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August 9, 2020 12:01 am
Carter, and from the historic Times Square Church in New York City.
Yes, there are people in the streets.
I want to cause trouble and want to make division with the majority of the people are not like everyone was needing some kind of domain model and that somewhere is in the body of Jesus Christ.
It's in the charge of Jesus Christ. That's Carter Conley and you're listening to a call to the nation at this pivotal point in time we as the church of Jesus Christ are given the responsibility of modeling something good in this world we are the ones who represent God in such a fallen time in such a darkened generation. We are to be a testimony that social things that others may see something in us and all of us that can only come from God hears Carter with today's message titled our cities around fine. I want to start by sharing some things that are on my heart because obviously cities are on fire. This is the situation we are facing in our generation people are wondering what does God's Word have to say about this. What is our part in the go-ahead strategy for the future. Can we actually make a difference as the people of God. Let's take a look at what the word of God says is her father.
Just thank you God.
That is, we talked about some hard topics as we open your word as as you begin to illuminate our path ahead of us, Lord, you're the only one. You're the only one who can be the light for our path are the only voice that can say this is the way walked in. It and you are the only source of strength. We have to do what we know in our hearts is right so God will yield our bodies to you. It is a living sacrifice and we ask you to give us the strength to rise above the tide of this moment in our society and in our world. My God is your people give us the power to be those light set upon a hill that cannot be hidden from this generation.
We recognize more than we don't have the strength within ourselves. We have natural things inside of our lives that have to be supernaturally overpowered by your Holy Spirit, God so that we might truly be the testimony that you call us to be. Give us grace.
Give us strength, my God, give us the power that we need Lord to be your ambassadors in this fallen and darkened world.
God, we thank you for it.
In Jesus name, amen.
Give your Bibles or a device read and get the word of God that like to start reading acts chapter 2 at verse 38 and this is on the day of Pentecost when God's Holy Spirit came upon the people in a per room.
They went out into the marketplace and a whole crowd now this this whole crowd. Keep in mind they had just crucified the Lord Jesus Christ. They weren't in much of a mood for his followers. There was say of violence. My essay how how much deeper violence. Can you get than telling the son of God, and it was fresh. It was in the air. It was in everybody's conversation have little or no doubt about that and suddenly a group of people who had been together in prayer meeting stepped out into the marketplace and is if you can sit with me, the whole crowd stopped to hear what they had to say they were empowered by the spirit of God to do something that only God can do through a people. Verse 38 of acts chapter 2 it says.
Then Peter said to them, that's to this crowd. Repent.
In other words, turn from the way that you're going to turn from what you been doing turn from the way you been thinking. Turn from wrong and turned to what God says is right and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins you shall receive the gift of the holy spirit.
In other words, turn from the way you been living and God says I will I will give you an empowerment of my Holy Spirit inside of your life. In other words, to become much more than you can ever hope to be in your own strength for the promises to you and to your children and to all who are afar off, that would be us today as many as the Lord our God will call and with many other words he testified and exhorted them sing be saved from this perverse generation, the original word really means crooked be saved from this generation that is destined to live in darkness to walk in darkness, to do things associated with darkness to our givens of darkness be saved from this perverse generation than those who gladly received his word were baptized in the baptism was an immersion in water and it symbolized putting away the slow way of living.
This old way of thinking and adopting this newness of life that is promised to every person through God, and that day about 3000 souls were added to them. Another severely chart this the influence of the early church and they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine that they gave the give good heed to what is true what the word of God says is true in the they put away the other thinking and fellowship in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together had had all things common so that there was a sudden breakdown of selfishness.
Old grievances report away and suddenly people are looking outside of their own needs and the looking to the needs of others around them. This was the supernatural work of God.
They were willing to depart, maybe with things that they thought belonged to them exclusively and there were willing because they suddenly were thinking as God thinks outside of themselves. Looking to the needs of others.
Remember, the Bible says a God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. He saw us when we were in our fallen condition he saw was when we hated him and he came down because we were not even seeking him want to across suffered a terrible death so that we might be set free from both the penalty and the power of sin and suddenly, that same spirit is upon these people will open their heart to the ways of God and the first evidence of that spirit being upon them as a given, supernatural ability to speak to people that they normally wouldn't have been able to speak to and to give to one another in a manner that they normally would not be able to give verse 45 says they sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. There was this the immediate presence of God's Holy Spirit because this is outflow generosity one to another.
This current compassion one for another, that that wasn't there for mankind is inherently selfish without the spirit of God, and continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house the eight their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Some other words there were walking in this this newness of life and people looking at it, found it to be desirable wanted to build on this foundation. People are looking at the early church.
And they're saying whatever they have whatever power has come upon them whenever brought them together with this kind of power we want to be able to live like the and so they had favor with the people in the Lord every day was adding to the church, not so much doctrine, doctrine as part of it.
