

Ron Kelly

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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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Recorded

  • September 14, 2019
    12:30 PM
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Lord bless us now as we open the word open our hearts shape and focus our lives help us to make the decisions you have in mind for us to make and may they change us and point us towards the destiny of heaven in Jesus name I pray Amen. As a kid I played hide and seek most of us have played hide and seek I was a pretty good Hider As a matter of fact I could find fantastic places to hide one of the most favorite places to hide for me would be when my hiding place was above the viewing of the looker so I found a tree I'd get up in the tree and I would love to watch as my younger siblings ran around looking for me and I'm not sure I even wanted to come out when they gave up you know called Ali Ali and come free but you know they walk around it because they were looking in the wrong place they never found me now there was an exception to this. And some of you might be able to relate to this you had the best hiding place in the world and you ran to where it was whether it was in a bed or under a closet or whatever but let's just go back to my tree and some of these moments were mine it's like I'd climb the tree and then all of a sudden I'd look down and there was my dog sitting at the bottom of the tree. The way. In our scripture this morning we heard the story of 2 tribes which turned into 2 and a half the tribes of Gad Ruben and also half of the tribe in the NASA who were on the east side of the Jordan where the king of August been conquered and the plains for grazing were fantastic and they came to Moses and they said we'd like to live here and the the visceral reaction by their leader was such that it it was very very strong. As a matter of fact it was so strong that he went back to St you're doing the same thing that's already been done can't you or haven't you learned a thing take your Bibles and open there to the Book of Numbers Chapter 32 this is one of those moments when it's easy to forget about the larger group and this morning I want to tell you that I don't think they came the way they ended up they showed up with not only Moses but a whole group of leaders to make their request this was a governance decision and they come and they have what they consider to be a very reasonable hope but they had forgotten about the rest of the group. Numbers 32 verse 5 they said if we have found favor in your sight let this land be given to your servants as a possession do not take us across the Jordan Oh my imagine how this sounds to a leader who would give his eye teeth to cross the Jordan imagine how this would sound to Moses who in the book of Deuteronomy Chapter 3 will plead with God Just let me cross and see the land who tells us in the 1st chapter of Deuteronomy chapter one that it is an 11 day journey from Mount from Kadish into the Promised Land or from Mount Seir to Kadish which is on the borders of the promise land what could have taken 11 days from Mount Sinai on to their hopes being materialized took 40 years and now right on the verge of crossing again you've got a group of leaders who have forgotten. How much Some have wanted to go and how much harder and how much faith it's going to take and so they say don't make us cross the Jordan this fits us just 5 we're feeling really good the king of August amazing bullocks and oxen and this is the reason why they could feed on this bountiful pasture land and that's who we are let us stay but Verse 6 most is said to the sons of Gad into the sons of Reuben and you can imagine it was with a bit of force shall your brothers go to war while you yourselves sit here whoa now why are you discouraging the sons of Israel from crossing over into the land the Lord has given them this is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadish Barnea to see the land you remember the 12 spies 10 came back we don't know their names 12 came back 10 came back with a bad report too came back with a good report we only remember the 2 who were men of faith Caleb and Joshua but Moses says you're doing the exact same thing I want you to notice in verse 11 it says none of the men who came up from Egypt from 20 years old and upward still see the land which I swore to Abraham to Isaac and Jacob for they did not follow me fully when you read this story in its original context this phrase follow me fully is a big deal and it's a big deal here verse 12 except Caleb the son of Judah the Kennesaw and Joshua the son of Nun for they have followed the Lord fully skip down to verse 14 now behold you've risen up in your father's place this is the 2nd time he said it a place a brood of sinful men and you still you had still more to the burning anger of the Lord against Israel now listen I want you to know from the very front side of this message this is not a story line about sins of commission in other words this is not a story about things people did that were wrong. Now the request was wrong but the burning of the Lord was not about anything that had happened yet it was about the fact that some were willing or were planning to do what was going to need to be done to make it into the promised land this is a sermon about sins of omission another words this is a sermon about things that we should have done but haven't and maybe about things that should be done but we don't want to do Moses is not going to mince words he's going to speak powerfully to them and in the dialogue they began showing that they are not just like those that wandered in the wilderness that they are not men