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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2019: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

Closing the Back Door - Part 5

John Bradshaw Olan Thomas

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Conference

Recorded

  • June 21, 2019
    11:45 AM
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Her father our God we're so grateful for life today we're thankful for camp meeting we're thankful for the friendships that we build and maintain and continue it can't meaning but most of all large we're thankful for a friendship with you that we can maintain growing continue here at Camp Meeting last this session as we share together out to discover encourage strengthen each other in truth we pray in Jesus name Amen. All right this is our final spark presentation for this week here but today we want to talk about affirming truth we've been talking about how to avoid losing members we've talked about a lot of different things and we had the exciting discovery in our 1st day for those who may not have been here that only 5 percent of people who leave the church leave because of doctrinal differences so the other 95 percent of people who for one reason or another leave your church they're leaving for some other reason usually often it's that they just sort of slip away they go camping one wait they go to visit Grandma another week and they don't show up for a few weeks nobody seems to notice and so it becomes easier not to come then to come. And so we've talked about how building relationships so that when they are missing a week or 2 somebody notices sends them an e-mail or a text or a phone call or a friendly word or talked about a handwritten postcard whatever we can do to remind them that we noticed we noticed even if you know why they're gone still you could send them a bulletin and say hey here's what happened we missed you wish you could have been there so we've talked about some of those things but today we want to talk about affirming truths we talked yesterday about the gospel right how we need to be empathic heard to build and grow our churches because we have a message to tell to the nations that no one else has right what a nice church is in your town lot of nice churches people can join probably friendlier than yours probably more wealthy than yours probably have more programs and services than yours can provide so why would they come to your church because we have a masses that's unique that God has commissioned us to understand and then to share right the 3 angels messages the Gospel in the context of preparing people for Jesus to come very different masses very important masses. Our job as the day adventists is to share that message right we have a commission a job description that no one else has no one else has the job description that we do that is to prepare a people for Jesus' 2nd coming not today in our final session we're going to talk about affirming truths how do you help new people how do we help ourselves how do we study the Bible how do we discover truth so that we can rest trust in the truth of the bible new members will be challenge regarding the new trues they've embraced rather said yesterday here that you know his family didn't understand couldn't comprehend what he was getting involved with and so it's a challenge for them. You've heard this statement no doubt give a man a fish and you feed him for a day teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime and that's really what we want to do in Bible study is teach people how to search the word themselves right how to discover true how to grow in Jesus but of course they have to find the right information you can read the Bible and come up with wrong conclusions specially based on the assumptions that we come to the Bible with right and we all come with assumptions. But if our assumptions dominate our Bible study then we can come to wrong conclusions That's why William Miller you remember when he studied He said he put everything aside as much as he could write and he just took a Bible and a can cordons and he studied and he didn't go past over some to we felt like he understood what that verse meant that he went to the next verse and the next verse and little by little Of course it began to just on Ravel and open up to him so we want to feed people for a lifetime so the primary requisite of course to understanding the Bible is why prayer and the receipt of the Holy Spirit right spiritual things are spiritually discerned God leads his people in a spiritual sense. You can sing with them if you'd like. But you are you are getting the air of the old at the rest of us our last Nice So here's our 1st text 1st Corinthians 1214 and 15 the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolish ness to him nor can he know them how many of us have a carnal nature sinful nature. We all do don't wait so if we stay in that we really can't understand spiritual things spiritual things come by submission to God committing our lives to him trusting that he will guide us especially that he'll guide us in the study of His word spiritual things are spiritually discerned verse 15 says because they are spiritually discerned but he who is spiritual. He who has the Spirit of God judges all things yet he himself is rightly judged by no one so we need the Holy Spirit we need to submit to God we need to commit to God to be able to understand what God's word has to say to us so spirituality as a relates to the Bible includes prayerful ness humility and consecration that defines spirituality in the sense that we're using it prayerful Nuss humility and consecration Now here's an important passage perhaps a key one for us today Jesus says in John 7 verse 17 if anyone will if we want to know His will God's will it says he shall know the doctor whether it is from God or whether it is of mine own authority or whether it is of man some of your translations will say so Jesus has promised I think we can take his word to the bank don't you Jesus says promise that if we want to know his well we'll reveal it to us he'll lead us in our study very important concept we must want to do his will as we come to Bible study so that he can lead us and direct us and get us to where we need to go couple thoughts from thoughts of the mount a blessing in the soul that turns to God for its help its support its power by De Lay earnest prayer will have noble aspirations clear perceptions of truth and of course duty what soul is that the soul that turns where. To God for how see our problem is in western culture we've been trained that we can do it that's why we go to school why we take training we get certifications we do we can do it we can do it we tell our kids that you can do it you can do it it's a good thing to do by the way we need education we need certifications but sometimes those things can get in our way can't they we can rely on those things instead of relying on God the source of our how I told you all here that for 6 years I served in Madagascar one of the 10 poorest countries in the world and when I came back people would ask So why does the Church Row there and it doesn't grow here when we left Michigan in 1909 if I remember correctly we had 20 some 1000 members what is it now does anybody know 35 men 55 I wonder when