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The Wedding Crashers

Dave Steward
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Dave Steward

Senior Pastor, Fallbrook SDA Church



  • November 7, 2020
    10:00 AM
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The were a prayer, if you would join me. You have only father. It's so good to be with the Abba Hope family again. I'll be a through zoom and large. I'm sure there's old friends, but also some New faces that I have not met before. It's so exciting to get to know your church family and will have all of Attorney to do that. This is an important message that you put on my heart today. And I pray that as we look at your word, that it would actually change our Hearts transform our lives so that we will not be the same people as when we started with this message. Lord, your word imparts power begets life. And so we're asking your Holy Spirit to speak to US each of US individually. We know that your spirit is a alive and well and so Lord, please put your words in my mouth and May our Hearts prepare and receive the message today in Jesus' name. So my sermon title is called The Wedding Crashers. You know, when it comes to weddings, there's basically 3 types of people, 3 groups of people. Those that are invited to the wedding, those that are not invited to the wedding. And then there's the Wedding Crashers. In the summer of 2006, I had the incredible experience of spending a week travelling through Israel with a couple of friends. We ran a car, we were not in the study 2 or but we traveled through Israel and it was such a rich experience. And on Sabbath We actually attended the Jewish synagogue. It was just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. While the rabbis were conducting their worship service and they were singing songs and reading from the Torah and having their prayers, I noticed that there was a, not a Rabbi sitting up there with them. He was going to be married the next day and he was up there to receive the blessings of the Rabbi's. I was intrigued as I look closer at the man. As I studied his face, he looked very familiar to me. Surely this couldn't be, I mean here we are in Israel and I'm from California. And so I almost dismissed it. But as the more I looked at him, the more I knew I recognized him from somewhere. And I just had to remember where it was. And then it finally hit me. He looked like a psychologist in New York City. They had lectured on the death penalty Conference that I had attended in San Louis abyssal just a few months before. He was actually lecturing on how to defeat mental defenses in death penalty cases. Well, my curiosity got the best of me and I just had to know if he was the man. So I boldly walked forward and whispered to him, and it wasn't a Big deal because there were people coming and going the whole time that we go up and talk to him. So now you know, some point I walked up to him and I, I just asked him, I said, Sir, are you a psychiatrist? And he said Yes. And I said, are you from New York City and he goes, Why Yes, kind of surprised kind of taken back. I then told him that I recognized him as being a lecturer at that death penalty Conference I had attended and it was so wild, bumping into it into him in Jerusalem while he's getting rid of the tie, the knot, the next day to a Jewish woman. As my friends and I left the church, which the psychologist, future mother in law and sister in law actually followed US out and want to know what our connection was to this man, their daughter was going to marry and sister was going to marry. They were curious about what our connection was. Well, we exchanged pleasantries and I told her, I knew I recognized him, and then we lingered around for a couple of minutes. What do you think we're really hoping for? Some of you probably guessed it. We were hoping to an invitation to an authentic Jewish wedding in Israel when a that when that meant so cool. But the hope for invitation never came. Why not? What's very simple. We didn't have a close enough relationship with the bridegroom. We didn't have a close enough relationship with the bride. You know, for my own wedding. I helped my wife Nina with much of the planning. It was a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it, minute of it. Because I love her so much and I was so excited to get married. But you know what the hardest chore was by far? I mean by far, the hardest part was trimming down the guest list. My wife wanted a small wedding. I wanted a Big wedding. And that really the rate limiting factor, how many people we invite it was the size of the wedding. The reception venue. My friend Eric Anderson's House, just behind them went to University in the Hills there off Anderson Street. He had a Beaut, if a place maybe some You've been there, he's had, I know he's hosted a lot of the whole potlucks in the past. But he graciously provided his back porch for a wedding reception. It turned out to be a wonderful place. But he only had room for about 250 people, so that's what limited the size of our wedding list. And it was really, really hard trimming down that list, studying it really, if you go