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The Risk of God's Mission

David Wright


David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church


  • December 5, 2020
    10:00 AM
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So this morning the risk of God's mission was there some risk involved when Jesus came We're going to come back to them I don't know if you've seen John MacArthur in the news he's 81 years of age he's the pastor of the Grace Community Church out in California it's a non-denominational evangelical mega church and he was catapulted in a larger way into the news when he did not abide by the California state orders set in mid July of this year 2020 for indoor activities to be banned and he decided we're going to keep worshipping we're going to keep our doors open even though the order was now you can only have 25 percent of capacity because of the covert $1000.00 pound Demick he in his church found themselves in court for different occasions to my count over fines and lawsuits in the hundreds of thousands of dollars yet each time the California courts up held their right to meet in person after 4 losses in court the l.a. County tried a new approach to terminate the parking lot lease that they had leased from the county for 45 years folks we find ourselves in an age where there is a major push to consent to certain ideas and the tactic often used is if we don't get our way we'll make you pay friends secular humanism continues to march forward back when I was in school and we talked about the in time scenario about standing up for our faith that in time I never would have guessed it might be over my refusal to marry 2 men. I never would have dreamed that it might involve review refusing someone confused about their gender the right to use any bathroom they so chose and friends the rise of secular humanism will not is not stopping with allowance if you have not noticed and now we're living in a world where everything has been turned upside down on its head wrong is seen as right and right is seen amperage trade as wrong and so this man John MacArthur in his eighty's not afraid to say it like it is and as a result the mainstream media to put it lightly does not like. He did an interview just before Thanksgiving where he claimed America is in a moral freefall and you might say Well come on pastor that's a little bit dramatic isn't it in the interview it came on the heels of the state of California allowing strip clubs to reopen while churches were still fighting to reopen and so he said it this way in his own words quote you murder the babies in the womb if they survive the womb you try and seduce them into transgender sexual deviation when they're young if they survive that you corrupt them with godless education if they survive that then you have divorce in the family and if they grow to be adults you drown them in a sea of pornography so I ask again is America in a moral free fall have we just become so used to things that we say well that's the way it is now America's a great country found on great principles but if you think that we're not on the cusp of a crisis I believe you need to think again in me in the secular colleges today it is a more grevious sand for me to tell someone they are doing wrong then for me to practice wrong is the true. Have you read about The Great Reset I don't have time to launch into this but the subheading of the article this is Time magazine's November 2 of this year the coven 1000 pound Demick has provided a unique opportunity to think about the kind of future we want to share ideas how to transform the way we live and work now this is talking about in reference to transforming how we live and work before the pandemic is not major backers have said of this Great Reset a better economy is possible but we need to reimagine capitalism to do it does that make anybody else nervous and here besides me to reimagine capitalism you dig a little deeper and their goal is that by 203010 years not even 10 years about 9 years away that we won't own anything folks this is socialism the 10 Commandments mentioned this morning talk about how we should not covet our neighbor's house it doesn't say our neighbor shouldn't have a house Bible says that if you don't work you don't eat now I understand we need to measure that with taking care of widows and orphans but that's a far cry or way from just reimagining capitalism so in the absence low of our culture in a time where riots last for over 3 months straight on the news outlets justify them was just built up hostility I can't help myself I just have to break windows burn things and take what I want I saw on the news maybe I mentioned this before the guy saying I'm not sure it has so much to do with the rioting and them being upset is a just one of new pair in one case because that's what they're taken out of my store they've cleaned it out and how does that fix the problem that they feel that they're in. And more specifically as it relates to the coronavirus What is God calling us 7th Day Adventist to do and to be at this time have yes yourself that question how are we to exercise our faith what is our obligation to the last to those questioning in a world gripped with fear over the cove in crisis for the fear of some that this coven crisis will result in an economic crisis and some even going as far as to say the economic crisis will have us forget entirely the coven crisis friends our world is trembling and asking questions the interest in Bible prophecy is the highest now than it's been in a generation that you know that Google searches for the 2nd coming spike to the highest level ever this year the world is crying out what an opportunity be for us as a people what an opportunity for the remnant people of God to rise and shine but instead of recognizing the golden moment before us many