we came back 6 years later the church membership in Michigan was 100 or 500 more membership in Madagascar had doubled in the same period of time setting them side by side same period of time membership doubled their increased here but I went to churches there that were nothing bought a carport. That's an exaggeration it wasn't that nice. A lane to someone's house that was their church draped blowing in the wind literally to give a little privacy from the neighbors that's where church was all the house but they could walk there and so they could gather their group there and have worship. They wanted to know what God had to say they didn't have a lot else to rely on they didn't have a lot of other surance or insurances and so they said God We need you we need your how we can't do it we can't provide for ourselves we don't know where tomorrow's meal is going to come from so they turn to God for the help and the encouragement that they need as a 7 and verse 10 for as her had prepared his heart to seek the Lord and to do it and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel we prepared our heart and we prepared our heart and in our churches have we prepared our heart to seek the law of the Lord in other words to seek what God would have us to do and then to do those things God We need a simple do that we've got to be serious right we've got to really commit to this God wants to reveal his will to us but we must prepare our hearts we must submit our hearts commit our hearts to Him James 46 but he gives more grace Therefore he says God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble our Psalm 119 verse 18 open my eyes that I may see wonderous thing from your law of course we understand the law in the Bible means more than just the 10 Commandments right law can apply actually to the entire entire writings. So God wants to reveal wonderful things to us from his law but we need to seek for it need to be serious with can't meetings about right we enjoy the friendships and all of that the social part really God wants us to spend more time with now focus on getting to know him better slowing down from some of the activities we normally occupier time and energy and understand Him and His Will the great controversy page 5 $21.00 says when ever the study of school of the Scriptures is entered upon without a prayerful humble teachable spirit the plainest and simplest as well as the most difficult passages will be what rested twisted taken from their true meaning they'll be given the wrong meaning so we must come to Bible study with a prayerful spirit letting God be God whether God made us in what we should do so we want to look at 3 or 4 principles now of Bible study and we're going to hope Esther Bradshaw may help us a little bit on this so 1st our Bible study must be centered on Jesus right the whole Bible is really his story history is story the story of Jesus right if you read about creation what are you really reading about what Jesus did in preparing a world in which we could move as the New Testament says he spoke and it was done so if you're reading about creation it sounds kind of old and dusty because it happened we believe about 6000 years ago. It's really what Jesus was doing it's Jesus activities even in creation talk about Israel you talk about David Solomon whomever it's really Jesus story what Jesus was doing in people's lives Of course they're different terminology we want to get to know Jesus through this all scripture Jesus says you search the scriptures for in them you think you have eternal life and these are things which testify of me they talk of me they teach of the they help you to now me that's why we come to Scripture we want to know him better right we want to know him better not just information as helpful as information maybe and important but we want to find the person of the scripture so Principle Number one if we don't find Jesus in the passage we might have missed something right and might not have found quite the right or right information the book steps to Christ says the whole Bible how much a whole bible tells of Christ whole Bible tells of Christ from the 1st record of creation to the closing promise it's all about him talking about the Sabbath talking about what happens when people die 2nd coming of Jesus right he's the center of everything but work for him nothing else makes sense nothing else has meaning everything is empty testimonies for the church every true doctrine makes Christ the center every true doctrine makes Christ the center and I think you'll find and I think Alan White makes a statement something like this that every faults doctrine. Focuses on something else it's there something else that's the center so every true doctrine focuses on Christ so when people are wanting to argue with you. With you on a religious thing I think you'll find often if you'll bring them back and talk about Jesus and how does a say your understanding of whatever the subject is how does that show Jesus how does their understanding show Jesus what kind of Jesus would whatever explanation or doctrine or theory are coming up with what how does Jesus yet reflected in that what does that say about him is character his personality what he's like let's use an example an eternally burning hell what would that say about God. How can you say I'm one hand that God is love Jesus loves me this I know. But if in my life span of 3 score in town I don't demonstrate that I love him he's going to destroy me he's going to punish me for ever and ever and ever and ever. Right so how do you see Jesus in the teaching the concept the doctrine the understanding that you're getting from scripture if it isn't consistent with a God of love compassion mercy grace patients may not be the right conclusion or maybe some other way to look at that concept in the Bible. Sort of Principle Number 2 all scripture is given by inspiration of God. We're going to ask Pastor Bradshaw to help us with this war what kind of inspiration if all scripture is given by inspiration of God What kind of inspiration can we be talking about. It's going to be interesting is it would be like Chang in one go for. So you're asking the difference between what is this Would inspiration and thought inspiration. Can idea it's interesting that even Ellen White writes very clearly that when the Bible was given by God to human beings God didn't dictate he didn't give the woods he gave the thoughts and oppression of thoughts upon the people's minds and they did the very best to express those thoughts that God gave them and in human woods I'm not sure how much there is to say about this that's a fairly simple and straightforward thought and when we run the risk of saying. The Bible must be if every last single would was the exact Would that was given by God we can end up talking ourselves up in knots that God simply didn't design or desire so we want to keep away from that perhaps you should keep pushing this forward one of the problems with that is you can even have a translation but of course and I was about to mention then backed off because then of course only this translation can be used only that translations a good one but. And I want to sound a hare radical although I'm already though I'm undermining anyone's faith but there's no perfect translation of the Bible is just an on and