of faithlessness and fear and so they make a plan and the plan is we will establish sheepfolds and fortified cities and homes for our wives and our little ones and some of the men to stand but will March over. Now Moses is so concerned that this people will go backwards on their promise that he comes down to verse 20 and this is what he says if you will do this if you will arm yourselves before the Lord for war and all of your armed men cross over the Jordan before the Lord until he's driven his enemies out from before him and the land subdued before the Lord and then afterward you shall return and be free of obligation toward the Lord and toward Israel and this land shall be yours for possession before the Lord this is good but if you will not do so behold you have sinned and be sure your sin will find you out I'm here to tell you today that the 7 families church in the Western world has a dog sitting at the base of its tree. The Bible says though you make your home in the Minish into the rocks don't think that you're going to be OK there this is not an age to be buying up dehydrated mashed potatoes and T V P and digging bunkers for ourself this is not an age in which we think about how we can protect the great experience we've had for the last 6 decades in this country experiencing the great American dream not so great for our spirituality I'm afraid this is not a time for those things this is a time for us to stop and realize we've been found out because the devil who's looking for us has figured it out as a matter of fact he's facilitated give them everything they want allow them to make more money in a day than some people make in a month giving them nice homes maybe 2 or 3 give them nice cars maybe 3 or 4 give them multiple times shares and opportunities to do all kinds of things make sure that they enjoy the blessing just make sure the blessing doesn't get passed on and let their spiritual experience stagnate and mold and decay and rot. You see when we look at the statistics and we realize that the robustness of the world church is not found in the 1st world churches the dog is sitting at the base of the jury we've been found out the problem is it's not a game it is a battle for the souls of men and our children and our lives are probably the 1st to be lost in the unfought wars reading in the spirit of prophecy. And the white speaks about the role of bigger churches now if you're listening to me here today you're probably from a bigger church this church has over a 1000 members if you're from Stevensville there's over 400 members in that church you might actually be sitting here today and you come from a church where there's only 50 on the books and 25 attending you'll like what I'm about to read but I tell you something we have camped out on the wrong side of the Jordan we've not just camped out we've built homes we're on the east side of the Jordan but we're supposed to be in efforts of conquest until Jesus comes what's likely to be lost if we're not is our own souls and those of our children I want to think about that big statue of never can as there's dream up there in Big Rapids there's a pastor in California if he's still alive if he's not alive I'll guarantee you he went to his grave praying for a boy because some church somewhere said you know we ought to spend the money and go to the inconvenience and all the trouble of getting that 20000 pound piece of redwood that's been architected in artist art artistically shaped into a reminder of the image because somebody went to war there somebody is boy who's reconnected and there's a pastor in Big Rapids who now has the name of another pastor's son I'm here to tell you friends today the worst thing that can happen to the 7th Day Adventist Church is it can forget Jesus had 2 commands before he left this world one was go and the other was wait you wait and pray for that outpouring the spirit but you go after that and when we look at the 3 angels message we see there are 3 angels flying in the midst of heaven whether megaphone to get the attention of the world and when we stop we lose when we go we win so I want you to think about this now as we look at advice not advice inspired counsel in regard to larger churches. And White writes This is in your bulletin Satan's power is increasing He is terribly in earnest now that should make us all stop and say is my life in the smallest fraction in earnest like as Satan's power is increasing I don't want to ask anybody to affirm this with an amen because that means so be it but I am here to tell you don't have to have very wise eyes to see that Satan's power is increasing and he's terribly in earnest knowing that his time is short so he's working with all this evil business of on righteousness those who would escape his wiles That's me that you must be vigilant determent if we would meet the demands for this time we must put on the whole armor of God go forth with energy perseverance and unswerving faith in God alone is our strength now listen to these next sentences and put your bible put your boat in your Bible to look at this later on through the week indolence and swath of us presumption and self-confidence will like bring defeat and destruction God takes cognizance that means he pays attention to the works of all those who have sought their ease and shun to care anxiety and labor for the Cause of God may be sure that their sin will find them out as he searched out a can he will search them out and pronounce a curse he will surely pronounce a curse upon them that doesn't fit your picture of God Does it. We're living in an age of so much assurance you're supposed to feel good all the time if you don't feel good all the time something's wrong with the preacher