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Self Interest and the Virtual Gospel

Ron Kelly
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Ron Kelly

Senior Pastor, Village SDA Church, Berrien Springs, Michigan

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  • September 13, 2020
    12:00 PM
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Testing testing thank you so much for that beautiful reminder. That we can pray for each other and may we do that let's pray order lives are yours bought with a price created and Lord offered up to you today we want to present ourselves as a living sacrifice what that means Lord is something yet to be determined but today you might reveal it and along the way you've been revealing so one it cost something Lord may we not be unwilling to continue the journey but may we walk with Jesus and may we lay down our lives as so many other faithful Christians have laid them down before us in Jesus' name I pray Amen and title my message this morning self interest. And the virtual gospel I'm compelled to take this subject matter up again as the cultural Ab and flow of who we are to be in a time of pandemic how to exercise our Christian faith what that means and its impact on others both spiritually and physically and what that free exercise of religion is about in its ability to benefit us but more so all in the churches obligation to benefit the last Some of you may be aware of the battle that has shaped up in California between John MacArthur's church and the state of California it appears that in a journey to establish the have the ability to gather and to worship he's found himself in court or is institution Grace to you no less than 4 times when it's all said and done the court is upheld their right to continue to gather and to worship and it appears that that's not enough at the end of the day that the law should actually afford them the privilege of meeting and worshipping but the county of Los Angeles is seeking to revoke their lease on their parking lot. So it appears that it's not enough to let the law settle what defines privilege and freedom and in their mind divine obligation to gather and to worship it appears that there is an irreconcilable sense of commitment to various ideas in other words it's not enough that those agrees to you continue to worship is that if it doesn't go our way we're going to make you pay now of course that is my take on that and if you want to look into the details and you come up with a different understanding of what it means for Sapir your court judge to tell you you can worship and then to have the county say well you can worship but it might be a little hard to do if you can't park your cars and it just seems that it's a battle and the village church including myself as probably one of the main voices of the village church are not outside of that dialogue we had I get feedback from a lot of ways some of it comes indirect some of it comes direct and I've received that feedback knowing that the role I'm in creates a certain amount of cross current and sometimes strong winds from the side of the mountain that I'm operating on as I'm moving by God's grace the higher ground one of our leaders communicated this week that someone of the community said your reputation in the community is that you're rebels now I want to make sure but I understand something I'm not a rebel I don't desire to be a rebel I don't desire to disciple rebels. At this church I suspect we've done as much or more more than almost every other church that you can to find especially when it comes to the outlay of resources sure I make sure that we have a safe gathering place and including the tents that are up out front the smart and right through that window there and that are up over at our church school along with the touchless faucets and water ball or fillers at our church school along with all the hand sanitizer on the doors that get probably opened and the signs that say don't socially gather in the separating in seating the 2 things that we're not doing that some wish we would do is require everybody that walks through these doors to wear a mask we respect everybody's decision to make a good decision for them and then probably the singing and these 2 things appear to be reckless and inconsiderate in the mind of some the reminder that's come from the leadership of this church is that this is a voluntary place of gathering and most understand our philosophy for they come so if they come they're coming of their own free will managing their own lives and willingly entertaining the risks that are associated with this form of gathering when that was mentioned to one of the other leaders in our community they said you know you're rebels the leader responded by saying we're not rebels where leaders and the conversation was over now whether you think that's appropriate or inappropriate I'm here to suggest today and this message entitle to self interest in the virtual gospel is really a journey and what level of risk Christ himself brings into the life of the church and the individuals that constitute church and so from the very beginning I want to understand that the promise of the message today will be that it is God's explicit intention to create environments that are risk not risk a verse but actually risk. Laden and an effort to determine an understanding of His Will how to walk in and a faith that comes out of a corresponding understanding of that divine prerogative so for those that have sent me emails for those that have sent word back to me on Facebook if that was their intent or whatever I've heard you I'm not above listening I'm not operating independently but I'm here