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Not Enough to Be Religious

Frank Fournier

Description

External obedience, religious rituals and ceremonies does not make one a Christian.

Presenter

Frank Fournier

President, Eden Valley Institute

Recorded

  • July 26, 2013
    7:00 PM
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I've been a real honor to be asked to speak at Pub watch and I've always heard of pub watch I've been hearing about it for as long as I've been a Seventh Day Adventist and I've always wished that I could come here. Well finally somebody invited me and paid my way and that's a real good thing. But another blessing that comes to me is the fact that my wife is with me this is the one I love and the only reason I brought her up here I wanted to introduce her and the reason is my wife and I only spend five months out of every year together. We've been doing that for ten years now nine years or so. Whatever it is and to get her to come somewhere with me at any given time is always very special to me. Now you'll be hearing from her Sunday afternoon at four o'clock. The reason that we only spend so little time together is because of that. Nine years ago got a burden. My brother I think said that we spent a lot of years in Africa it's true when we came back they began to announce that there were twenty eight thousand orphans in a specific place in Africa and they began to call us that thing we got to do something. My wife went to investigate and it's true there were a lot of orphans there. I don't know if there was twenty eight thousand but in any case she went over there she felt she needed to do something and with nothing. He went there and just began a little work. Whatever she could do whatever she thought I needed done and by now ten years later almost ten years later she has a whole institution all built up with dormitories and cafeterias and a school and houses and church and everything else. So four o'clock Sunday the one I love here is going to be speaking to you you may go through them. Now how do you turn in your vitals to Luke Chapter fifteen I've been asked to do a series of meetings on the parable of the prodigal son. Now the parable of the prodigal son answers the question the basic fundamental most important question that every person should be asking and everyone should be asking what must I do to be saved. That's the one most important question that a person can ask and I'm hoping that during the time that we spend together that we'll come to grips with this and we'll be able to save for ourselves. Now I understand I understand you all are Seventh Day Adventists and I suppose if I threw the question out there you all would have an answer to that question Seventh Day Adventists or not without answers. But I'm hoping that this week the Lord will give us a little more insight something that can help us to have an aha moment. I don't know. Whatever the Lord wants to do I'm very very dependent upon what God will do this week and I'm sure you are too. Now when that question was asked in Acts Chapter sixteen verse thirty it was asked of a jailer after an earthquake and a breakout and he began to realize who Paul and Silas were and so he asked them the question What must I do to be saved you remember how Paul answered that question. All you have to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and I house and shall be saved. Now do you know that I said that they had been as we tend to squirm a little bit when we hear so simple an answer and especially if it comes from evangelicals you understand because we know that if you get evangelicals get a hold of that question and answer it with all you have to do is believe. Then you know pretty soon they'll have this one nailed to the cross and we're going to have to have a job in trying to help them to understand. No no. It doesn't go there well I'm not going to go there either but I am going to try to answer this as much as I can by the way. Paul's answer was biblical. You know that don't you go back then and it's still biblical today that is the answer and all that Paul was trying to say hey you want to be saved. Trust Jesus Christ to do it. Does it make sense to you is it that simple. Do you think that if he wanted to save you he could he could do it. Well let me tell you there is no other way. There is no other way. If God doesn't save us we cannot be saved but he promises to do it. In Philippians one verse states what does it say. Being confident in this very thing that he which has begun a good work in you will what he will perform and he'll finish it you complete it as the Lord begun a good work in you. Well I doubt that you would even be here if he had begun some kind of work in you. And so it doesn't say it doesn't measure how big a work he has begun in you. He has begun a good work in you and the promise is I can finish it I will finish it. That's what he says and friend the only person that's not going to be in heaven according to my own little estimation and I'm only one of many and I understand that it is my opinion but nevertheless it is my opinion that the only person that will not be in the kingdom of heaven is the person that gives up. Yes especially the person who wants to trust God to save her to save him. God can do it and I want to emphasize that this week as much as I can. I think it's Hebrews Chapter seven verse twenty five that says that God will save everyone to the uttermost he will save them to the uttermost who come to God through Jesus Christ because Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us. He can do this he will do it. OK. So now I had to turn to Luke Chapter fifteen. This is where we're going to spend the whole week in Luke Chapter fifteen this