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Crisis of the Empty Lamp

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • May 16, 2020
    12:30 PM
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Lord our lives yours and this morning we're offering them up again as a living sacrifice so we're asking now Lord that you were just stablish us may we be indeed a light in a dark world I'm praying Lord that you'd make us fragrant give us fruit bless elder Bradshaw as he breaks the bread of life again this evening with hope awakens we pray for all the light gatherings around the globe especially right now in this hemisphere and we're asking the Lord the your spirit would be near to each of us and how we're gathered to all of us we put our lives in your hands now in Jesus' name amen when I was a teenager after giving my heart to Christ I found myself loving the fellowship of God's people I didn't realize how much of a love of the outdoors I had in my in my heart I grew up in a little suburb you could say of Peoria Illinois on a little quarter acre piece of property but I joined the Pathfinder club and in that experience I began acquiring confidence to be in the out of doors the problem was was that one night my mom and dad dropped me off at the Pathfinder club and we enjoyed our prepared finder club meetings or I should say socializing. And then the end of the meeting came and we enjoyed our post past find our club socializing and then one by one all of my friends' parents started pulling up and taken away it was very dark out we were 20 miles from home and I can remember as person by person left to where it was only my sister and I now you have to remember this is been some 40 years ago and I did not have the perspective of the parent back then you know the Bible says Can a mother forget her nursing child they may forget but I won't forget now in my mind at that point time I thought it was actually possible that my parents had forgotten me and that I would be spending the night there under the audience of the Knoxville Avenue Church in Peoria Illinois shivering through the cold and worried about what things might come creeping out of the shadows I didn't think for a moment. That they were on their way any time soon it was in the pre celular day so I had no way of calling up and saying hey Mom where are you hey Dad where are you and one by one even the staff left and I thought to myself I'm going to be totally abandoned here Well fortunately it's not easy for a parent to forget their child and one of the staff members linger behind long enough but I still remember to where it lingers as a fresh memory in my mind I can see the entrance to that church and that's where a light was and I just when that red Ford pulled up and we got in the car I don't think I remonstrated with my my father and my mother but I'd say what being with the ones I felt close to being secure and cared for meant a lot to me I did not want to be left behind now we know there's a famous series of books with that title and they're built around the teaching of the secret rapture. And this morning I'd like to make sure we understand how deadly and dangerous that subject matter is the secret rapture is a new theological construct that was developed within the last 100 years or so and it's built around a wrong understanding of a prophecy in Daniel Chapter 9 that somehow God's going to come take his people away at the beginning of 7 years of tribulation which the Bible does not talk about by the way and at the end of those 7 years all the rest are going to get on board so if you're not on for the 1st trip you can get on the 2nd trip and it's a fatal lonely to sleep of God's peoples Parag and to to know him and those who don't know him to be told they can and the idea that somehow God whisking all the faithful ones away and startling and waking up everybody else is not in the Scripture being left behind is a dare of all reality if you've ever been abandoned if you've ever been rejected if you've ever been scorned and sat on a shelf and not knowing where your securities come from it's a terrible terrible feeling now this morning my messes intitled. The crisis of the empty lamp. And I want you to think about this in light of a parable that is a response to the signs of the times Jesus sat on the mound of all of it looking at the temple and His disciples said what a magnificent sight and Jesus said you know what the days coming when it won't be there it's going to be destroyed that is possible is asked a question that was really 2 questions in one they didn't understand that the sign of the destruction of Jerusalem and the signs of the coming of Christ would represent 2 events but they asked for and were delivered a we were delivered a knowledge of what the signs would be now it is not my subject matter this morning to look at all the signs but I want you to show the response to the signs which are what the 3 parables of Matthew 25 are about take your Bibles and open up to the book of Matthew Matthew chapter 24 and what I want to do today is I want to remind you that while we are secure in a relationship with Jesus Christ there is a readiness for life eternal and there is a readiness that the world ought to have for the coming of Christ and there is a role that we are to play now just because my life is hidden Christ doesn't mean the journey with Christ is over I am to have assurance