of our people are just as frightened as the godless people down the street and yet there are people watching and waiting but instead we have empty churches did you know that in this conference we still have churches that have yet to reopen and I get correspondence from some individuals at the conference office with messages to the pastor saying and if you have not reopened don't I get discouraged when I hear that I get messages that say for the Kaminey and we're going to live stream we want you to save the day and show it so everyone can see it because can't mean has been cancelled in person it's all virtual. And so for those churches that are open I think it's the 1st week of June last May 1 of the 2 for those that are open say the day for those that are open here are pictures after we closed our 1st live stream only service was March 21 a week later than many around us and so here's some pictures I took of our church empty during the 10 weeks that we just live streamed and let me tell you because you were here let me tell you it was depressing to be on Sabbath morning and an empty lifeless church a quiet church and it put a smile on my face each Sabbath and welcome everybody through this camera that I kept forgetting was even there I was talking to the one or 2 people that were here and yes I'm thankful for that ability that we could live stream there's no question we're all thankful for this but for me there was something deeply troubling about the whole thing so one Sabbath I walk around empty Sabbath school classes where the kids I'm glad I came to Sabbath school I mean it's just after choir where is that young adults where is the primary is the juniors they use and finally on May 30 we opened back up in person if you remember we still had the panel up here we weren't doing the Sabbath school thing it was just open for church and so we were getting done with this out of school portion and I remember coming down and getting ready to to do church and then the doors open in the back these double doors and it got me choked me up I had to take a picture here are the Saints finally able to come back to church after 10 weeks and some churches are still not open at this time a nurse history. Shelter in place yes we're taking precautions we have several doctors in this church and I've leaned on them many times we social distance or social distance now we wear masses we come in as we go as we're in the hallways in the restrooms we have disinfectant readily available remind people to wash their hands if you haven't heard that a 1000000 times or not having potlucks or social events which I miss We're not shaking hands but we are coming together to worship our God. We are having sat a school classes together and in case you didn't notice I as a leader felt like this church was revived not just with church services but when we started status school something changed Did you notice that too were singing in our worship service were trusted everyone to make a good decision in regards to their level of attendance and we recognize this is a voluntary place of worship we have a direct feed to our fellowship hall downstairs that one little bit more social distancing and that's fine we discussed as a body of elders if we should make changes or adjustments but the council has been to stay consistent and so that's what we've done and Bob God's grace I'm not aware of one transmission from church praise the Lord that saying that will never change no I'm not making that promise but I'm thankful that this much time has passed and here we are we feel people can manage their own lives and willingly entertain the risks with this form of gathering and we've gotten some feedback for that not a lot but some of been disappointed in our response I imagine either way we go someone's going to be disappointed with our response and I know some at our conference office will view what we are doing as reckless others might even refer to us as rebels and I don't feel that we are rebels. I feel that we are leaders is there a risk of dying of coded Yes there is what is at risk I call Dr Bailey a little bit higher before we were knowing better how to treat it even share with me at the same cocktail that our president got is now available at the one hospital had been held in western North Carolina so they're getting better at treating So now what is at risk point 9 percent that you could die of code is a higher for those that are older Yes Is it more dangerous for those with a compromised immune system yes but all way across the board the average point 9 percent that's 100 but the average American has a one in 6 chance I just said 101 in 6 chance of dying of heart disease largely preventable what are we calling that a pandemic we don't see for the global reset of the fast food industry do we deaths from cancer is one in 7 How about chronic lower respiratory disease one in 26 you know it's funny how in 2020 almost no one is dying of lower respiratory disease anymore almost everyone is dying from or nobody's almost dying from heart disease why because code is put down for the reason of death for just about everybody today one in 86 chance of dying of suicide in the United States in $2181.00 in $86.00 but you have places like Fresno California that's reported suicides in June were up 70 percent over last year why because you have to just isolate isolate isolate be on your own survive get by how about this one motor vehicle crash chance of death one in 106 now if you do the math I find it very interesting that that is point 9 percent exactly the risk of dying of coded falling. It happens as the chance of death of one in 111 it rounds up to still point 9 percent so forget masks you can't go the grocery store anymore or a hardware store or a hospital if you don't have your Walker our public transit is much safer so nobody can come to church