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Choosing Eternity

Eric Walsh
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Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

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  • December 10, 2020
    4:00 PM
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Good evening church. Glad to be with you tonight. We are going to jump right into our message. Starting in Matthew 27 is our scripture reading for to night verses 15 through 17 Matthew 2715 through 17. Now the feast the governor was want to release to the people a prisoner who they would they had then a notable prisoner called barabus therefore when they were gathered together pilot said unto them whom will ye that I release until you barabus or Jesus which is called Christ barabus or Jesus which is called Christ. A message this evening is entitled choosing eternity choosing eternity let us pray Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study your word Lord as we delve into a very sensitive and challenging issue I pray that you make me just a nail upon the wall a rusty sorry mail order but upon a nail or dies that you hang a portrait of Jesus Christ let our waltz not be seen or heard Father instead let us hear word from the throne room of grace this is our prayer in Jesus precious and holy name Amen we started the book of Matthew chapter $27.00 Matthew chapter $27.00 and starting at verse 11 Matthew $27.00 starting at verse 11 Jesus stood before the governor and the governor asked him saying Are you the king of the Jews Jesus said unto him. Thou sayest and when he was accused of the chief priests and elders he answered nothing we jump into our story tonight with Christ standing next to a pilot somewhere in the room are his accusers the chief priests and the elders the leaders of Israel as they accuse him in front of pilot trying to convince pilot that this man is a threat to the Roman authority in Judea that this man is revolutionist that this man is a. Problem creating man that he ought to be removed by punishment of death they've already done a kangaroo court with him through the Sanhedrin one of his own and already betrayed him with a kiss spent the night without food or sleep. Brutalized and now he stands in front of the representative of the mightiest empire the world had ever known at that point pilot's wife and already given him a dream had given had been given a dream and she told her husband pilot not to mess with Christ so yes this question Are you the king of the Jews Jesus simpler responses you see it in verse 13 pilot then ups the ante and says Here is down not how many things they witness against the and he answered him to never a word in so much that the governor marveled greatly here pilot who was used to dealing with those who started insurrection and criminals and he was used to dealing with those who are in legal trouble and as a pilot is there speaking with Christ. Pilot says to him Don't you hear all that is being said about you do you not hear the allegations that are being laid against you Bible says in verse 14 the Jesus answered him to never it word Jesus had no intention of answering him and it was such a deafening silence in the mind of pilot that the Bible says pilot marveled greatly all the other criminals he had ever met given an opportunity to state their innocence rambled on ad nauseum and how they had been framed in every other criminal that pilot had met was or verbose in their ability to make a defense of themselves this man said nothing verse 15 of Matthew 27 not the feast the governor was want to release them to the people of prison or who they would. They had then a notable prisoner called barabus therefore when they were gathered together pilot said unto them who will ye that I release unto you barabus or Jesus which is called Christ who shall I really son to you pilots primary job was to keep the peace between the Jews and the Roman authority he answered back to Caesar in Rome and his job was to keep the peace one of the ways he did this was annually other around the time of the Passover he would release a prisoner in order to satisfy the Jewish people to keep them at Big understanding that there was always a risk that if you let someone go who truly was involved with crime or insurrection it might cause problems but but pilot was a diplomat and he was trying to get the people of the Jewish people into a place where they were at peace and. Pilot realized that he had an opportunity and there was a prisoner whose name was Paradis you have to believe the pilot thought for sure when compared to the meek and lowly loving comforting nature of Christ the roughing in Bradman's would have easily been the one that they would have sent back part of asked the question let me submit to you that the Roman Empire was a tough place to live if you were an occupied people Roman oppression lead to heavy taxation was a brutal. System of slavery rampant religious intolerance you had to live. The way the Romans live viewer York a Roman ised as it were into their culture in a criminal justice system that was not fear the Persians some say invented crucifixion but the Romans perfected it the Romans crushed the world in fact and Daniel Chapter 2 The Roman Empire is the part of the statute with legs of iron legs are your biggest your legs have your biggest strongest muscles and and and iron is one of the Strong as if not the strongest metal speaking to the fact that role would one day crush and destroy the Roman Empire extended all the way to