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The River

John Bradshaw

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The prophet Ezekiel saw a river flowing from the temple of God. Join Pastor John Bradshaw for “The River” and discover what God’s commission to His end-time church really is.

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John Bradshaw

President of It Is Written

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  • April 11, 2020
    7:45 AM
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Thanks so much for joining me today were about to open the Bible together and be blessed we will pray 1st that through the Holy Spirit God would speak to us communicate with us and encourage us right now let's pray together Father in heaven speak to us from you would we pray it is the living would we pray that we would meet Jesus the Word made flesh and that you'd speak through our hots to our individual needs to speak to a situation. Forward in Faith and charity we thank you and I ask you a blessing now in Jesus' name amen I grew up in a small town population around 5000 interesting geographical feature in that little town 2 rivers came together the Waikato River the longest river in the country and the white Pa river a language almost cocoa colored thing muddy and and unclear about the time it came to the end of its journey and my home town at a place still known today as the point where those 2 rivers come together. I grew up basically on the banks of the Waikato River my bedroom was 535 feet from the riverbank 163 meters how far is that you same bolt could have run that distance in just of a 15 seconds that's how close we were to the river no there were 2 houses between us and the river we just climbed the back fence walked down a neighbor's driveway because that's what you did in those days and we were there that river was a huge part of my life growing up I learned to swim there we played there a lot climbed the trees paddled canoes fished for eels rode for the rowing club and if today you ask me to list my favorite places in the entire world. Anywhere beside that river in my hometown would be right up near the very top of the list and of course when we come to the Bible rivers. Which we could think of the River of Life spoken of in Revelation chapter 22 we will see that in the earth made new the Bible speaks of the great river Euphrates it speaks of course of the Jordan River when Jesus was baptized and there's another river and you find it in the book of Izzy Keil much of the book of his e.q. involves the prophet speaking very strongly with reference to Judah is the heel comes on the scene after Jerusalem has been attacked by never could never it's almost the end of the line for Judah and Ezekiel catalogs Judas great since and it's sinful ness it's who was given the vision of the Sun worship taking place inside the temple God himself speaks of the abominations taking place judgments are given against the surrounding nations and then you'll remember that God appeals to Judah. He says a new heart also will I give you and a new spirit will I put within you and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you an heart of flesh and I will put my spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes and you shall keep my judgments and do then beautiful old Chapter 36 don't think it's all obscure sounding prophecies you find empathy and grace and an appeal and love of God and the power of the Gospel he'll God pleading with his people promising them restoration. He'll wrote about the Valley of dry bones what God will do in placing His Spirit in His people and bringing them back to a spiritual life. And before the end of the book of Ezekiel there are several chapters going to this this great detail about the temple God speaks about true worship and also about the role of the church in last day look at this with me you have your Bible I hope or a device containing a Bible will look together right near the end of the book of his equal and I think it's significant that this is positioned right down to the very last reaches of Ezekiel was monumental book. Chapter 47 the chapter is equal 47 starts like this in verse one afterward he brought me again under the door of the house and behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward for the forefront of the house stood toward the east. The water came down from under the right side of the house at the south side of the old you read that the waters were initially ankle deep in verse 3 then they were waist deep then they were too deep for easy kill to negotiate without swimming and so now expect it up in verse 7 now when I had returned to be hold at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other those 8 then he said unto me these waters issued out toward the east country and go down into the desert which go into the sea which being brought forth into the sea though warts shall be healed and it shall come to pass that every thing that live it which move it with us however the rivers shall come shall live and there shall be a very great multitude of fish because these waters shall come there. For they shall be healed and everything shall live within the river come and stand and it shall come to pass that the fishes shall stand upon it from end get I even unto any good I am. They shall be a place to spread forth nets their fish shall be according to their kind as the fish of the great sea exceeding many hang in there with me we're looking at verse 11 right