to suggest today that it appears that the church really is acting very little with very little difference from the rest of the world and what I would distinguish there is the world has no mission no mandate no God no sense of security from an outside source of power except their own contrived sense of what that would be God's people however operate with a different understanding and they're operating with the understanding that it's birth pangs come upon a woman so does trouble come upon the Earth him in as an. Antecedent to Deliverance and so this morning what God is taking to take us on a journey to do I believe as I've prayed my way to this moment is to show you that God has a responsibility to actually take us through circumstances that require prayer a determination of his will and obedience in an environment of risk how many of you know what the word for do Sherry means don't raise your hand just ask yourself Do I know what the word fiduciary means some of you have signed papers where either someone owes you a fiduciary interest or you owe somebody a fiduciary interest but you see is the word that is a legal term that represents a. And incumbent or don't want to use other words income means it's yours you've got it but it represents an obligation you have to look out for somebody else's wellbeing so if I have a lot of money and I go to a family financial adviser and he invests it for me he has a fiduciary relationship to make sure he invest my money for my wellbeing not for his of course we understand he's supposed to get some That's part of his services when you're a parent you have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure your children are properly raised for success in a future life for safety for education for food and clothing and security and the. The concept of this sermon today is built on the idea that God actually has a fiduciary responsibility to us as children and what does that fiduciary responsibility involve Well let me ask you this have any you ever read the Book of Daniel Chapter one chapter 12 verse $1.00 and $2.00 and on where there was says that you know at the end of the days Michael stands up and there's a time of what coming is and they read this what is it a time of jubilation and celebration know it's a time of what trouble there is a time of trouble coming and the time of trouble that's coming as such as never was on the face of the planet almost a direct quote that time of trouble causes many people to have trouble before the trouble and there's a lot of 7th Day Adventists the go around in fear and worry that somehow they're going to go through something they can't handle and that somehow God's going to let it be harder than it's supposed to be while I'm here to suggest you know I'm here to directly proclaim to you this morning the god has a fiduciary responsibility to allow us to go through situations that actually create faith sufficient encounters with his faithfulness if I could say it another way to where when that time comes we are not. The ones whose hearts are failing for fear would you agree with this God has not architected that somehow we should roll out of bed roll into a bunch of trouble and somehow anticipate crossing that spiritual Jordan ending up on the other side without a little preparation now some of you have our runners I've told you the stories of some of my running experiences you know back in 2009 I sent a group called the Chicago Marathon a large sum of money so I could go out and torture myself and that moment finally came in October 11 years ago and I've told you the story of the man running next to me as I went by the silver bean and then underneath the overpass there I told you I knew he wasn't going to finish the race I didn't have to look at him How did I know I knew because he was running alongside of me in cowboy boots and you can't run 26.2 miles in cowboy boots without wanting yourself for the rest of your life I think. The truth of the matter is is that after I sent them that money my life changed I began getting up early in the morning and going out on those Indiana roads and making my so go just a little bit farther than I thought countable going every day and every Sunday after a day off I would get out there and I would push it farther than I had ever done it before 13 miles 15 miles the goal is get up about 20 miles before you go to take on the 26. And eventually I arrived in Chicago and joined the 45000 other people that were there but the the idea that God would not put us on a preparatory journey to prepare us with a greater confidence for a greater crisis is foolishness there's no parent here that knew that hard times are coming for their children that would not seek to give them a graduated preparation for the hard times and in those moments of difficulty God would want to instill is every parent would want to instill a sense that it's gonna The Oh Ok but it appears in the r.r. that we're in right now that the modern church has but the man montra of modern secularism and that would be that without a higher power a higher mandate and a higher mission were simply supposed to. Cordon ourselves off stay out of other people's lives and hopefully be Ok On the other side and yet it appears that there are others of a Protestant persuasion and a Catholic persuasion who have determined that really the church itself has a mission a man day and a purpose that is not to be shut down by risk it least with out some sense of meaningfully intellectually responsibly operating inside the risk without presumption and you say there pastor there is where the lines cross what is faith and what is presumption in a pandemic and that this morning friends is a very