is the parable of the prodigal son and I'm hoping that you'll be surprised before it's all over. To find out all it is that we can learn there. As a matter of fact this evening we're only going to look at the very first verse. This is verse eleven in Luke Chapter fifteen because that's the first verse of the parable and you can almost wonder what in the world can we even begin to learn by just so few words Jesus is speaking. Verse eleven and he said a certain man had two sons. Now take this verse go prepare a sermon. Well there is a sermon there and you can and if the Lord wants you to prepare a sermon on this very he will give it to you because that's the only way it works by the way. If the Lord doesn't give you a sermon you don't have a sermon. Jesus said without me you can do how much now you can do anything. And so it's always a mystery to me the number of times that I've had to preach in this world and all over the world that I have never had a position where I have nothing to say it's true and I praise the Lord always and a certain man had two sons who is the certain man in this verse Who is this referring to. God the Father That's right. This is what Jesus had in mind. He spoke this parable in an effort to introduce God the Father to us to the people. OK. And he wanted to introduce God the Father as God the Father related to two sons. And so obviously the next question is Who are the two sons who do they represent in this parable. You know well if you're going to answer you're going to have to speak loud enough for the speaker to hear you because I can't tell whether you're speaking truth or not. So tell me again who the two sons represent if you want to. Because if they speak up members before and after you know there's a lot of answers to this question actually there's a lot of answers. If you look at the parable itself you could say well the elder brother represents the Jewish people in the younger brother represents the gentile people and actually that that that suits the parable very well. You can also go back to Cain and Abel and there was an elder brother and there was a younger brother and there's quite comparable parallels there also. And but for the sake of what we're going to speak about this evening we'll just say that they represent the human race and they represent the human race into two factions. If that's the right way to say it I'm not quite sure. So it leads to the next question which of the two boys is good. In which of the two boys is that. No none none good none bad just none. They're both bad and I think you guys hear the sermon before now and I see yeah they're both bad that's really the answer. Now keep your finger right here and we'll go to Matthew Chapter nineteen I want you to see that and maybe the scripture reading that I chose for this evening gave you a clue I don't know if you remember this scripture reading but anyways where in Matthew nineteen a rich young ruler approaches Jesus with the question that he needed to ask. He did not ask the wrong question here. In verse sixteen and behold one came and said to him Good Master what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life. Now I want you to notice also that Jesus rarely answers a question that is asked of him directly he almost always retorts by asking a question back now I don't know why he does that there must be a principle. The only thing. At that I can think of is that the individual who asks the question has the advantage. Did you know that because you don't know somebody comes to you with a question you don't know where he's going with it and so he has an advantage right. But Jesus never lost the advantage. He always knew where they were going anyway. And so generally he would turn around and ask a question and that's what he did here in verse seventeen. He said to him Why do you call me good. There is none good but one that is God Now who said these words this Jesus know what he's talking about how many people are good in this world. Did you know that you are not good. All friends this is the basis of salvation. If you do not know that you are not good you will be hard to save. No absolutely. But if you know that you are not good. If you feel your need if you know there's nothing going to heaven there shall in no wise enter into heaven anything that the pilot Roman in Revelation chapter twenty one verse twenty seven. If you know that and then you look at yourself and you feel I am such a sinner then you have you feel your need and desire they do three hundred says from the soul that he feels his need. Nothing is withheld. My God shall supply what all your needs. Do you feel your need. This is we're told speaks more eloquently in the ears of God than the most high falutin prayer that you can pray because highfalutin prayers are just back from the soul that feels his need. Nothing is withheld on a promise that is. And so come to God with all of your needs. And by the way Roman three various ten to twelve we just read a few minutes ago. There is none righteous no not one. There is none that do with good no not one. There is none good but one that is God and. There's no gods in here are there. I hope not. You know so there's no one good in this room. And so as we're looking at the parable of the Prodigal Son we know the two boys one is lost in the world. He goes to his father and he wants his inheritance and the only reason he wants the inheritance is so he can leave the home and go and have a good time he wants to sin and he doesn't care who knows it. But the elder brother has a bit of a different problem. The elder brother is a church member and because he's a church member and because he's never left his father and because and by the way the father represents God And so