or maybe it's your spouse but God is a real father. God is a real dad and a real mom he represents both sides of the gender spectrum and real dads and real moms know that to take a child from infancy to affective functional adulthood there are moments of life shaping confrontation and conflict. There are times when the willfulness of the child is exerted and if the parent doesn't have a greater willfulness and a greater dependence in prayer on the strength and power of God to do what's right the child will win which means the child will lose. And all of society will pay a price as well as the parents and as well as the church and as well as the school we have a whole society that's working like this you make sure you don't make me feel bad living in the antipodal day of judgment and preaching all the time nonjudgmental isn't now isms are bad words and none of us are to be Judge menthol but I'm here to tell you today that in the same way that God writes in Malakai chapter 3 when we rob God what's not written into the story line so easily is that we rob ourselves and there is something that is owed of God That's not just financial although it includes that there is something that is owed to God that is of time and talent and interest and effort now if you're sitting here today with the other 3 to 400 people that are in this auditorium you get the benefits of a big church if I would have stayed in my little churches all my life I probably never would have made a mission trip because it was beyond the resources of that little church if I would have been in a little church and I found out about the great image of never can answers dream there's no way that we would have had that because we had to put up 8000 dollars just to get it here others are helping contribute to that as they share it with us. There's no way that many of the things that we've undertaken whether it's a church school or other mission trips or a certain threshold of excellence seem programming could ever happen because the efforts to maintain the organization are primarily for survival until you hit a certain threshold and then you can go in to different dynamics of doing would we be surprised if we found out that in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy the prompter tells us that the big churches should help the little churches now we're doing some of that we've built a church in Montana we've built 6 churches and we'll build 6 more in El Salvador we're facilitating the experience of pastors and lay people around this conference to go and see what the world church needs all of these things are being provided by bigger churches. But our goal is not to continue creating bigger churches especially if we're big are ready our goal is to strength than other places so that their strength and their hope can be increased she writes our duty to act is missionaries for God in the very position where he's placed this has been greatly overlooked biases of people many are eagerly turning from President duties and opportunities to some wider field many imagine that in some other position they would find it less difficult to obey the truth. Our larger churches are looked upon as enjoying great advantages and there is among our people a growing tendency to leave their special post of duty and move to Battle Creek or to the vicinity of some other large church listen to her commentary this practice not only threatens the prosperity and even the life of smaller churches but it is preventing us from doing the very work which God has given us to do and it's destroying our spirituality and usefulness as a people. Now let's let this settle in. Not only should we not extricate ourselves from places where our position our person makes a disproportionate impact but in the very doing of it we are weakening the going from Jerusalem to Judea to some areas and beyond and beyond that it is destroying our spirituality and our usefulness as a people so what's the translation you coming to church every week in Berrien County and filling a seat is not enough to prepare you for Heaven there is a role in which Holy Spirit uses you the education and the experience of the angels transform your service and you experience a self actualization which is an actual ization of the Holy Spirit and you are changed as you are the change. This is the call of God to all of these people and 7 I had Chapter one Verse 12 it says and it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with the lamps and I will spawn ish the men who are settled in complacency. Who say in their heart the Lord will not do good nor will he do evil No it's not enough for you to return a tide and give an offering God is looking for your heart in service to reach all of the other people of the earth that have yet to know there's a God who could actually be loved if the truth was only told about him this is the Adventist Church is mandate mission and privilege. Larger churches she writes Should Labor to build up and encourage those that are weak in number we are to train the youth of ability to become missionaries and then in describing the role of larger churches and little churches she goes to Luke Chapter 10 could we go there Luke Chapter 10 and we'll look at verse 30 you'll recognize what it is very quickly Luke Chapter 10 it's a story you could call it a parable except that it really happened Luke Chapter 10 beginning with Verse 30. Looked in verse 30 and reign from the New American Standard Version Jesus replied Because the question was Who is my neighbor he says a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among the robbers and they stripped him and they beat him and they went away leaving him have dead by chance a priest was going down