important question for all of us to answer why am I preaching this sermon because in an interaction with the fellow leaders of this church and the other pastors of this community I find out that there's people out there doing all kinds of things on the weekend that are violating what I'd call an intellectual consistency in other words you're being logically hypocritical they won't come to church because they think that somehow this is irresponsible but they'll sit next to each other on. Jet skis and they'll give each other hugs and they'll have pizza with each to each other they're camping they're going all kinds of other places but when they gather to create a sense of what the church is mission and fellowship should look like well those are the topics for a hyper caution and consequently there are churches hundreds of thousands across this country that aren't even open on the day of worship for 7th Day Adventists clearly we believe the Bible declares that to be a eternal covenant connected to creation or redemption and also the future but there's all kinds of Christians who I believe are losing credibility for their own witness for the glory of God and the effectiveness of the church because somehow the only things that are really necessary are the things that relate to their own self interest I want to know. If your kids are going to school why aren't they going to Sabbath school I want to know if you're going to work how come you're not going to church God wants to know because God actually believes that when work ends the mission of the church will be going forward God actually believes that when the world can no longer tutor our young people there will still be the admonition an instruction in the Word of God There will still be the gathering for prayer and courage for the work before us I have a book before me that's that's old but it's good my oldest son gave this to me is called radical by David Platt written by a Protestant pastor megachurch pastor he says I remember when I was preparing to take my 1st trip to Sudan in 2004 the country was still at war and the dar for a region in western Sudan had just begun to make headlines a couple of months before we left I received a Christian news publication in the mail the front cover had 2 headlines side by side I'm not sure of the editor planned for these particular headlines to be next to each other or if you just missed it in a really bad way so get the picture he picks up a tangible hardcover Christian publication and looks at it and there's one story and another story is it on purpose does the editor want to make a point or is it just a bad connection on the left was the headline that said 1st Baptist Church celebrates new $23000000.00 building and lengthy article followed celebrating the church's expensive new sanctuary the exquisite marble intricate design and beautiful stained glass they were all described in vivid detail on the right in a much smaller article here we go 2nd article the headline for it read Baptist relief help Sudanese refugees knowing I was about to go to Sudan my attention was drawn the article described how 350000 refugees in western Sudan were dying of malnutrition m.-i not lived to the end of the year how many did I say. How many 350000 that means twice as many residents as live in burying County might not make it to the end of the year no food the last sentence said that the Baptists had sent money to help relieve the suffering of the Sudanese So I was excited until I got to the mountain now remember what was the left 1st Baptist Church celebrates new 23000000 dollar building on the right side the article said the Baptists of raise $5000.00 to send to refugees in western Sudan now I'm still reading $5000.00 that's not enough to get a plane and sedan much less one drop of water to the people who need $23000000.00 for an elaborate sanctuary and $5000.00 for hundreds of thousands of starving men women and children most of whom were dying apart from faith in Christ where have we gone wrong how did we get to the place where this he writes is actually tolerable now I want to solve ask ourselves the question is this Ok with us is it all right that we pattern our lives put ourselves as Isaiah would say up on a cliff thinking that somehow will beyond the reach of the ravages of the flooding the destruction of civil society the dynamics of wildfires all the trauma and the trouble our good education our good bank accounts are our intact networks. God is actually calling us to go beyond self interest and to actually live a life that's more than virtual It's Christ in the flesh lived out through us when I look back at the dynamics of Jesus in the temptations the 2nd temptation Jesus takes is up on the a pillar of the temple and Satan says if you're the son of God throw yourself down and what does Jesus say you should attempt to Lord your God there are some who suggest by us meeting here today that an act of presumption is taking place now I want to tell you as I mentioned before I don't know of any church that spent more money or been more intentional about making sure public health is guarded but at the same time this is not a one way continuum there is an component of mandate mission and purpose that is to drive our people are 7 school lesson today was about the 1st angels message then I saw another angel fine in the midst of heaven having the everlasting Gospel to preach to every nation kindred tongue and people saying with a loud voice Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of his judgment is come and what worship is the next word worship Him who made heaven and earth should we be surprised to find ourselves in a moment in which the very central