here is a young man who has left God and he works for God So he's a church pastor or something like that. OK. And more than that I want you to notice something did you turn with me to Luke fifteen. Look at verse twenty nine I want you to see. This young man how good he was he thought verse twenty nine we're looking at Luke fifteen and by the way this is after his brother has come home or at the very end of the parable here and the father throws a party for the young boy for the prodigal son but the elder brother refuses to go in. So although the elder father I mean the father goes out to entreat the other brother we're looking at verse twenty nine this is the young man's answer to his father he answered and said unto him Father look these many years do I serve the neither transgressed I at any time of the commandments. I have never broken the commandments. Now are you able to say that how many people in this room are able to say I've never broken the commandments. No we can't say it because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God and here is a young man who works for his father has never left the church and is able to claim that he has never broken the law. How good can you get. He is really good yet somehow there seems to be something wrong with his Christian experience if you look at verse twenty eight it says there and he was angry. Now why would he be angry because his brother came home. I don't know about you but if I had a brother who left the church left the Lord went out side to dissipate away his life in riotous living. I would have a concern for that individual wouldn't you. I mean you could send him a Bible you would send him a track you call him on the phone you can make an appeal to his heart and when he comes home you are angry. No way no. Everybody else is rejoicing in the parable. But the elder brother is angry and by this we recognize that there is something wrong with his Christian experience. But there is something more more decisive here to show us that there is something wrong with his Christian experience Look at verse twenty nine again. There's a part we didn't read and it says there that after he says I have never transgress my commandments it says there. Yet you never gave me a kid that I might make merry with my friends. Now the kid what was that. What does that represent. What's the symbol of a kid what's a symbol of a lamb a bullock a goat you know. Yes the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Do you know what he's saying here. I keep all the commandments of God and yet the merits of the atoning sacrifice have never been applied to me. Do you think it's possible that there are people in this world who think they're keeping all the commandments and yet they will not be saved. You think that's even possible. Yeah yeah and friends it's possible right within this auditorium. It's possible within the Seventh Day Adventist Church as a matter of fact if there's anything we've ever been accused of as a Seventh Day Adventist is that we are legal istic. Now there's no doubt in my mind that there have been. This pick Seventh Day Adventists in this world is not about doubt in my mind that there are still legal if they said that they had been as in this world as a matter of fact you're probably looking at one you know legalism is our problem it's self righteousness is being dependent on our own righteousness as it's being dependent on ourselves rather than putting faith in Jesus Christ. You see how it is we all have about we all have had a fight with self-righteousness all the time. Yeah well this young man was in the middle of the fight and he did not recognize it and so he didn't understand that he was type of religion. I did not say he did and. So I just got myself and I'm still there. That's right yeah. He didn't understand that belonging to the church doesn't save anyone. Did You Know That. Yeah yeah well I hope we know that. I hope we know that. Turn with me to James Chapter One I want to share with you three passages of Scripture that says that it's not enough to be religious. James Chapter one we're going to look at verse twenty six in James Chapter one. James one twenty six. If any man among you seem to be religious and bridles not his tongue but the seed of his own heart this man's religion is what it's useless. Yeah it's empty it's vain now reach out to me the other brother in the parable had the right talk. He served his God He never left the church. He knew what to say when you want to say it but his religion was in vain and how do we know. Because of what came out of his mouth. Isn't that right Jean. They said out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. And so it didn't matter what profession that he made everyone could tell there was something wrong with him because he should have been rejoicing when his brother came home. But when his brother came home he wasn't rejoicing and out of his mouth came what was in his heart. Has that ever happened to anyone in here. Yeah it happens to everyone in here. I haven't you know I don't know most of you I suppose are married to have been married you know what it is sometimes you get into a little disagreement with your spouse and I have noticed in my own specific experience that if I began to formulate arguments you know. Again whatever it is my wife wants or I don't want and she wants whatever it might be. If I begin to formulate arguments I better be careful on what the arguments are that I'm formulating because they would come out of my mouth and very often I might be speaking to myself. I thought that I would not dare to utter but I don't dare think I'm because I know that if I think those thoughts they will come out of my mouth and the first thing you know you are