now but the Murray place is there of and the marshes there all of shall not be they shall be given to salt verse 12 and by the river upon the bank they are all of on this side and on that side shall grow all trees for meat whose a leaf shall not fade neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed that all the sound familiar to you from the Book of Revelation it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months because there was is they issued out of the sanctuary and the fruit thereof shall be for meat and the leaf there of for medicine reminiscent of John writing in Revelation about the leaves from the tree of life being for the healing of the nation now let's think about this river flowed out of the temple It flowed into the sea and the waters of the sea healed they became fresh water the creatures in that water would all derive the fish therein would all be or would be plentiful the trees growing on the banks of that river will be fruitful and the fruit will never fail oh right what could this river be what could God be talking about flowing out of the temple bringing health to everything that contact turning salty water into fresh water bringing a life and abundance with it wherever it goes well keep something in mind we are talking about the book of Izzie heal and you can get some interesting interpretations when you discuss the book of Ezekiel But over the years many commentators maybe even most have agreed that these waters flowing forth represent the gospel of Christ the message to be proclaimed by the church. I think with me now God is seeing a time when the Gospel flows from out of the temple and brings healing healing to the land here link to the world healing to those who will be healed for we notice in those 11 that some places the my replaces the Matias would not be healed ladies and gentlemen we see today that God sees our time when the church will carry the gospel to the world and that that gospel message would be a message of a healing and a hope the River represents the church taking the gospel to the world All right let's pause here for a moment and think What's the gospel now you ask some people in there was a well the everlasting gospel I'm good with that so watch that and they might say Dear God give glory to Him the hour of his judgment is come worship Him who is the creator Babylon and fall and don't worship the beast or receive the mark of the beast Abo wait a minute I did not ask you one of the components that comprise the everlasting gospel I did not ask you to walk me through the 3 and use messages Revelation Chapter 14 does important as they are as necessary as they are as much as we love them wants the gospel message you see ladies and gentlemen we don't want to make the mistake of failing to see the forest because of the trees the gospel message will still be Jesus came to this earth as a wonderful Sadia lived a spotless life died the day we deserve he took up place don't finish not yet they laid him in Joseph knew too but the grave couldn't contain him he rose from the dead coming for that 1st Easter Sunday more. And he ascended into heaven where he intercedes for us as God's right hand. For the Gospel Jesus came to the Jesus saves you from your sin Jesus can do something about your dirty heart Jesus can give you a new heart as we tell us only moments ago the gospel there is a savior. But you know sin is too dark no stain is too persistent no guilty is so overwhelming that all that keep you from salvation because Jesus died so that by the merits of his shed blood we may be forgiven and cleansed and research stalled and aid in the image of God Jesus who died for our sinful world to make us new He's coming back to take us out of it that message we want to keep front and center at the forefront of our minds it is a life giving it is soul saving it speaks of the immense love of this almost unfathomable God and what I say what I mean when I say almost unfathomable the heaven of heavens cannot contain him his lovers unlike anything you find anywhere else has powers far beyond anything we could imagine or concoct this great cost just a sovereign God was the originator of the gospel which lived in Jesus He's the embody man of that gospel he was about doing good giving hope to the hopeless encouraging the discouraged giving life to the dead thus spiritually did most importantly and even the physically did you give you live. To the broken in body and mind do you hear you. Physically according to His Will parent surely and we know his will the cost spoke thus saving message to be taken to all of the world by the church is e.q. points that out in a single chapter 47 my friend the church is to be a place of healing place of a hope like a river it is to bring a healing influence you can see a river even in an arid place and it leaves behind itself a ribbon of green green trees flourishing covered in vibrant luxury and foliage line rivers even in the driest environments and of course that river provides irrigating waters a river can turn even the most unlikely place into a tile productive land you visit Phoenix Arizona it flourishes because of the awarded that is diverted there from a river the Colorado River that's what the church has been called to be just like a river taking the Gospel everywhere bringing life the life giving message of the Gospel brought by the should. Too often though that's not the case you and I both know that rivers don't always follow the script. I could tell you about. Who was in my year