Obviously, but it's the way they lived is the kind of people they became it's this bond of love and unity that is not attainable. Apart from the spirit of God, not think about this John chapter 13 verses 34 and 35 Jesus said to his own disciples. His followers at this time a new commandment I give to you a new commandment I preached on this before Nicole of the 11th commandment. It was the one God gave the original 10 this is a son of God. This is the 11th commandment a new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love this kind of benevolent love. This giving love. The sacrificial love this forgiving love. If you have this kind of love one to another, all men will know you are my disciples and my brother, my sister listen to me.
We are desperately in need of this testimony in this generation.
One more time where I need. Of all the walls that would try to divide us in the body of Christ, they have to come down by the spirit of God. We are in need of this moment where people look at the church again and say whatever whatever power brought them together in the unity they know we need that unity. It's even more pronounced today perhaps than it has ever been. Because as you know and as I know our cities are now on fire in America on May 25, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man was killed by at least one white police officer by the use of excessive and unconscionable force which appeared to have strong racial undertones at Times Square church I speak now for the leadership of Times Square church for Pastor Tim Delina, our senior pastor for the pastors for the elders of Times Square church for the congregants for everybody in ministry. We have always for the 33 years of our existence and we continue to condemn in the strongest terms possible.
Those who abuse authority and any and all forms of racism, let me say really clearly, racism is evil. It's an evil that propagates destruction and violence, and heartache all throughout the world, and it belongs. Nowhere in the church of Jesus Christ and by the grace of God we will extricated from our ranks in the future and believe God that we will be a testimony of the love and the unity in the benevolence and only God can bring into his church.
The display of one police officer's knee on another man's neck is vulgar beyond words. In my opinion, I don't have a vocabulary to describe the feelings in my heart about this, this absolute and arrogant abuse of authority. This vulgar display it's open again a raw wound in this nation which is never ever in American history. In my opinion, fully been healed and so now the question is what are we to do is the church in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 5 beginning at verse 14. Jesus said these words he said you are the light of the world. A city that set on a hill cannot be hidden nor the light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven as the church of Jesus Christ.
At this time we are given the responsibility of modeling something to this world that still possible with God. We are the lights of this world will the city that set upon a hill. We are the ones represent God in such a fallen time in such a dark and generation. We are to be a testimony that so shines in this generation that they may see something in us and our bus that could only come from God and that they might turn and give God glory because of it. This is our opportunity at Times Square church in New York City.
We went to church for 33 years that has over 100 nationalities in it in one place. Many people come in the door as we worship God with true love and true unity.
Yes, we had our struggles over the seasons. I know that we all do, but we've overcome the struggles and were walking together mixed together as one body worshiping one God.
At one cross, and I'm telling you people of walked in open just in Times Square church and no matter how cynical or hard. Their hearts have been. I watch the tears start to come down their faces, about 20 minutes into every service people looked around and offered the testimony of them said to me, this must be what heaven is like what God could do this but God could bring together 100 nations, some of which are actually physically award these nations would get people from them are here sitting beside each other loving one another.
Caring for one another and worshiping the son of God together. Only God would do this. I've heard it over and over and over again for the 26 years that I have been part of Times Square church will given that responsibility of modeling to the world. Now what only God can do. This is a time for the body of Christ to be unified. This is a time for you and I to come together to drop our grievances or differences or prejudices of anything is in the human heart, take it to God and say Lord, don't let me have any limits of this in my heart. Help me God. To see every man, every woman, every child of every race and every language every place. Help me to see people the way you do. God take away this anything from our site God that causes us to propagate any form of division in the house of God. Don't let us be found among those who would prefer to do violence or to alienate or to marginalize any other people of any other place any other culture in the other race God Almighty. What an opportunity to be of an opposite spirit than the spirit of this present dark world that you and I have today. And trust me, if we will let God do this in our lives.
It will be attractive to this world. People will look and turn people are sick of the conversation there on talking about. Yes, there are people in the streets. This is the whole raison d'être. They want to cause trouble they want to make division they want to propagate cultural wars in the country. You and I get that, but the majority of the people are not like that majority the people just want to love others. They want to get along. They want to learn how to forgive as you and I do and have all through our lives.
Every one of us needs some kind of a role model somebody the principal more than this can be done is not just sub a pie-in-the-sky kind of a wonderful theology that has no practical application, there has to be somewhere and that somewhere is in the body of Jesus Christ.
It's in the church of Jesus Christ. There cannot be walls in the church of Jesus Christ and God forgive us forever.
Letting those walls be erected in any place, any down any city anywhere in the United States of America. Let this evil cannot be found in the house of God any longer by the grace of God. May we fulfill the commandment, the Jesus gave to us when he said these words a new commandment I give you that your love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, that you if you have loved for one another, not a pretended love, not a feigned love not.