more trouble than I was before and that's how it was and that's how it is here as we see. And so true religion comes out your mouth. It will eventually. We can hide that some of the time but we can't hide it forever. The second passage of Scripture I'd like you to see is in second Test second Timothy second Timothy we're going to go to chapter three in the second Timothy. We're going to begin with verse one and you notice in verse one is talking about the last days and so the Apostle Paul here is projecting forward all the way until today into the last days and then he begins to describe what the men what people will be like in the last days. This is second Timothy chapter three verse one. This Know also that in the last days perilous times will come for men shall be lovers of their own selves covetous boasters proud blasphemers disobedient to parents unthankful unholy and it goes on and on and on telling what people will be like in the last days. Now if you go to verse five this is the punch line here. In verse five it says they have a form of godliness but they denied the power thereof from such turn away. Yeah yeah they have the trappings. They have the rituals they have the ceremonies they are very religious they do the right thing. Ceremoniously but they have no power and the power of God is in the Word of God you know that he spake and it stood fast he commanded and there it was. And when God speaks of something it's true this century and came to Jesus and said You know I have a servant I don't that's dying of the palsy can you come and healing. Jesus says Hey I'm ready to come in here and he said you don't have to come to my house I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. Speak the word only and my servant shall be healed. There is power in God's Word and friends. I am thinking about our church today how much power do you see in Adventism today. There is not the power that there should be in there's only one reason for that and the only reason is we have not internalized the Word of God and this is another picture of the elder brother. He may have been outwardly religious ceremoniously religion religious ritualistically religious but somehow he had not internalized the Word of God or he would have had far more power because it would have been the power of love or he would have received Jesus more and more. And of course God is love. He would have treated his brother differently don't you think. Yes he would have the third passage that I want to share with you is it. The Revelation Chapter three now being Seventh Day Adventists you're all aware of Revelation Chapter three era of Revelation all together. It's a book of prophecy it's made up of symbols and when we're talking about the seven churches of revelation we're talking about Christianity from the time that it began till the time that it in if you go to the last church in Revelation chapter three that the church the message to the lay of the sea and there you know that it's speaking to us specifically it's speaking to us directly. So let's begin reading with verse fifteen. I know your works this is the true witness speaking. He knows our works. He knows who we are doesn't he. Oh yes he does. That you are neither cold nor hot I wish you were cold or hot. So then because you are a little lukewarm either cold or hot I will spew the I will vomit you out of my mouth. And here we begin to see that Christianity in the last days makes Jesus. Like there's something wrong with Christianity today. We're not cold or not hot. We are not on fire for Jesus we've got one foot in the world and we don't want to leave the world because we don't want to miss out on anything. There's a lot of toys out there and there's a lot of excitement going on and we've got one foot in the church. We don't want to leave the church because if we leave the church we're going to be lost. Well friends I wonder if we are saved anyway on that program. In any case you see now Jesus wants to point to the fact or he wants to tell us what is wrong with us besides the fact that we are indecisive that we're neither hot nor cold. Verse seventeen. Because you say I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and no it's not that thou art wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked and this too is a picture of the elder brother in it. Parable of the prodigal son because he had never left the church because he was working for his father because he was keeping all the commandments. He thinks that he is spiritually rich in need of nothing and friends he didn't need anything because he looked at himself and he was doing everything that he knew that he should be doing. And because he was behaving the father because he was performing correctly therefore everything was all right with his soul. But we know that everything was not all right with his soul. You know he didn't realize his spiritual poverty his spiritual nakedness his spiritual blindness. So I have a question to ask you this evening. Are you spiritually rich or are you spiritually poor blind and naked and don't answer this question because it's a trick question. OK OK You obey those. That injunction. I hope so. Now supposing you met a fine looking Southern Baptist on a street corner in here somewhere in Canada he would have a question for you. Do you remember do you know what question you would be asking you Are you say yes it's not a bad question. Everyone should be asking this question then we ought to be answering that question. So if you were meeting a Southern Baptists on a street corner in downtown Pugwash that's Pugwash have street corners just wondering. Yeah. What would you say if he asked are you say what would you say. Yes of course I am in a saving relationship with