tenet of the controversy is a little fi do Sherry in other words God ordained moment to determine how are we going to relate to risk in our lives and is self-interest really the governing principle even though I've got my name written on a ledger at the 7th Day Adventist Church I'm here to suggest today 23000000 for a Baptist sanctuary and 5000 for the Sudanese is unfortunately not a Baptist problem. It's also a challenge to every 7 day evidence that's listening because God is actually our day then our life as we embrace the cross is a journey of walking with Jesus in the midst of suffering and making a difference when the plague was ravaging Wittenberg 500 years ago Frederick the elector understood that it was a potential risk for his very famous teacher Martin Luther he actually wanted Martin Luther to leave but Martin Luther even though the dynamics of disease and death were radically exponentially beyond anything we've begun to see since this country's been a nation in this country you might have half the people died from the playing Luther decided he was going to say and take care of the sheep of his flock which he did was there an understanding of risk yes was the was the biology of the very ology of of the dynamic clearly understood not scientifically but practically Yes In the age in which we're living Christ is calling us in this moment to choose between the mandates in the ways of the culture at some moment and also the disfavor when we don't but the favor and disfavors now no longer just in and out of the church it's inside the church it's important for us to understand that God's people have always been acquainted with the risk of fulfilling God's mission I have in my hands here this morning a copy of a letter from the Cato Institute now I'm going to divide the rest of the sermon into 3 segments the 1st segment is going to be about those that are unaware of the 2nd segments going to be about those that are unprepared and the 3rd saying that's going to be about those that are unwilling So let's look at the unaware unaware as a nice word for ignorance ignorance is an ugly word unaware is a nice euphemism how one model simulated 2200000 u.s. deaths from Cove in 1000. You all know about this you just don't know about this because back when everybody including Grace to you and John MacArthur shut their church down is because there was a man from the Imperial College in England by the name of Ferguson who projected that if nothing happened we should expect 2200000 people to die in America and 5 110000 in the u.k. Now I'm not here to suggest that his science was bad I'm not here to be a left wing commentator or right wing recombine Tator but I'm here this morning to do something for you to make sure that you've engaged yourself fully in the process of the culture in which you're living because if you're unaware then you're ignorant and if you're ignorant both of the scriptural mandate that we will have to operate in an environment of risk and also that sometimes the left isn't telling you everything in the right not telling you everything well then you're ignorant nonetheless unaware you like that better the truth of the matter is as it Ferguson projected that 2200000 will die but what you didn't hear in the rest of the story lines which a lot of the world down is that he figured an infection rate of 81 percent now you can go online today go to the Cato Institute If these aren't really facts then take it up with the Cato Institute but I have this is a reputable presentation of fact in my opinion 81 percent of infection rain it is in his model he expected that every person would in fact 2.4 more people and that it would happen in a very short period of time the problem was that in 1901 everybody had the exposure to the pain Spanish flu and we lost millions of people only 28 percent of the population was ever infected. There's something wrong if you don't get the whole story you just get enough of the story the truth of the matter is is that while Ferguson's data was good if nobody if everybody quit washing their hands and everybody kept on hugging and hand shaking and no social distancing with absolutely no interventions and an 81 percent infection rate and a 2.4 exposure contagion rate then you could expect 2200000 people to die the other thing you might not have heard about and although some of you may have because there was at least a measure of objectivity is that the very man who projected these rates and created these rules you might say ended up breaking them to go be with his lover of course he lost his job over that but at least the world held him to a motive come of consistency for what he was responsible for creating Why am I bringing it up to you I'm bringing it up to you because you know world in which fear sells and links naturally will call the most elemental emotion of selfishness and mind you all fear is not bad we teach our little Johnny's and Susie's not to put things in the electrical outlets or touched. While there is a place for it it becomes a valuable tool for manipulation when there is not proper information or balance in our understanding so when we come to a moment like this the question I have is where did the where did the modern Protestant church come off with the idea that the church is supposed to go into this hibernation mode when risk presents itself in society where do we read about that in the Bible isn't Jesus himself the one who said. Don't think I came to bring peace I came to bring a sword to put at variance a mother with her daughter or her daughter in law did he say that the enemies of one's household would be as own family take your Bibles and go to the book of Matthew chapter 5 let's