in high school when swimming in the White River in my hometown they found his body away downstream a couple of days later another student at my high school spent 2 or 3 agonizing days in the river searching for his little sister she had gone swimming in the white cattle river and didn't come home young man who lived over the back of our house dived into the river and broke his neck it was much shallower than he had figured it was thank God he survived and made a tremendous recovery but he was as you might imagine. A little as the result of that mishap in other words river something that brings to life and so many blessings can at times deliver bad news or even do much. Now our river never really flooded in a way that did damage and that was because of the geography the town was up here and the river was down there for the most part until it got down to the point the flood could also be controlled to an extent Oh into the river having been dammed up in several places so that hydro electric power could be produced which is an interesting thing rivers like the Gospel like the church contain great power rivers like the Gospel rivers like the church contain great power if that power is harnessed look if the gospel only stays in the pages of this book and the other gets out and in your heart and in your mind then you are not experiencing the power of the Gospel that river can flow but along comes somebody with great wisdom and says we can tap that and provide power. But we know also. Rivers can do great damage are you thinking. People living along the Mississippi River know that it floods from time to time they've learned to live with it but no one was ready for what historians called one of the greatest peacetime disasters in American history it was April of 192-7246 people died and I might even say only 246 the great Mississippi River flood engulfed 16000000 acres displaced about 640000 people from Illinois to Louisiana in Vicksburg Mississippi the river swelled to 80 miles wide sea the river which brings to life on this occasion brought destruction in 997 the Red River flooded in Grand Forks North Dakota wonderful place the river just a narrow river really ended up being miles wide 3 and a half $1000000000.00 of damage was done 99710 percent of the population left town years later there were streets and driveways but no houses at all being ruined and dismantled way back in 1990 Dan failed on the column a river it's the river did in the Johnstown Pennsylvania killed more than 22 hundreds of people disastrous rivers which give a life. Can often do. Great damage you know what I'm saying. There are times that the church instead of being like a peaceful life giving river sharing the gospel and living the Gospel and lifting up Jesus and exemplifying Jesus and experiencing the life of Christ and the life saving message of Christ too many times that church to into a destructive raging torrent and there are tragedies instead of being helped people are sometimes hurt by the church even in the church it's important we think about whether we help or whether we hurt What do you do at home you've got company coming of so you clean up you straighten up the place you vacuum the floor you do something about your dirt you do something about you do it when people are coming over you don't cover it up you get an ounce you put your best foot forward friend we're the church we must do the same Consider this with me you know what the churches do you know let me tell you I'm going to I'm going to read something for you is a statement from a wonderful book and the book is called the acts of the Apostles and I don't mean the book The Book of Acts in the Bible is a book written called the acts of the Apostles Now consider this with me here's some power the church is. Ok let me let me pause right there not your question if I was about to tell you exactly what the church is if I was about to give you the best definition you are ever go to hear for the church you would be all ears and eyes so here it is the church is God's appointed agency for the salvation of man it was organized for service and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world from the beginning it has been God's plan that through his church shall be reflected to the world this fullness and his sufficiency. The members of the church those whom He has called out of darkness into his mouth a slight to show for His glory and will you to get the book Acts of the Apostles you would find that statement written on page 9 I am sharing that with you because I have never found a better definition for the church outside the pages of the Bible the church exists God can use it work through it in the have it it to save people to save the last yet we both know there have been times when the church has been responsible for driving people away from Christ this happens in several ways sometimes people from the outside looking in and say What are they doing I wouldn't want to be like them sometimes people see us getting caught up in politics and I say that's not Christ sometimes you see these docilely told 3 appeals for money and you know I'm not talking about offering appeal that's appropriate it's not inappropriate to us spokes for financial help but you know that this can sometimes get in the way of Jesus and it just looks awful the way we model faith sometimes is a turn off rather than an attraction people can be needlessly offended there are times we are not careful what we say a visitor does not want to sit in your Bible