that I am a child of God growing up I was a troublesome child at times but my parents did not disown me in the midst of my perfidy in the midst of my rebellion at times I always remained a child of Ron and Jenny Kelly their love remained constant for me and I had the security that I belonged even when I didn't really behave properly God wants His children to have that same sense of security but my parent's job like the job of our heavenly Father was to get me ready for a different experience the experience my parents got me ready for was adulthood to be a happy and faithful husband to be a productive citizen the role that Christ is getting. Ready for is to be an ambassador throughout all the universe and all time Christ is ready in us to live in his home representing him in the celestial universe and there is a readiness for that work my life is hidden Christ when I receive him I miss saved in that relationship as I'll ever be and yet each day is a journey with his spirit in which I grow and my readiness and capacity to represent him more fully is growing too so getting ready to meet Jesus for some is a statement of fear and trepidation it creates kind of a spiritual stress that's not my intent it was never Jesus but if my have factions are for the world and someone talks about Jesus and I experience a type of spiritual uncertainty then let me take that to Jesus and ask him why and if you need help come to a pastor call one of our chaplains and let's talk about why the coming of Jesus and getting ready for him ready to meet him would create stress in your heart and mind Christ game to gave us assurance that we could know that we have eternal life according to John in his little of pistols and this morning I want everything I say to be inside the same context I want you to have assurance in Christ but if you don't have assurance in Christ let's give our hearts to Jesus receive it and do what he says to do Matthew 24 verse 42 he says therefore be on the alert for you do not know what day your Lord is coming but be sure of this that if the head of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming he would have been on the alert and were not allowed his house to be broken into for this reason you must also be ready for the Son of Man is coming in an hour when you do not think he will know Matthew 24 is a descriptor of how we can know when the time is near Matthew 25 is how. Wait while we're looking for the day now the good news about Matthew chapter $25.00 especially the 1st parable is that it's really a story of celebration the bad news about Matthew $25.00 is that specially the 1st 13 verses that not everybody is going to participate in the celebration I'm here today as an ambassador of Christ to make certain that you don't miss out on the celebration that's coming the Marriage Supper of the Lamb Matthew chapter $25.00 Verse one we want to avoid the crisis of the empty lamp then the kingdom of heaven verse one Matthew $25.00 will be comparable to 10 virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom 5 of them were foolish and 5 were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps they took no ill with them but the prudent took oil in flask along with their lamps now while the bridegroom was delaying they all got drowsy and began to sleep but it midnight there was a shout behold the bridegroom come out to meet him then all those virgins rose and trim their lamps the foolish said to the prudent give us some of your oil for our lamps are going out but the prison answered No there won't be enough for us and for you go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves and while they were going away to make the purchase the bridegroom came and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast and the door was shut later the other virgins also came saying Lord Lord open for us but he answered truly I see and you I do not know you be on the alert then for you do not know the day nor the hour that sounds an awful lot like the use of the word alert 2 times in Matthew $24.00 from the 3 verses we read now if something exciting is going to happen and it's positive and someone tells me pay attention because you don't want to miss out I'm not waiting in stress and a form of spiritual neuroses where I'm uncertain about what's going to happen I'm waiting in anticipation of something good and by the way seen Jesus should be the best thing that could happen to us the bad thing is is that all of these parables and each of the warnings in Jesus Matthew 24 discourse reminds us that our carnal heart tracks off course naturally and there is a pain attention to the path of life and the light that is important for us so here we find in this parable a call to pay attention lest that what's we focused our life for is something we miss out on Ellicott in his commentary says that as these parables of Matthew 25 have a common aim impressing on the disciples the necessity at once of watchfulness. S. and of activity in good but each has its scene and it has its very distinct scope the smarmy we're focusing on the 1st of the 3 parables that are recorded there in Matthew chapter 25 Now it's important for me to recognize that I know most people came this sermon now thinking that I'm talking to them they're not asleep they're not without a lamp and nobody's without light the very nature of our human mind is that we create mentalities of security we