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July 10, 2022 1:00 am
it's time to pray
The Day I Preached To Nobody
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Carter Conlon from the historic Times Square Church in New York City is a choice to make.
Do we obey our own heart. We plant our own reasoning and with the leading of God, or do we obey the voice of God was so glad you've joined us for this special message from Carter Conlin from Times Square Church in New York City today, Carter will tell you a fascinating story about the day he was to speak in front of a crowd at a scheduled evangelistic crusade. Huge turnout was expected that day because of an unexpected circumstance.
Nobody showed up for the event.
That left Carter and the worship team alone on stage. Well, at this point.
The obvious thing to do would cancel say got and go home. But God had a different plan for that day. No one knew what God was an Carter raised a few eyebrows when he decided to do what the Lord asked him to do. Let's join Carter met with a message titled, the day I preached no. I had a message.
All prepared. As I'm sitting in my seat or spring with you.
I felt the Lord asking me to put that away and save it for another time. I want to talk to if I were to give us a title. I'll call it the day I preached to nobody the day I preached at the nobody father, I thank you God for Lord over the years I've learned to hear you and obey your voice and God when we obey you.
It always leads to life, it always leads to freedom. It leads to wholeness not just for us but for others, beginning with members of our own family as a father. They just ask you God for the grace to speak the word that you have planted in my heart I ask you Lord God for a touch of heaven to come upon those that are listening in the sanctuary. Those that are online sitting at home and wondering, could God ever touch my life.
Could things ever change.
Is there a way that I can be free can restore my home can restore my family will he forgive my sin. God I'm asking you in Jesus name. To answer those questions in a way that's deeper than just with the natural understanding by gripping the hearts of the hearers and giving us O God the opportunity and the desire to get up and go home.
As we been hearing this simple thought it's time to get up and it's time to go home as a father, we thank you for this, and we praise you for it. In Jesus name, amen. In first Samuel chapter 15 the prophet Samuel came to the king of Israel at that time his name was Saul. Now Saul had committed a grievous mistake. It was given a word from God. He was given the leading from God and does not affect he was given great promises of God's life was to be a life that had a continuation was going to be a blessing, not just on him, but on his family on his children on there the rest of your succession after him from his own house, but he was a man who just could not do it God's way. Just cannot hear the voice of God and just obey the voice of God. He had to figure everything out that he had to do things his own way in the prophet Samuel came to him after one of these moments with a question and he said is the Lord a great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord. Another which does does God really want us to try to figure everything out.
Does he want our own reasonings involved in our own go forward strategies.
The freedoms that God wants to bring into our lives and the lives of others, or does he just want us to hear from him and obey him, and again the writer of Hebrews. In chapter 3 he says these words noise is exhorting the people of God of of of his time to again serve to believe God to believe that God is who he says he is to believe that God will do what God says he will do and he says these words today if you can hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion. I talked about the people of God of the days of Israel being released from Egypt came out of just could not believe that God could take them into this place of promise. Don't harden your heart. Don't don't don't say in your heart. It it it can't be that easy.
Not I know I'm speaking to some people online, just believe in your heart that God there's gotta be something I must do is just as easy as getting up and going forward in and what if I what if I can't see the way forward.
What if I don't see a future in it before me. I don't see the freedom that may be God's promising me for my house for my family. I don't see the healing in my marriage. I don't see the deliverance for my children. I don't see my life making a difference in my home, let alone in my community but yet I feel the strange drawing the strange pulling of God's will have a choice to make. Do I get up and I go towards the voice of God, the creator of all life. One was the power to create the universe by the words of his mouth or do I draw back into my own reasoning, which will always lead me into unbelief and that when you when you when you put human reason, again with the leading of God. Quite often it leads to this thinking in the heart that what's set before me is impossible. It is simply can't be done, not just of an illustration that God put in my heart today and it was about the day that I preached to nobody. When I was pastoring in Canada. We had arranged to do a Saturday outreach concert to the unsaved and evangelistic crusade basically was going to be an all afternoon thing. People were going to come from everywhere. There was a huge park where were set up. They were at a big big band shell with a covering over at and we advertise that and it was in the community that really needed a touch of God. There was a lot of addiction and suchlike there and we just knew that there was going to be quite a big turnout in that field. So the day we set up a dream then nudges rated port. We were set up in the band syllabus past the trees and myself in a worship team about the size of the worship team that was on the platform today and there was nobody there. It was a huge park. There was nobody there that was set up a thundering rain that turned out to be a drizzle. After a little while, so the worship leader said to me pastor. Should we pack up and go home. So I took a moment to pray. And I prayed and I felt the Lord say to my heart. Take victim on the doors of icicle guys girls we come all this way and we were all set up with and where big speakers and everyone we just worship for little while, so they said okay so they got up and for about 20 minutes we sang three songs we sang songs of worship and adoration and after 20 minutes. Then we stopped and the worship leader said to me, should we pack up down the home and the Lord spoke to my heart and said nope.
I want you to preach not just preach this for five minutes. I want you to dip the whole wagon load as if there was 10,000 people in this field. Just as if this part was packed with people. I want you to preach your heart out to the crowd, so I got up must going to preach. Then suddenly there looked to get me askance.