you can have your preference you can prefer the King James Version of the Bible that's mine that's the one I like the best I think it's the most reliable but there are parts of the King James Version of the Bible that. Could do with a little help. Fortunately often when the translator is. Often the Bibles themselves will help us to see with the King James at least with the supplied would. Clearly not inspired but given by the translators and then. You know the King James you'd be reading and sometimes would be I tell a sized They might be only one of 2 words it. That's because the original language didn't provide enough nuance are enough information for them to write an entire sentence or and or something with every would so they've got the thoughts and then added the woods that they feel based on the rest of the scriptures were to fatten it up will feel left out so there are times that the translators sort of had to help a little bit and add some more words and so we wouldn't want to believe that the Bible is would inspired we would want to believe as in the Protestant tradition that the Bible is inspired because it was would inspire. Surely even the only really reliable Bible would be the original scriptures as written down by the prophets anything translated would have to be problematic and that problematic is what happens with the Qur'an right. Yes technically if you're going to memorize or teach the Qur'an you need to be in the original language that's correct that becomes a problem so anything translated for your Muslim friends remember you can remind them of that you're only reading probably a translation so you're not getting the old Fishel inspired Docky what we mean when we say scripture is profitable we would question your take respect are you doing fine and I think you. Know what we mean when we say scripture is profitable. You gain something is it helpful somebody else said beneficial I think we can agree with that would you like to elaborate on that is the plan how about the begats What do you do with that oh it's all profitable you know something about the Bible and I was talking with my family about this whenever we were driving up here. You are read these you know. These No actually you probably don't you probably see that chapter in get up go to the next one next and. This is where it starts getting interesting. What's really interesting about the Bible is the Bible references more actual place names in about the who is 10 or 15 chapters than the Koran mentions in the entire Koran. And what that means is that God really sort of puts himself out there and puts his reputation on the line the Bible is anchored in time and place and it's connected to real individuals who lived in the real places and existed within a real context so when the Bible says this one be get this one to get this one to get this one to get this one it's a little how to see how that benefits you and me today but when the Bible was given a wow this was a living breathing document that enabled people to be able to even translate the trace the genealogy and so forth so although it might not all seem entirely beneficial to us even the begets validate the Word of God Why would God go to that trouble and you don't look at the big x. And so that that one wasn't in the in the lineage all those individuals be long so the Bible is written in such a way that it explains to us the reveals to it's itself to us as being reliable and inspired and trust Woody and truly given by God All Scripture is given by inspiration of God And so we see within the Scripture itself how profitable it actually is as a quest I'm in. Right and we like this one for prophecy never came by the will of man but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit they were moved of the spirit moved them and then they spoke and so we understand the Bible was given by God It's what we have no absolutely no doubt about the fact that because it's divine origin. To that type of inspiration Alan White talks about how generally she was given visions right she saw thing and then she wrote a description of what she saw and sometimes she would struggle with a word and God would provide the word so why do you suppose that's what happened with the Scriptural writers as well you know the Holy Spirit gave them in John the Revelator we know a lot of that was visions and dreams right not necessarily Did God tell him every word that should be written down there but he wrote down what the Holy Spirit compressed into right correct inspired holy men spake All right. He got that her number 3 is an important point the Bible must be interpreted according to the analogy if you like the explanation of the rest of the Scriptures Now I do want to comment to you we need to be careful actually where else we go in the Bible to get the understanding for the Bible because you can play fast and loose with the Bible and we don't want to do that. Verse a text is best understood in its context and the explanation for of or a word or a passage should be clear we shouldn't stretch and reach you can take a Bible verse and disbanded almost a breaking point stretching to 0 a woman in Scripture represents a church and so here are 2 women walking down the road and so here we have 2 churches you know it's just a little bit of a stretch and you want to be careful not to go there and it happens and it happens with alarming frequency and people who one might expect otherwise be responsible treat the Bible sometimes. Irresponsibly but if we interpret the Bible according to the Bible if we let the Bible be the guide for the Bible we're going to be Ok when John wrote Revelation almost 3 quarters of those verses contain contain quotes from more allusions to the Old Testament Scriptures So really while it's a New Testament book The Book of Revelation can't be understood without the Old Testament providing the framework and the imagery and the keys to unlock some of the passages in the Book of Revelation so the best way to understand of the us look at it in its context how does that same Bible rider express those thoughts or use those words in other contexts and other chapters and other passages sometimes you want to back up a chapter or go forward a chapter sometimes you might want to go to another book and say the Apostle Paul when talking about this over here we find him talking about the same thing. And this provides a greater understanding of what it is that he is saying but please be responsible and you don't want to read a verse in the New Testament and say well I find that same would back here in the Book of Proverbs and back here the would you have said different languages are different it was is a different millennium almost you know different ride him being written on a different continent. We want to be a little bit careful about that but if we stay within. The interpretation rules that we hang on to as a church and and believe and we're going to be Ok you don't need to fall in off any theological cliffs on necessarily. The next point is the Bible correctly enters in understood does not contradict itself above that one some verses seem so opposite of other verses. What do you do. When one gospel writer says 2 demoniacs came approaching Jesus and another and another passage jelling exactly the same story says it was one demoniac is a