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Logo of Advent HOPE Sabbath School

The Desire of Ages

Jessica Trinh

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Recorded

  • December 19, 2020
    10:00 AM
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There have only Father God come before you. On your blessed Sabbath. Lord we are grateful. That after a long week. You invite us into your presence in the special time. That. In the entire universe. Your agenda at the top of your agenda is the speck of dust. And God we ask for your holy spirit here this morning that you. Be the guide that you be the teacher you be the speaker Father God. I simply be a faithful witness of the blessings that you have given to me. And God we ask that you be and all the work in the details of this may be a blessing to any person that is here and listening and your angels come close that your Holy Spirit just closer to us Father God. Lord Mayor hearts be open and drawn to you thank you so much for your grace and your mercy pray all this in Jesus name him and in the beginning when God 1st created created humanity his words Be fruitful and multiply fill the earth and subdue it were a window into the purpose and heart of God for us that Adam and Eve in their rulership were to fill the earth with blessing after the fall and the world became so terrible and filled with wickedness God sent had to send a flood and restart with Noah and his family and the 1st command God gives to know at leaving the ark in Genesis 816 to 17 go out of the ark you and your wife and your sons and your sons wives with you bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth so that they may abound on the earth and be fruitful and multiply on the earth. Again it's this command to go out into the world and be a blessing generations follow and God calls a man by the name of Abraham and calls him from the earth of the cul de and in Genesis 121 get out of your country from your family and your father's house to a land that I will show you I will make of you a great nation I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing I will bless those who bless you and I will curse who curses you and in you all the founders of the earth shall be blessed. The promise to Abraham that he would become a nation but not just any nation but that through Abraham all the families of the Earth would be blessed in only a few generations Joseph is sent off to Egypt and God raises him from being a slave to the right hand of feral and it is in that position he becomes a fountain of life that helps preserve Egypt from famine but all the nations and the people that came to Egypt also in that crisis including just as family received a blessing. When the Israelites fall into captivity and bondage and Egypt God the I am liberates them not simply to be free but through their deliverance from Egypt Exodus 916 God says but indeed for this purpose I have raised you that I may show my power in you and that my name may be declared in all the earth. And I'm only in the Book of Exodus my friends. I'm not going to go through every incident instance because we would be here for hours but move on through the books and the heart of God has always been with the purpose that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea written both and I say in the back and God's name and mission never changes and never needs to win you are the God Eternal when Jesus came to earth and says those unforgettable everlasting words to know Nikken Demas in the night for God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son the mission of the son simply carries out the heart of God. While on earth the ministry of Christ reaches only the Israelites when he goes to the cross he goes to the tomb and the command he gives to his followers upon His resurrection that Sunday morning go into all the world gold therefore and make disciples of all nations and he gives his young inexperienced church the Holy Spirit for the purpose that they will be witnesses of Christ into Jerusalem Judeo some area to the ends of the world. And one of my favorite events. Captured in the early start of the church. You can turn we're going to look a little bit there in the tail end of Acts Chapter 7 going into the next chapter 8 all throughout Acts Chapter 7 we see Stephen Lehmann Deacon newly instituted community service staff member because the Church of Jesus of Nazareth was pulled me Stephen has pulled before the Sanhedrin and he's preaching his heart out and the people are convicted but instead of coming up for an altar call Stephen is dragged out and made the 1st martyr of the church. And it's like things go from bad to worse you can read with me and Acts Chapter 8 we're going to look at verses one to 3 starting with verse one now Saul was consenting to his death at that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria except the Apostles 1st to and development carried Stephen to his burial and made great Lemon Taishan over him and as for Saul he made havoc of the church entering every house dragging off men and women committing them to prison you know I I read these verses and it and it sort of feels like you know if you've ever tried to start a fire maybe it's the winds blowing you try and strike that match you have your hands huddled to protect it from the wind and just when it seems like maybe the fire is going to catch and pick up the devil snuffed out right when the momentum of the Gospel of Jesus is growing they were growing by thousands and Pentecost multitudes joining day after day as they met house to house. Stephen a stone and now as if it wasn't enough that