class and listen to you criticizing another church or arguing with the Bible class teacher or generally being an idiot no I don't hear me saying what I'm not saying no one's saying we shouldn't share the truth in love no one is saying you can exchange a point of view but you know what I'm talking about. If you're inviting company to your house for Thanksgiving and your crazy brother in law shows up you go into damage control mode Larry maybe you'd like to sit out in the backyard while the rest of us pumpkin pie or you say Larry we have company coming of and you are not allowed to talk about politics or tell your offensive jokes one Larry because we want to make a good impression we want our new friends to feel comfortable we want our new friends to come back we do that at home we ought to do that in the church and by the way as I say in the church think about how the church is comprised of individuals it's the folks who are the church more than the institution of the building so I've got to consider how I take this principle all these principles with me wherever I go. There are times that I have been in churches conducting outreach events and I have seen that that Larry I'm talking about the lineup of visitor and I know that he is going in for the kill he sees he smells fresh blood he sees a new person he says I am going to unload all of my wacky theories on that person I'm going to go over there and warn that person about our pasta you know those people exist I have gone right over there and literally interrupted 2 people to give a turn to Larry Larry let's talk about taking Larry by the I walked across the foyer past what you want to talk to me about anything at all Larry as long as you're talking there may there are times you have got to do that you've got to do something about the loose cannons. Of people you know you know what Jesus in. He said It must be that offenses come but he said whoa betide that person by using the offenses come better of that person be tied to a millstone and tossed into the sea think about that Jesus is saying we got to be careful that we are projecting and sharing and living and modeling the love of Jesus we are letting people see the Gospel not just hear it in action this last person God has been working in that drawing that person sowing seeds bringing good influences that person comes to church all of heaven is rejoicing the Lord Himself is rubbing his hands together so glad all that's my child coming to church but the devil saw that person coming to church and made sure to put that person right in the firing line of the church crank and that person drive them away we are never getting them back I could tell you story after story story after story and again Let's personalize this you mean somebody in the store and you bought at them Why didn't you say make Wicca How come you gave me the wrong change why did you park in my parking space excuse me who do you think you are and then they find out what church you go to what kind of demonstration of the gospel is that we got to make it real we got to allow the gospel to mold us to sand off our rough edges Yes mistakes happen but if your heart is towards Jesus they happen less and less and less and if you are praying Lord Jesus I want you to be seen in my life then Jesus is going to be seen in our law says we need to think a whole lot more in church About Why We Do What We Do What do our visitors think we making them welcome we leaving a good impression seeing Jesus in us. Before we worry too much about visitors it might be that if you're honest you going to admit that you haven't seen visit is in the church knows how long and this is why we get careless sometimes because we're not getting this or this and so we're not thinking oh I've got to put on my good graces I mean you carry on in your house you know one way but when the company comes over well you know you don't. And you make sure that you don't cough out across the kitchen table. You see we get careless sometimes because we are seeing visitors come into the hotel in some places and one of the reasons that we don't get this it is one of the reasons the church isn't growing one of the reasons that the gospel isn't doing the work that we want to see it be one of the reasons that the river isn't flowing with power when was the last time someone just invited themself over to your house for dinner now you're going to say last week but but your brother in law Larry doesn't count when did someone that you don't know well just invite themselves over for dinner well never almost never it just doesn't happen you know if we want to see more people respond to the Gospel we've got to actually invite people to respond to the Gospel and if you're going to invite them to come you've got to have something to invite them to the last thing in the world you want is for someone to roll up a church folks on friendly messages we don't even know where the message came from folks on fire you want to have something to invite folks are not going to tell you if all you've got is all you got invited anyway and pray that God will bless it. We got to invite them to hear the Word of God invite them to learn about the Bible in a way that's appropriate the way they are invite them to get to know you invite them to see the character of Jesus being reflected in the people of the church invite them to become part of a community where they'll be loved and cared for and cared about you know that we shouldn't be doing what we do just for us the judge was never