contradiction. But he knew about them. You could. The point is demoniacs or demoniac the man to make a difference doesn't make a difference the point is that the story was told by 2 different people who wrote on 2 different scrolls in 2 different towns at 2 different times by the way if you look at this and people have written about this human memory is a very very faulty thing that's why you can have 2 people witness the same accident and it was a blue pick up on the one hand and a red car in the other and they were both there watching it it's just what happens I'm not saying the Bible writers were faulty I'm simply saying that the one to say one into the other to say to it's not a great surprise but it doesn't change the essence of the Bible story in the Bible story is that Christ is more powerful than the devil and Jesus is able to cast demons out and the prince of light has power of the kingdom of Doc this that's the point that's the point whether it's one or 2 and you don't want to get bogged down by petty discussions and silly little arguments and so forth that some people might have about the Bible but the Bible does not contradict itself it just doesn't and that's why you can read and the smoke if they told me to send it up forever and ever and ever and over here you read. And and you shout trip down the wicked for they should be ashes under the soles of your feet in Malakai it's not a contradiction it simply means that we've got to study the Bible and find out what the Bible right it was on about you know. If you if you wrote an email that I saying. You might I'm not saying you would but you might find where I say everyone in Michigan is crazy. Everyone in Michigan is crazy everyone everyone in Michigan is crazy about Michigan I was talking to my son about this is really we were we were trying to figure out which state is the most I mean patriotic but about the craziest about their own state and we figure that Michigan is way up there at least in the top 5 behind Texas. Might as well be another nation Texas you know that So Texas centric you see what I mean if you would just hear a pot of something and so you read for ever and ever and you understand the sorority but we need to understand that sometimes the Bible writers were expressing things using idioms using figures of speech using examples that will well known in they day bears not only. A theological context there's a linguistic context there's a cultural context as an historical context and no you don't have to be a scholar to figure all this out you just got to be wise enough to know that if you were reading something written 100 years ago you'd say oh you've got to keep in mind this was written 100 years ago and it's true about the Bible that's not a black mark against the Bible there's no disrespect intended but we certainly must admit that these woods were written by people who lived in different places at a different time and approach life differently to we do greet one another with a holy kiss. I mean I love all and. I really agree them with holy handshake. It's what I do but you've been to Europe my my my wife was you so Oh ever so interesting she came to New Zealand she met my brother the 1st thing you did was kiss it grab your hand and kissed her on the cheek and she thought Oh. Interesting. And then she met one of my close friends who did the same thing. It's not French these people you know the French of course you 3 or 4 times but it's a. Different context different different culture different way of doing things and so the Bible says certain things and while you've got to be careful that you're not ignoring a command of God But when Paul is simple simply. Emphasizing a culturally normative behavior. Being he means you get a status in everyone you see or else you're in trouble with God so we interpret the Bible according to itself being careful that we don't stretch it too far or let things drop that shouldn't drop what we've got next we're looking at a couple passages here preset must be upon precept precept upon precept line upon by the way it is written has a new television program called line upon line you'll like this line upon line here a little and there a little my brother. I never turned it off. Oh no no no no you thought that when I was saying Michiganders were crazy I turn the microphone off so that my so that I would hide the evidence. Was. Not doing that I just changed buckets That's all I did a line of young line upon line in fact if you got it is written dot tv which is a channel and go down to line upon line click the is about 20 programs up already we just filmed for a few days ago it's a bible q. and a program it's helpful it's good you want to get. Him in but the would have God or the word of the Lord was to them precept upon precept precept upon precept line upon line line upon line and that's why we can look at a passage like 2nd Corinthians 5 in verse 8 I would rather be absent from the body and be present with the Lord and we ought not be and into a stat out of shape we ought not if because where we are we're looking at that in its context we're reading what it says and we are comparing It's interesting isn't it that people will say at funerals absent from the body is to be present with the Lord which the Bible doesn't say and just a few chapters previous writing to exactly the same group of people Paul said that the dead sleep until the resurrection so he's not going to say one thing here and contradict himself they had this it's a couple doesn't contradict himself and you want to interpret the Bible according to the Bible when you do that you're a fox safer than when you don't and let me say this you know something. I don't think there's a church in the world that knows more about the Bible than we do I think it's true and I mean has more Bible truth I don't mean that arrogantly I just believe that if there's another church that has more Bible truth than the administration please tell me about it because then I would like to leave ours and join that one. I think I would but that's really only and hypothetical it's not an actual. No one should be so welded to the theological arguments that they're not prepared to know a little more. Now unfortunately that's used often subversively let me tell you about the Trinity let me tell you about how whoever's corrupted the church I don't mean that we've arrived at a stablished positions that on up for grabs. We may learn more however that will help us have a better understanding of what we already know and it might be that both you and I believe something that's not quite right now not mean about the state of the data of the set of the 2nd coming of the center I don't mean that maybe there's something in the Bible that we don't really understand let's not close our minds off to the idea that there's nothing left for us to that we can't shop in l a sword just a little bit more we should always be as it was the Lutherans and people like them that just decided to stop where Luther and people like them stopped and they essentially refused to grow in their understanding of the Bible not to mention my stepfather who died about 99 and in summer school class just to come here one of them was born and I think that there are some we have a discussion on some point now it's time remember one thing I can't that's not the point