unless they have come with public transit why we can't afford to take the risk there giggling How do you start it 10 she gets it walkers in public transport another thing that concerns me people doing all kinds of thing on the weekends that are violating what I would call intellectual consistency in other words they're being logically hypocritical What do you mean by that well they won't come to church because they somehow think this is irresponsible but they'll sit next to each other on their boats in the summer they have pizza parties with each other they'll give each other hugs they're going camping and going all kinds of other places but when they gather to create a sense of what the churches mission is what Christian fellowship should look like those are the topics of hyper caution do you see what I'm talking about am I just making this up so what is intellectual inconsistency when you don't go to church because that's not say what you will do almost anything else with those you feel are safe and the result we have hundreds if not thousands of churches across the country that are not even open on any given weekend much less the 7th day the day of worship as we believe the Bible declares that to be an eternal covenant connecting us to creation and redemption yet point 9 percent risk is enough to keep us away. I want to know if your kids are going to school why aren't they going to Sabbath school. I guess I'm preaching to the choir here I want to know if you're going to work how come you're not going to church I want to know God wants to know because when your work is closed the mission of the church will still be going forward because when our schools are closed and they are not allowed to instruct our children there will still be admonition and instruction in God's holy word there will still be the gathering for prayer and to encourage one another for the work that is before us and if we're not careful as Christians we can lose our credibility and our witness when we no longer attending religious services but we meet up for a pizza party or go boating or camping when somehow they observe that really the only things that are truly essential and necessary are those things that relate to our own self interest friends I fail to see where the Bible promises us a risk free existence as Christians human story David Goliath How can you forget story David Glass David sent by his father to check on his older brothers who are old enough to be in the battle and Goliath come the day after day and tongs them and speaks blasphemy and in 1st Samuel 1726 David finally speaks of this ready use to describe Him who is is uncircumcised will a sign that he should defy the armies of the Living God and he goes before King Saul and says the Lord who deliver me from the pa the line from the pov of the bear he will deliver me from the hands of this vilest on it David will you take some risk for God absolutely he's willing and what you see here. Is that over time David has built up some spiritual muscle right the part of the Lion and the part of the bear God was with me during those times are those times of happy go lucky joy filled skipping through the pansies days no those are times of crisis there's a huge animal with big teeth trying to take this is. But he's built faith in his Lord and His God and I think God put those challenges in David's path to prepare him for the John just like I think God puts challenges in our path to prepare us for the end times scenario and it's not so much down there as it is right here I have no question that the challenge that we're facing personally in our family is to prepare us for something that God has in store for us on the line he's trying to build spiritual muscle and so he goes before the giant with a bit of risk a bit more than point 9 percent and he says You come to me was sort of with spear with javelin but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts the God of the armies of Israel whom you have defied this day the Lord will deliver you into my hand and I will strike you and take your head from you that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel risk involved absolutely didn't understand the risk Yes but what is the difference about David what sets him apart from the whole army of Israel what sets him apart from King Saul because as a follower of the true God He has a different mission a different mandate and a different sense of security not in the ways a man but in Christ and eternity and when we see things from a different perspective we act and we respond in different ways. Ways that people say how come you're not afraid I mean you look at the secular world out there they're all concerned about the 1st death the 1st death the 1st death as Christians it's not about the 1st death it's about the 2nd death and he is delivered us from the 2nd death he's promised alternate victory to us and so we don't have to fear like the rest of the world fears we have a hope like the rest well doesn't have hope we don't mourn like the rest of the world mourns why because we have a different mindset a different mission and a different purpose and we can rest in the assurance of Jesus Christ how about the 3 Hebrews in Daniel 3 you know this story well to King Nebuchadnezzar gets to dream going to make some corrections to it the whole thing is going to be gold we're going to bring all the who's who of society that are going to have to kneel down and balun worship this image with the dimensions of $60.00 and $6.00 and it's repeated throughout this chapter multiple times that he set up that he set up that he set up and when he gets report that 3 Hebrews do not bow down he calls them in and he's furious and he gives them a tongue lashing but amazingly he decides I'm going to give you another chance and he says in verse 15 if you do not worship what was the issue