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This One Thing

Randy Skeete


Randy Skeete

Evangelist and revivalist from Ann Arbor, Michigan.




  • March 1, 2013
    7:15 PM
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01:00 Let us pray. Holy Father in Heaven, we bow in Your presence on this beautiful holy day to thank You Father that You have a people on this earth that still honor the fourth commandment. We thank You for sparing our lives, our mental functioning, our five senses, our jobs, our families. We thank You for the freedom of worship and we thank You, Father, for Your tolerance for us, Your patience with us. You hate sin but you love us dear God, we thank You for that. Father, I humble myself before You. All I want is for Your people to get the point of this message and to obey You. All I want dear God, is for You to be glorified so grant me Your spirit for that purpose, not for my sake but for the sake of Thy holy Word, grant me Your spirit, grant me the precise utterance that the message coming through this instrument of dirt may be uncontaminated and undamaged. And when people listen to this recording [or read this transcript] dear God, You move in their lives powerfully. I offer this prayer from my heart in Jesus’ name. Let God’s people say amen and amen.


03:02 Reading from Philippians 3:13 Paul says “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.“  “This one thing I do,” says Paul. There is in that verse a principle of success, a law for a happy life, a rule for a productive life. “This one thing I do.” If you are a student in college, university, high school, you should identify “this one thing I do” and what is that? Study. If you are professional athlete, “this one thing I do” what is that? Practice. If you’re a preacher, “this one thing I do” what is that? Study the Word. Yes, you can’t preach if you don’t study the Word. You can make noise but you can’t preach. This “this one thing I do” is the principle of single mindedness. How many of you are in college or university or high school or low school? Let me see your hand. Hands down. You don't need to be a genius to do well in school. You need to be disciplined and to always understand in the face of multiple temptations to waste your time and energies and your resources: mental, spiritual or otherwise; you need to identify “this one thing I do” and that is study. And if we would live by that principle it would be much more difficult for the enemy to seduce us into activities that endanger our eternal life, “this one thing I do.” Of course if you’re a Christian “this one thing I do” whether therefore I eat or drink, or whatsoever I do, I do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). “This one thing” a Christian does is to reflect the image of God in everything, everything. And the word every is inclusive of every single thing, “this one thing.” But “this one thing” has another side—all coins have two sides. You’ve heard me say multiple times the Bible is a book of opposites. As verily as “this one thing” can work positively, “this one thing” can work destructively. Let's go to Ephesians 5:1 the Bible says “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour, 3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.” The Bible says there are some things we should not do once. Now we are on the dark side of “this one thing.” “3But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints.” Child Guidance p. 200.2 Ellen White writes these words “What we venture to do once, we are more apt to do again.” {CG 36:200.2} If you don't believe me talk to anyone in a drug rehabilitation program; that addiction began with one hit. Some are trying to break the habit of cigarette, it began with one puff. Many years ago, I worked at a group home for young boys and young girls and I would talk to them fifteen- fourteen- sixteen year olds; and they’re taking psychotropic medication. I said to one young boy, “you’re fifteen why are you going to Alateen?” He said, “I was 8 or 7 when I was hanging out with my uncles and my cousins and they were talking rubbish and they were drinking beer and they thought it cute to give me a sip, just this one sip.” My brothers and sisters, because of God's mercy we trample on His forbearance and we say, “Well, I’ll do it and then say sorry.” John Donne, a metaphysical poet, wrote a poem in which we have these famous words: “never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” In other words, if you hear of somebody’s funeral take a look at yourself. Am I ready to die? Ellen White writes in Historical Sketches p. 143.5 “We are all woven together in the great web of humanity, and God holds us responsible for the influence we exert over others.” {HS 9:143.5} What does this have to do with “this one thing”? That one sin will not only destroy you, it will destroy somebody else because whether you are aware of it or not—it is a fact—even dead people exert influence. I’ll say it again but Biblically—the Bible explains what I just said—even dead people exert an influence in Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” And in Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” Even the dead exert an influence. Counsels on Health p. 287.3 “Every soul that fails to obtain the victory carries others down through his influence.” [“Those who fail to connect with God and to receive wisdom and grace to refine and elevate their own lives will be judged for the good they might have done, but failed to perform because they were content with earthliness of mind and friendship with the unsanctified.”] {CH 124:287.3} Let me say that in Covina-English: “Every person who goes to hell will be responsible for someone else being in hell.” Last Day Events p. 282.3 “There will be no one saved in heaven with a starless crown. If you enter, there will be some soul in the courts of glory that has found an entrance there through your instrumentality.” {LDE 19:282.3} Here we have the opposites: every lost person will be responsible for someone else being there; every saved person will be instrumental in leading someone else to Christ. The choice is ours. Influence cannot be stopped. The quality can be determined but the exertion of influence cannot be stopped. The Faith I Live By p. 369.2 “One sin cherished is sufficient to work degradation of character, and to mislead others.” {FLB 363:369.2} So when you say “this is my life I could do what I like” that is absolutely impossible and God will hold us responsible for those whom we influence to hell and He will reward us for those whom we influence to the kingdom. How you conduct yourself and I conduct myself at work, on the playground, at church—may I say something that is hard and tough? (Amen) There will be children in hell because of their parents; because “this one thing” the parent did was to focus so much on a career the parent had no time for “this one thing” God requires of a parent, which is to prepare that child for a place in God’s kingdom. “This one thing” we are looking at the dark side. Go with me to Genesis 2:16 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Adam, you do “this one thing” and you’ll plunge the entire world, the entire creation under a curse, just that one thing. God is identifying that one thing in Genesis 3:9-11 “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? 