here he discussed as you say like you and always we discussed more people came back and different some of them just got that one from or anything I've learned something that's right and there's not something as we just passed that's right that happened more often talks through those years when we were off the rocks Sure sure it's a good lesson to learn we should all be we should all be lifelong learners of the Bible prepared always to to grow in our understanding of whatever subject might be Thanks for sharing that. Oh I thought we were done here a little there a little that they might go in full back wouldn't be broken and sneered and taken so we take these verses to mean that we study the Bible here a little bare a little taking as much Biblical evidence as we possibly can to understand a certain subject early writings page 221 I saw that the Word of God as a whole is a perfect chain one portion linking into and explaining another interesting if you if you ever read through the Bible and I kind of sort of do that on a continual basis I'm all the way up to Exodus Chapter 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 or something now. You read through the Old Testament particular and you say oh I recognize that that's in the Book of Revelation you know I recognize that that was quoted by Jesus or quoted by Paul and so in many ways the Bible sort of doubles back around and reaches back and reaches forward and it is a chain one portion linking into and explaining another particularly as you know the Bible a lot of us prophetic Isaiah wrote pointing towards Jesus and Daniel wrote pointing towards revelation she got that one right scripture is explained by Scripture and now question for you Don't you think you have to be a little bit careful when you say Ellen White says. Ellen White says. Well that's that's the primary point but I have an equal primary point as well you might be sharing it with the Bible with somebody who's not a 7th Day Adventist your Ellen White says isn't going to be helpful or to be damaging and by the way. We ought to be able to do ever so slightly better than Ellen White says Now don't get me wrong don't get me wrong I came into the church I was led into the church by the book the great controversy but we need to understand why we believe from the Bible if you can support it with the spirit of prophecy that's great I'm not down on that at all I'm in with that but we are students of the Bible and scripture is explained by Scripture there's no there is there is. Something missing when we believe what we believe because I read this in patriarchs and prophets understand so again to read their read books read them the problem is they have the unread books these days not to read books or read them do but let's remember we Bible students and we ought to know what we believe from the Word of God. Yet met you 2737 this is Jesus the King of the Jews you find the same in mock 15 Luke 23 and John 19 so again and again you see the same points reiterated in different places. Throughout the Bible. Just like Yeah that's correct. Oh by the way I had somebody approach me in Melbourne Australia. After the 1st Suman in my series I was preaching in 2 locations and at this location. I came straight up to me he was the 1st day to get me before I'd really stepped off the platform and and His thing was the crucifixion. Wednesday crucifixion because Jesus was in the gray for 3 days and 3 nights did Jesus say that he'd be in a grave for 3 days and 3 nights it really did he said I'll give you a sign the sign of Jonah is Jonah was in the belly of the well for 3 days and 3 nights so the Son of man to be in the heart of the so he said it what else did he say he said the 3rd day now the 3rd day if you please is is could be 48 hours and one second later right because now we've entered into the day it also says after 3 days what's that 3 months or 3 days so now we've got Jesus in the grave for 3 months or a year 027 years. To 3 days so you just want to be really honest I tell you what Evan Tizen Adventism isn't really the faith for people who want to wow other people with a fancy interpretations of the Bible whenever whenever I came to a new church I would tell the congregation if you hear me say anything you've never heard said before that's evidence that there's something wrong with either me or you one or the other my job is just to tell people the old old story that's all I'm going to go to Daniel and find something no one's ever seen before I'm not going to say you know the church year but but listen to this week the old goat story the faith once delivered to the Saints we just I mean we're going to boring really we had been his preachers don't say a minute that because it may be it may be misinterpreted but it's not our job to be new and exciting and innovative and super creative and have people wow what I think it I'm not saying we shouldn't think that we shouldn't explore that we shouldn't do it I don't mean that. But all we had to do is tell people what the Bible says it's all actual So you know you don't want to be that person who says Oh I know the church says this by going to be really careful of that and people who back up the tree about a Wednesday crucifixion if you just look at line upon line here a little there a little in cobble together old the Bible says on a subject you know you're going to find sorry we're just kind of boring dot on Friday rose on Sunday nothing really to add to that my apologies but it's better that way we want to be Biblical The book by comparing that we can ascertain that the complete title on the cross was this is Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews oh we can deduce that or in food that at least and Principle Number 4 we mention this a little bit before the Bible must be understood in its context that's very important what we dive on to the next one is there next one right there. Yeah look at this oh oh I'm sorry I thought it might have. I thought there might be a more to it than that understand the Bible in its context it's really really important. If you're wrestling with a passage and trying to understand what it means what does it mean he not what if I take this phrase and lift it out and stretch it and been good and turn it inside out. I might have said before a text without a context is a pretext if I didn't then you've heard it undoubtedly see nothing new under the Adventists on. But that is really really important you know something this business about the devotion of life let me just put that back up to highlight that it's important that we experience this and encourage others to experiences every now and then you're going to read another study about why kids leave the church. Read another study and another one another one in there someone studying it right now and then there'll be another book this probably one of the a.b.c. said it's in the a.b.c. it's good. But I'll tell you why they leave the church this is simple Oh let me put it this way no child ever lift the church who is having a deep and meaningful devotional life. And only. Those who leave under those circumstances it's very rare maybe someone's having a deep devotional life but they just became so disappointed with somebody when there was a trauma of some kind people who have a meaningful devotion like don't leave and if