where ship you shall be casting me in the midst of the burning furnace and who is the God who will deliver you from my hands so as never can answer the issue was worship what I set up don't mess with me but I love their response the next verse verse 16 she had about me 2nd Abednego answered and said to the king as are we have no need to answer you in this matter if that is the case our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace and he will deliver us from your hand Ok but if not let it be known to you a king that we do not serve your gods nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up was there risk. Are you kidding and why do they respond that way because as followers of the true God they have a different mission a different mandate and a different sense of security not in the ways of man but in Christ and eternity go a few more chapters the decree was made to catch Daniel remember this story to Daniel Chapter 6 and so they they get in the back room they figure out how they're going to do it how they're going to manipulate they get the law passed and then it tells us in verse 10 now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed he went home and Koren 1000 himself he sheltered you know he went home and in his upper room with his windows open toward Jerusalem he knelt down his knees 3 times that day and prayed and gave thanks before his God as was his custom since early days it says did he know the risk the verse tells us he knew the right and been signed but this was Daniel's response and again I think it's rooted in the fact that he had a different mission a different mandate and a different sense of security than the rest of society Oh Pastor you're saying if we come to church by faith we won't get sick no I'm not saying that I'm saying this 1st life doesn't matter it's the 2nd life that matters that's what's essential friends I could go on and on we could talk about John the Baptist and his straightforward talk to King haired and the great risk to himself we could talk about the disciples of Jesus all died a martyr's death except one they tried to kill him in a pot of boiling oil but God intervened and so they send the Isle of Patmos we could talk about Stephen before the Sanhedrin at great risk to himself we could talk about Paul and the multiple times they tried to kill him and eventually they succeeded. Friends where is it where is it that God calls us to a risk free comfortable happy go lucky life on this earth where does it say that if you follow me you will have a pain free existence where we read that the church has to go into hibernation mode when there is risk No rather I submit to you that God's people always understood the risk of God's mission Zebedee here know anyone that has come out of a communist country they know what it's like to live under that and let me just ask you based on their experience living through that are they more grounded in their faith or less more crisis has a way of grounding us in Christ in ways that just happy go lucky does not I mean was it Jesus that said I don't think I come to bring peace but a sword didn't he say the enemies would be ones of our own family in fact in some of the 1st words when beginning his ministry the Sermon on the Mount begins in Matthew chapter 5 and on we're only a few lines in and he begins to warn us why he say bless it are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven right out of the gate this isn't a bait and switch but it goes on Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake your blessed rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward on earth in heaven we have a different mindset for so they persecute the prophets who are before you if you all on the only one know you're not and you won't be the last and so how is it that the majority think it's Ok to talk caution stewardship when the world needs to see a group of people saying you know what we're going to be good stewards of public health. We're just not going to do it quite like you because at the center of our life is a God who has given us courage and faith and love and we just really must worship because we have a mission we have a mandate to fulfill for Christ and so we want to do all that we can to minimize the risk without minimizing the mission I'm all for virtual but virtual has its limitations some things have to be personal been a while now I think 5 years ago if I have it right in the spring of 2015 my family starts in around these group texts hey there's a 7 bridges half marathon in Chattanooga and you can do a marathon or you can do a 5 k. or whatever 10 k. but we're all going to try and go in together and do that half marathon on Oh really then my wife starts I know you should do is it the fun thing to do with your family. So I finally took the plunge I put the dates on my calendar I paid this money online my life changed because now there's this thing it's a big thing what is a 13.2 small for point one thanks Dan he does it for fun like real ones big ones the full full thing this is a half by start running less of a strength you really need to start I know Ok I'll get out there and say I'm running and I'm running and I'm running this is getting boring I'm just running like a Sunday comes and I spend like 34 hours running what is this this is called training because at the age that I was probably most any age not quite I've known people that just you know they decide the night before and run a marathon and anyway have words for the kind of people but if you want to finish the race there's some training involved. And so just from a very simplistic point I don't have to even describe this but you start out with a few laps in the in that. You're dying and he's trying to fake it you know a car is coming by oh let's run a can outrun a walk. And you do it more and you do it more and you go further