Jesus Christ because of Jesus I have salvation. Well then if you have salvation are you spiritually rich or are you spiritually poor blind to make it. Don't answer it. You see we have the idea right here in Revelation chapter three verse seventeen we have the idea that this text is teaching that the last are poor blind and naked and that. Saved are not poor blind and naked but this is not what the verse is saying this is not what the verse is saying. The verse is saying that the laws don't know that they are poor blind and naked then what do you suppose the Saved know they know it. The only difference between the lost and the saved is that the saved have a have an intrinsic knowledge of their own doing. They feel their sinfulness in steps to Christ page sixty four Paragraph two it says. The closer we come to Jesus the more faulty We will appear in our own eyes. Yeah well how do you feel if you're faulting you know we we don't we don't like to make mistakes we don't like to be sinful we don't like to be found out we don't like to be found with our hand in the cookie jar. No we always feel that I please I always feel that if I do something wrong if I say something wrong or if I hurt someone. Well let me tell you something this is the nature we have and because we have a sinful nature. What do people with sinful natures do by the way. No kidding. Yeah they sin and how do you feel about it. That right is the large you feel bad about it. The closer you come to Jesus the reason the closer we come to Jesus the more faulty We will appear in our own eyes. It's because the closer you come to perfection the more by contrast you begin to see yourself. By contrast now you see and so you know in your Christian experience you had times when you feel really bad about yourself praying to God You're getting closer to Jesus because the problem with the elder brother in the parable is that he didn't feel any need at all he was doing great. He was in the church he was working for God and he kept all the commandments and when he looked at himself it was like Right on. This is who I am and it's great. Wow Well let's see here. Let's look at the word poor for a minute. Turn with me to Matthew chapter five Matthew chapter five. Poor blind and naked we're looking at the word poor we're turning to the Beatitudes or the Sermon on the Mount we're going to look at the very first beatitude. This is verse three in Matthew chapter five and I want you to see something of note here about the word pour. Verse three Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Now I am here to tell you I've been a Seventh Day Adventist for nearly forty years and this is one verse that took me decades and decades to figure out. I just could not understand what in the world Jesus was trying to say. My brother and I grew up in a Roman Catholic home and as far as I know I believe the only time I ever heard my father's quote the Scriptures was this verse and he didn't quote it out of Matthew he used to quote it out of all of Luke and it says they're blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Well. It made me think he had he had it all figured out we were poor and because we were poor then surely we were saved but you know I had met some pretty poor people who were pretty raunchy also and it seemed to me they couldn't be in the kingdom of heaven being as they were just because they were poor are in my mind didn't fit didn't fit my father's theology somehow. That's another thing that messed up with my mind I could see Jesus being God coming down from heaven and he was coming down from heaven then he would begin to scan the horizon to find someone who was spiritually rich and he could find someone who is spiritually rich he would say less that either spiritually rich for theirs is the kingdom of heaven but he doesn't say that he doesn't say or do you know why he doesn't say that. Because there aren't any. There is none good but one that is God. You see Jesus didn't come for the spiritually rich because there aren't any. He came for those who felt their spiritual poverty and their need of help from God And that's what it means here. We can do the same thing with the word blind if you'll turn with me to John Chapter nine. John Chapter nine we're going to begin. We had verse thirty nine in John Chapter nine Jesus is surrounded with a whole bunch of scribes and Pharisees and he had something to say to them in verse thirty nine Jesus said For judgment I am come into this world that they which see not might see and that they which see might be made blind. So how did Jesus come for the seeing or the blind. He came for the blind That's exactly right. But there was a problem with the Pharisees in that saying they were standing around there listening to Jesus speaking and yet they're starting to scratch their head and they're saying are you saying that I am a blind man. Don't you know that I have been to seminary. Don't you know that I have been to rabbinical schools. Don't you know that I have been to the schools of the prophets. Why would you say that I am blind. The Lord has trained me in all of these schools to be a guide to the blind don't come here telling us that we're blind. You see they were insulted. We can see that in verse forty and some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words and said to him Are we blind. Are you saying that were blind Now watch how Jesus answers this in verse forty one. And Jesus said to them if you are blind you should have no sin but now you say We see therefore your sin remains and all that Jesus is trying to say here is you have need of help for guidance from God You know it is not. Out in man that walketh to direct his steps. There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is