through this difficult process of really searching your heart on who is closest to you, who do we know and love the most. The hardest part was eliminating names of those who were as close more quaintance as perhaps, than friends. And that was tough. You know, Jesus also told a story about a wedding for his friends. And today we're going to look at the parable of the 10 virgins, also known as the 5 Wedding Crashers. So by way of background, the parable, the 10 virgins in only a couple of days, Jesus is going to be separated from his disciples and crucified. According to Matthew $26.00 verse 2. So he's sitting with his disciples on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 24 and 25 is kind of an interesting contrast with Matthew 2425. In Matthew 24, Jesus gives the signs of His coming. But in Matthew 25, he talks about the preparation for his coming. Matthew 24, Jesus relates the events in the World where the Matthew 25, he's describing the condition of the church in math. He 24. Jesus is telling what's going to happen out there, but in Matthew 25, he's talking about what's happening in here. And as we track the transition from Matthew 24 to 25, it's getting dark. And in the distance Jesus and His disciples are, was watching a House lit up with a Party that's waiting for bridal procession. You know, the Jewish wedding, the groom would go claim his bride from her father's House, and then with great delight, he would bring her to his House. Now the wedding Party had a very exciting job to do, and that was they were to lighten the path to the bridegroom's home. Now this wedding procession that they were watching in this Party gave Jesus the perfect parable to illustrate Preppers. The preparation for the 2nd Advent. So Let's take a look at Matthew 25 you want to share with me in your Bibles. Matthew 25, starting in verse one. Now through the 1st Gospel. After 251. Let's see what the Bible says. Then show the Kingdom of Heaven be like and then 210 virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. So these all 10 are called virgins, which means they all profess a pure Christian faith. They all 10 have lamps, which means that they possess the Word of God. According to some $119.00 verse 105 says, die for lack of My Word is a lamp into my, my feet and a light into my path. So they all have the truth and believe the truth. Why are they there? All 10 are there to meet the bridegroom. So they're all looking forward to this can come here Jesus. They all look the same on the surface so far. But then the next verse reveals a Stark difference. Verse 2 says, and 5 of them were Wise and 5 were foolish. They look just just the same on the outside, but they are just the opposite of verse 3 says that they were, they that were foolish, took their lamps and took no oil with them. And I believe that the 2 key words in the whole passage are the words, no oil for verse, for tells US the Wise took oil and their vessels with their lamps. So what is it that distinguish the Wise and foolish virgins? It was the oil, which begs the question, what does the oil represent? Well, as good Bible Students, I'm sure you could direct me to Zack to Zacharias for 2 through 6. The talks about the all of oil that they used to fuel the lamps in the 7 lamps, temple lamps that illuminated the temple That illustrates as Akaroa says that says that God's work advances not by my nor by power, but by my spirit. So the oil Act, she represents the Holy Spirit. Now in the Old Testament sanctuary, the oil accomplished what 2 thinks. Number one actually kept the lamps burning. So we are to be powerful witnesses. That because we have a relationship with Jesus can, can point others to Christ. The 2nd purpose of the oil, in the Old Testament sanctuary, it was used to consecrated the temple as well as the priests of the temple. And there's a Holy priesthood now where the priesthood of all believers and so all represents a Christian being truly consecrated to God set apart for Holy preface, total commitment to Christ. It's amazing. We commit ourselves completely or Christ, what he can do through our lives. Now verse 5 tells US, while the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. You know, the true status of the virgins only became evident with time. If the bridegroom had come, when the virgins 1st arrived, it would have been known who was Wise and who was foolish. By having extra oil, the Wise virgins were prepared if the bridegroom delayed is coming, which of course he does. So it's not enough to have a lamp or even be in the crowd that's waiting for the coming of Jesus. You need something inside that's going to illuminate your land. Now, why are they all sleeping? Well, in a way it's understandable because, you know, it was really past their bedtime and in the Middle East weddings are in the US are using the summer and they usually have them in the evening because it gets so Hot during the day. So you know, it's very late at night, they're tired napping. However, the foolish virgins should have been getting oil instead of sleeping because they were almost out and they did run out. Verse 6 tells US, and at midnight there was a cry made the