10And he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. 11And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” Did you do that “one thing” that I told you not to do? Do you understand that we have suffered 6,000 years of sin because of one sin? All the sins that followed Adam’s sins did not change the plan of salvation. Christ came because of one sin. The decision to send Christ was not based on the tremendous amount of sins the antediluvians committed. The instant Adam committed that one sin, it became necessary for the Son of God, one equal with God, to give His life to make an infinite sacrifice. I say again one sin—and it was small. Child Guidance p. 79.5, the servant of the Lord writes these words “It was the least test that God could give the holy pair in Eden.” {CG 9:79.5} These words are heavy; they are leaden; they are weighty. Let’s examine them closely: “It was the least test”—from Christ Triumphant p. 20.6 it says “He fell under the smallest test that the Lord could devise to prove his obedience…” {CTr 14:20.6} The smallest test. We tend to take a very magnanimous view, a very gracious view of little sins—ah, it’s a little thing; let’s focus on weightier matters. The test God gave Adam could not have been smaller. So when we say it's a little thing we fly in the face of God, who by giving Adam a little test was teaching us that little things are important to Him. So my little sin is I’m always late every sabbath—or I come early and sleep—or my little sin is I always cause trouble in the church board. When you understand that Christ had to die because of a little sin—because a man flunked the smallest test that God could give—then you and I must now have a sense of horror at the very thought of any sin. “This one thing I do” for Paul it was reaching forth unto that which was before, having given up being “of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:5-6)—all of that he gave up; he left that behind—he reached forward for that which would equip him for heaven and that is Jesus Christ. We flip that. There is another “this one thing.” There is something one of us is doing. We need to stop. That one thing will destroy you and me. Steps to Christ p. 34.1 “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished”—will not give it up, persistently cherished—“will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel…” {SC 3:34.1} You and I need to understand what is “all the power of the gospel.” Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation…” The power of the gospel is the power that reverses death. Not just any death: the second death. The power of the gospel is that power that said “Let there be light” and there was light. The power of the gospel is the power in the trumpet, the voice of God, the voice of the archangel that wakes the dead. The power of the gospel is the very power of God in concentrated form. Ellen White says one sin can neutralize all of that and the keyword is “eventually.” Why do we persist with one sin? because it is difficult to discern the downward slide spiritually. No one becomes a demon between Monday and Tuesday. You become a demon between 1946 and 1972. No one becomes a saint between Wednesday and Friday; that takes time. Both processes are the same in that both are gradual. The downward slide to perdition is gradual. Ahh, I’ll eventually stop—you should have stopped yesterday. The upward slide same thing. I need Jesus—I studied the Word 10 minutes today, I need 15 tomorrow—the things I used to love, I love them no more; the things I used to eat, I eat them no more; the friends I used to keep, I keep them no more; as the upward trajectory toward the throne of God continues. Both processes are gradual. The Adventist Home p. 456.2 “He who associates with the skeptic will soon become skeptical; he who chooses the companionship of the vile will most assuredly become vile.” But she begins that statement with these words “The tendencies of the natural heart are downward.” And she ends it with “To walk in the counsel of the ungodly is the first step toward standing in the way of sinners and sitting in the seat of the scornful.” {AH 73:456.2} My brothers and my sisters, if we associate with sin we become sin. When we pursue this one thing, that one sin—the Bible identifies one mistake Adam made, one. And all the sins that followed from there did not change the urgency with which Christ had to come. It was urgent for Him to come when that one sin was committed. Do you realize Moses made one mistake when he was leading the children of Israel? One—and God gave him the severest rebuke a human being can get. Whenever I read that passage I cry. I say to God, don’t be angry Father, you know my comprehension is limited. How could you shut Moses out of Canaan knowing how many times those people drove that man nuts? There were times Moses asked God to kill him because leading those people was such hard work. But God said no I won’t. He slipped once and God said because you dishonored Me you go up to that mountain and die. I picture Moses walking up all by himself; he sits; leans his back against a rock and then… and I said, “Lord, don't be angry, I don't understand how you could do that but forgive me, Father, the problem is mine, it’s not Yours because Your Word says in Psalm 145:17 ‘The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.’ Father, the problem is mine, not Yours”—of course we know God raised him up and now he’s in the “higher” Canaan. God is good (all the time!) But Moses made one mistake.