you were to read the Bible you would read about Jesus you prayed all night if you were to read the Spirit of Prophecy you would read where she says we need to pray more. I don't know a single person that I could accuse of praying too much Few of us do if we really believed in prayer we pray and we shift our skeeters around to take time to pray I may mention this over the next couple of nights but I recall being in a certain place in the main were getting together a few of these men and they were having a group and they were deciding that they needed to be men of prayer prayer and Bible study and so at the end of the meeting that they invited me to this it's a how you doing it guys yep yep 5 minutes this morning good you I want to raise my hand it's a come back come back 5 minutes 5 minutes now if if if there was a death in the family or I understand 5 minutes but if if 5 minutes once you've said Good morning God how few time is up. What what are you going to do. One of. Oh no it is even when it gives There's even a No it's a one minute diversion Yeah. Oh yeah but. It's not like you said tell them if you see them I think you'll see this thing. Was. Just to go. And they would you still. Perceive them to repeat themselves with their own homes or. Words their own eyes with. A lot of us want to tell and we get into this was an argument. He was working towards and the human Little kids are. Going to want to dive into it to go into how I want to buy a home I don't think I don't think there's a person on the earth who believes that the one minute or occasionally to the daily devotional that we provide is supposed to be somebodies daily devotional time. So yeah I do that that's that's not we're not saying to people hey if you want to have a devotional time watch this specific and then go on with the day. 5 think about you think about what we're doing with our prayer time if prayer is where we connect with God I mean if you're going to spend more time in the drive through at Taco Bell then you spend in the presence of God in prayer think about that you know you know spend more time loading the dishwasher then you spend talking to God there is this something really wrong about that and if and if my people pray. If I'm imagine that if God didn't even start that goes with the with the word when when my people praise I well they might and they might not you know I'm not really controlling this its own them. Can you imagine what the church in the world would be like if people came to God and really spend time with God and prayer isn't a club that we believe God into submission with prayer doesn't change God print changes on us and gets us on the same frequency as God when I was a kid growing up we had in our kitchen a radio. This office looking ready to have a soul but you know it was one of these were all fashion once you had to actually turn the dial. And it was a needle on it that went along and you got to the radio station and our radio station was 1300 ones it h. but it was really 1296 and you knew if you're at 1293 or 129721292 how come how do you know it's kind of crackly right so many young ones there. Are new digital radios or you live. But when you're getting close to the radio station. It was actually annoying yet really want to get on the radio station and a lot of us were not spending enough time with God and we're not hearing a clear signal from God It's crackly there's a lot of static and frankly it can be a bit annoying until you get on the right frequency with God That's what Prieta is it connects your mind and your heart with the heart of God If we are encouraging people who are new in the church one of the very best things we can do is encourage them to read the Bible and pray read the Bible and pray you will shut the back door nothing else I recall being in a church and. Knowing full well that the majority of 7th Day Adventists are not really reading the Bible like they should. Scary thought and I decided that I would give my congregation. 2 or 3 or 4 chapters a day to read 234 I forget and on my weekly email to the church members I would include these and then we would print the bible reading verses chapters out for the month it wasn't read the whole by because I didn't want anybody getting bogged down with the begets and deciding to give it away so was the parts of the Bible that really speak to the hot. Little speaks to the heart you know what I'm talking about. So I got an e-mail from one of the church members pasta What do you think this verse means and I and I wrote back being so wise you know I said I think it means what it's what it says I think it means what it says and it. Was helpful. Then after a while the question became what do you think Ellen White means when she says this it was from the prophets of prophets and kings of the desire of ages and I would write back and give my little answer and then after a while it was what do you think this obscure theological concept is that I'm wrestling with. Is what happened this was a fellow who used to come to church once every 3 weeks he lived about 50 miles away there was a church they once it got flooded out one too many times so they close it and now he would where you have made you know the price of gas is so high pastor and such a long way suddenly this guy's in church every week and it's him who seemingly these questions What happened was he started reading his Bible changed his life he was doing the Bible readings and he realized this isn't enough. So I shall read the conflict at the age of Ceres he got through that and then he said what I would do now he decided he would read the Bible Commentary from volume wonder volume whatever it is read the whole thing so as questions which changing of a time you know it's quite amazing what happened to the read the Bible I remember my last Sabbath day he's in the foyer saying Ok those of you coming on our walk in if you got your lunch bring it you can follow this guy we're going to drive out would drive together he just assumed a leadership position in that huge changes life. Cosey rid the Bible. Adventism Christianity Edmonton is about people coming to God individually and feeding on the Word of God and spending time with God we don't do what we do because the pasta directs us to because the General Conference President. Signed his name to some out of some kind that's not who we are a group of individuals having a personal relationship with God and our common faith draws us together one thing that my wife has done with my place with Jesus and this is profoundly simple and profoundly important as put together a Bible reading plan for kids it's called Journey Through the Bible is even an achievement trail that goes with it so that his children are doing their bible readings like a bottle of sticker on the trial and end of that might be with the bible studies a matter of fact there is a stick is for completing a month's Bible readings and by the time the year is gone they kill have all 12 stickers it's fabulous my place with Jesus dot whatever it is and journey through the Bible I think unless you're already doing it in Sabbath school every Sabbath school class should have it every Sabbath school teacher should be sharing it we've got a adults people very senior people who are following this the best thing you can do is connect the child or an