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Witnesses Unto Me: In the Church

Edwin Nebblett


Edwin Nebblett

Medical Director of the Presbyterian Medical Service/ Catron County Medical Center in Reserve, NM and Emergency Medical Services in Northern Catron County, NM


  • January 7, 2020
    1:38 PM
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I have been blessed to have been here and. In particular I've had the opportunity of enjoying things that I don't usually have the opportunity to enjoy Yesterday I went to with. Donny and Kathy and 2000 net to the local market and I was introduced reintroduced to mangoes. I have enjoyed eating mangoes but I have come to appreciate that mangoes are like church there is lots of variety there and I am not a connoisseur of mango mango is spelt m e n g o and that means that there is mango but there are different kinds of mango and so I was introduced to our to eat too but I was informed of that while that is a wonderful mango the Kingston. Is a mango I did not know anything about the Kingston mango and so yesterday I had a Kingston mango very flavorful in church you will meet some very flavorful people today and I had the art to eat too not as bursting with flavor as the Kingston I will admit Nevertheless I enjoyed it certainly but I'm Remember I'm reminded that where we go and what we enjoy has a lot to do with who we are my wife and I had the privilege of being in Malaysia last year where we spoke at the a.o. why conference. And a young man there Sam Castor really took it upon himself to be a witness for another fruit very well known and highly regarded in Malaysia and so after the meetings he took us to the local market where we were introduced to durian. Like mangoes there is not just one durian there are 5 for Hyatt hundreds of durian some more flavorful some more odiferous but nevertheless all durian and so in that market where the caster bought us a package of durian and I did not know what I was dealing with. And he informed us that we had several varieties that we needed to enjoy and so I did enjoy the durian I actually indulged and I got a reintroduced to durian but I knew that it would not be a lifelong. How shall I say pursuit. We are called upon to be witnesses in the church I spoke in terms yesterday of the fact that. Or text but you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come among you upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samarian unto the uttermost ends of the earth so I share that becoming an effective witness for the gospel be Gum's begins by becoming personally acquainted with God is a prerequisite for being a faithful witness because the definition of a witness is one who knows God and makes God known and we do this by study of God's word by prayer reflection contemplation and by receiving be annoying thing of the Holy Spirit that preparation allows us to grow in grace and begin to reflect his character and to be more like Christ and so I shared with you that we want to be witnesses after we have received power and I'm going to use of the correlate both in Jerusalem being our home in Judea will be what we're going to discuss today in the church that's my correlation and in some area in our community and in the other most part of the earth or world you know by coming to dwell among us Jesus revealed the nature of his father and the glory of His Kingdom So what is the essence of God's character so as to why tells us that God's glory is the character of his love which is the foundation of his government how can we his church reveal to the world the nature of God and his government in the same way that the angels in heaven reflect the nature of God and his government by giving love and tireless watch here to souls that are fall and unholy. They would the hearts of men they bring to this dark earth from the courts above by gentle patient ministry they move upon the holy city the the they move upon the human spirit to bring the lost into fellowship with Christ so how do we then become witnesses in the church who is love personified you know the love of Christ constrains us to become reflectors of his love and to go out into the highways and byways and to issue an invitation and we as him messengers the same yearning love that God Himself has in seeking the last we're not merely to say come there are those who hear the call but their ears are too dull to take in its meaning their eyes are too blind to see anything good in store for them because what they have received is pain and suffering more often than not but we must not decent just they won't come to us necessarily we have to seek them out we can see that it is the love and kindness of God that compels the last to come to him once again it is evident that becoming possessors of the love of Christ it's essential for us to be quit as witnesses with his character and we give them what we have our courage our hope our strength and by our kindness we come over them to come contrary to what unbelievers may think the love of Christ does not make us less fit for actual life but it enables us to adapt ourselves to the wants of others and will develop highly practical fruit in our daily experience and for some that would be Duryea and for others that would be mangoes. It is interesting because we know that this is not of any earthly origin this love is elevating it is nature and it's a noble thing it's ensuring it sheds rays of beneficence upon all within a circle of its influence So God sent a son who sent down to this heaven to this earth heavenly you have to unite us with himself and brothers and sisters nowhere is this better seen and demonstrated than in our love for one another in the church what opportunities do we have within our own body of believers that can show love for one another we have over there in our church she has a son who is disabled we believe that he could do more but he does not choose to do so what is our opportunity what can we do to demonstrate God's love so our church the men in our church have gone and we have split wood for her and stacked it up and made it available for heard during the months when it gets cold I myself was the recipient of this love just a week or so ago when my back decided that it did not like my own ministration to my family and I could not lift up the wood and chop the wood as I normally would do and so a brother came over and did that for me our love for one another will lead us to have a love for others that are not of our faith you know the disciple John change from being one of the sons of thunder. To becoming a possessor of Divine Love which is an example of what God calls us to be as members of the Body of Christ he John came under the power of the love of Christ and the knowledge of this love awakened a depth of affection that by its infusion to in his own heart wrought a transformation of character from the son of thunder to a beloved to cycle as affective witness as John was one who daily becomes thoroughly acquainted with and captivated by the love of Christ His character was transformed and he goes on to bear witness for he can do