25:55 Sermons of this kind are very difficult to listen to [or receive] and doubly difficult to preach because I'm preaching to myself for the second or third time and so they ought not to be long. But I want to urge you listening to me [or reading this], if there is that “one thing” that we're doing, by the grace of God, stop. I got an e-mail today from a young lady who I met about 5 years ago. I did a crusade in some city, she came, she did not get baptized but she came. She enjoyed the preaching. Once in awhile she would write me and say hi. So she wrote me two days ago to say hi. She wrote again today to tell me why she contacted me the first time. She lost a friend, a good friend, 47 years old, died of a heart attack in his sleep, just like that and the shock, the suddenness of his death, she's finding it difficult in dealing with that and she wanted some spiritual direction. Among the many things I said to her, one of them was “death should be of some instructional value to the living.” What can I learn from the sudden death of someone dying in his sleep? It is dangerous to go to sleep without everything right between you and God. Unless you think you control your own eternal destiny, it is dangerous to put your head on that pillow and things are not right between you and God. It is suicidal because you may not wake up. So tonight all I’m saying is that there is a God in heaven who loves you and me. (Amen) The Bible says this about Him in Micah 7:18 “Who is a god like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity”—does that include that one sin we do? Yes!—“and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy.” As God’s delight in mercy is still available shall we not reach out and grasp it? There is a verse I love so much whenever I confess sin to God, I remind Him Psalm 103:10 “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.” If God were to give us what we truly deserve all of us would be in a graveyard somewhere. So we should feel it a desire to honor God, to express gratitude to God, that despite the many times we hurt Him, we disgrace Him and by doing that we influence others negatively, despite that, He perseveres, and He perseveres not because God is a weak parent but because He desires so earnestly to save us. Ezekiel 33:11 the Bible says “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” And God is puzzled—God can’t be puzzled, but you get what I’m saying. God watches us—we’re determined to sin, sin, sin. I like it. It’s pleasurable. I do it. And God is talking to the angels, Why is that woman or that man so hell-bent on dying? And God can only say that if he has made salvation abundantly available. Why are you starving sitting in a supermarket or a deli? Why are you thirsty standing at a water fountain?—with all the power available for us to resist sin. Ephesians 1:19 Paul is explaining there are some things the Ephesians should know. One of them was “And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, 20Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead”—Paul is saying the power available to us, to give up sin, is the very power that raised Christ from the second death—of course Christ raised Himself. That power is available to us to conquer “this one thing.” I've said before and I'll say it again if you are determined to be lost, to go to hell, go alone but based on what I’ve said tonight, that is impossible. Everyone who is lost will be responsible by his/her influence for someone else being lost. That should weigh very heavily on the conscience. Everyone who is saved will have been instrumental in influencing someone else for the kingdom of God. That should also weigh heavily on us. The choice is ours. Do I want to take someone downward? Do I want to take someone upward? If Jesus had committed one sin, a tiny one, the plan of salvation would've collapsed. He could not go back to being God—as far as I see it. I shudder to contemplate the consequences of Christ sinning. He was the one who made the universe, kept it running, what would've happened if he had committed one sin? Tonight, I want us to make a commitment to God to give up that “one thing.”