Not just evoke a love that has no practical application, but people actually see that we do love each other all God only you can do this, Lord Jesus Christ. Only you can break down the barriers in the walls. Only you can forgive the ignorance of this moment, in this hour in this nation. Only you can raise up your church, Lord, and make us what we ought to be in the site of all men. And as we saw in our worldly scripture in acts chapter 2, were not called just to love in word, but were also called to love with our deeds. They continued in doctrine and fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayers. Which is great. This is all of the things that we do in our churches then fear came upon every soul. Many signs and wonders were done through the apostles and all who believed were together have it at all things common. All who believed were together, oh God, if that one truth could be realized in the churches in New York City, for example, right now the great good that could be done for the kingdom of Christ is the barriers that have even found themselves dividing the body of Christ could break down by the spirit of Almighty God, we would be found praising God and having favor with all the people in the Lord would add to the church daily those who were being saved. We have a great opportunity that our testimony of unity can become desirable to all people of our generation, especially in this season where there is such hatred and society, one for another. In this Matthew 24 season where Jesus warned that ethnic culture would rise against ethnic culture in the last days, that the love of many will grow cold that even those in the body of Christ are professed to know God would be found without oil in their lamps could be possible could be possible that the oral that is drained out of their lamps is the ability to love one another as Christ has loved us is that the oil, the Jesus was speaking about. Is it possible that the spirit of the ages gotten into the church. Is it possible that the conversation that is out there that is generated by the those that don't know Christ becomes our conversation. The animosity of the hearts becomes our animosity.
The division of their culture becomes our division. Is it possible that we end up speaking the same things that they do and we lose our influence when we are called to love one another as Christ loves us. Think it through. How can you be a light on a hill without oil, how can you have oil without the presence of God and how can you have the presence of God without loving one another. I don't think it's possible you could have religion. You can go house to house, you can break bread and you can even say prayers, but you will not have the presence of God and the church will have no influence. Now we know from that early church in the book of acts chapter 2. When they stepped out in the power of God. And yes, they had to forgive in that upper room. There was a fisherman, Peter, and there was a tax collector, Matthew Peter would've naturally hated Matthew and Matthew probably hated Peter Matthew was a tax collector for the Romans. He was considered to be trier of his culture and his society only Jesus could bring these two together as one only God could have done that but he didn't do it because when they stepped out they stepped out in unity. They stepped out with the love of God in their hearts, and Psalm 133 tells us that when brothers and sisters dwell together in unity. It was an anointing there of God. There's a presence there of God is not found in the world. The presence of God that causes God himself to command the blessing of life is that what happened when they stepped out of the upper room when the we reconciled one to another. Because of the cross of Jesus Christ when they chose to walk it God's way. God gave them a spiritual empowerment to speak to people in other cultures in other languages, God gave them an empowerment to break through the barriers that were wanting to dominate a particular society and it opened the doorway for thousand to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And if I may say so, with just 120 people walking together in unity and love and forgiveness. Eventually, Rome with its violence and with its arrogance and with its suppose it superior intellect and cultural lifestyle eventually bent its knee also to Jesus Christ. It only took 120 people walking together in unity and think about what could happen today in our cities. Think about what could happen in New York or any other place throughout the country and we would just simply make the choice to say God I will not be part of division. I will not be part of racism. I will not be part of what is dominating the darkens parts of our culture at this time there were now living in what I will be part of is unity and love and forgiveness and generosity and I will also be part of a great ingathering of hungry people into the kingdom of God.
This is what I will choose to be part of. I will not let an ounce of racism get into my life.
This has to be a part because the there's there's an overriding darkness.
Now that's literally running rampant in our streets, and the only defense against it getting inside of you is the spirit of God.
Greater is he who is in you or in us than he who is in the world. Ask for the spirit of God. As for the ways of God. Asked for the word of God to become your guide asked for the heart of God to become your heart will be found associated with the darkness of this moment that were now living God's kingdom are close with this thought God's kingdom is a kingdom of forgiveness. I don't know about you but I want to be an ambassador of the kingdom. I want my life to emanate forgiveness. I don't want any bitterness to any person, no matter what they've done in my life. I don't want that to be part of my life.
I want to walk with Christ. So father thank you, thank you for what you are going to do. Thank you Lord God, thank you God thank you that out of this, this evil moment in society. Good can still come thank you Lord Jesus Christ, oh God, I do pray for the family of George Floyd.
I pray my God, my God, my God, my God, my God, my God, have mercy.
Have mercy on his family's brothers, sisters, all of his relatives, my God, and those that were close and I understand that this man was trying to get right with you, Lord, do pray God with all my heart that he found you a Savior of God have mercy on this nation.
In Jesus name. Now let's close with. Has he seen was when I don't understand when Joe Munoz understood a go would be to, and not merely tries to say no one can its third room.
The room with moon sweet low and to whom the former and being for you.
You been listening to Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information and resources to help you in your walk in Christ.
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