intended to be a club I pay my dues I want things the way I want them now don't stretch what I'm saying too far I understand that it could be stretched that way but that's not my intent we want to do what we do so that people that we don't know what we know and who we know can have the best possible chance of knowing Jesus true story wish I didn't have to tell you this. It was greeting at the door of the church I cannot I can't actually tell you which church but I want a teenage girl dressed young woman 1819 years of age dressed in black black everything black I mean everything to get out politian dyed hair black everything she rubbed at the door of the church with a friend who likewise was dressed like she just as out of a horror movie. Dia saying it was greeting that said. Lord help us tell the teenage girl that she knew Sorry honey you can't come in here dressed like that. You need to go home and your friend and get changed before it would be appropriate for you to come inside. Bring them in bring them your poor your tired your huddled masses bring then the goths and the drunks and the drug dealers and the mean spirited and just everyday folks who are lost bring them and you tell them just like you are Mikasa su casa you are out to hold me here praying and then God will change him God will transform no one says you got to lower the standard no one says you got to forget the principles in the Bible and throw me out but the primary principle that I want to remember is if you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren you have done it unto me love your neighbor bring then in their all to be somebody in your church who smells like liquor there are to be somebody in your church who's a high on opioids or marijuana or something no no I'm not suggesting the communion wine I don't mean that I'm not suggesting get people lit up before that I'm saying if you've got someone sitting in a back row your church who smells like a brewery expected news in as much as it's evidence that all the Spirit of God has drawn some 100 to Jesus Christ I'll tell you the story a fellow I know told me the story is a pasta I used to come to church and sit in church and no one getting anything out of the sun and so I would go to the bathroom and line up a little row of a line of cocaine and sniff and run up my nerves. Now that's not good and I would not advocate anybody bring cocaine to church I would not advocate anybody bring cocaine anywhere except to the police or the trash but having said that he said one day and you would wonder why a guy who's getting wasted in church would even come to church but he was coming to church every week and then one day he was listening to the summit he. Got up walked to the bathrooms aligned himself up a little on a cocaine he was just about to snort it right up his nose when he felt God speaking to him not an oracle voice but God said Man you don't need that you can do better than that you don't even need that in your life and he thought to himself you know you're right he pushed it into the sink flushed it all away or ran it only honest down the drain you know Naveh used again bring it on. We're all sinners you come to church with your pride you come to church with and you come to church with your lust again maybe not you maybe somebody else you come to church with your racism folks Ok not you people do that bring him bring the sinners we're going to meet Jesus because when you wait out to do a river you cannot help but get wet and if the church is a rhythm was and the Gospel is flowing out of the church and it's in the church come on bring people inside they've got to get wet they're going to get baptized in the Gospel of Jesus Christ we cannot afford to offend people we have to love people we can't afford to ignore people we've got to make them feel like they just came home which is what Jesus does I know it's not always like that we could trade stories about the how the unlovable would love to know that we could talk all day long I hugged about how people went out of their way to do the right thing it happens. But ladies and gentlemen I'm of the conviction that if the church is to be like that river. Taking the Gospel flowing here and there and everywhere it's time for us to pull up our socks every last one I got to come to Jesus I long for my doing to make a difference what's my influence like once that atmosphere that follows me everywhere if somebody brushes by me are they going to say I feel drawn to Jesus pushed away from Jesus yes the right thing happens just not enough it's time if we are serious about getting people ready for eternity that we develop a culture of the law and acceptance and we understand what the Gospel can do in my life so then God can do something about that in other people's lives let me tell you this powerful I was standing in the foyer of a church once it was a smallish foyer not teeny tiny but smallish I was standing up here against the wall talking to the pasta he said to me those 2 people. They just walked in oh yeah I see them looked like a mother and a daughter or maybe 2 sisters he said they've never been before this is the 1st time he said let's watch and so we did we watched as we talked to each other they were greeted with obvious Care After chatting a few moments about just his you Bulletin. How you doing oh really that side of town me too oh is that some. Of the chatting for a few moments the Great is handing them off to another couple Oh really needs to just 2 streets away how long you