32:20 In Hebrews 11:24 “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Some sin is pleasurable. Yes, that needs to be admitted. And we carry them along like little poodles on a leash, wherever we go. Not all sins are distasteful immediately. Some sins have pleasure but the pleasure is only carnal and it is brief. Right doing may bring trials and tribulations but the rewards are eternal. You all understand that principle. You're working on your degree, medical degree, dental degree, law degree, master’s, bachelor’s it’s a four-year program; you suffer the inconvenience of long hours of study, am I right? No time with your friends. It ruins your romantic life because you have no time for your boy/girl friend but you keep your mind on what? That graduation. And for the sake of that graduation people suffer. I use to counsel medical students and I saw people divorce both under stress, both studying medicine, both divorced or one in medical school and one back home on the prairie and broke up. And the person in medical school didn’t leave medical school to go fix the thing, stayed, I need that. Now, I say to us: to me and to you, are we not willing to suffer the inconvenience of living a righteous life, keeping our eye on the eventual prize which is Christ and always fellowshipping with Christ?—not so much the fruit of the tree of life and the streets of gold—that’s not it. It is always in the presence of Christ, physically, literally, talking face-to-face, fellowshipping with the angels and with the Father—can we not suffer a little inconvenience as we move towards that goal? Let me tell you “this one thing” and then I’ll stop. Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”—that's all. “The thief cometh not, but for”—Christ says that’s the only interest he has: steal, kill, destroy.  Christ can’t lie. The other side of the coin: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Which one do you want? (Abundant life.) So do I. Tonight I want God to give me the strength to put away that “this one thing” so I am not the means by which someone is lost because whether I know it or not, people watch and they suffer from the influence or they are blessed by it. My brothers and sisters, make a commitment tonight, by the grace of God, the always available grace, let us put away that “one thing” that will destroy us. That “one thing” we love so much but is destructive. Put it away, by the grace of God. How many of us will say Father, help me to give up for the sake of Christ that “one thing” that is endangering my salvation? Raise your right hand. [2 Selected Messages, Chapter 32] Heads bowed, eyes closed.


36:46 Father in heaven, preaching is hard because the preacher is a sinner—the same blood that saves the pew saves the pulpit and more is required of the preacher than of those listening [or reading] because to whom much is given, much is required. And so as I ask Your people to make a commitment I make it to You. Give me grace to put away “this one thing” and that “one thing”—how many things there may be. Father, there is nothing on this earth that is worth the loss of heaven. The price Your Son paid and You paid because You were in Christ reconciling the world unto Yourself. The price that heaven paid is so great but when we disregarded dear God, we need to come face-to-face with Hebrew 2:3 “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation”—Father, we want power to say no to sin and that power lies in Your Word not as a poem we read but as principles we take in and live by. Put into our hearts, dear God, fulfill the very first promise of Scripture “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman” put that enmity in our hearts for sin and a love for righteousness. Father, let us find upright living attractive, desirable, and give us an allergic reaction to sin. Dear Father, help us to hate it, let the very thought of it make us to vomit and wrench. Forgive us where we have offended You and damaged others spiritually. Forgive us, dear God, and help us from this point on to commit our lives to so live by Your sustaining grace that the quality of our lives enabled by the power of Christ will point people to the kingdom so that no on in hell can point to us on the walls of that city and say because of you I’m in this file (queue). But many on the streets of gold will say I need to talk to you. I watched you and what I saw led me to Christ. Father in heaven, give us a taste for righteousness, I pray, help us to regard sin as something that is beneath our spiritual dignity and save us when You come. In Jesus’ name I pray. Let all God’s people say amen and amen.



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