the British Isles the coast of northern Africa far east into Europe and Asia Minor powerful dreaded it were the Roman Empire was the Roman Empire and people kowtow to her fact the Jews tried to fight for Jesus they were the Maccabees who fought hard to set them free selves free. And there were multiple many insurrections that would rise up from time to time but I want to submit to you that one of the things that's very interesting about the Roman Empire and how the whole thing comes together is that the disciples themselves were a part of those who wanted to be liberated from the Roman Empire Roman powers so much so that in the story in The New Testament where in the Gospels where the 5000 are fed after the 5000 and fed and people are healed and Jesus spoke and not just the people but disciples were looking for a way to take him by force and crown Him King when when the Sanhedrin finally catches up with Jesus and and and they're ready to destroy him Judas betrays him with a kiss Peter is so ready for liberation and for and for justice and equality that he draws his sword Peter cuts off the ear of the high priests servant mouth because Jesus of course reattaches it miraculously just the week before this now Jesus is beaten and weakened and and looks terrible but just a week before this they cried Hosanna Hosanna in the highest as he walked as he came into the city of Jerusalem branches were thrown down before him and he was accepted as if he were king because they wanted to shake off the Roman power but let me submit to you as terrible as the Roman Empire was dark as it was we've seen that even in these days people groups are still oppressed and justice still happens in fact here in the United States and in North America we have had a history. Challenges and difficulties along the lines of race back in the sixty's there were. Marches and protests and city in the us to change laws forbade African-Americans and other people of color of color from sitting in diners or riding on the front of a bus if you've ever read the book The Color of Law you'll find that in fact the laws of the United States were used to redline African-American communities devalue properties and and not give. Mortgages and other a means to secure a home and ultimately to develop wealth for their families like ancient Rome America has had her sins North America has had her sins and today we still deal with police brutality inequalities and wealth and income that look like poverty still evidences of overt racism I want to submit to you that just as Jesus was under the yoke of great oppression as he grew up in Nazareth which was one of the poor towns a ghetto town as it were sort of one of the disciples and can any good thing come from Nazareth So today have many been raised under great oppression but even deeper iniquities we often talk about inequities we talk about. Racism as a very visible thing but I would argue with you that poor quality schools in certain neighborhoods and the weaponize enough nutrition that is created and many poor black and brown neighborhoods all across North America definitely across the United States where we have food swaps and food deserts exposure to environmental toxins like the lead in the water in Flint Michigan. And even the pollution of having. Freeways and highways cut through poor neighborhoods in this country and the pollutants that. Cause disease and problems that those who now live in Easter of nearly Easter affairs and of course the prison industrial complex has disproportionately and unfairly locked away many African-Americans and Latinos like ancient Rome America has her since she is she has slipped into darkness in many ways in our history despite what I believe are God given principles that the country was a stablished upon yet and still America that are challenges and if you read Revelation Chapter 13 word speaks of a beast that had 2 horns like a lamb and speak like a dragon the dog to me of that beast in the way it speaks in its writings initially and the way it would carry them out speak to the United States has been and I want to submit to you that one of the things that happens when oppression is rampant and when people feel as if they have been victimized by injustice that oppression often breeds revolution and hence today just as in the time of Jesus there are those who are wanting to overthrow the powers that be Jesus day one of the people I represent that was a man named barabus Jewish rebellion idiology probably really surfaced around the time of the birth of Christ according to Josephus Of course it waxed and waned as you think of McCabe's brab is his name bar Abu Smeaton's son of the Father. Some ancient texts say his 1st name was Yahshua which is the same name for Jesus Joshua in the Hebrew. Was working on something in fact when you look at John 840 says the rabbit was a robber Matthew 2716 where we are says and they had a a notable prisoner called barabus Luke 23 and verse 19 says who for certain sedition made in the city and for murder was cast into prison and tells you that barabus made sedition ie he was seeking a revolution he committed murder and was cast into prison Mark 15 and verse 7 and there was one named barabus which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him who had committed murder in the insurrection barabus stepped on to the scene and barabus was a true revolutionary very different in Jesus as there were no miraculous stories of healings attached to barabus as pilot stood between the 2 men it was a stark difference in the peaceful calm