create a mindset that makes us feel comfortable so part of the preachers job is to say make sure that you have on the road make sure that you have oil in your lamp make sure that there's a light on your path some people stay away from church because they don't like the message but all those that are here this morning all those that are tuned in live are watching this in a recorded version have a desire to make a journey with Jesus but if we start this sermon out and I don't communicate that I know that you know that you don't really need this parable it's for everybody else that I'm missing out on a chance to really challenge you right from the very beginning to say pay attention in case God wants to talk to you here so I want to talk about several things out of this parable I want to talk about virgins I want to talk about lamps oil alertness gathering I want to talk about darkness relationships and judgment it's not going to be that long of a message we're going to move through all of these very carefully but let's start with the virgins the kingdom of heaven will be comparable verse one to 10 virgins. Now important thing for us to recognize from other parables Jesus taught as a to get into the wedding you had to be invited and you needed a wedding garment on those are invitations by one who alone can make us fit for the celebration they are statements that are woven with the concepts of righteousness by faith we don't belong being reunited with God The Church on earth reunited with our heavenly bridegroom those are gifts they're provided to us Jesus has called you not because you're fit and not because you're good but because he loves you and so the invitation is to the wedding and in this case the invitation is an even more it's called to announce that the celebrations going on that's a responsibility we have there are some people there are anticipating the celebration without accepting the responsibility that everybody should be invited is that you are you simply engaging the church to meet your spiritual needs like a spiritual consumer or you recognizing that the privilege of anticipating something good has with it the responsibility of letting as many know as well lesson a virgin is a representation in the bible of the pure experience with God And I think sometimes we forget what James 127 says the pure and undefiled religion is this to care for the widows in the orphans in their distress and to keep oneself unspotted from the world now I want to talk about that for just a minute God is actually calling us to withdraw our affections and our association from the world and thus in association with the world we can do them some good the truth of the matter is many in the Christian faith of today including the one I represent have found themselves embrace in the same amusements and entertainments and recreation as the rest of the world consequently their wedding clothes are spotted Now I know it's common today having officiated at many weddings through the years to show up looking casual. As if it's not a big deal I know that a wedding is a very important moment I've presided over one for my one of my own for children and I've presided over many others and I've I see the parents come you never see a parent dressed down at a wedding you might see cousins and friends sitting there in flip flops and and island shirts but you don't see the people close to the bride and groom coming looking casual there's something about it I mean if I went to pull out my suit for my son's wedding and I saw I have big stain on it I'd be exceptionally disappointed embarrassed even our wedding clothes are given to us by God but we're not to saga through the cesspools of this world wearing them thinking everything's going to be Ok there's actually a call for us to take care of what God gave us which is the privilege of access through this relationship in which he's the initiator and he's the provider but he gives us the opportunity not to work for our salvation but to work it out and in the working out of it we're not supposed to go to the feeding traps of the world to the pagan places of gathering whether they're virtual or alive we're not supposed to pump it into our ears or flood our eyes with the viewing so I want everybody to know right from the very beginning that this parable app actually represents some assumptions in a starting place for the Church of God and I'm suggesting that today that the Church of God has found itself trending in its Babylonian in some of the Babylonian mentalities of this age co-opting music worship styles entertainments of a private nature habits of life that throughout the history of the Protestant Christian church have not been deemed acceptable in precept or practice. And so I'm calling all of us to recognize right from the very beginning Jesus is assuming that we've entered into a covenant with him where he's redefined all of our life we're wearing a garment he's provided but we're taking care as far as it's in his power in his directive and through his power to not sully it with an experience of the world if you're listening to me this morning or this afternoon or whatever it might be and God's calling you back to a pure unadulterated relationship with him following the Holy Spirit speaks and if he's been talking to you about something that you've resisted in resent it may be something you were taught by a teacher a parent an