been there fantastic Oh I'm so glad you're here just to know that guy. Is that couple I told about those 2 people walked into the sanctuary. With my own is. One person one of them saying to the other I am so glad you listen to this and walked into church spoke to 2 people got handed off to 2 more like a tag team that walking into the sanctuary now the church where the worship takes place had never met the pasta hadn't a sermon hadn't stayed for a fellowship meal but one of them turned to the other and said I am so glad that I have finally found a church home just like that one was that because they had been a loved as soon as they set foot in the door they met people who demonstrated who modeled exemplified the love and care and concern of Jesus you go to churches and be ignored when we should have decided a long time ago we're going to make a big deal about everyone who comes in the door I have left church so somebody visited they walked out I've chased them I mean literally have a run off them excuse me a car to get to know you want you to know you're welcome here I spoke recently at an event many churches came together a dear friend of mine that her friend not a church member good about this event and said I watched the programs I've seen that guy speak I want to go and hear him in person Oh that's exciting you see somebody you never beat inside the church was coming to church so my dear friend. How was it all was great and then she said but you know. It was great. But you know not a single person said hello to me. Where I live there's a bunch of churches is Grand Central Station for churches some new folks came to our church as it how you doing gray How did you end up here not at another church where we visited a bunch of churches that. Is the 1st church we stepped into it people said hello I'm going to give the other churches the benefit of the doubt that there had to be an extenuating circumstances. Can even say hello you know why we're the reason why we're too busy figuring out Daniel 11 we're busy saving the world we're busy establishing universities and hospitals with busy telling people what the Book of Revelation means busy that we cannot find time to say hello. I read this recently this is a true story of well I don't lie to you and actually count a man wrote recently about his experience as a fake shopper and what's a fake shopper a business was struggling to get customers in stores because construction was happening outside the front door and so the business hired people to pretend to be happy shoppers The idea was that people not in the store when they walked by would see that there's something actually going on in there and they look in and they'd say oh those people look happy and they'd be attracted into the store there's a message there isn't there one of people looked inside the church and so happy satisfied people in the church would that be attractive to people on the outside all up more attractive than looking in from the outside and seeing unhappy unkind unloving joyless people what do people see when they look into your church. Or into your heart Jesus said in Matthew 5 and verse 14 he said You are the light of the world simple No you don't want to fake it but isn't it important that people believe there's a God who believe there's a place called heaven people who believe they're going to spend eternity with God isn't it important that people who believe in forgiveness and grace and kindness and love actually look like they enjoy believing that. If someone wandered in off the street into your church wouldn't you want them to see that the people there. Is God and shining because the gospel then you can't win somebody with a gospel that doesn't work for you apparently that shopping thing worked out quite well people see joy and happiness and excitement and they want to be part of it and the same principle is true in matters of faith no one wants to be spotted something that doesn't exude joy Thankfully we don't have to fake it let me say that again thankfully we don't have to fake it if Jesus has you it will shine out he will shine out if a group of believers is committed to Jesus it's going to show I heard somebody once say that the greatest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable christian think with me now on what if Jesus lives what if what if you're a sinner What if Jesus died to save you from your sin What if Jesus has opened to you the doors of heaven and he doesn't say. You've got to win a Nobel Prize to get in here he didn't say you got to be the biggest and fastest to get in he doesn't say you gotta get a you gotta ace the s.a.t. to get in here what if Jesus were to say this is how the Gospel works I died for you believe and I will credit to you my righteousness. In Me and you will bring forth much fruit one if that were true and if that were true then that means Jesus going to take away my sins if that were true it means man name is written in the Lamb's book of life if that's what true then I can look forward to the day when gravity loses its power on the soles of my feet if that were true doesn't matter what anybody says about me because I know what Jesus says about me I hear the voice of God say This is my beloved Son in whom I am well placed imagine if the Gospel were true and that you could be saved from your sin by grace through faith in Jesus Christ what is sin sin is the transgression of the law given us in one Bible definition what does sin do the wages of sin is death 59 in verse 2 will tell you