adult with God through the Word of God and Priya Let's see if we can bring this all the way around we're talking about closing the back door do you have any questions about anything we've discussed or maybe even something we haven't discussed when it comes to winning people and keeping them in the church we share a story with you so I'm afraid and he was a hippie and he any source sign advertising in a venue listed series and he went to the meetings and there were many people there but they said how did you hear about the meetings and he said I saw the billboard and there is a billboard Yeah the billboard down on Main Street. Is there a billboard on Main Street Advertising the meetings now there's not so he saw the billboard that didn't exist. And he read the billboard and came to the evangelist meeting he was baptized and his baptized into a church filled with people who were so different from him that wasn't funny young guy long hair hippy kind of a guy alternative lifestyle sort of a fellow I mean not that alternative but sort of alternative. And that 1st Sabbath and elderly couple said Do you have any lent lunch plans today and he said no I don't and they said Well would you come and have lunch with him. And he said. And that was a happy time in the next week they said to him Would you like to come and have lunch with us we'd like that and I said well he said Sure I'll come and have lunch and the 3rd week they do see it we've got lunch prepared for you in the table is already set so you'll be coming home with us right. Yes I will you think he's in the church today. Evangelist past a public speaker. And that's because he went to church and someone didn't want him to slip out the back door and they stepped forward and said we'll take ownership of the situation I don't think this was the couple that anyone on the church board would have said oh the Bakers they're the ones that were set out to all and he's too young but what it takes really is love and concern and commitment and care that's what it is I came into the church and. You know I can I look like the last thing ever that would have come out of the church and people just loved me just that's right I called the operator and asked for the for the phone number for the 7th Day Adventists Cathedral in London I. Was I had questions that I want to or going to mince around with a priest I want to talk to a bishop or an archbishop I had serious questions. So I came to the church I was loved into the church it's hard for a person to leave as all and said 95 percent of those who leave don't leave a theology. So if we want I'll tell you another thing to a couple of young ladies came to the church where I was on the postural stuff one day they were dressed in black. Black makeup and black. Nail polish and black you know these Goths guts kind of went out of fashion a few years ago. What a pity. But the lady at the door said not you can come in and you can come like that then and you got to get you've got to get changed and I heard about this and I said I said Who what this is some Churchill brought a friend. And I said Who was it who said day and no one would tell and. I said we will visit her and help you to understand No you don't infect the church service was broadcast live on television in our town which is a mistake live on television and I spoke to the congregation while on the line. And said we don't do this and I said I will find out who you are and what I do I will come and see you why is it that we put up with people in our churches who are mean. And you frighten off new and you visit us at evangelist experience I'll see someone making a beeline for a guest in a walk up to the Gaga a Larry I need to talk with you physically grab and physically move a. Well why do you need to talk with me about pasta nothing really just anything to keep you away from that person. How would disfellowship people for disunity would dispell I mean we used to know when the last person who was disfellowshipped would dispell a ship and for a. Was a take these days mass murder. Not that I'm advocating Draco nian measures in the church but will put up with somebody who chases away 51015 people over the course of a few years and which is all that's all he's just a little rough around the edges no book needs to be set down with and told no no never never. And if that happens again but your gone. You got a particular little one's got to protect them. We lock people up to child abuse. Rightly so and yet child abuse is practiced in the church all the time by grumpy unkind unchristian an Adventist people who run people off you want to show you want to lock the back door tight then muzzle some of these rottweilers that we have in the church and protect people from them and I'm sure that's not here in Michigan that's in Ohio where that. Day you go you should know you should know you should know you must. Know you're probably from the good luck to you all the problem is that it. You're from you're from the good part of Ohio. My son. My son that's right they can take it my son lives in Ohio right now so it's all fine we have friends and we have friends in Ohio we had we had friends in Ohio. We had friends there so you have any questions quick and we got to have positive we got to wrap it up you have an equation to let us know if you have to write it. Yeah some come in and you can do it yeah yeah. Yeah. That's the way to do it it's unfortunate to come to that but that's what we have to do. After several conversations and several times of pleading with this gentleman they asked him just don't come back and that's it that's appropriate we want to shut the back door we can't bring people we can't bring people in and have them you know shot it by church members we just can't and I don't care what they smell like to look like I don't care what their sexual orientation is by the way ladies and gentlemen you're going to get more of that you're going to get more of that and I don't mean to talk forever about this and so I won't but we've got to understand. We love people we love them love them I don't care which way they lean. And you know that's the very 1st I'm not going to step 2345 and 10 but we got a lot of people welcome people let them know they valued study them and study with them in the wood of. Show we can look out for them send a card make a phone call and I'll tell you this yet I'm busy doing the work of God a soap students graduate I was talking to just the other night. Told me about it she got a cow the church sent out cause they just couldn't find this woman couldn't find this woman found the woman and she was at home with her boyfriend and she went there and it was hostile the boyfriend was hostile so they sat in the Bible work as car and studied the Bible together this happened a couple of times the 2nd time the boyfriend came outside and stood on the front step and just stared at the. You know he was he was a character and not a good one. And then he kicked her out because she was studying the Bible she came home and or stuff was all over the front and on the porch and whatever and then the Bible work a lost or lost track of it couldn't find her and she was praying Lord lead me to a lead me to a lead me to a she felt imprest a few months later to go back to that home and she'd move back in. The abuse started again she