whole, the bridegroom cometh, go you out to meet him verse 7, then all those virgins row a rose and trim their laps. Verse 8 and the 1st set of the Wise Give US your oil for our lamps are gone out. The foolish virgins are in serious trouble. They have no oil, so their lamps have become useless. You know, I once went on a double date in San Diego, this is years ago. And my friend Dennis and I had 2 problems leading up to the date. We were running low on fuel and we were running low on time. We were running late to the dates, so I figured, Hey, once we pick up our dates, we can go get gas and then everything will be great. And so I thought we had the special picnic planned. It can be a National monument if you've ever been there. And it to me is that a favorite place in San Diego, you could see the Bay on one side, the Ocean on the other side. It's beautiful there. So I figured we just, you know, get the gas and go, well, you can probably finish the story right after we picked up the girls my car out of the gas Before we reach the gas station. So at that time my car was totally useless, like the lamps, without the oil. Actually, that's not altogether true. My car still seated 3, fuming people that waited an hour for me to get gas. This is before cell phones and Hoover and it took me a while to get a taxi. Let's just say this was the 1st state and it was the last state with that girl. So I didn't work out to our First one says, but the Wise answered saying not so lesser be not enough for US and you go, you rather to them, sell and buy for yourselves. Now in the parable, are the Wise virgins being versions being selfish for not sharing the oil know, why can't they show their oil well? Well represents the Holy Spirit which is not transferable. You have to have experience with God for yourself. The oil also represents our character, which has to be developed on our own. We can't get the Holy Spirit and our character threw off most of US my same friend dentists' that went on the double day with me. He's now an ophthalmologist and momentary, but one time in College. He had this philosophy that if he sleeps with his head on the textbook, he can get the knowledge the last most of US. And of course it doesn't work that way since thing with the Holy Spirit have to have an experience with the Holy Spirit yourself. Verse 10 tells US that while they went to buy, the bridegroom came and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage and the door was shut. You know, Jesus is not trying to shut the door on anybody. In fact, the door was wide open for all 10 for a time. The foolish missed the door because they were busy trying to get what they should have already had. In his Mercy, God allowed this door to stay open till midnight and it's only by His Mercy that we still have an opportunity right now to get oil so that we can go into the door of the wedding. But at some point, God is going to shut that door. Verse 11 tells US afterward came also the other version saying Lord, Lord, open to US. Verse 12, but he answered and said, Barry, I say unto you, I know you not. These are the saddest words that mortals will ever hear. You know midnight, do you think that those girls found any stores open so they no doubt showed up without their light shining. So in the darkness the Master looks out of the House and he doesn't recognize them. So that makes them nothing more than Wedding Crashers. They got caught, they were supposed to help illuminate the path to the groom's House, but they didn't because their lights had gone out. You know, our job as Christians is to let our light shine illuminate the way to the groom's House. Verse 13 tells US watch, therefore for you know, neither the day nor of the hour, wherein the Son of man cometh. And that's a parable. This is a very sobering parable. I believe of utmost importance because it is talking about people that are part of God's last day flock, but still will not be welcomed by the bridegroom. What could be worse? You're in the church, you think Everything's fine, but it's not. You know, it's one thing to be an atheist or a pagan, but here you have people all that think they're Ok that they're have a bound, but actually they're not have and now they will be the ones who say, Lord Lord, I did my prophesied in your name I cast out demons for you. I preach for you, but they will hear the words. I don't know, you depart from me. Ye that were connected. I believe that there were 3 fatal mistakes made by the Wedding. Crashers. Number one, they had some oil, but not enough for an unexpected delay. They had a superficial shallow experience that was not enough to make it through the Final Crisis. 2nd mistake, they were depending on oil that they once had, but they don't have anymore. Sometimes as Christians, we kind of get lazy and we kind of depend on the old experience with Jesus. Does your heart still burn within you when you read the Word of God? Are you not only in form but Trans form? The 3rd mistake of The Wedding Crashers as they didn't know the groom. Is there a connection between having that oil, the Holy Spirit and knowing Jesus? Let's look at a couple verses. Romans 8 Romans chapter 8. 