Stephen was stoned Saul goes on this rampage throughout Jerusalem entering house to house to drag Christians from their home churches this persecution rages soul badly that everyone except the Apostles maybe the Apostles decided they needed to brave the persecution and stand their ground maybe they thought they felt they needed to stay behind perhaps for anybody who couldn't leave but every person of the infant church is pressed to separate and scatter and I imagine that if I were in that situation I'd be asking God the hard questions why Stephen God Didn't you always intervene you can send an angel to open the gates of the prison Lord you can bring people back to life why Stephen why this persecution father why aren't you stepping in to change the politics in our favor lord you've protected the church from the likes of Anna niacin Safira won't you do something about Saul but then you read verse 4 and everything clicks and falls into place therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word this scattering of the church this displacement putting them to be separated wasn't for the breaking of the church but for the growing of it because of the persecution and the cruel abuse and torture Saul inflicts upon the Christians chasing them even to foreign cities they scatter and leave Jerusalem when you 1st read the word scatter it feels like the devil has shattered and scattered the church into bits and pieces like ashes but the word scattered here in the Greek the sparrow the word means to sow seeds. Like for planting the church was growing and booming but to God Jerusalem was too small for God so loved the world God's eyes and heart have always been set on the whole world not just one city not just Loma Linda not just Barry and springs imagine if you can turn Tokyo Baghdad Vientiane Shanghai same route Cairo into the next level indifference and then keep going on verse 5 it cements everything then Philip verse 5 then Philip went down to the city of some area and preached Christ to them in spite of the crisis God was still living it was Christ who tells us in Acts Chapter one go to endure Israel Jerusalem you'll be my witnesses then you go from Judeo to some area it is because of the persecution of so that the Church of God finally accomplishes what Christ had commanded them to do to go into some area there is never a trial that happens to us Church that is beyond the reach and ability of God to use and redeem it not just for our good but for a good that cannot be numbered when the double hoped to decimate the church break its morale God use it to achieve his overall sovereign will and the heart of God is always for the blessing of the world I say these words and I read them but I have a problem because I can't reconcile something that is a reality today friends 2000 years after Jesus has commanded those who believe in him to go into all the world more than 150 years have passed since the Adventist Church has been told specifically our church has been intrusted with these last warning. For a pesher world there is no warning after us my friends we are the last warning and yet still there remains 41 percent of the World War Then 3000000000 people who are on reached when I refer to the un reached we're talking about without exaggeration people who grow up who are born grow up and die without hearing the name of Jesus one time in their whole life. They will grow up and live their life without meeting one Christian or ever hear that Jesus came and this is why we celebrate Christmas they have no clue they see Christmas they think snowmen and Santa Claus people will grow up never knowing the true reason why we celebrate Christmas that Jesus came to this earth that He existed and lived and died for them because he loves them we know these facts I'm sure yet only one out of 1800 Christians chooses to serve cross culturally. And just to put that information into perspective Loma Linda campuses about 4462 in Roman and a crowd of that size you will find 2 to 3 people 2 to 3 people who make that decision to serve overseas as a career. And that's just overseas because you take 10 worldwide gospel workers and out of those 10 who serve overseas only one will go to the hardest place to reach the unreached the places that need it the most the other 9 they work in places where there is already Christian presence or there are a Christian institution so you'd have to take 3 Loma Linda campuses and then you'd be able to find one who works on the on Rich makes sense. Right we're more likely to hear and plan the able to plan a trip to Mexico and help then we are likely to set one up to Cambodia if you take a $100000.00 of the offering that Christians send into the church how much of it do we send to the unreached divide among those 10 workers I told you about that 100001 dollar 1 dollar out of every $100000.00 goes to that one worker with the least help and the hardest place to reach the other $999999.00 goes to the other 9 workers goes to places with significant Christian or as in the presence there's a quote from David Platt there is only one thing worse than being lost that is being lost and having no one trying to find you there is only one thing worse than being lost that is being lost and having no one try to find you and I'm not here to say that I believe everyone is called to be an overseas worker for friends there is something wrong with this picture if we really believe our church is to carry the 3 angels messages to every tribe and nation tongue and kindred and we want to finish the work in this generation we are deluding ourselves about the fact that somehow 2 to 3 people called overseas