that your sin separates you from God That's where we are but through the provisions made by the gospel all ladies and gentlemen don't know watering something down somebody saying wait a minute he hasn't talked about a bt and said he hadn't talked about Christian standards I hear ya. Let's start at the beginning shall way Jesus died so I might live jesus lives his life in me and he can live his life in you without changing you and making you what you cannot make yourself righteousness by faith we believe that God will work in us both there will and to do His good pleasure if the church is like. We are going to follow with the gospel message and take it to the world it will flow out of the Heart of Jesus Himself keep in mind my friend there are all kinds of rivers some rivers are so polluted you just wouldn't believe it I have stood on the banks of the gun G.'s river in India it is considered to be an actual god by Hindus but it's so polluted that if you are I drank even a little of that water we'd be sicker than a dog in 1969 the river in Ohio at Julie caught fire going to all of the pollutants in the river at about the same time the River Thames in London was declared to be logically dead in the 19th century people regularly contracted cholera from that river and died taking the gospel to the world is depicted by Zeke Yule as a river flowing out of the sanctuary then friend let us come in right now to clean our churches up so they'll be healthy places no no I don't believe in too many churches like the Ganges a bitch there are. We want to be intentional about making the church I healthy place where people love to be it starts you know what I'm saying don't you you can fix the church by going to the church that changed here look at what God said about people who are not yet church members through the prophet Isaiah. And Chapter $56.00 Isaiah $56.00 let's see what the Bible says also the sons of the stranger that joined themselves to the Lord to serve Him and to love the name of the Lord to be his servants everyone that keep the Sabbath from polluting it and take it hold of my covenant even then will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer for mine house shall be called and House of Prayer for all people let's take a moment to focus on an obvious aspect of his prophecy the gospel. Flood the Gospel go into the world is depicted as a flowing river not as a lake or as a stagnant pond in the other direction for I grew up the river was that way that direction exact opposite direction was a gully and when there was a lot of rain that gully would fill up and places stagnant water I learned as a kid isn't any fun it doesn't smell good it is not a nice color when we don't go when we don't flood we are stagnant and we don't look good and we don't smell good either Jesus said therefore and make disciples of all nations I wrote my witnesses say of the Lord and my servant whom I have chosen the Bible says I The Lord have called the in righteousness and will hold on hand then will keep the and give the for a covenant of the people for a light to the Gentiles to open the blind eyes to bring out the prisoners from the prison and then that sit in darkness out of the prison house that again in Chapter 42 Jesus said to his people the light of the world he other so of the earth the church is God's fortress it's his City of Refuge and please you don't have to like it but you must remember that the church is the apple of God's eye the one object upon this earth upon which he bestows in a special sense his supreme god we want to build it up we want to grow it we want the very best for it that's one of the reasons why I'm looking forward so much to revelation today I hope awakens we are starting that series on April 17th I hope you'll get involved tell others share with others your church on board it's a wonderful opportunity during a time of extremity that we can offer hope to the world and share Jesus the embodiment of hope don't you believe people can be reached they can. They won't be if we sit on our hands but if we move forward prayerfully we will see God do mazing things it's time for the church to flow again don't get me wrong look around the landscape there are so many Christians doing so wonderfully for Jesus so many churches are on fire but come on now we are a body and you know on the left healthy of the rod as withering you don't want the little toe healthy but the big festering we want to be healthy and when Jesus flows through us we maybe that's our privilege somebody sent me something probably was an email I'm sure it was there was a terrible thing happening in the church and a dear soul wanted to tell the whole world about it Be careful friend God's church is still building up not tearing down if you see something in it that you don't like if you see a leader make a mistake. What do you expect the church is made up of. And as you have learned in your own experience people. This isn't a time for tearing down it's a time to building up I'm not saying your body gets a free possible foolish behavior pray if you must. Still in the spirit of Jesus share a concern with the appropriate person but done to the world and all the churches dirty linen you are tearing down what God is wanting to build don't run around a church or some dear old lady she don't know a from b. when it comes to church problems dear old lady did you know that the past is this and that did you know that the president is all this and that did you know that and now this dear sister didn't