nature of Christ and the very vices of one like barabus and pilot when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people said unto them you have brought this man into me as one that perverted the people and behold I having examined him before you have found no fault in this man touching those things were of you accuse him palaces listen I'm looking at who's here and and when I talked to the 2 of them and I don't see a reason that Jesus should really be in the trouble that he's in verse 15 no nor yet not yet Herod for I sent you to him and lo nothing worthy of death is done to him by those that listen there's a way out here that I'll chastise a verse 16 and and I'll release him. We're 17 for a necessity he was really is one of them at the feet so he's looking at barabus and Jesus and pilot looks at the threat that is barabus he digs the character of a barabus and he looks at a meek and humble personage in Christ Jesus listen I'll chastise him out punish him I'll try to keep him quiet for you but then I'm going to release him because somebody has got to be released verse 18. And I cried all at once saying away with this man release on to us barabus who for some certain sedition made in the city and for murder was cast into prison or to any pilot therefore willing to release Jesus speak again to them the 2nd time but they cried saying crucify him crucify him and he said unto them the 3rd time why what evil has he done I found no cause of death in the am I will therefore chastise him and let him go and it's interesting because of the Passover Lamb had to be inspected it had to be pure and had to be without any blemish or any mark or any spot it says if pilot is in his inspection of Christ it would have been easier for him not to push against them but to simply say that something was wrong with Jesus but pilot literally is the one who declares Christ's purity verse $23.00 they were instant with loud voices requiring that he might be crucified the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed pilot gave sentence that it should be as they required I want to submit to you one of the things that happens here is we are told in the spirit of prophecy that the voices of the Demons began to ring out Satan himself was there in human flesh. And I can imagine here where it says in verse 23 and they were instant with loud voices that the demonic wave of the crowd in the presence of demons in the crowd began to raise the shout higher and even to a supernatural way the people would have become frenzied in their desire to crucify Christ crucified pilot seeing the pushback finally pilot gives and gave sentence that it be is they required verse $25.00 and he released them to them him that force addition and murder was cast into prison whom they had desired but he delivered Jesus to their will he released barabus they chose paratus and a Bible says something profound in verse 25 it says who they had desired barabus but he delivered Jesus to their will Church there's always something wrong when Jesus is delivered to our will rather than our will being delivered to Jesus. And his current condition Christ did not seem as one that should be followed he was beaten stripped of clothing his disciples had fled from him week probably even I'm a Shia just a week earlier they cried Hosanna Hosanna Now here was the great healer and Teacher The Miracle Worker beaten and and held captive by the Roman powers everybody wanted to see defeated and instead chose the revolutionary barabus instead chose the one who had been imprisoned for murder and sedition and stead they chose the one who would establish for them a kingdom on Earth rather than waiting for the Kingdom of God that Jesus was lining up for them I want to submit to you at this point in the sermon that. I was breathless I want to submit to you that the background I gave you on racism in a mute out of states is something that I've experienced when I went to high school in Florida leaving the state of Connecticut to start high school in Florida and it was a very traumatic experience the school I attended was about 40 percent Jewish and very few African-Americans in the school they were bussed in we were bussed in from another neighborhood and what happened is of course there were some in the school who had neo nazi sentiment were quite racist as it is in my sermons all the time the 1st day I went to the bathroom in my new high school there was a picture of an ape drawn on a wall with a noose around its neck and underneath the words were written and words go back to Africa a joke all the time that if I had $5.00 every time I was called The n word in high school I could have paid for my college experience at Oakwood University cash teachers would join in some of the racist sentiment in some of my classes I remember before the Super Bowl when Doug Williams was the 1st black quarterback in the Super Bowl I remember a conversation in one of our classes where students were saying that African-Americans weren't smart enough to play the position of quarterback they built a synagogue across the street and they push was stickers all over the synagogue. It was a traumatic experience and I want to submit to you that one of the things that happens when you experience this kind of trauma is that you begin to see the world differently and your Christianity is affected don't don't miss this church you start to wonder how a just God could allow injustice you begin to look at the world in only the 2 colors of black and white you begin to reduce everything to racial struggles