the way of death. Don't go telling me that you can see there's not enough and there's not a man in this world there's not a woman in this world that knows where they're going. Now have you ever met some people who think they know everything wonderful people right. What a pain that is. Well it's because it isn't true it just isn't true there isn't one enough one of us who actually knows everything. As a matter of fact first Corinthians Chapter eight verse two we know nothing that's what it says. We know nothing as we ought to know it now. There must be something that you're really good at some of you are experts I don't know and watching about in some things. OK now you are an expert at whatever it is you're an expert. Do you think. Nothing left to learn that there is anything else you could learn about the thing you're an expert in. Who here has. Become so good at one thing that you're as good as God is in it. Well that's ridiculous isn't it. But it happens to be the truth. It just happens to be the truth and we have nothing to boast about. Absolutely nothing. We have need of God Every step of the way all the time. This is what this is all about. OK I've jumped ahead way ahead of my notes so that I don't even know where I am now. Let me tell you a little story. I spent many nine and a half years working in the mines in Sudbury Ontario copper nickel mines some of you will know you probably have had relatives there. It seems like half of them half the workers in the mines in Sudbury came from the Maritimes. But anyway I was working there for nine years and then I began reading the Bible when I was twenty five years old and I decided that I would read the book from cover to cover before I would make a decision. I'm to say whether it was what it claimed to be or not. Well you understand it doesn't work that way. You understand that right a couple of weeks down the road I'm reading the Bible and I'm fully convicted fully convicted that this is the Word of God. Well it didn't take long after that that my wife and I were baptized I was twenty seven years old he was twenty five years old. We became Seventh Day Adventists. Well when we became Seventh Day Adventists then there's a huge desire there's a huge need that builds up in your heart you want to tell people of what a friend you have found in Jesus. And so I began as much as I could right there where I was but it wasn't big enough. And so we decided that I would quit working in the mines and that I would we would join a little supporting ministry there in Ontario called Woodland Park Foundation Missionary Training School. I was there two years my wife and I as students then we were on staff for one year and then the year after that they made me the president. But. Didn't make much sense does it. No I hardly knew anything and I was MADE THE PRESIDENT Well you know a god can do anything he wants you know the story of Joseph. He came out of a dungeon aning was made the governor of Egypt. How much then for that make it even harder to explain then what happened to us when anyway because I was the president now of Woodland Park Foundation and he because I didn't know the principles of leadership the only thing I knew was that if you work your tail off maybe you could succeed at doing something so that's what we did in my thought was we're just going to work as hard as we can. So if there were too many students for the school they would be in our house if there was anyone visiting the institution we would host them. If there was a heavy end to the load that at the end we would lift if there was a dirty end to the stick that's the end we would handle. We were just going to work and work and work and we're going to succeed at this thing somehow. Well I don't know. All about you ladies but I married one and she came to me about a year down the road and she said Wait a minute. As far as I understand in the scriptures it says that we cannot work our way into heaven and this is not living. We're just working ourselves to death. We need to leave this place. Well I didn't know how to answer that except to say I can see how God led us here. I don't see him leading us away. I can see him put a load of responsibility on my shoulders but I I don't see him relieving me of this responsibility. I don't know what to do. I mean to be led by God and I won't be led by anything else. And so that held for a while now a year or two down the road my wife comes back to me and she said I'm going to leave you I'm going to take the kids and I'm going to go. Well I said I can see how the Lord gave us this responsibility but he's not relieving me of it I can see how he led us here but he's not leading us away. I don't know what to do and that held for a little while until about five years down the road now. Now you know you can see how patient she is five years down the road. She began to use the D word the you know the D. word but word is that there are some of you have used it. Yeah she began. So you know I tell you what it began to feel like that was serious and it's getting pretty far. I didn't know exactly how it was going to you know I'm telling you the wrong story I think yes I degraded and went the wrong direction I'm going to tell you this story though. Sometime this week. Let's back up a little bit. OK. Some guys ways of embarrassing themselves. I'll be telling you this story it will be a long one. Tell you another story. Same same scenario where I'd Woodland Park and the fellow who is responsible for having me there as the leader of the institution knew that I didn't know very much about the institution about leadership so he decided that he would nurture me somehow. Now you have to understand that he lived in Tennessee. Well he lived in Georgia actually and