1st. Not Romans chapter 8 verse 9. Is there a connection between having the Holy Spirit and knowing Jesus? Throne is a person tells US, but you are not in the flesh but in the spirit. If so be that the Spirit of God Well in you now, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his and makes it very clear that the Spirit of God is an important component of our relationship with Jesus. In 1st John 3, verse 24. Let's take a look at that verse is well First John Chapter 3, Verse 24. And Let's look at the 2nd part. It says in hereby, we know that he abideth in US by the Spirit which he had given US. And so if Jesus abides with US, we will have his spirit. So how do we know if we have the Holy Spirit? And we are spiritual Christians versus carnal Christians. I think one of the very important litmus tests for being a spiritual Christian is whether We have the fruits of the Spirit that are listed in glaciers. 5, verses 22 and 23 course. The most important is love. Do I even love my enemies? What about good Joy? Do I have Joy even in hard times? Peace Do I have trained quality in the midst of chaos because I Trust in God. Long suffering, patients might be easily set off when things go wrong or people irritate me or am I able to keep a godly perspective of kindness when I am squeezed by life or by a person, what comes out, Limon juice, or Orange juice, and frequently be reminded that I need a lot more sweetness when I'm squeezed. Goodness. Is that what overflows in my life or is there malice in my heart faithfulness? Do I have integrity even when no one is watching? Gentleness, do I come across as brash or headstrong or on my allowing the Grace of Christ to flow through me? Self-control, Our carnal desires, controlling my life or am I allowing the spirit to to direct me to the things that please God and, and serve others? You know Wise virgins, other real deal to the genuine diamonds, they are not the fit gays. Now, George Miller was a man who cared for over 10000 orphans during his lifetime. He established 117 Christian schools that educated over 120000 students. He truly lived an amazing life. When asked the secret of his service, he humbly declared this must be a fly sent by the Devil. I'm sorry he Way was as the secret of his service noticed what he humbly declared there was a day when I die utterly die. I died to George Miller, his opinions preferences tastes, and will, I died to the World, its approval or censure. I died for the approval or blame even of my brother and friends. And since then I have studied to show myself approved only to God. It's amazing, isn't he had learned to give up self and take the place of perfect nothingness before God He was a man who is empty, empty of self, but full of oil. So what is the real difference between the Wise and foolish virgins, virgins? You know, there's a very important chapter in the book price object lessons were all White wrote about these important parables and I believe she saved the best for last, which is this parable of the bridegroom and the 10 virgins. Notice how she describes the foolish virgins. She says the class represented by the foolish virgins they are not hypocrites. They have a regard for the truth. They have advocated the truth. They are attracted to those who believe the truth, but they have not. You have them selves to the Holy Spirit's working. They have not fallen upon the rock Christ Jesus and permitted their old nature to be broken up. The Spirit works upon a man's heart According to his desire and consent and planning to have a New nature. But the class represented by the foolish virgins have been content with a superficial work. They do not know God, They have not studied his character. They have not held communion with Him. Therefore they don't know how to Trust, How to Look how to live their service to God has degenerated into just to form a dry relationship, their destitute a Holy spirit in this life they have not entered into Fellowship with Christ. Therefore they don't know the language of Heaven. They're strangers to its Joy, they're shut out from Heaven by their own aunt unfitness for its companionship. Now what makes a very powerful statement? She says we cannot keep Christ apart from our lives here and yet be fitted for his companionship in Heaven. In review and Herald October 31st 899 paragraph 13. This is what she said About the foolish virgins. She said there are many who will not remain at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him. They have not. They not alledge of his ways. They're not prepared for his coming. They have made a pretense of waiting for their Lord. They have not watched and prayed with that faith, which works by love and purifies the soul. They live the life of carelessness. They have heard the sound of the truth, but they never brought it into their practical life. The will of Grace does not feed their lamps, and they are not prepared to enter into the marriage Supper of the Lamb. The oil is the Holy Grace that is sent from Heaven, and there must be an inward adorning with that Grace. If we would stand when he appears, Had those who claim to believe the truth acted their part as Wise virgins, the