just look at that 1st sermon he preached right he couldn't get more than 10 or 11 verses into it before he was warning us wasn't it Christ himself who said Don't follow me unless you count the cost because I'm not going to be the kind of dad elder brother whatever role you envision him in in his function in the Trinity that makes your life one where I've removed all the dynamics of living on planet Earth I am not going to give you a risk a verse life verse 10 Blessed are those Chapter 5 Matthew bless it of those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven blustered are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great and in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you so let's get the dots connected right following Jesus is going to put you in a position where some people aren't going to like you following Jesus is going to put you in a position where your obedience to heaven is going to create indignation in the hearts of some on earth you are to be saying that I am thanking God that I'm suffering now because I've embraced the value system completely different than that of the world and my lifestyle and all my habits of my interest have been reshaped by this and challenge of Christ. Persecution it changes the the fiber and the the sinew of our spiritual experience how many of you know somebody from Eastern Europe who lived under Communism could I see your hands does anybody you know anybody Ok let me ask you a question did they come to this country without especially if they were 77 is Christians did they come to this country typically stronger than the average free world Christian or weaker than the average free world Christian you don't really have to answer that question because sometimes their strength is so strong they've constantly had to stand up and fight sometimes they fight a little bit too much here can I get a witness. The truth of the matter is the strength of their person was developed in the duress of their circumstance I think about the confidence of the people that I work with the ones that have actually had to suffer in the name of Christ have had to face little chapters where self-interest ran into Kingdom interest and they had to make a decision will I carry the cross today or not are people feel put upon when somebody suggests that what they're listening to how they're eating dressing or entertaining themselves is not consistent with Christianity while I'm out of that church I'm on to another one where I can get all the messages of reassurance I need I want to know what is the a cumulative effect of all those messages of reassurance when you come up to a crisis. If you've never been in a relationship of spiritual and relational proper accountability were somebody said Yep I've got a fiduciary interest to you as your brother in Christ I've got a fiduciary interest to you as a disciple or as a parent I've got a fiduciary interest to us a pastor I have blood on my hands if I don't actually fulfill the dynamic of Divine Direction for the ones that I am disciple in and God is going to hold me accountable if I show up at the start of the final marathon of faith in this world and nobody's ever taken a lap around the track in risk woe be unto the coach in the trainer who set that scenario up God Himself is not going to do it and I don't know how people read the New Testament and read about Jesus and somehow get the idea that it's Ok for us to do like Saw and everybody else cower in our cave Well Jonathan and his armor bearers climbing the cliffs they are right the Philistines were taken him on how is it that there's a large majority but of course is how it always works this somehow thinks it's Ok to talk caution stewardship biblio talk. When the world is in a moment when it actually needs to see somebody say you know what we're actually going to be good stewards of public health we're just not going to do it quite like you because at the center of our life is a God who has given us courage and faith and love and we just really must worship this is the call but if in your home you don't live this way and if you're not teaching your children should we be surprised that churches end up spending $23000000.00 to renovate themselves and they can barely come up with $5000.00 435-0000 people yeah you people enough boards and enough churches like this and they'll act just like everybody else which is why it's important that God's people understand he never set up an environment where there's going to be no risk and he's calling you to manage it inside a path of obedience not as God because you're not yes there is an absence of awareness be aware Jesus said when all men speak well of you why because so did they the false prophets before you the 2nd category unprepared some people seek to manage risk by taking on I want you to think about that some people's modus operandi is to manage risk by taking on I have never met a successful entrepreneur I've never met a successful businessman leader Pastor or anybody else who has found the respect of the respectable men and women in a community by managing risk by taking then who ever amounts to anything it was Roosevelt I believe you said progress cannot occur in a dead car and other words the boat will have to move and waves will have to be made are we actually supposed to stop worshipping as we head into the crisis or are we actually supposed to worship with what is a group determined. Individually chosen sense of corporate public health decisions that doesn't defied data but doesn't let data drive what the divine should I want you to think about this if worship is the point if the Sabbath is at the center maybe our churches shouldn't be coasting to a