I lived in Northern Ontario and this was what at a time like one thousand nine hundred seventy eight at a time when there were no cell phones. Did you know there was no cell phones in one thousand seventy eight. Yeah. Do you know that the only way to communicate in those days was long distance phone call. Do you know what you did when you got a long distance phone call. Somebody would answer the phone and they'd start yelling. How do you cope with long distance. And that's how it was and that's the only way you could communicate unless he wrote me a letter by the way there was no email back then either. And fellow he would call me up and he would say trying to nurture me understand he would say we're going to have a little convention in Massachusetts or we're going to have one in in New Hampshire we're going to have one somewhere else that OK than in Michigan whatever. I want you to make your way there. And I've already organized for you to speak at these conventions and then at the end there will be a board meeting they're going to invite you and you're going to begin to get a training is what leadership is all about. Well in one thousand nine hundred eighty he called me up and he said to me listen there's going to be a convention in a little place called Eden Valley in Northern Colorado and I've already organized for you to speak there. You need to make your way over there and everything's fed up and I'm thinking no way no way. You know how far it is from Northern Ontario to Northern California Colorado. It's a long long way and it's not like I had done a lot of travel right now and he wants to expect me to jump in my car and drive four days towards Colorado. It just seem so unreasonable to me. But anyway I get it anyhow. You know he can. It's me I should do it. I left one day I drove fourteen hours and I ended up in southern Michigan in this little place called Ok ven it's another supporting ministry there they gave me a room where I could sleep that evening and I went to bed and in the morning I woke up to singing. Now apparently there was a little chapel underneath the bedroom that I had so I made my way downstairs to go and worship with the people. I sat among them and I was listening to a young black preacher pastor I have no idea who he was. I only remember one thing that he said he said Seventh Day Adventists are self righteous. Well you know that of the Seventh Day Adventists are felt right as we know that but I didn't know that at the time I was brand new frankly and I couldn't understand why he was saying why would he say that seven minutes are self righteous. I mean after all I've been offended they added It's now for about three years or four or five whatever it was at this time and and he is saying there were surprises and I'm not understanding. My life has changed completely. I changed the date I worship on I change the clothes we were wearing. We didn't you know we took up the duty we took up the make up we we ate beans a lot. You know there's a lot of stuff that we change in our lives and I thought we were doing great and he telling us that we're thought right that I don't understand. So I'm sitting in the middle of the crowd and I lift up my voice to the Lord in prayer I said Lord and myself right here do you know that God answers sometimes you know it might have happened to me you know less than five times in my life that God answered me not audibly yet I knew that it was God speaking to me. I was receiving thought that I did not originate you understand. And right there in my feet God said yes you are right here and I was blown away. I didn't know what to think and thought Oh God. I've continued to ask questions of me he said What is your biggest complaint. I said Well my biggest complaint is I don't have enough time to pray I don't have enough time for my devotions I don't have as much time for my bible as I would like to have. I'm the leader of an institution now and I'm swamped with work and working and working and working and I wish I could spend more time on my knees with Jesus and God said that proves that yourself right. And I thought what in the world. How does that prove that I'm self-righteous. Well he continued to speak to me he said if for one minute you would for one minute you could feel the weight of the responsibility that I put on your shoulders you know for one minute you could feel your responsibility as the husband of the wife of the father of three children. As the leader of an institution as the hail elder of the church as a witness in the community. If for one minute you could feel the responsibility that I had given you you couldn't do anything but pray don't tell me you don't have time to pray the only reason you don't have time to pray. If you go off half cocked you go up there to meet your responsibilities. Without my help you fell for it. I've never complained that you don't have enough time for your bible that you don't have enough time. That's nonsense you know. I'll be telling you some Thore this week of some method that I've gotten myself in and that forced me to break through the half three hours every day every day and every day. Now it's not because I didn't have any work to do it was because from the soul that feels in need then nothing is withheld because he petitioned the throne of God because he feel the need of the help from God If you are not praying as much as you'd like to pray. If you're not praying as much as you should be writing if you're not reading you're by the like you should he quit. Brought to you by audio through a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe. If you would like to listen to more sermon legalism W.-W. W. dot audio Verse dot org.

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