and longer and faster and you have all these apps that help you on where you're supposed to be and by this point you should be doing this and be should be doing that to where you're hoping that the time comes that you're ready and so the day came I don't know if I'm right on the I'm ready and for whatever reason Dad and I were about the same level never mind that he's like way older than me but that's Ok he runs all the time whatever and so we're running and we're running and we're running through this half marathon and you go through all these mental you know why am I doing this and what's going to happen to me I'm going to injure my knees and all this other stuff and why don't I stop and I can't stop it was after the fact that Dad said and we did relatively well remember the time as a member it was better than I thought I would and he says yeah man Dave was smoking out there I was just trying to keep up with him as the what are you talking about I was just trying to keep up with you but we finished the race together doesn't it seem logical that if we're going to go through times of crisis that we have this know are coming doesn't stand a reason that God would place us in situations to prepare us for that time that is coming to grow our faith to run another lap to go a little bit longer to go a little bit further and how beautiful that our heavenly Father is running there with us as Christians we're on a preparatory journey to what we do as parents is. Try and prepare young people you know just get born in the week to come out that's what we do as educators to train them up by members and Man am I ever going to do the whole high school thing and how my going to the college saying well you're prepared step by step by step by step. And I had a brother 2 years older who have these 2 who in 4th grade were doing moves in and the family get there do I get the credit know this too screwed we're doing math but you prepare and when you get there you're ready and if we think that we're just going to roll out a bad one morning and face the sun a lot of crisis as we yawn as our hair is this shoveled we're reading Sleepy's out of our eye I think we're a bit naive don't you think you know we need to learn to trust in Jesus and allow him to change our world view so we can make it through to the end because the world is responding from a secular worldview that doesn't have a mission they don't have a mandate from God They don't have a greater security in Christ or we could say maybe in anything that's why they're searching that's why they're Googling because they might have a huge fat bank account but they're not trusting that now either they have no sense of eternity there's no sense or or understanding of the 1st death or 2nd death and they don't approach life with the understanding of Jesus who said Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell folks or something worse than death in this life some of you watching online this morning may be getting really uncomfortable right now and you may be saying to yourself Pastor you're just not taking this pandemic seriously over 275000 people have died in this country this year of code to which I would respectfully respond you are not taking this pandemic seriously. Of the 275000 people that have died how many have had the peace and assurance of Jesus Christ while we shelter down for fear of losing and tasting the 1st death when someone else is dying and losing both the 1st and the 2nd how many need someone to come and give them the good news before they catch coated and their fate is sealed but rather than being on the front lines the church by and large is in hibernation mode all across this land and I have news for you code 19 will not keep anyone out of heaven did you know that it will not close the doors of the Celestial City to anyone but there is another global pandemic this virus has infected every member of the human family and the kill rate is 100 percent not only that but the virus that we know as San there's a vaccine is name is Jesus and that vaccine will keep you not out of heaven you will be glad you go to heaven and could it be that God raised up this church for such a time as this if this is the golden opportunity let's not miss it and so I'm proud to be able to say that in 2020 the year of cancelled we have not just done one but 2 full of Angelus to serious 1st pastor Haim in the spring then with the bad a revelation now this fall we're even planning for the next one and people are watching people are making decisions is it what I would like it to be no but are we just going to sit on the sidelines and wait for normal to come back no so yes in the time of covert there is a risk there's always been a risk but I feel the shutdown our church is a shutdown ministry to go into hibernation is a bigger risk to ourselves and to our community and I don't expect the world to understand that so let's face it to be a Christian has always come with a risk. But we have an eternal point of view and eternal perspective this is a meme you know what I mean is they send in one text or whatever the says this is I don't know if they're drafting the Declaration of Independence the Constitution all the above I don't know but you get the idea says just to be clear none of this matters if there's a virus I don't know exactly what they're referring to home all men are created equal under God have the right to worship and so on and so forth unless there's a virus and then it's canceled Can we just superimpose that on to this slide to be clear none of this matters if there's a virus 3 angels message cancel evangelistic efforts cancel in fact it broke my heart when as our conference we said if you have advanced efforts they're all cancel ours was already far enough in and we've already put in money and they said Ok but everything else and canceled how about let's