authority figure in the past I'm calling you today to let the Holy Spirit be God for in the end the spirit is a central part of this parable some people try to progress without him they've got the lamp it's a Suppose a knowledge of the word although we're going to talk about that in a minute but it's not ever taken root and there really is no fruit like the seed that fell on the stony ground. There's an opportunity to encounter the gospel but it's not nurtured and tended by a cooperative spirit in the heart of man in other words there's an irresponsibility to the experience that finds a bankruptcy when there's nothing that can be done about it yes there are 10 virgins I want to talk to you about gathering it would be foolhardy to look at this parable as the 1st of 3 as not recognize it's all about gathering 10 is the important number when it comes to dealing with the dynamic of Jewish thought 10 was the amount of people that were needed to establish a synagogue the priest was not going to enact a formal worship service with out 10 people there there are all kinds of dynamics about the number 10 but God has a group and the interesting thing about this group that's announcing the coming of the bridegroom is that they're not only gathered themselves but they're going to an even bigger gathering Yes 7th Day Adventists have been practicing social distancing long before coven 1000 they've quit coming to the Vespers they quit coming to the prayer meeting they quit coming to the Sabbath school oh they're still going to come to church there's a vestige there's a tradition there's a culture that hasn't totally been rejected but I'm here to tell you this parable is all about gathering it's gathering here in a test of patience of gathering over there and not gathering is going directly against the words of the Apostle Paul in the book of Hebrews when he said don't for sake the gathering so if we're going to anticipate the coming of Christ well I can't get oil from you because that's an experience of God It's a receiving of the Holy Spirit Personally I can get life from your taper and the gathering of our group can can project light in a different way than individual I can burn now when the sun goes down here today if I was in this place with my one candle it would be very distinctly seen the other night I came back from a walk with my family. The sun had gone down while we were walking I had in my hand a orange in black lithium powered. I guess if you came from Europe you'd call it a torch we call it a flashlight with probably 5000 lumens or candle. Can what the truth of the matter is when we gather our lights together we project a different impact in dispelling the darkness it's important your light shines at home if you're not a Christian there you're not a Christian anywhere it's important you're a Christian at work it's important we gather as Christians to project God's light into an ever darkening world this is something I want to understand as well the Bridegroom comes at midnight it is the darkest moment we need to know especially those of us that have some length of life on us that all of the studying God didn't come down to planet Earth and pull the one shade down on the cultural experience of who we are slowly the Sun of Righteousness has been setting slowly the Holy Spirit's been withdrawn from the planet slowly the darkness is deepening and if ever there was a time when we should be gathering not social distancing Now I don't want to mix up my metaphor with the physical realities that are necessary now when we gather back in this church we'll be doing some social distancing but we might be closer to each other with our social distancing than we have before we have the privilege of gathering listen Satan Assad to wound this society and God's church is by separating us I hope on the back side of coven 1000 we understand that Satan knows that gathering is important for going forward and God's calling all of us to a new commitment to gathering because it's in those gathering moments that light falls on our path from somebody else that isn't going to fall if you don't come together so I'm challenging every single person listening to me I'm challenging you to make a covenant with God and to take the automatic. Not so subtle truth is woven into this and plainly stated by the Apostle Paul come together come together to pray yes it's going to be awkward for a little bit because really we don't know each other and yes your kids are going to be a little bit bored for a little bit because they're used to being stimulated by their devices all the time those need to start evaporating and moving out of their lives in the private so that in the public sectors people become interesting again God has made us to be engaged mind with mind there's nothing more exciting than getting to know somebody but there's also nothing much more awkward and uncomfortable until you cross the threshold where they're not a stranger but their friend this parable is completely about gathering and we gather together to announce and we gather together to anticipate and someday we're going to gather together in the presence of the Living Christ so friends I don't care how busy you are I don't care what degree you're working on I don't care how import your work is and it's not about whether I care or not I'm just an amplifier to what the the Word of God says and this is clearly a parable of