message would error this have been given to every nation, kindred tongue and people. Then next paragraph, she said, says in the place of seeking to saves the Souls that are ready to perish. They actually live for self. Their vessels are empty and therefore they cannot keep their lamps replenished. To these Christ says, I know you not. You have not taken me as your talents are. You have not walked in the light of my word. You have not come into my love yoke. Your light is darkness because you walk in the Sparks of the fire of your Wow. The part for me, you that work iniquity. Pretty convicting parable if you ask me. Well, Let's talk about the Wise virgins, the good news there are some Wise virgins. For them the religion of Christ means more than just the forgiveness of sins. It means the taking away of sins and filling the vacuum with the graces of the Holy Spirit. It means a heart, heart emptied of self and Blessed with the abiding presence of Christ. When Christ reigns in the soul, there is purity and freedom from sin, the glory, the fullness the completeness of the Gospel plan has filled in the life. The acceptance of the Savior brings the glow of perfect peace, perfect, perfect assurance. The beauty and fragrance of the character of Christ revealed in the life testifies that God has indeed sent his son in into the World to be its Savior. So that's a really good point. Does our life put out a beauty in fragrance, from our character where others can say now I know who Jesus is? His faithful followers, crisis been a daily companion and if the my, your friend they have lived in close contact in constant commune with God. Upon them the glory, the Lord or has risen In them the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ has been reflected. They are prepared for the communion of Heaven because they already have Heaven in their Hearts and their own life and character. They reveal what the Grace of Christ has done for them. The light of the Sun of Righteousness shines forth and good works in words of truth and deeds of Holiness. There is nothing that Christ desires so much as agents who represent to the World, his spirit and character. And there's nothing that the World needs so much of the manifestations of humanity at the Saviour's love. He wanted courage. You to take the time to read this entire chapter. The last chapter of Christ object lessons and it's really powerful in conjunction with Matthew 25. So the bottom line, as we look at the difference between the Wise and the foolish virgins, is we also like the Wise virgins, we need to have oil, or we will be a boss. So I want to make a practical suggestion for buying oil. That's called The Hour of Power. Can you say that with me? The Hour of Power? What I mean by that is to seek God early in the morning before the business of the day for an hour of power. Take quiet, unhurried time to study and meditate on God's word and talk to him. Remain in the circle of Jesus loving presence to wrist see of counsel and spiritual power from the Divine Teacher. In Proverbs 817, The Bible says, and God tells US, I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me if we're not finding Jesus now, every day, how are we going to be prepared to spend Eternity with Him? So what did Jesus do? According to Matthew Mark Chapter one, Verse 35. The Bible tells US this and in the morning rising up a great while before day he went out and depart into a solitary place. And there he prayed. And of Jesus needed to be in his father's presence to face the challenges the day, how much more US as mortal sinful human beings. John Bunyan, who wrote that famous and wonderful book called Pilgrim's Progress. He is famous. He famously said He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find him the rest of the day. What are so special about the early, quiet morning hours now I realize we have different schedules. This may not work for everybody, but it is the most ideal way you know. What's so odd ideal about those quiet morning hours is that before the Hustle and bustle of the day, It gives US some quiet, peaceful time with Jesus to face the struggles for the day. Bedtime and devotions are important, but it's too late to empower US for the task that we face for the day. If we skimp on Morning Prayer, unprotected and Hunt repaired. We will be for the challenge of faces for the day. The Gospel workers were told how important prayers it's actually the breath of the soul. It's the secret of spiritual power. And if we neglect the exercise of prayer or engage in prayer staff magically now and then it seems convenient, we will lose our whole Dungog. That's Gospel workers pitch $254.00, Paragraph 4. I believe that Jesus was victorious on Calvary because it is 70 he was prepared before the test came. The greatest victories to the church. This is from C.m. $81.00, The greatest victories to the Church of Christ or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience Chamber with God. When earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the Mighty power. How many of you are thinking? Wow! If Jesus can came today, would I be awaiting crasher? I'd like to end with a story about a