in a school the size of women Linda and somehow everyone else is called to the mission field of America while the rest while 40 percent of the world remains on reached friends we need a change in our minds. We need to expand our horizons expand our vision in my time here it's very common to meet and come across this this concept that serving overseas as a career is exceptional. But if we really are a church for the spreading to the world of every tribe in can drink it should be just as conventional as it is to tell someone you are going to give 8 years of your life overseas as it is to say I'm going to spend 8 years of my life to become a doctor a lawyer a dentist and I'm being vulnerable with you friends so many times I have attended youth conferences with 5000 people and upwards of people who who are excited and they love God and I can see it in their hearts and they hear it in their prayers and this then this and this whole session itself is being broadcast into more fellow Adventists at home listening to songs preaching about finishing the work in this generation and it makes my heart ache when I know that there is a gaping hole of laborers to share Jesus 9 time zones away I know of groups I'm working closely with friends who are struggling to find even just a mission minded farmer who's willing to serve we can talk about country living but what about the rest of the world I think there are many much more talented. I am writing on the wave of grace literally at this moment and I know that there are many more talented influential admin is Christians and perhaps they haven't honestly given God a chance to call them to serve overseas because if we truly believe that we are to go worldwide there should be a larger number serving as cross cultural workers and if in your group or friends no one has served overseas or is looking to do it maybe you need to check and see if God is calling you. You know while there are many times I encounter while I'm stateside people who tell me often. I want to stay there's so much work here in the ne d. or others who you know what I'm doing the good work here I work I'm God needs me where I am my talents are best used here I don't doubt that I believe I believe there is definitely a work here that needs to be done and I actually do believe in a little bit of a trickle effect when things move forward here that it will trickle out to the rest of the world but this is something that we can consider if there was anyone whose talents served the church it was Jan Andrews he was gifted as a writer and a theologian he served as a representative to Washington d.c. managing to secure our church recognition nationwide as noncombatants in war during the time of the Civil War And as we know he served as the church's 3rd general conference President a title my friend likes to say the king of Israel but you know it's Jan Andrews at the youthful age of $45.00 that is chosen to serve as the administration's 1st missionary if God sees fit to call a g.c. president overseas work in spite all of his talents could afford the home soil let us not flatter ourselves that God needs us where we are but be willing to offer ourselves up to where ever he may call us I think we we also hope we we hope that maybe maybe in a world of social media satellite and you know all these things we can reach we can reach them maybe you know if I said enough aside 2 weeks to help I'd like to respond with a story but I want to give you a little bit of background I am based on a close country it is about the size of California but with 2 and a half times the population. And when you consider that one out of 81 out of every 8 people in America lives in California that's a lot of people. The country where I am is is a country of ancestor worship where they worship the spirits of their family it's a culture where. A significant portion of the people will eat the vegetarian on the 1st and the 15th of the lunar calendar month because they believe that the gates of hell open and all the spirits of the dead or alive to visit home and families that eat vegetarian by showing compassion to animals will gain merit or karma for their dead spirit ancestor this country is one of the last 5 remaining communist countries in the world I have a teacher that is teaching me the local language and during our language sessions we talk on all types of topics family culture relationships politics health and I decided to ask for her help to translate a flyer where we're going to have a speaker share about evolution vs creation there's a tagline what came 1st the chicken or the egg she reads it and she laughs It's so funny to her. And then she and then she pauses wait so what what came 1st. Oh Ok well what do you think I ask or she thinks and she's like I don't know and I tell her well you know I'm a Christian I believe in the Bible the Bible tells us that the God of Heaven created the world and I start to share with her the many the things that many of us learned in Sabbath school in primary and as I'm sharing day one day 2 and go through the days my teacher grabs a pen and she begins to write furiously and then she looks at me and she says What do you call that. And I'm like a get caught off guard like what what it's like what you are telling me what do you call that I don't want to how to translate it into the local language the days of creation and she tells me I want to look this up on the internet I've never heard of this before friends this woman is 25 years old she's connected to Facebook she's on social media she knows how to use the Internet she teaches students virtually She had majored in law in the