all of a sudden nothing else really matters it's just whether or not someone is racist or not or how race a society in the world around you is when you experience these things firsthand you see the world differently when your friends have been killed by the police like I have it changes the way you experience the world I was barabus I started studying Rastafarians I studied the Nation of Islam even read some of the studies of the 5 Percent Nation of Islam which taught that the black man is God and the white man is the devil Rastafarianism thought that a dead Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie was Jesus come back to earth I studied even communism at times and I look for all African people revolutionary party meetings when I go to cities like Atlanta I I got into into a world where what I wanted was revolution I became barabus and I even spoke against the Church of the Living God for not being and doing more to stop racial injustice in this country and in the world I became barabus angry frustrated even racist but God delivered me I tell a story all the time I delivered me I went to hear a famous black American speaker Louis Farrakhan speak and I and he told a story about a black man of the original man something I heard in all of these studies and I was raised Adventist remember when I had been his college I was now in medical school. I knew the 3 Angels' messages the 2300 a prophecy revelation and then on here I am sitting being taught by an incredible orator in Louis Farrakhan he says the black man is the original man and I slide up on my seat to take a listen he says the black man is the original man and I can prove it people begin to clap I was in medical schools I start listening keenly he says the black man is the original man he says I can prove it he says 66 trillion years ago what trillion with a t. he said 66 trillion years ago a black man blew the mood off of the earth with dynamite but the Chinese invented dynamite a few 1000 years ago on this he said and I can prove it he said when the astronauts went to the moon they could still smell the dynamite 8000 people in the Miami Arena stood up and applauded when he said that churches shrunk down in my seat it only takes a 5th grade education to understand it the only thing the astronauts could smell on the moon is what they brought with them from Earth I realized in that moment that my veracity around race and racism had left me vulnerable to the wiles of the enemy here now I sat on a Sabbath afternoon instead of being a wife I sat listening to demonic doctrine and I repented and all of a sudden God began to teach me so much more about how he sees race and color. All of a sudden God began to clarify in my mind many of my questions as I went back and really began to study one of the verses of Scripture that God gave me was a viz a viz and 6 verses 10 to 12 he says Finally my brother Paul speaking to the church in Ephesus Finally my brother be strong in the Lord in the power of His might put on the whole armor of God that he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil you then says for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against Prince of polities against powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world against spiritual wickedness in high places what God had to teach me was the white man is not your enemy somebody not hearing me today the black man is not your enemy Satan wants us to look at each other as our enemies because then we miss our true enemy the real reason for the suffering and injustice in the world he says we don't wrestle against flesh and blood but there are spiritual powers that are we kid that are working what is happening in the world and yes many will be puppets that may not look like you but remember they are not the source of what is happening Satan is there for lingering questions for lingering questions that I was always given I will try to get through these quickly the 1st one was that they always said to me when I was in this world Christianity is a white man's religion the 2nd thing they said is Jesus was black so to church is all messed up if it shows Jesus is anything but Black the 3rd one was the church does not do enough for social justice issues the church is is is is meager in its response if there is a response at all. The 4th one was the one that actually was the one that affected me the most when I wrestled with race and race relations as it as I was growing up and that was how could God allow suffering like slavery Jim Crow in the United States so I will go through the real quickly Number one is Christianity a white man's religion if it is there are those who say listen as a black person I'm not going to follow it because it is the religion of my oppressors the Bible teaches something very different a simple spirit of prophecy says and in the book the great controversy in lands beyond the jurisdiction of Rome there existed for many centuries bodies of Christians who remained almost wholly free from papal corruption they were surrounded by heathenism and in the lapse of the ages were affected by its errors but they continue to regard the Bible as the only rule of faith and I'm here to many of its troops look at this these Christians believe in the perpetuity of the law of God and observe the Sabbath of the 4th Commandment churches that are held to this faith and practice existed in Central Africa and among the Armenians of Asia what Sabbath was being kept Christianity was in a purer form in Africa than in Europe absolutely the Bible gives