gathering we find out that 5 were foolish and 5 were prudent we find out that there are caring lamps now we know that some 1905 says the word is a way lamp under my feet and it's a light and in my path so God's word I'm going to relate to it right now as God's written word because this is certainly the undoubted in and at least for those that have encountered the living Christ the indisputable word of God I'm going to suggest to you that in the same way that there were a number of people are a number of people listening to me who have not kept their garments have not kept their spiritual virginity they're in love with the world I'm going to suggest you also that we can't take for granted that most of the people in the Covenant Community God are carrying a lamp a lot of walking by their own experience are a lot of moving at the whims of their own feelings their own interests their own appetites. God's word is to be hidden in our hearts we are certainly to be familiar with this word but I'm going to suggest to you there's been an ever growing level of biblical illiteracy inside the ranks of 7 they haven't tism of which we have been known as people of the book but I promise you with every succeeding generation at least of the ones I have known while I am living which is about 5 that you can see a progression of growing ignorance and what an ugly word ignorance is you can see a growing progression of ignorance and where the words of Hosea my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge it's not just that they have a theory of the book it's that they know the author of the book and that the Holy Spirit who is leading them personally in the Word and in communion in a gathering is making it real but do you really know the Word of God Have you ever read it once through and are you rushing through it with a little sound bite devotional encounter in the morning because you've got too many other important things to do and what about your kids are you modeling to them the priority of the important or you letting the urgent fill in all the margin of your life to where you've got to rush and hurry through and worship is one of the most frustrating experiences of your family day I'm calling you friends to a different priority system because the truth of the matter is when Christ walks out of the heavenly sanctuary and probation closes he that is holy will be holy still and he who is unjustly unjust will there will be no 2nd Charlie out of earth into Heaven the encounter with Christ will be resplendent with opportunity up until the door of probation closes but people that are left behind at that moment have left eternal life behind. That's why I'm appealing to you some of those things you had his priorities before coven 1000 are not to be priorities on the other side of coven 1000 and if there are families listening to me and you don't have a family schedule that. In sconces the primacy of what matters most to you kids to school and you with potential eternal consequences associated with it why do I not place in my mind and on my schedule an encounter with the living God whose word was Christ defense against the devil will be our assurance in times of trouble and will be our satisfaction when we look into the eyes of Jesus and hear him say Well done good and faithful servant you've got a lot of opportunities if you're a Westerner listening to me this morning because we went through a booming economy some of those sick some of those opportunities may be gone but of all the things that need to be done I must approach and to Christ myself and the 2 things the both receiving oil which is a courting disaster I have 14 which is an instrument a symbol of the Holy Spirit for me both to have a lamp and have light coming from it requires a personal living encounter with Christ Now listen this parable is not only about individual crises for the 5 people who don't have oil but do have a lamp who have a theory of truth they might even know what our $28.00 fundamental beliefs are for those that have a lamp and they have well there's light not only for them but for the all those around them but there's not just an individual experience here there are places where whole churches have gone dark there's but a flickering little glimmer of what was once a blazing light I think about the power and the strength of the Methodist Church transforming society transforming the actions of politicians and potentates I think about churches that were mighty and unstoppable who have abandoned a simple trust in the Word of God and left behind a living experience and consequentially darkness is coming behind and it's darker than it's ever been before. Yes indeed this is a corporate challenge and problem as well as an individual the truth of the matter is is that the oral that you need the transformation of your life cannot be affected by another individual in the same way and with the same sourcing as a living encounter with Christ a theory isn't going to do it the truth of the matter is with those 10 virgins all there they're all went through a drowsy moment they all fell asleep the difference was which was not discernible at 1st is that some had actually made a purposeful intentional discovery of a living God and some of just gone along culturally with the church but when the crisis came there were no reservoirs of relationship to draw from and they wanted the others to give them