stop as they lose inertia in their virtual experience but maybe they should actually be rallying in readiness for what's coming I actually had a younger person say to me earlier this week they said it was a person very intellectual person said this to me they said if we're as close to the end of time as it looks like we could be now I don't need to tell you the rest of what they said because that little precursory statement to what they were saying was an interesting affirmation to how final movements could be rapid ones generations who have been taught to take no risk will be functionaries of fear when risk taking is required God is calling us to actually manage what risk looks like when it's within our purview to do so and he's calling us to obedience when our hearts would fail for fear so that when a larger risk taking is required and the outcome is not assured we have an assurance within from a living Christ we have a fiduciary God he's come to take us on a journey where we go all the way home we will be witnesses and testifiers for all time in eternity that God was hateful but to find a god faithful you have to be in a position where sight can't see the end it's impossible to please God without faith Hebrew says Chapter 11 for 6 because those who come to him must believe that He exists and that he's a rewarder to those who seek Him take your Bibles and your back to Matthew chapter 21 now and move into the willing and the unwilling. The problem with what's happened in our society is that it's hard to change directions if you got on the bandwagon that the sky was falling it's hard to say I'm off that way again I'm getting on a different one as a matter of fact once you embrace the mentality that this disease is beyond control except with the most extreme measures it's hard for you to move into a different lane and say you know maybe the asymptomatic super spreader is more of a myth than a reality maybe the world is not coming to an end through this unseen microbe or virus maybe we're in a moment where we actually need to change what we're doing and I'm appealing to every pastor administrator parent or teacher leader at this very moment God's Church is not to be idling on the sideline The problem is when you're not fueling the engine and you're not moving it along you're actually slowing down and executive once was fine on an airplane and he didn't realize he was sitting next to an executive the person he was sitting next to work for Pepsi Cola the one man turned to him and he said you know in effect I see all these commercials for Pepsi I mean why do you show the same ones over and over and over again his response was we're fueling the engine of our company just like there's jet fuel flow into the engines of this airplane to keep it aloft if you think God's church can coast and come out on the other side is stronger with as much momentum as it went in I don't know where you took physics from or spiritual understanding from God is calling us to get ready for the message of Revelation 18 the enlightment of the world Matthew chapter 21 looking at verse 28 What do you think a man had 2 sons and he came to the 1st and he said Son go work today in the vineyard. And he answered I won't but afterwards he regretted it and he went the man came to the 2nd and he said the same thing and he answered I will but he didn't which of the 2 did the will of his father they said the 1st Jesus said to them Truly truly I say unto you the tax collectors and the prostitutes will get into the kingdom before you they didn't expect that for John came to you in the way of righteousness and you didn't believe him but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did believe him you see in this did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him how many cultural 7th Day Adventists have self-interest as an operating principle in their lives. And they hide behind data or important people when there is a divine impress upon them from the Lord saying this is the way for you walk in it how many times does self-interest get in the way of a real gospel to a dying world or are we just virtual Christians you know Jesus when he came to this world took some real risk he didn't come down here with the power of God to save himself from my journey and yours as a matter of fact as the target of Satan is the 2nd Adam he embodied a deeper dynamic of temptation and distress and suffering than any human being ever did he supplicated the throne in prayer just as you and I can those nights on the mountainside those sleepless moments those times when he went hungry the that those journeys where he was misunderstood and rejected all of those things were functions of a life full of risk when he went to the cross though it's a foregone conclusion now all of those moments when Hell closed in on him he was that risk of abandoning the commitment of suffering to set us free we didn't have a virtual savior he didn't drop a book from the sky and while messages were given in advance of his coming he came in the flesh it was a journey to self surrender in which loss was a part of the game and if we think modern Christianity can succeed in fulfilling the 3 angels message without the same dynamics we have something to learn about the elemental principles of the gospel I have a book here this morning the cost of discipleship. The very book itself should should garner a serious and sober sense about what it is meant for me to follow Jesus on page 89 Someone gave me this book of page 89 he says when Christ calls a man or a woman or a child he bids in common what Di This is the journey of the Christian to pick up the cross and walk with Jesus is a journey in which there will not only