time I was a wedding crasher. My close friend Calvin and his wife Amy flew from out of state to an a 10, a one. Calvin's high school buddies, wedding in the Sacramento area was a great, great opportunity hang out with Callan, a Guy lived in Sacramento at the time. And since I had, and they didn't, I was there chauffeur for the weekend, so we got to hang out and everything and he convinced me to drive them to the wedding. And the wedding was at a church that was no Big deal and then here sure it was Ok for me to attend a reception At a restaurant in the Placerville city, a possible He said you'll be fine. So I sat with Kalman Amy at the wedding reception having a great time visiting, had some great food, everything was gone, going great and tell the bride and the groom came to our table and so clueless me. I should assume it was happening sooner, but they were actually going from table to table so that if one person, if there were any people to table, they both did know then that then that one knew them could introduce that guest to the bride of the groom. And so they were going, you know, they got going around the table and then the groom told his bride as my friend Calvin, This is his wife Amy. And then he looked at me and he, her, and she looked at him and they both gave each of US look like, who's this Guy? I just can't tell you how embarrassed I was. And Calvin saw it was having, he has all, that's my chauffeur. And so I didn't get kicked out of the wedding reception, but I felt like I wanted to at that point, I just want to hide under the table. So embarrassing, fortunate it in kick me out, but the damage was done. And so, you know, it's one thing to get found out at a earthly wedding reception. But imagine coming to coming to the wedding Supper, the Lamb and being told by the greit, bought right drone. I don't know you, so you're not welcome here. And this is not just for a wedding reception, this is for Eternity. You know, Jesus wants to save you and he wants to save me. And when it comes to his wedding reception, I have really good news today. There is unlimited room and you are on the invitation list. But he wants to know you. He wants to know you now, so he'll know you then. And if we really don't know him very well, the good news is, Jesus can transform US from foolish virgins to Wise virgins. So I want to make an appeal today. Closing. Is Jesus calling you to make and have a deeper relationship with him? Would you like to really get to know him so that you're not a stranger? When you come to Heaven's gates, you sense the spirit of God moving your to a deeper study of His word and a more meaningful and deeper prayer life. You want to say the Lord with me today. Lord, I want you to do a greater work in me so that I can be of greater service to you in the World. Lord, I long for the oil of the Holy Spirit to change my character. So that when you come back, you can recognize me as your own. Isn't that what you Jesus is not waiting for more bad signs to happen. He's not waiting so much for Sunday. Like you know what he's really waiting for. He's waiting for US for US to be ready, so that he can see his character perfectly reproduced in his people and then he will come to claim, assess his own. And I believe it really is important to start the day with an Hour of Power, which Jesus is that your desired a Lord. I want to have an hour of power with you. Not something you may be very busy. He were a student. You may think, I don't have that time. You know though, I don't even remember what her name is, but I was introduced To a female medical student. And one of the things that really impress and you know about or her was that she started it for the morning and she always started her day with time with God That was before she did her studies. And you know what? She was doing great medical school, but she had her priorities straight, she started it with Jesus. So Let's go ahead and pray for the decisions that have been made today. Would you by your heads with me, your Heavenly Father. We are so thankful for Jesus who desires to save US, who has done everything he can of course, 2000 years ago. Die on Calvary, But even now and haven't he serves as our mediator. He serves as our Jocz and he desires to save US, but Lord, we need to have the desire To be saved to really be part of your family, not just in name, but by our character ire by our thoughts our actions. And so Lord, I pray that you would help US to carve out that precious time to really spend with you in lard. I know most of US are probably guilty of sometimes not spending that time with you. In the business of life, we've neglected the oil. The Lord help US to make this our 1st priority. And Lord, I pray that each person that's part of this service today that we will all one day rejoice on the sea of glass and not because of our own Merit for getting there because Jesus and His Grace is saved US. We respond. Thank you, Lord, for this time together in Jesus' name. Amen. 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. If you would like to listen to more sermon, leave it to W W W audio 1st or.


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