reinvent I know you already sent in your plans make new plans and send the men as Christians as the remnant church of Bible prophecy I believe we should respond differently than the rest of world because we have a mission here the everlasting Gospel of the world we have a mandate going all the world making disciples teaching him everything I've command and we have a different sense of security low I am with you always even to the end of the age that includes Now John 1427 thank you Sydney for reading this to us Peace I leave with you John stretches out those final moments of Jesus' life and there's so many chapters and here we are the night of the foot washing all the rest is given his final appeals to his disciples and teachings to the disciples and he says Peace I leave with you My peace I give to you not as the world Guinness do I give to you let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid. John 1633 he later said these things I've spoken to you that in me you may have peace in the world you will have tribulation peace could cheer I hope come the world this is the gospel the word is here that this world is a scary place but Jesus is overcome praise the Lord 2nd Timothy 17 for God has not given us a spirit of fear the power of love is a sound mind December 7th 1981 on that day Japan launched a surprise attack on the un expecting forces of the United States in Hawaii and everyone was completely caught off guard no American on earth could have imagined that any nation on earth could have done that kind of damage that was done to our forces that day there were books written about it after by survivors one entitled At dawn we slept does that tell you anything can you imagine put yourself in that place if you happened to be awake at that moment can you imagine seeing the clouds of planes and the fear and the utter panic as the bombs started rating down and the despair that you must have felt the fear much of the armed forces who stole mission and mandate was to protect America's interest was destroyed and burning in a moment and nobody saw it coming but there's a story of 2 men on that day Kenneth Taylor I don't know which one he is I'm sorry 21 years old from Oklahoma the other 23 year old George Welsh from Delaware both had graduated from flight school just and both have been trained and the p 40 aircraft the p. 40 was at that time America's premier frontline fighter and the squadron of these 2 men had been assigned to Wheeler field in Honolulu but just a few months before the attack they were transferred out a little ways. On the north eastern side of the island and when they woke up one morning to the sounds of explosions and machine gun fire they quickly ran to the window and they recognised instantly This was not a drill this was not a bad dream this was the real deal they were under attack and so they went to their closest airstrip for I said northeast only of the northwestern part of the island and the Japanese were not aware of this old tired airfield where there were just a few aircraft so it was ignored by the Japanese as they made a mad dash to the airfield 10 minutes away for them reaching 100 miles an hour and speed in their car while planes were shooting at them as they travel they arrived at the airbase they jumped into their p 40 s. and they were informed they did not have the 50 millimeter ammunition at their airfield just a smaller 30 millimeter ammunition but they fueled up they got what they could of the 30 millimeter and they took off and almost instantly these 2 men were swarmed by a 183 aircraft but these 2 men with what they had took them on they went to work and they fought and they fought and they fought now I'm shocked that they didn't get shot down but rather they ran out of ammo they ran low on fuel and by this time the 1st wave as of attacks had kind of slowed and so they went and they actually landed on Wheeler the runway strip which had been bombed that was one of the main points of attack was go a hole that was burning all the rest and they are saying we need more fuel and we need ammunition we've landed here because you have the 50 millimeter ammo that we need. And that argument ensued they say we're not going to get it it's over there in that building that's on fire and they went back and forth and back and forth until fire they said some that convince them they went into a flaming building brought back the ammunition they fueled up their planes. And just then a superior officer came forward and said You're not going anywhere what do you mean I'm not going anywhere if you know I do play he says it's too dangerous there's too many bullets or too many explosions you're going to be outnumbered you're grounded I command you that's an order and what's going through their minds now I mean here we've been trained to listen to our superior officers but we've also been trained to defend our country and at that same moment the 2nd wave of aircraft started coming over just the buzz. And they ran and got in their planes their p. 40 and they took off they couldn't go the normal route down the long end of the runway because the way they were coming they would just blast them before they get off the ground and so they went to shorter way and they're taking them right into the oncoming traffic of airplanes if you will and the eyewitness account was before the wheels actually came off the ground their machine guns were firing and again for the 2nd time these 2 young men fought and fought and fought and again miraculously I don't understand how they survived and they were later awarded this Medal of Honor the Tory Medal of Honor which I think is the 2nd highest of hero wisdom and so on they took what they had and they did what they could and sometimes I wonder why there's not more starch in the Army of God than these 2 men exhibited as we see our world under attack