something that can't be transferred. You know the thief on the cross who was assured of salvation is an anomaly to the journey that all of the teachers of scripture call us too and while Christ could know that man's heart and assure him of eternal salvation the real appeal is to enter into a living relationship with Christ and I want to tell you friends relationships cannot be compact id and the little bitty bits of time I can't give you in a moment of crisis the confidence I have in a living Savior I can't give you the trust the assurance those things need to come day by day as the Holy Spirit orchestrates your life he actually architect the circumstances of your day to where you have to make a decision and his call is come up higher move with me for some of you that may have been the recent invitation to take care of the poor in our community and help the neighbor to neighbor to ministry to go forward some people looked at that and said there's no way to go forward some people in went farther and said to responsible to go forward I want to tell you when Jesus writes The prophet Isaiah Chapter 30 verse 21 you'll hear a voice behind you saying this is the way walk in it when Abraham left early Cal these to go to a country he knew not up I want to assure you Abraham represents the goal of all of us and that is to learn to hear that voice you cannot learn to hear that voice with a hit missing counter with a living God I want to tell you I've known several dogs through the years my dogs are smarter than some people. I won't put names associated with the people but I'm here to tell you this I could come home in the darkness and even my old dog who couldn't see who'd who'd put out a strong bark would know when my voice crossed the distance between me and the car I was in and the house I was coming up to my dogs knew my voice even and their decryption c. and their old age and my voice was enough to settle their concerns but there are people who have rejected the voice of God calling them out of convenience in the inconvenience calling them out of security of man made established security into God made established security just like that widow with the 2 mites she had learned to hear God's voice and even though the church was corrupted in her day God prompted her to take the step just like the widow of Sara fat God told her I'm sending you a prophet take care of him and so when Elijah said Could I have a drink of water and she's on her way to get the water he says Would you mind bringing the lunch with that as well she turns around she says you know what I have nothing to offer you I barely have enough for me and my boy and Alijah doesn't say I'm let you off the hook Elijah says if you don't mind if you bring me that lunch God will take care of you too these are the inconvenient little stepping stones to a greater confidence and a greater faith but like the seed that falls on stony ground there are people who have an interest in the Gospel but it never takes root and if it takes root it's choked out by other interests and we neglect the greatest privilege that ever has been given to man and that is knowing a living Redeemer listen when God said You will have no make no representations of me to bow down to me if you're going to have a god that isn't going to have a visible presence he must have a living interaction with you to know that he is real but if we just go through the movements in a cultural experience if we just attend church every sab if we resist the Spirit of God he says you know what I want you at. That prayer meeting I want you at that Vespers I want your children there you don't know what they're going to absorb and by the way they're not your children they're mine and I wanted their to be educated I want them to pick up on the beautiful love in that 70 year old lady that could be there standing grandma or that 80 year old grandpa figure I want them there to understand the sweet communion of what's coming and when the world allures them into something else to remember what they've left behind Yes France God is calling us to gather He wants us to have a lamp that is trimmed and he wants it to be burning because we've encountered him in a living holy spirit experience I need to remind you friends as well that in this parable there is a moment of judgment 5 are actually left out they run away to get something they didn't make preparation for there is a preparation but as I've been preaching in the 7 part series that preceded this message called confidence in crisis our real spiritual preparation is knowing God and knowing God will bring underneath it under the umbrella of that relationship it will bring every other provision. Many have a profession of gone but he's not in their hearts they have not made a settled and solid relative resolution to save him to be saved by them and to do what he says many are doing what they want in the name of religion and thus we have a growing spiritual disease of a worldwide proportion of a form of godliness without power and woe be under the pastor or the parent or the teacher who says you know what there's a vacancy there will be under the person who holds anybody accountable in this age but what will be under the person who is too cowardly and self-centered to not hold somebody accountable and say you know what your actions and your words don't line up Paul would say to the evasions I'm free from the blood of