us 2 stories one of them the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba the other Philip and Ethiopian eunuch that tells you that the Jews had people had interaction with Africa that that the truth that God to Africa all the way back in the time of Solomon but even the Ethiopian eunuch who meets Philip has already reading the book of Isaiah and Christianity goes into Africa where in a sense it is protected and ironically the only part of Africa that is never colonized is the part that remained Christian Ethiopia most specifically these are the oldest churches the near you know some of the oldest churches in the world and lot of Bella Ethiopia huge from one piece of rock. Christianity a white man's religion no Christianity was a global religion by the time the Apostles were finished the Gospel had been preached not only all over Europe all over Asia and all the way down into Africa all churches like the Egypt and Coptic church and he and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church tells us that Christianity has existed for a long time so no I'm not leaving Christianity because it's a white man's religion Christianity is humanity's religion says John 3 in verse 16 Jesus John says of Jesus for for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life for 17 says For God sent not his Son into the world to the condemned the world but that the world through Him might be saved it's a it's a global religion the 2nd one it always them is the Jesus was black and if you paint a picture of Jesus other than black it's blasphemy and if he's white I'm not following him you talk about the old shit jesus they say was the 1st lady's ship and and all of the reasons why color the color of Jesus is so important and God showed me verses for this as well and Isaiah 53 and verse 2 it says for each of grow up before him as a tender plant and as a root out of drop out of a dry ground he has no form nor comeliness and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire Him The Bible seems to him that's not saying that Jesus was unattractive you know it doesn't sound it says that the pull the drop to Christ was not in his physical stature it was not in his look in what people didn't get drawn to Jesus because he looked a certain way they were drawn to him because of his character and what he was saying the liberty that he offered the world the reality is Jesus could have been white or black he was Middle Eastern. But that's not what's important because the other verse on the 1st name of 167 from a man look at them the outward appearance but the Lord look at on the heart if when you study the Bible which does not give a color for Jesus to be was a well he had a bronze angles in bronze feet and in the Book of Revelation given a color for Jesus but a Bible seems to tell you is that what matters is not his color it's his character in fact even as we struggle with race interesting the New York Times put out an article back in August of this year. Sorry August of 2010 years after the human genome project had been completed and it showed that in fact human beings are over 99.5 percent the same genetically The regardless of what we look like and at most any bit of differences are more environmental The truth of the matter is we are all the same there's only one family on earth and it's a human family and I know we want to hate other folks sometimes we get mad at them but you've got to understand that the differences between us I literally millimeters think in terms of the color of our skin color was Jesus. The color of Jesus that mattered was the red blood that he should it's unfortunate if you focus it on any other color there's no other color can save you except the crimson blood of Christ Jesus the next one was of course the church is not doing enough Church is not doing enough and God showed me when I remember working even as a kid with crusades and going and we and spreading the gospel going door to door in some of the poorest neighborhoods in Hartford Connecticut and later in Miami Florida I remember how many people left alcohol and cigarettes how many broken homes were brought together the Gospel was preached how the weaponize ing of nutrition in the forms of of food swamps and food deserts was reversed as the health message was taught. How do you ports of Education was was given how the church not in any very visible or sensationalize way but in a day to day grinding away as we reach the communities we serve especially those of us in poor inner city neighborhoods and we reach those communities and women folk to Christ how we reverse the yoke of bondage just as Christ did not by overthrowing any power but by liberating me individual to be able to live for God and live a better life and shake off many of the shackles society has placed upon him historically the administration a lot around race. And also some of those texts from other white here in a 2nd but the last one I want to give is this one how could God allow suffering like slavery and racism how can we allow the damage that those things of caused Matthew chapter 27 gives the answers we were reading get back to that in a 2nd Christ suffered more than any other is what God showed me were controversy page 47 said to save it is the cycles for seeing the doubts that were pressed upon their souls in days of trials and darkness remember the word that I said unto you the servant is not greater than his lord if they have persecuted me they will also persecute you John 1520 and I says Jesus suffered for us more than any of his followers