no other so what about us as Christians this work will be our the like No sooner do we become converted then there is born within us a desire to make known to others what a precious friend we have found in Jesus you know now that Jesus has ascended to Heaven His disciples that's us are represent the Among men and one of the most effective ways of winning souls to Him is exemplifying his character in our daily life our influence this is the take home sentence of the whole message our influence upon others depends not so much upon what we say as upon what we are I am much more comfortable reasoning with the left brain. I like logically in presenting an argument a position and I have the texts to prove it but a life of disinterested love versus proof texts I'm not saying that proof text do not matter I am not saying that this is not an important think there is a place. For my left brain approach but disinterested love moves the heart like a proof text never will. Pastor butcher pointed that out last night in very very eloquent ways it's an argument that no one can gainsay I've had the privilege of working at Wiemar. A my son my 2nd son married a young lady who is the daughter of the physician that runs the practice so I don't know whether there was a strategy involved here but he now works for the practice as their chief financial officer and needless to say if I want to go visit him I need to go to him I can't expect him always to come to us and now that he has a young chap called Wesley Tyndale I quite enjoy visiting my son Of course I want to visit my son I do enjoy my son but I must confess there's a smaller package that really kind of captivates my heart so never to late and this is say I go to Wiemar fairly often as often as we can and being there I cannot help but see what they are doing I will share more of that tomorrow of what that practice is doing to reach out to the community and what we March church is also doing in their neighborhood but. It is not only by preaching the truth not only by distributing literature that we are witness for God Remember that a Christ like life is the most powerful argument that can be advanced in favor of Christianity and that a cheap Christian character works more harm in the world and in the church than the character of a worldly So what does God want from us as a church that we are fulfilling his desire for his church we are cherished by God He wants us to not only know him and make him know but he wants us to reveal his character and no where can we do that better. Than with one another there are 3 things that I want to share with you that we do that we can do as a church in the 1st of that is that we have a unity of spirit in the body of Christ and that each member will be edified and that all will be found gathering than by separating unity with Christ is where I would like to begin the most powerful little stray sion of this principle is found in the Apostolic Church you know how the early church was home where they went about to be witnesses to share the gospel they certainly began by receiving the anointing of the Holy Spirit which gave them power but then in that they gained something to live Christ like life and they gain victory over their selfishness and they live lives of the vote loving fellowship and they shared and cared for the needs of all that's what they did. And what was the result of this method if you will of preaching the gospel and of living well their life changing powers resulted in many being added to the church did you remember this in Acts chapter 2 then they that whether they hear Peter sermon then they that gladly received his word were baptized and the same day were added unto them about 3000 souls this promises made on the condition that the United prayers of God's people are offered an answer to these prayers there may be expected to be a greater power greater than that which comes even in answer to private prayer this power will be given in proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another there is nothing more that says When we come to church we know that all of us are different but when we keep our eyes fixed on him we are drawn closer to one another as a result and that demonstrates to the world that this group of believers who are very different sometimes from one another nevertheless come closer it can only be God to whom you give the glory for that happening the 2nd thing that we're called upon is that each member of the body will be edified this is what the body does not for say can be assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is but exhorting one another and so much the more as he see the day approaching I stepped out of church. Momentarily one day in the middle of service I'm trying to remember what drew me out there I was going out to get something and. We live in a very rural area and our roads are gravel roads and a car was going by very slowly stopped as I stepped out of the church and there was a couple in the car the gentleman in the car shouted up say Aren't you going to church on the wrong day I smiled. So I said Well as I walked toward the car I said I have chosen to go to church on the Bibles that. You sure I said yes or I am and then he says oh I really knew that I was just seeing what you would save by this time I've reached the car and I said Would you like to come in we would be delighted to have you join our friends and see for yourself Oh I am a sub a terrier he said I said is that right he says yes I worship on Sabbath I said are you lived in this community for a while he says yes for the last 10 years I said how excellent What drew you here it turns out that he was a believer of a different faith had attended his church but had somehow. Become offended by something that happened within his fellowship and as a result drew himself apart he and his wife and now they have a ministry on the web but he does not. A symbol himself with others any longer and I thought to myself There it is you know in all of our religious services we should seek to conduct ourselves in the way that will edify others working as much as lies in our power for the perfection of the church not all of us think alike and God does not require that we do so our God requires that we look to him and that we have an opportunity to as much as lies in our power to love one another notwithstanding that we think differently and sometimes speak differently and sometimes say things inappropriately differently so I had a engaging conversation with this gentleman and his wife and I encourage them notwithstanding since they were Bible believers to come and visit our fellowship maybe one day he will and I trust that if he does that we will as much as lies in our power share of that love and that he will desire to return I don't know Paul carried with him the atmosphere of heaven all who were associated with him felt the influence of his union with Christ the fact that in his own life example many of the truth that he proclaim gave convincing power to his preaching here lies the power the unstudied unconscious influence of a holy life is the most convincing