all people for I've declared unto you the truth of gun will be under the parent will be under the teacher will be under the preacher well be under the the person that has been merged into your life who fails to do what they should do for fear that they will ruin the relationship have you never read the scriptures the wounds of the friend are faithful but an enemy multiplies kisses listen France this parable was designed purposely to bring to the Jews a knowledge of the fact that though they were called their choosing might put them on the outside of the grand Fellowship of the Marriage Supper of the lamb about a year ago actually just a little over a year ago I was joining with Pastor Page to help facilitate a mission experience for 100 Michigan Anders we'd be joining up with 50 people from Indiana and we would be in El Salvador building churches doing a medical clinic a dental clinic the b.s. a variety of things. For months we were preaching to them the necessity of making sure you come to the busses very early on Thursday morning with all of your proper documentation of course paramount of all of that was a passport imagine how I felt when 20 minutes from this church on the way to Chicago to get on an airplane I thought to myself Where is my passport and I started searching through my red backpack all through the years I've played games with people you might call them cruel. At some moments they probably were where standing at the airport I reach my hand in a good friend's bag and I'd pull their passport out and create a little crisis like this for them and they'd look around wondering and they get desperate and pretty soon I'd give in and the misery but for me this was no game as I looked around there was nobody on this bus that was close enough to me to pull that kind of stunt and as I realized as we were rolling through the little town of Bridgeman I just created a crisis there's not enough time for this bus to turn around and it would peer quite self-serving after I had told them all to be responsible to declare that my responsibilities going to get special privilege so I thought to myself I'm going to Chicago but I don't know how I'm going to El Salvador Fortunately I was able to call back to the church and there were several tiers of people making their way to El Salvador I just happened to be with the 1st one that was good news for me there was more than one trolley out of Berrian springs that day my passport lets you think I had totally abandoned all all of responsibility was laid squarely on the copy machine where I was making a copy for our trip coordinator I just happened to walk away from the copier that day and leave it there I sat in the O'Hare International Airport for several hours waved goodbye to all my friends that walked through security and made their way into the terminal and after pulling out my piece of black plastic and spending some extra money I ventured I joined up with another group of friends I'm going to tell you there's one passport to get you to Heaven His name is Jesus Christ he's good enough to not only purge your record but he's good enough to also change your heart and along the way he's answering the questions of all of these all these on all these holy beings who have never fallen who are wondering if it's really Ok to bring the human back to heaven knowing that the human was infected with the heart of Satan Jesus is looking to actually transform us that's why Jesus will give such stark warnings that's why Jesus will tell such painful pair. Balls he doesn't want anybody to be left behind he knows that the carnal heart is wicked beyond all understanding as Jeremiah $79.00 says and he knows that like Paul preach that after preaching righteousness anybody can follow way because our safety is in this living relationship friends God is looking to transform our character as we walk in assurance with Him God is calling us as a 7 day having his people to a faithful enacting of the way to his trust ever given to a religious group of people there are 5 distinct truths at the very end of the Protestant Reformation and yet the end of time that is put in our bosom and when the devil like it if you can kick a pile of sticks all over the place so that no fire could be lit Yes indeed we're being called back to appear relationship to God we're being called back to a living knowledge of this word turn off You Tube turn off Roku turn off Netflix find a simplicity of life that will turn on an interest in the Word of God go to the holy God up above and pray for the gift he promised to give us which is the gift of His Spirit and live on the journey of a very personal savior who's taking you all the way to heaven and let us not come to a moment when we have a crisis in which we wonder. That I actually choose day by day a crisis that now I cannot get out of you see friends that's why David will say and Paul will quote him in the book of Hebrews today if you hear his voice to harden your heart Oh yes Saints try to separate us who killed 19 and God says I'm calling my people back together I'm appealing to you in the name of the Living Christ you can't get your oil from somebody else but you could light you taper and you could cast light on somebody else's path. I'm appealing to you to keep your garments clean through the power of the Holy Spirit obeying Jesus I'm calling you to familiarity with the world I'm calling to be light in