university but even in an age of zone television Facebook Google she had never heard of the creation story until someone personally told her about it because how can you search for something on Google when you've never heard of it. And that conversation it took me one year to build up to that conversation and that spending $2.00 to $3.00 times with her a week to hour every time 2 hours every time social media satellite all of those things $3000000000.00 have their place short term mission trips they have their place I'm here because I'm serving overseas because of a short term trip got me to that place praise God for them but there is no way around the fact that to reach the on rich requires a person that will physically go there and build be there to build relationships not just for 2 weeks put it takes time it takes years you can't replace it and sometimes I wonder if what we read in x. 8 if God will at some point be forced to permit a greater crisis to come upon our church so that people will finally let go of their dependency upon pastors speakers of bent and make God their trust and finally be scattered everywhere preaching the word Ellen White rights I think it's in Christian service. The work which the church has failed to do in a time of peace and prosperity she will have to do in a terrible crisis under most discouraging for bidding circumstances the warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld must be given under fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith I read this quote and it makes me realize that we think things are hard now because of this pandemic France things are only going to get tougher it's only going to get more difficult as time goes on but that will not change the fact that we still must reach every tribe every nation tongue and people couldn't be the one day we're going to look back on this moment and think Why did I do more for God when it was easier why didn't I give more to God because friends right now simply because of my privilege the door is open for me to go back to my field simply because I can teach someone else how to speak English the door for so many places to reach the unreached are so there are still somewhat open you know I'm not a doctor I'm not Mark Finlay I'm not a nurse my personal professional qualification I speak English and that's enough to get me through closed borders right now to the unreached I have a friend from the country a citizen he can't even get back I can get back in before him the doors are open for us especially in a way that God has given us friends are we going to wait for things to get harder and then we'll start putting what we can towards God and His work are going to wait for churches to literally close down without hopes of opening are going to wait until our printing presses are taken and then we'll start doing something. Or can we take this opportunity of peace and relative prosperity to start planning and start putting forth an honest plan and work towards reaching the unreached while we still have doors open I want to take us to our close by closing verse Acts Chapter 17 starting with verse 24 x. Chapter 17 starting with verse 24 God who made the world and everything in it since he is Lord of Heaven and Earth does not dwell in temples made with hands nor is he worshiped with men's hands as though he needed anything since he gives to all life breath and all things and he has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined their pre appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings so all that they should seek the Lord and the hope that they might grope for him and find him though he is not far from each one of us we know the desire of ages as the title of a book but when I read this verse this is the desire of ages to me that God. Everyone here is not here by accident it says that he determined the pre appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings you were not here by accident you were not here in 2020 by accident because according to this verse God could have put you during the time of the flood. God could have put you there at the time of Moses to see with your eyes the 10 Plagues fall upon Egypt as as God as God is glorified through the liberation of the Israelites you could have been there at the time of Pentecost with the disciples but instead God waited 6000 years for you to show up on the scene the desire of ages is to see this world the knowledge of God covering the world as the waters cover the sea and he chooses you and me and 2020 to be here to be part of the work he didn't choose Moses he didn't choose James and Peter he chose you and me to be part of the last warning to a parachute world that's the desire of ages that the world may seek after him he is just hoping that they will grow up after him and find him even though he's not far from any one of them I have 3 appeals many times when people hear some of the facts I share or they tell me that I never knew that we had so much to do I always thought that we are almost done tell me what I can do and I always say 3 ways 1st is to pray you know back in the 1800s when the doors of China were closed the churches in America began to pray that God would open its doors and he did and the 1st missionary to China Hudson Taylor was able to enter and bring the Gospel in 1902 when it seemed impossible that the Gospel would get through the copter communism behind the Berlin Wall but prayer brought down the Berlin wall through a pastor who set up meetings every Monday and for 7 years then met every Monday praying and it was prayer that brought down the Berlin Wall. We need people who will pray for