on that road when he saw me pass by on the other side and likewise a Levite when he came to the place he saw me pass by on the other side what's that the story of congregation who is it it's a good Samaritan but my subject matter is not so much about the good Samaritan I hate to co-opt the story for just this part of it because it's the negative part. But Ellen White takes this story and she co-ops that to describe big churches who look the other way when they know about little churches that are suffering to survive. Most of you came from littler churches. How do I know that because there's a little under 200000 members in this Union and most of the churches are little it just so happens you're sitting in a bigger one today not the biggest The questionis what are we losing out on because we have not embraced a methodology and a mission to do something more with what we've got what blessings would be meted out she writes in the review in Herald July 21 $891.00 talking about bigger churches helping little churches what blessings would be meted out to the churches that help in this way and what love on the part of the poor churches as they realized that they were watched over for good. I pastor churches were only 4 people came to church so what's that mean if one of those members moved away I lost 25 percent of my congregation there be like a 100 people walking out of church right now that be like $100.00 of you getting up and leaving and never coming back but you know in this church if one walked out it's a half a percent but you know what in this conference there are probably 50 churches that are living life on the bubble. I sat in a meeting this last week with the district superintendent I listen to one superintendent pour out his heart he said I have pastors that are pastor in 3 churches and 2 of them are sick and dying and 5 years from now they may not be here. He said I feel for those pastors who cannot help but feel like failures as their church is not his words but mine head towards the grave. How many generations of spiritual sweat and sacrifice are about to be extinguished and when white will write that these churches like ours might be hesitant some of hesitated because they feared that the work outlined would require more means than was at their command Welcome to life on planet Earth. God's work is always going to need more than we've got that's it's a fate journey that's way says you gotta put your foot in the water you've got to learn to hear the voice take a step and let's see if the waters don't stop flowing so you can cross or start flowing so you can drink but remember we're going from this spiritual Egypt over to the heavenly Cain and we're going to have to cross that spiritual Jordan and it's going to take faith of the same nature as it took thousands of years before France we can't hesitate because it looks bigger than we are it's always going to look bigger than we are but she goes on to write but I have urged our brother and to step forward by faith and follow the leadings of Divine Providence Christ has been his servants to go out into all parts of the field and listen to this he he will sustain every labor can you say man if God calls you to do something it's not on you for the sustenance it's on you for the willingness those who labor in obedience to the command of the leader. And seek to warn the inhabitants of the large cities angels will prepare the way before every such work or God's messengers need not God's messengers need to arouse themselves from their lethargy and lay aside everything that may hinder them from doing the work that God is now calling upon them to do in behalf of the great cities of our land and as they advance in fate the salvation of God will be revealed and prosperity deal like that word prosperity will attend their efforts the name of God will be magnified and the coming of Christ will be hastened living life on the wrong side of the Jordan if the deacons could pass out the decision cards now I have a card for everyone here today I want you to look at it and I want you to pray over it and I want you to think about it safe and secure on the wrong side of the Jordan that's where we find ourselves how is it that the American church with so much education and so much opportunity and so much freedom and so much money could find itself running in reverse its because there is a conquest before us and too few have found themselves at the front of the battle and too many have found themselves safe and secure on the wrong side of Jord these cards have 6 boxes on them I'm going to start reading them to them as they come via the 1st box I hope everyone could want to check I am inaugurating today by God's grace a new awareness if not a new ministry I want to help revive a church in Michigan I hope everybody can check that box these little churches that produce some of the mightiest spiritual giants they can not be allowed to let their light flutter and flicker and go out I want to help revive a church in Michigan and that boxes are how we could do it number 2. I will commit a summer to reviving a Michigan church yes this is our conference we can go around the world to Africa and Brazil and El Salvadoran or American South America but there's a work right here now I'm not asking anybody to make a commitment to work for free I'm looking to find probably young men and young women who a pair up or go in threes and we actually provide a scholarship Do you know if 3 young people with a part of their education showed up in Podunk Ville Michigan and they had been going for 4 months in advance once a Sabbath let's say January through May 5 months and they were actually meeting people in the little church they're going to minister to