darkness I'm calling to gather while people are pursuing their selfish personal interests I'm calling you to simplify and re prioritize I'm calling you in the name of Christ to not have a crisis when all of the men's hearts and women's hearts are failing them for fear we will not be if we follow the living Savior in that same situation I'm calling you today yes indeed there's no doubt I'm calling you today in just a mini crises because you're going to tell somebody I can't do that anymore and by the way don't put the church at the top of your list tell somebody else and some other organization the church has been neglected and kicked to the bottom of the barrel too many times I'm calling into a mini crisis as you announce to a a family a spouse an employer I'm changing my priorities I can't work that many hours anymore I'm going to go for some walks with my kids and I'm going to read the Bible with them we're going to simplify our lives and I'm going to give them something better since I'm going to take away some of their devices and the wrong feeding troughs of this world's fodder I've got to give them something better yes I know in this sermon today I'm calling you to some mini crises because that's how God gets us ready showing himself a so that when the crisis of the empty lamps is upon the church. You can say Jesus thank you for keeping my lamp full of oil thank you for helping me to trim it and let it burn bright at this dark hour Yes I'm calling you to know this Dear Jesus in a deeper way than we've known there is a very Laodicean experience it's come upon us I am reminding everybody that while nobody needs fear the judgment if I March on like a worldly fear will be the end experience I can build a false assurance now wrongly emphasising an imbalanced understanding of the plan of salvation or I can build a true assurance now and embrace all the inconveniences that come with it and I want to assure you Jesus will lead you down a very inconvenient life but it will be a path of peace and power and fruit and fragrance it will be a path of joy and fulfillment Yes friends I'm calling you now you need the passport to heaven you need the living provision of Christ for justification and you need to live in Holy Spirit in you for sanctification and I'm calling you now to not be afraid of what's coming because the one is going with you into the future is Christ himself I'm calling you today to draw near to Jesus without embarrassment I'm calling you to clean garments separated from the world except for when it can be a blessing to them virtually as well as in physical presence Yes I'm calling you to walk with Jesus to be like Jesus and to let his joy fill your heart we're going home friends we're going to gather again on the other side of coven 1000 and we need to gather in strength like we've never gathered before go to your church get over the idiosyncrasies of the people around you love them in spite of their unique eccentric habits learn to understand the story that's made them like they are show the world there's a different better way yes friends make Jesus real and practical May God help us all to not come up to the end of time when Christ walks out of the sanctuary and have a crisis of the empty lamps may we know and love Him and serve him and may there be a fullness of our joy God bless and God be with you. Father we find ourselves in need of your forgiveness we have social distance not only from each other but from you other things have crowded out the priority of knowing you and we have taken at times Lord false assurance and rejected the not so subtle and persistent voice of the Holy Spirit Lord I believe in this moment as we've sought you you've spoken and I'm praying Lord for your people that they would recognize that the call to go home is a journey home is a caravan it's is a group in the same way the masses made their way to the Passover they went in groups together and Lord you're calling us to make the journey as a group to keep our lamps trimmed and burning to be walking with you individually and to be going with each other to the kingdom the courage of each other to concentrate in the the shafts of light to break through the darkness of this world thank you for what you're doing in this village church Thank you for the new priorities you're giving us but I'm praying or there are people listen to me right now who have not decided in their heart like Daniel did what life in a different circumstance is going to look like I'm praying that people will not just hear the Word of God in the in the birds come down and pluck the seeds away but that they will actually make a decision that will take root and bear fruit I'm asking the Lord that you'll save us from a gospel hardened experience where someday the only thing we could embrace is the crisis of the empty lamp the lord you've called us to Communion you call this to community individually to communion and corporately to commune to community so I'm praying Lord give us both communion and community. The Sabbath has in a time time to connect with you I pray Blus all those little to do in a will to live. And I'm asking where that would press together and try to you and your to each other in chief of. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or you would like to listen to more Sermon on the visit w.w.w. dot audio Verse dot org.

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