the overseas work and the workers because it will not be weapons that bring down the walls of North Korea it will be in the power of God it will be churches praying for the work that will bring down its walls we need people who will commit to praying for the overseas work choose a project choose something you believe in but pray for it the 2nd one is give I have a lot of people that also tell me I wish I could go but family but work etc etc No problem find someone you believe in you believe in their work and send them you can go you can still send a substitute sending And even if you you know there is a story oh I'm out of time Ok let me skip that for. Last one so 2nd one is give 3rd one go I have met people of all ages who God has called to go that are serving now young old there is a place for you to serve I have met someone who is an i.t. person that God needed to set up a system network for the workers out there I know someone who is an accountant without their help the project would would be stuck and hindered there is a place for every person of every skill you are needed if you cannot go if God is really calling you here you still have the opportunity to reach the unreached in this community California is a very diverse place and there are many people who are. Studying here international people in my home church I know of at least 4 people who were Buddhist atheists studied here in America at one of our schools the church brought them in and those young people became Christians 3 of those young people went back to their country and are now now sharing and participating in the gospel if you cannot go you can go into your community and make workers from those people and send them out and so here i make me appeal who wants to say that they're willing to dedicate and set aside and become a prayer warrior you may not be able to go but you are going to be there in spirit in your prayers for the overseas work I'd like to see you raise your hand and then 2nd give in a place where I am from $20.00 is worth $500000.00 the money that we give to the work overseas it costs so much farther than what you are going to spend on that Starbucks or that pizza that you should be getting Anyways if you can give you can you can set aside whatever treat you're going to give to yourself and put it towards someone you believe in send a substitute on your behalf a work that you believe in we need to be sending more than $1.00 for every $100000.00 my friends to the unreached. And lastly go oh sorry let me make that appeal who is willing to say Lord I know I can give more to your to the work on to the unreached and I'd like to commit and say I will give praise the Lord and the last you know when I started praying to God if he was asking me to go it wasn't until about. About 2 or 3 years down the line that I finally was sent and it started with simply asking God if he was calling me. And so I want to make this appeal if you have never opened up the opportunity for God to ask you to serve he may or he may not but you've never given him the opportunity to call you to overseas work maybe it's one year or 2 years or 4 until Jesus comes but you've never given him the opportunity and you want to say no to God God from leaving this today I'm going to give you the opportunity to ask me if you are calling me overseas I'd like to see your hand and I will pray for you praise God Let us pray God in heaven we are soul blessed and privileged to have known you for as long as we have I cannot imagine those who have gone without knowing you all their lives who do they turn to in their despair who they turn to without hope God. When we have you they deserve to know you to God and we come before you with our hearts Lord and I and I bring to you those who are saying that they will commit father to pray humbly have on the unreached to pray on behalf of those working for them to pray on behalf of the governments of those places that the doors may open and stay open God I ask that you that you encourage them and remind them that even if they wake up at all odd hours maybe it's because who they're praying for is in a different time zone Lord put it on their heart remind them Lord and may they be encouraged as they see the doors open and see people go in for you and I want to pray for those God Those of us who struggle and realize that we can give more the things we spend on ourselves can do so much more for people overseas Lord impressed them. Speak to them give them clarity on what you are asking them to give about who you are asking them to help about how they are how you are asking them to provide at a time when we need to finish this up you have been waiting for ages and I want to pray for those I know it's not an easy prayer to pray I have been in that place God and I ask that you be with each and every person who wholeheartedly and earnestly wants to say Lord what wilt thou have me do that they are opening themselves up to your call that if you are calling them that you may show them and that you encourage them and give them that strength and that they may know what it means to have their trust fully upon you and to take you at their word at your word Father God Lord we are grateful for your grace. For your Sabbath and for the blessing gift of Jesus Christ who came for us. We ask that we may abide in your presence and we may buy it in your spirit or. Their hearts be ever more in tune to God. We pray all this in Jesus' name in. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about him or you 1st if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w dot. Org.

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