sermon that can be given in favor of Christianity argument even when an answerable may provoke only opposition but our godly example has a power that is impossible wholly to resist I know of 2 brothers. I want to illustrate the importance of being a true witness and the negative impact of one that poorly represents the character of God It's actually the story of 2 brothers who left the church in their early adulthood young adulthood I was sure the testimony of one of them who is my friend and was recently rebaptized he grew up in an Adventist home. In Alaska with a very godly mother and a father who became a Christian in his thirties he became a dedicated soul winner he felt called to labor for God and He attended the seminary where he received instruction on becoming a minister of the Gospel My friend tells me that his father had many skills and talents among those he was an excellent carpenter having become a pastor he preached great sermons he was highly regarded for his many different skills and his abilities which brought many converts into the church he uses carpentry skills to build 8 churches journeying his 22 years of ministry he connected with many people from many walks of life and he was highly respected but when it came to his family his religion became more illegal a stick and form without much love and warmth that his sons and particular craved from him though my 1st friend was very grateful. For the things that he learned from his father 1st of all his excellent carpentry skills and is excellent work ethic this learning came with a lot of pain and sadness because he was frequently on the receiving end of his father's temper and impatience as he taught him these skills he believed that his father received true conversion when he came to Christ in his thirties he remembers receiving love and affection from his father in the early years but as he became a worker for Christ he became more illegal istic and obsessed with doctrine he was impatient and he gave frequent reproof and censure to those of his own family and he dealt with my friend especially harshly as his son questioned his father on beliefs or religious practices love kindness sympathy and understanding was lacking so as a young man my friend became discouraged by the end consistencies that he saw in the character of his father by the age of 22 it caused him to leave the Adventist Church even though he had gone to one of our universities and had received his bachelor's degree in theology. He embarked on an almost 50 year journey of questioning the Adventists faith but the Holy Spirit never stop striving with my friend for all those years that he separated himself from the church he continued to read the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy later on and before he died his father. How to experiences that softened him and he developed a spirit of kindness and sympathy this was a great comfort to my friend who became the caretaker of his father before he died my friend married a young lady not of this faith and both he and his wife took care of his father the story has a happy ending although his brother has completely left the church on the Lord about 18 months ago after our friend retired and moved to an area where there was a small church he felt prompted by the Holy Spirit and he started to attend church again he was warmly received by that church and nurtured by the little church family church this is what is supposed the church love the Bible and they love the spirit of prophecy and they sought to as what learning a within their power to exemplify the character of Christ so my friend story illustrates that a negative impact that we have on this that we could have on the spiritual life of others can be negated by the positive influence and labor for the gospel of those who seek within the power of their influence to exemplify the love of Christ and our friend was rebaptized just a few months ago a blustering faultfinding overbearing man is not a Christian for to be a Christian is to be Christ like we need to learn how to comfort one another and the Holy Spirit is eager to teach us. And we learn how to have an impact on the growth of fellow Christians by daily comforting daily encouraging exhorting each other in order that the world can see that God's love has lovely results scripture makes it very clear that we walk worthy of the vocation where and we are called with all old innocent meekness with longsuffering forbearing one another in love and every to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace nowhere is this more tested and tried than within the fellowship of the believers because we all come in with our different life experiences and our different expectations and how we go about endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace only happens as we put on the elect of God If we do so we receive of him bowels of mercies kindness meekness longsuffering we forbear one another we forgive one another and if any man have a quarrel against any as Christ for gave me I forgive others and above all put on charity which is the bond of perfectness and let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also your called in one body and be ye thankful to finally be perfect and of good comfort of one mind live in peace and the God of love and peace shall be with you brothers and sisters I can't tell you. This way of unity love and peace among the members of the Body of Christ my natural self gets in the way all the time. But as I surrender my selfish heart and I no longer manifests my pride or myself seeking or my jealousy and I put on the Lord Jesus Christ what shows up is not mean it's all about him and what we then end up having among us is precisely what the world is astonished when we demonstrate that we can be of one mind and live in peace and that the God of love and peace will be with us my prayer for us as a church you know and I know that until Christ comes the wheat and the tears will be together We understand that this is what we are to expect what is called Call upon me to do thankfully my favorite book The Book of James makes it very clear to me that I am not in the position to be judge of one brother toward another I am rather to keep my eyes fixed on him and let him do that work what I am to do is to reflect the character of Christ in my into relationship one with another and so for my brother in that love durian I do not understand it honestly I don't I can durian from time to time I am not passionate about durian as I can be about a mango but I do not say to my brother who loves durian that he will not be saved if he does not eat my anger. No but I rather say the Lord made the durian Praise God you can enjoy I at times that I can enter in I will but I will share my mango with you anytime you wish. May God help us as we exhort one another and comfort one another that we reflect Him and all that we do so that people don't see us but see in. Them we are. God bless this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermons leader visit w w w audio verse or.


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