can be made to suffer through the cruelty of wicked men that began to study the life of Christ read the Gospels and spokes like the desire of ages and I began to really look at the history city of Christ and and how he lived I began to realize that Jesus suffered under that Roman oppression he saw brutality in those Roman soldiers he experienced and watched his country men experience terrible things. He understood stood the power of the Roman yoke and how it was destructive in the land he knew what it was like to be raised in ghetto conditions Jesus knew it was like to be forsaken to have a criminal justice system falsely accuse you and sentence you to death to be brutalized by legal powers. Jesus understood what many of us can't fully understand in fact we will never suffer like he suffered so he understands the suffering that is going on Christ has allowed the world's sin problem to manifest itself the whole universe will see that in fact when man when man has. When man has not followed God properly these are the consequences of sin we see all around us Spirit of Prophecy. The Southern work one of my favorite books on the subject of race if they believe on Him as cleansing blood is applied to them the black man's name is written in the book of life besides the white man's All are one in Christ birth station nationality or color cannot elevator degrade men the character makes the man and the wife says walls of separation have been built up between the blacks and whites these walls of prejudice will tumble down of themselves as did the walls of Jericho when Christians obey the Word of God which enjoins on them supreme love for to their maker and impartial love to their neighbors another quote from the book the southern work she says the day is coming when the kings of the lordly men of Earth will be would be glad to exchange places with the humblest African was laid hold on the hope of the Gospel we have a choice to make much of what we're going through God would love to use to develop our characters. To allow us to be a light in this dark world even and especially on the issue of race but we've got to choose which Kingdom we're trying to build would we be like the Jews in the days of Christ who want to reestablish the throne of David and conquer the Romans and become the greatest power in the world today are we looking to establish a kingdom on earth are we looking to perfect this world a world that the Scripture has told us is coming to an end or like Christ are we looking to build a kingdom that will never come to an end but a prophecy says this about the choice of the scene of the judgment hall in Jerusalem is a symbol of what will take place in the closing scenes of of this earth's history the world will accept Christ the truth or they want to accept same the 1st great rebel a robber apostate and murderer they will either reject the message of mercy in regard to the commandments of God in the faith of Jesus or they will accept the truth as it is in Jesus if they accept Satan and his falsus they identify themselves as the chief of all liars and of all who are disloyal while they turn from no less a personage than the son of the infinite God of you and Harold January 3rd 1901 the world is at last brought up for trial before the Great White Throne to account for its rejection of Jesus Christ God's own messenger to our world what a solemn scene it will be what a reckoning will have to be made for the nailing to the cross one who came to our world as a living a pistol of the Law God will ask each one the question what have you done with my only begun son. Who did you choose. We choosing Barat this today. Tied up in nationalism and and being patriots are we are we can choose in barabus but by choosing me any ologies of men to try and salvage and fix broken nations in a broken world I would choose an barabus or are we choosing Christ instead of understanding that all of the many things that we're dealing with many of them are literally the deceptions of the enemy distractions to point us away from the living Jesus Christ and the wise as what will those answer who have refused to accept the truth they will be obliged to say we hated Jesus cast him out we cried crucify Him crucified Him We chose a rabbit in his stead those to whom the light of heaven is presented rejected they reject Christ choice churches simple as difficult as it is and we do not have to stop fighting for the cause of right and good and justice in this world whether it's around class poverty or race but we must be and always careful we are choosing eternity over the temporary that we are choosing Christ over barabus that we are choosing liberty in our God rather than revolution in our own flesh churches it is imperative that each one of us chooses eternity Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study your word and we thank you for all the strength and help you give us Lord in a world fractured by ethnicity by race Lord as he was predicted in Matthew 247 nations rise against nation ethnos against ethnos ethnicity against ethnicity lowered today that is happening we ought not be surprised by it. We need to focus on the fact that when Matthew 249 comes around the world turns against those who are followers of you give us the strength father to stand. To choose Jesus to choose eternity come with. This is our prayer and Jesus precious only made. 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 audio verse or if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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