and they were getting the arrangements in place for their vacation Bible school and their revival meetings and their visitation program etc If that was happening January through May and then come June those people where they are living encouraging the youth of that church you know there are some churches when you show up to go to church you have little kids you're the only your kids are the only kids in the whole church do you know have teenagers or 20 somethings show up and it says that all those little kids you grew up for Jesus and you'll be strong for him just like me even if you're by yourself I will commit a summer to reviving a Michigan church I'm looking for about 10 people none of them volunteers that will make a commitment all of them volunteer in spirit but all of them who could make some scholarship to go to one of our schools I will commit a summer and of course I've just described some meetings on both sides to reviving a Michigan church now we have a unique is opportunity in the 3rd box you know there's a church on the forecheck Indian reservation and we've built an apartment and it's not done by the way plumbers and electricians we could use you. But I'm planning on next summer that this church will be done and I'm looking for a couple volunteers who again we would provide some kind of stipend to I would be willing to serve for a year on the 4 pick Indian reservation we did not build the building only for it to sit there with lacking the people resources it needs because I hear in a man that building is a function of probably a dozen years of ministry and for some reason God in His providence has funded it in miraculous ways of which I can't go over in this short message I'm looking for some volunteers people that would be willing to say I'll donate as a in Canton a missionary in this North American division I want to know more about serving as a student missionary you know my my daughter called me on Thursday night which was Friday morning in pull out and I was still here at the church in the evening and I went out sat down was outside I sat on one of the benches and this is what she told me it made my heart sing. She told me that Later that night which was Friday morning for me she was going to be doing the Vespers the for all the student missionaries I don't know if she did a Vespers thought in the whole 56 years she's lived here but I tell you she was doing the Vespers thought on Friday evening for the Vespers with all the Stude missionaries that pull out and then she went on tell me the next day at church she was doing the children story now her daddy does the children story here when he's preaching and so that one though doesn't open up for a lot of people but you know what in a period of about 24 hours she was serving God in 2 ways where they they needed her to serve and she needed to be serving now I'm going to go for all you builders and people that can handle paint brushes and drills and miter saw us 5th box I would donate a week I'm looking for some weeklong missionaries I would donate a week of my time this would be with a group. But I would donate a week of my time repairing and remodeling Michigan churches there are churches some of which are getting ready to fall down around their members they don't have the money and they don't have the know how and they don't have the strength I'm looking for some year who know how to do these things who would have a burden you don't have to be a skilled labor we would need some skilled laborers in some of these groups for sure but that's what I'm looking for because God is looking and I just happen to be announcing And lastly I'm looking for people that will financially support a missionary effort like those listed above and I'm asking them to make a difference with their pocket book you may not be able to go you may be so busy making money that all God wants you to do is fund those who can't make money like you I don't know but I do know this in preparing for this sermon one of my associates said to me Have you ever heard this quote Elijah was stern and commanding voice cries out how long haul she between 2 opinions if the Lord be God following but if Bale then following and the people answered him not a word. Not one I want you to think of Theodore Henderson 6 grown adult men 117 year old girl in a Florida swamp good news there was one but on the mountain that day with the Elijah there on Carmel not one in that vast assembly dare utter one word for God. And show their loyalty to Jehovah what astonishing deception and a fearful blindness like a dark cloud covered Israel. The blindness in apostasy had not closed in about them subtly but it come upon them gradually and they as they had not heeded the word of reproof and warning which the Lord sent them because of their pride and their sins they in this fearful crisis now listen folks it looks like a crisis to Alija I'm not sure it looks like a crisis to them they all came to Mt Carmel with full bellies. A Having just a bill were terrible spiritual examples but financially everything was fine. Of course it hadn't rained so maybe they weren't quite so full but prior to the warnings of Alija and the and the experience of God they were in a crisis now because they had had full bellies and had been complacent had didn't care that blindness and apostasy had not closed in on them suddenly but gradually and then in this fearful crisis in the presence of idolatrous priests and the apos taking they remained neutral neutral and these last sentences I don't know that I had ever I'm sure I've read them but I didn't remind remember them if God abhors once in above another of which is people who are guilty it is of doing are you ready fill in the blank it