be risk the reality of suffering is a foregone conclusion but when our love for Christ is so flimsy and superficial self-interest can't help but jump in and take over one other book from Bonhoeffer Letters and Papers from where does anybody know prison why was he in prison because he felt in his Lutheran faith that it was his obligation to stand up to a fascist political group called the Nazis and while you may not agree with everything he did his faith moved him to action he was not a man of only words he was a man of action I come here to a book we read this summer strange strange thing one pastor moved into this community and gave this book to neighbor to neighbor another pastor you're looking at and went to neighbor a neighbor and saw his book on the shelf and said I want to buy that book in our books 1st partially for the pastor sake but partially also just for the teacher's sake we write all the good stories in the front pages of the book so as I'm standing here looking at a page of reed boats on Lake Titicaca in a book written by e.r. Wilcox while we were in Colorado and Utah this summer the 1st chapter of my daughter said this is a boring book. But I want to tell you we pressed on and it became everything but boring let me go to the back of the book page 223. Then titled The feast of fish Wilcox was a missionary in South America he writes mosquitoes by night and nets by day pestered everyone carrying on a mission program here was a real frontier experience recurring great courage and faith in God The missionary family was surrounded by listen to all this now this would be in the 1930 s. tropical diseases of all kinds as anybody know when penicillin was created this predates it such as blackwater fever malaria dysentery terrible all Cers and other devastating ailments and he said nothing about snakes and beasts in the jungle and they knew that they were 20 days from any medical help other than what they could do for themselves when we take people to the Boundary Waters we might be a day or 2 when you go to the mission field you're probably less than Then imagine making a commitment to where you are 20 days 3 quarters of a month from a doctor to bring a family into such a place is child abuse no it doesn't say that I said that I want to tell you by the by what I would call the developmental practice the law of thinking and acting right now for anybody to take a child into a place like that it would have to be considered child abuse to bring a family into such a place required of sacrificing Christian spirit one more paragraph we found Antonio and his family uncomplaining unhappy in their work and full of courage in the Lord they had erected me buildings dug a good well made a clearing where they could raise vegetables such as beans and corn and pineapple The school was progressing nicely with a good number of students and a little Sabbath school and also being was also being conducted shortly after we visited them blackwater fever took one of their family a child of 4 years. Adding a lonely grave to this solitary place and we viewed there as we viewed their situation we felt that we had not yet experienced real missionary life with its demanding privations for what we had thought of his trials now seem comparatively in significant what's the name of the book with the book is it titled in parables oft what kind of what kind of message is going to come out of this book if you don't have any of these old books if you haven't read about the self-sacrifice and spirit of God's people I want to ask you something to be a Christian in the 1st century what did it mean what happened to those 12 disciples who became Apostles every single one of them died a violent death except wod why didn't he because when they say according to tradition he was going to die in the boiling pot of oil and the bully turned into a hot tub for him a swimming pool you might say they gave up and sent him off to Patmos he lived to be a centurion or centenarian I should say because they couldn't kill him but the truth of the matter is they all died were they the only ones how many millions perished at the hands of Rome who believe the Emperor was a god and they must worship Him I want to know in the times of the Reformation what kind of risk was involved in declaring yourself to be a follower of the Bible to own the book and what do you think is going to be the case of those adamant Christians at the very end who declare I will obey the Word of God are they going to be living in a risk adverse environment let us stop and think about this God has a fiduciary commitment to his people to actually take them another lap around the track and this time a little faster and this time a little longer but if we think that somehow is Masters of the universe we're going to minimise all risk and the work of God can stop what is our fiduciary interest to the last. I've got 2 other books here you heard me talk about this one these Ford still run they lost 2 children in the mission field and one when they were back here on furlough That's 3 kids but let's just go to the last one again if you don't own any old books then you're left with something less than some jewels this one isn't titled 7th Day Adventists it's Britain by a man named David Mitchell faith in action I'm just going to read you 2 little bits out here the 1st bit is from chapter number 2 which is untitled admin is faith in action I thought it was well said administers have left their heart prints of loving Christian service in almost every land on earth they are ardent exponents of the doctrine of faith in action the admin is believes that everyone leaves an imprint on every life one touches Now listen to this next