have a clue now she's up an alms all well go to hell church isn't a mess no you don't want to do that if you've stumbled across something that concerns you speak to the right people do it kindly pray we want to help people. You know want to help people out help them up make this church a better place make your congregation a bit of congregation as you are more like Jesus too easy sometimes to tear off a whole often criticism that's not denying yourself. The default route. Because I feel that satisfaction that comes from indulging self Oh no don't do that deny yourself come on take up your cross surrender to Jesus the devil will tempt you to see all the bad things about the church let us see the hypocrites and the insincere and the people with problems but instead of getting bogged down in that we are going to see the positives we are going to shun the temptation to succumb to temptation we're going to allow God to take care of the church because God has called us to be faithful to the mission of the church and what is it I repeat the church is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men it was organized for service and its mission is to carry the gospel to. That's why we are here the Church is an organism designed by God to bring and presenting salvation come on God is at work God wants to work even more I don't think we've seen the best yet I. Read it in my bible that they'll be something called the lateral reign and folks have commented on that and said That will be a time of great in gathering into the church oh god is fixing to do great things great things and we see some of them don't we as we go by if you've got your eyes open you see lots of them I recently attended a very small church just a few people there I sat in the study time I enjoyed the discussion and it wasn't until the visiting preacher a layman stood up that the penny dropped for me I had not recognized him up until then and I did want to stay. But when he stood up it dawned on me he'd been baptized 10 or 15 years. After an evangelistic series that I had held. He being brought to that series by a family member she had invited her entire family to be there so now he's in church with his pregnant wife is opening up the Bible Christ is the center of his shared a message that encouraged and inspired every one of us if not for a sister inviting him if not for church leaders who said we got to hold meetings and invite the community here the gospel without a church that wanted to flow without a church that had a sense of mission he would not have been there that day and would almost certainly have been lost all Come on friend this is a great day but like a river we want to flow like a river we want to be healthy like a river we want to bring a life into the lives of all we contact we can't always get it right been taught always gets it right unfortunately we're not all that we need to be maybe I should say that again unfortunately we are not any of us all that we need to be but if I bring my loves and fishes to Jesus a lot take my heart for I cannot give it it is your property keep it pure for I cannot keep it for the saved me in spite of myself my weak un-Christ like self I pray that prayer I've given Jesus permission to have my heart man if I pray that prayer at least my little corner of the church is going to shine for Jesus arrives shine the light has come and if you go to Revelation Chapter 18 the Bible promises you that there is coming a time that the whole world will be lit up with a manifestation of the character of Christ that revelation $181.00 and that manifestation of Christ will be seen in God's people I'm going to call them the church don't you want to be part of the great movement of God the great moving of the Holy Spirit we are in this together and we need each other so. Well right now not 6 feet from each other. We're going to March forward allowing Jesus to take. Collective hot and use his church like he's never used it before you want to see that happen don't come on now let's pray pray for us the church pray for the church the church that God would do great things in let us come on now by some miracle of divine grace be determined to be a force for good everywhere so that God through us can do good anywhere let's pray our Father in heaven we thank you for Jesus we thank you for the Gospel Jesus died on an old rugged cross so that I might live eternally Jesus' sinless spotless one died for my sins he took my sins so I can have his righteousness and through this transaction based on faith I can have the assurance that I may through faith in Christ enter in the everlasting Gates one day and walk on streets of gold I can have the assurance now that salvation is mine friend you must have that assurance too. Would you accept Jesus again Jesus take my hot load live in me if you live in me in my little patch. Of the church is going to shine for Jesus Lord do that in all of our lives so that the church can truly be like a river flowing in taking the gospel to the world let it be deal old we pray thank you for taking my hot the hearts of all who right now are saying yes Jesus take my heart is that your prayer friend can you pray it would you say it out loud Oh all silently Yes Lord Jesus take my hot father be a god now and. We pray and we thank you in Jesus name please say with me a min. And a man and thank you for joining me may God bless you as you allow Jesus and the Gospel to be the very center of your life.

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