is of doing you got your blank. We started out I told you this was a specific sermon about sins of omission as opposed to sins of coal mission this is a sermon about what hasn't been done not about what's being done that's wrong if God Of Horrors one sin above another which is people are guilty it is of doing nothing in the case of an emergency indifference or neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as of a grievous crime. And equal to the very worst type of hostility against God Listen friends nobody told you you couldn't come to church here today nobody told me I needed to stand at this altar and pronounce 2 men marry nobody's told me that someone confused about their gender gets to go in any bathroom they want to go in in this church but I want to tell you the ascendancy of secular humanism in this society will not stop with allowance. There is an activism surrounding these things that has turned right into wrong and wrong into right and my wife was reading to me out of one of the books for a class she is taking and the author said in some of the colleges was an Adventist talking about secular universities but in some colleges is a more greatest sin for me to tell you you're doing wrong than for me to practise wrong. This is America a great country with fantastic principles but if you think that we are not on the cusp of a crisis you need to think again the devil has loved us into an apathetic affluence and the dogs are at the bottom of the tree and our sin is finding us out your life is busy it probably is but maybe we're going to need to drop a few things out things that don't have anything to do with the survival of God's message his people and his church maybe some of those those wonderful indulgences of a well heeled well educated home will have to go away maybe we'll have to make a priority of spiritual victories for Christ in the winning of souls and maybe our kids will grow up less accomplished in this or less confident and that maybe they'll grow up with a true confidence in Christ. Listen when I took my boy to India the 1st time he was in the 8th grade. He preached his 1st sermon. When he was all said and done some of the Indian pastors came up to him and they tried to encourage him but they also challenged him that he had to preach with power. This sermon today was not delivered to you because of however many many minutes or hours I spent preparing this sermon this morning it is a preparation of my life. And this is what imbalance says in his book Power through prayer this moment before you Why am I telling this story because when my boy got in the back of the taxi. He's now a big strong strapping man this has been 20 years ago he just cried his eyes out he stood up but he didn't realize that a sermon is not a speech and he didn't understand how oppressive the forces of evil would be to shut him down and how unready he was to preach I had 3 kids on that trip who all wanted to quit preaching and you know a hard hearted run told in a no way you get down on your knees and you start praying and you come to the pope but next time you're turns up with Holy Spirit power. It was a country where where we were at there were very few Christians but just because you were American and showed up didn't mean the devil went away and said That's our IT let him have the day friends I don't know how many more of our 12 year olds need to stand up and get the spiritual jitters that drive them to their spiritual needs to say Lord Jesus please send me spiritual confidence as Wesley said set me on fire and let the people watch me burn. That's hard to teach you have to be in one of those moments before you really understand so why do you have the card because by and large we've been living on the wrong side of the Jordan I'm appealing to you take your card. Pray if you already know what God saying to you do mark your boxes write your name on the back and give the card to a deacon on the way out of church if you're not sure this isn't the 1st this is the 1st but it won't be the last but I don't want to be like Dwight Moody who failed to give the invitation to come to Christ and then the Great Chicago Fire came if God is moving on your heart now move now we're ready to take your card by God's grace may we have the spirit of Caleb and Joshua who gave themselves fire to God listen France God's already promised our bread and our water will be sure we have seen in the experience of this church that his prosperity has come with embrace in the mission this is just a new angle of the same story and may our children in our homes be focused around having the spiritual power where we when we don't lose May God help us and may God help you know if there's something on that card that's for you to do I want to camp on the other side of the Jordan I want to see Jesus face to face I want to go with you but it's time for us to realize we've got to make something's wrong something's right that we're wrong through neglect may God help us. May we take the journey may we discover a very living God because hard times are on their way you know what 3000 likes on Facebook that's good. 1200 followers on You Tube That's good 7000 views of the invite That's good do you know with one button in one location all that could be shut down and we would have to do it the old fashioned way while we've got the opportunity let's get in the game. Let's do what we gotta do. And let's make sure that others know there's a living god is this there's a security there's a rock. This media was brought to you by audio a Web site dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse you would like to listen more sermon leave it to W.W.W. audio or.

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