sentence actions reveal the reality or the absence of one's faith Zambian want to disagree with that I'm read it again actions reveal the reality or the absence of one's faith have ever the book of James that faith without is. That is what it says but there's one more thing I want to read in here a story and this will be the end of my message on Sunday June 25 1011 this is entirely a buried missionary and a long way on Sunday June 25 1911 the Mountain View mission was established this is in South America many accepted the truce taught by the missionary from the black book and a mission house was built but the 3 long trips had weakened the man the missionary and fever began to rock his weary body. The Indians cared for him as best they knew how but in only a few weeks he was gone dead and sorrowfully they laid their missionary in a bark shroud and buried him on the slopes of Mount Royal ema the clouds hung heavily over the storied mountain and the wondrous waterfalls and honestly for fell down its precipitous sides had the on lettered children of the forest forgotten the grave on its slope had the songs in the prayers taught them for a few weeks now faded from their memory for 18 long years passed before the Davis Indians as we were familiarly termed they were familiarly termed in 7 them a circles receive the visit of another missionary with the black book they waited 14 years but they had not forgotten every Sabbath for 14 years the Indians gathered around the grave and they sang in English there's not a friend like the lowly Jesus no not one no not one the majestic jungle trees reaching the sunshine above rise without branches as high as 75 feet and then spread out a leafy roof on the forest floor below struggling and cutting their way through the dense undergrowth a group of missionaries made their way a w a cot r.j. Christian family said come to teach the Davis Indians at last they pulled and they paddled up the swift rivers and finally men women and children reached Mt Rory ema safely friends. I'm sure glad we don't have a virtual Jesus but he actually became flesh and blood. Aren't you glad that he ever lives to make intercession for you aren't you glad that in the vast cosmos he created he didn't say well it's one little speck let's just kind of sweep into the outer circles they'll do themselves in eventually Aren't you glad that on the cross when they were saying if you're the son of God come down aren't you glad that when he could have called 10000 angels he just hung in there and cried God I don't know where you've gone Aren't you glad that he's promised to come back and aren't you glad no matter how dark the night gets he's with you here and now in there anywhere with Jesus you can face you can fearlessly go aren't you glad that Jesus took the risk which would end in suffering and loss I'm here to tell you today we have schools in the South Pacific that are not operating because our student mission program is shut down since when have we allowed liability and the frown of the world to dictate whether or not somebody gets to know that someone in heaven named Jesus loves them since when is it Ok for us to say all of a sacrifice in progress of 2 millennia since the days of Jesus can now come to a coasting hall because I'm not going to get sick I'm not going to take a risk with my child I'm not going to allow my young adult child to make a decision about whether or not they want to go when I read the book of Hebrews Chapter 12 it says I'm surrounded by a cloud of witnesses it's not the dead people who have gone to heaven before me with the exception of Moses. It's all those angels who have watched faithful men women and children go forward obeyed in simplicity the commitment to our Lost World by a God who loves them and they get to hold the megaphone they get to tell the story they get to bear the price they get to carry the cross they get to be the ones that connect somebody to their best friend geez. How do we come to the place where we actually think our God isn't going to say another lap around the track how do we come to the place where we actually believe God isn't going to confront our self interest so all we have is a virtual witness it's time when I was parked at the outfitter in Boundary Waters eally Minnesota I couldn't help but notice that I think it was a brown Subaru up against there wasn't a curb but right up against the building it was a quote you heard it it's attributed to Gandhi he said I like your Christ I just don't really like you Christians friends I've got a real God who answers my prayers in living time every church I have inherited has required leadership risk for me I have offended people I have strained relationships I have in effect said we can't do business like this I've stood with God's presence beside me and in me against powerful people much older than me and money who have sought to control and I have left every church I've left behind with probably the best legacy I could leave them quit asking how it's going to get done and ask whether or not God wants it done and once you figure that out figure out how it's to be done when our leaders live this way when our parents live this way when we see God's church acting this way we can be appropriate stewards of public health. Even if we don't daughter eyes and cross our T.'s exactly the way people without a god say it should be done and I want to tell you if there's a legacy our children will need for the future. Is that there's nothing nothing nothing nothing. To be afraid of if you walk in the way of God 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 later visit w w w audio verse or.

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