and yes there is risk was there risk for these 2 young men do you think it was more than point 9 percent but they said no this is what we've been trained to do we have no other option we can't sit here and do nothing. And friends that should be the d.n.a. of the Christian not to take thoughtless risk but to take calculated risks for Christ and for the Gospel because we have a bigger mission and mindset and picture of what's happening than the rest of society does and if we won't tell them who will so it's December so we're going to try and make this a Christmas sermon Is that Ok I'm so thankful here goes you tell me how it works out I'm so thankful that when the sin pandemic broke out broke out in our little world Jesus Christ did not shelter in place I am so thankful that he did not decide to quarantine himself while we were last down here aren't you thankful No instead he left the safety of his home and came to our sick world and actually risked eternal loss not the 1st death the 2nd death that's the eternal laws he rist he didn't send a virtual savior he didn't drop a book from the sky and while messages were given advance of his coming he felt it necessary to come in the flesh it was a mission of self surrender in which loss and risk was very real part of the game when you say and if we think modern Christianity can succeed without the same dynamics we have something to learn about the elemental principles of the Gospel and so Jesus exposes himself to the virus and in fact became the virus to save us why because there was no other way Heaven took a terrible risk my friends evidently Jesus and the Godhead thought it was worth it he viewed every member of the human race. You and me as essential and if he is our example what about us is the great commission something only applies when there's not a virus or we as Christians called to fulfill our mission and our mandate to our security in Jesus Christ it still might be a critic out there saying Well Pastor I know what's going to happen you're going to get sick friend I probably will I don't know about you though but I am not willing to not only be a virtual Christian because of the huge limits friend if I die so be it but one thing I know for sure if I get taken down it will not be while I shelter in place it will be while I'm doing work that I feel God has called me to do for such a time as this one of you called me this is week and said Pastor I was there a party hostlers a guy we started talking he had some questions some religious question we're talking about the 7 I gave this answer and that answer and by the time it's all done he said I want to meet your pastor opposite of whatever happens hey would you know I don't know all the answer your question I mean he knew all the right answer but that you were talking the peasant No no I don't talk to your pastor what am I in trouble this guy says I want to be with your pastor Sure no problem I bet we can arrange it I'll call him tonight which he did I went the next day said hey I heard you want to see me How are you I had to get special permission I went in the party hospital I had to wear my mask there's Covidien party but I took a risk for the Gospel and I'm gonna keep doing it until God tells me otherwise I realize it is hard to change lanes if you go on the bandwagon that the sky was falling it's hard to say I'm off that wagon I'm going on to a different one. And once you embrace the mindset that this disease is beyond control except in the most extreme measures it's hard to move into a different line and say you know maybe this asymptomatic super spreader is more of a myth then a reality maybe we figured out how to deal with it and cope with it more than everybody wants us to believe maybe the entire world won't die of coded and maybe we're in a moment where we actually need to change what we're doing and so I'm appealing to every pastor every administrator every parent every teacher every leader at this moment God's Church is not to be idle on the sidelines friends of God's Church is not moving forward we're moving backward the Di Dia of neutral or will just pas doesn't exist just like you can't pas your relationship with your wife and be gone for a year and think everything's going to be just fine when you come back there's no middle ground and so this time of year we remember his birth Emmanuel he took on the likeness of min As a matter of fact the target of Satan was the 2nd Adam he embodied the deeper dynamic of temptation and distress and suffering than any human being ever did but he supplicated the throne in prayer just like you and I can those nights in the mountainside those sleepless moments those moments when he when hungry those times when he was misunderstood and rejected those were all functions of a life of risk and when he went to the cross all hell closed and pressed in as hard as they could. And today we totally take it for granted of course he won of course he overcame that's all we've ever heard but don't you think for a 2nd that that was not the greatest calculated risk in the entire universe he risked all he put everything on the line to set you and I free. Because he saw us as essential and so may God help us by His grace to fulfill his mission to give the everlasting Gospel his mandate to make disciples of all people knowing that he promises to be with us until the end of the age may the Lord help us to be faithful in times of peace and in times of crisis until he comes you have a father as we have taken time this morning to see the incredible risk that the entire Godhead that Jesus took for us Lord May we see more clearly the path you marked out for us that we may take this message that we may fulfill our mission and a mandate from you and the security of Jesus Christ for your honor. Is my prayer and use. 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