would appear bruised and clearly she was getting badly treated. So the poor lady sister and the Bible worker said you got to move out we've got a place for you so they moved around the Bible with you said you'd like to study the Bible yes she studied the Bible and she finally found a man that she could love someone who loved whose name was Jesus and she was baptized is really interesting you know the Gospel elevates people she was baptized and what she doing she is involved right away and ministry in the church sharing a faith active in should she's got things to do she had used methamphetamines for years and so she had teeth would lousy as a dentist in the church she started replacing a t. for her imagine out of an abusive situation life is turning around but what's keeping her in the church the love of others and ministry the best thing we can do for people who come to the church is give them something to do. Just mean fold the communion table cloths but give them something to do in reaching others and sharing the faith and being an active integral part of the church people don't leave when they're connected to God and they connected to the church and they know their love they've done the. We've been in places where they have we will we have got to think about this we were conducting meetings and they said we typically have a receipt of his I'm right of experience in the conference but we have got to implement these principles and we're going to really work on it and after 6 months or a year the receipt of his I'm right was I mean they were up in the 90 percent retention because they tried they try to I don't even know as they put him on a board I wouldn't own put him on the board no not a bible even talks about not making a novice an elder and so forth Russia just get him involved they don't have to be on the board they know what's good for them no no no don't need the but give them something to do and the other thing too is this is the flip side is you can get someone who's too green and put too much on them and they drown and I've seen people leave because of that someone here and someone here. Here. Here. Here a man that. A man with. Your That's right thank God you're willing to say of a man God bless you but you know what the full long you'll be conducting the evangelistic series this week which I know we're going to wind up we've got a couple of comments you know raping our way to get at it that's a good pasta. So when you go to preach in bed you've got to have an answer to that question. Is what. Are. We. Not. And the one. That's right. Not. When I. Meet you. I am. Going. Yeah yeah we should never have to worry about that but we do it and they are us there are some some genuine considerations I think. Because he as he expects he expects Christians to be hotshot judge mental and of of a listen of course it's of course it's delicate but but the fact of the matter is his sexual or or proud pride is an abomination. But we don't say oh you're proud people get out of here so so so just love them you know no one's going to come to faith in Jesus simply because we condemn them condemn them until the most horrible lifestyle they're leading and again this is only becoming more popular and the church is going to have to figure out how to relate to this issue in love and in righteousness I didn't tell you how I'm just saying that we're going to have to figure out how. Yes. They may. If they are right and. They may. Well get to that they'll get to that they'll get to that they're not going to come in day one and so you know what I'm going to change right away but they'll come and you know we're going to row here and we it's a very delicate situation in the church members but might I say why should it be. Then they're not going to run to the 7 school class and attack the children and are going to go to the men's room and wait and as predators they're just not you know it's just like the people who come to church with drinking problems Whiting for communion and say well what have I let's use this instead of doing that the thief in church isn't hiding in the deacons room to steal the offering you know so if you love someone it doesn't mean we sanction a lifestyle it doesn't mean suddenly we have to close the church school who we don't need to be hysterical but we can be Christian and again we're not covering all of bases here we're simply saying we've got to figure out how to love all of God's children let the church be a safe place for ever and I tell you what I think the admin is a pretty good I really do pretty good another it's a ringing endorsement I was at a church one day and you could only call it a conservative church is a conservative church and and there's a very tall lady with very big hands and enormous feet and who dresses ill fitting and then I realised that Henrietta was actually Henry the church members knew this this is we're going back 10 years before it was special the church members knew that no one minded no one made a stink about it no one had a secret meeting saying what are we going to do the enter into. It it was just loved probably still being loved to this day so we've got to figure out again again again I'm not please don't stretch my remarks to don't say the it is written guys saying we've got to tune in to whatever nun we we need as a church as as indeed as congregations and as believe is to figure out how to love everybody and how to make church a safe place for everybody and because if we don't love them never change because if we're unloving the reason they don't change is because they scared that if they do Beltoon into what we are. And no one wants to look at the at an unloving at Venice and say oh my goodness I'm going to be like that no one wants to be like that we're going to say something was was not. All right we don't you have a meeting here oh. All right. We shall pray Al father we are grateful to you that you give us. A little work to do with Jesus and so when. We love the church and we thankful for it's a wonderful church and we are thankful that you bring people to the church we're so grateful for the work of our pastors and Bible workers administrators and for church members who share their faith and invite people at the flower shop to the musical concept and all of that and so Lord I pray that you give us grace to really care about the new ones to really love your children and to shut that back door and nail that shuttle bolted shut so that it's just about impossible for people once they come to the foot of the cross to drain out the back door like water down a out of a sink give us grace to be your hands and feet to love as you love and to let people know their love by you will bless your church we sailing into troubled waters now it seems to be one thing after another in one heresy after another in one little group drawing people away after another you allow these things to shake us so that we will get into the Bible and learn what we believe and know who we believe in. So protect your church and protect us and Lord please when someone comes in keep them never let them go grow your church although I did that too all the way into your kingdom comes in Jesus name we pray a name and 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit w w w audio verse or.

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