You know that can look like like our pastor is losing at the something wrong with him. Can he not see there's nobody here and I could see there was nobody there but the Holy Spirit said preach is that amazing. So sometimes we have a choice to make. Do we obey our own heart. We plant our own reasoning and with the leading of God do we do we succumb to the Snickers of others around us and in the worries of what they're going to think about us when we step out and preach to nobody, as if is 10,000 people there or do we obey the voice of God. You know that's why Samuel said to Saul, this is the Lord have as much delight in sacrificing all the things that we do of our own strength as obeying the voice of God.
So I open my Bible and I don't member the exact message… It went something like this site. I would always preach on the prodigal son and I assume that I did that day as well and talked about you.
You may have taken the life that God gave you and you may have gone far away from what God intended your life to be individually wondering how can I get up and how can I go back home and I said I want you to know now there's nobody there. If that is sensitive to the park right I want you to know today that God loves you, want you to know that he's been waiting for you to come home.
I want you to know that just as happened in the life of this young son of his father when he finally just got tired of where he was living, you get tired of the selfishness and society got tired of of of all that he had done and all that he had been.
He got up in the he was so far away from from his father, but the Scripture says, his father saw him he was waiting for him on the porch and as the sun began to head home. His father ran to meet him now. The sun may not have known what what was his father's intent is he is he came down the road, but only to find his father embracing and kissing him on the neck and calling his servants as they bring forth the best robe out of the house and place it upon my son and I talked about the best role being the blood the shed blood of the son of God on the cross, the covering of God that the covering that takes away all of our sin. The covering that that makes us as clean as God is the covering that brings us home, not as a slave but is this son of the living God and I talked about the father now taking off his ring and putting that ring of authority on the sons finger not just to be brought back into the clans, but to give you spiritual authority. The authority of his father and putting shoes on his feet and inviting him on this incredible journey to go on, simply as our gentlemen did tell others what God has done in your life. Tell them about the mercy of God, and about the goodness of God.
When I was done preaching, I let it loose for about 2025 minutes and when I was done the Holy Spirit to give an altar call for real there's nobody there folks give an altar call, so I finished the Mrs. and I said you might be here tonight know at this point I could feel what people on the platform are feeling behind our pastor has really lost it is giving an altar call and there's nobody here is that you might be here today. And maybe this message is touched your heart and you want to get up and you want to come home.
I want to give you an invitation to come forward to this page and were going to be here and were going to pray for you there's nobody there folks on preaching to nobody. When I finished giving the altar call on my left hand. There was a whole head to Bush's. This guy had been out on a drunk all night and he had the leg under one of the bushes listening to the whole message wondering is it possible that I can come back to God. Is it possible that I could be cleansed by sin. Is it possible that I could be free. So he comes rolling out of the bursa stands up and starts coming from my left-hand side in the field quite a ways away to might I this is a huge, huge bark and he starts walking toward the stage on the other side on my right hand behind use it. The big wooden telephone poles at this time there is another management hiding behind the poll the whole time. It just been released from jail. He been paroled for manslaughter and had gotten out of jail and he was thinking.
It is hard how am I ever going to fit back into society yet. I don't think I'm ever going to make it.
I don't think there's a future for me.
I don't think there's a hope. And he heard the message of God's mercy and God's love. So now I've got to coming this way, making the way to the platform now as the as the park. The park went this way and try to dip down into town and so the speakers carried quite a distance others to tenant teenagers the whole time. The been making their way towards the sound of my voice and the way it was the way the echo was they heard the whole message and so it comes to umbrellas over the hill with two teenagers walking towards the stage ready to give their lives to Jesus Christ and so I preached to nobody that they and four people came to Christ for people to say the point I'm making today is simple to think of what could happen in your life. If you have the courage just to obey God. Why does it matter what anybody thinks what does it matter what your neighbor thinks or your family think so why does it even matter what your own heart thinks God is seeking to you today.
Don't harden your heart against him if the Lord is telling you that just as you heard Blake and will share their testimonies today that you too can have a testimony of being set free from the power of drugs and addiction and alcohol and depression and suicidal thoughts and broken homes and minds and marriages that can be your portion and you might be sitting at home today on your account. You just think God is it possible this could be me, but today if you can hear his voice, the Scripture says don't harden your heart as people before you have once done.
Stand up and move towards the voice of God is I don't care what other people say I don't care who says there's no hope for me. I don't care tries to tell me there's no future.
I'm getting up and I'm moving towards the sound of the voice of God because he is telling me I can be free. I can be clean. I can say I could be born again I could be a brand-new person like you never know, the Lamb of God. I do believe is said today there is a day coming when Americans just don't get up and start coming home. Sons and daughters are going to come home. People raised in Sunday school are going to start coming home. People are getting their society right about the immorality of the confusion of the addiction of the instability of all the things that are going on around us and evil reporting itself is good and there are areas and people in America that are going to get up and say I'm done with this I'm going home to God.
I'm going home to my father today if you could hear his voice, don't harden your hearts today. Don't try to figure it all out. Don't think that you have to put some formula of your own effort into this other than you need to bring to God, a heart of faith say Lord I don't know the way out and just like Pastor Carter assured today. I don't see anything before me, but I hear you calling and I hear you speaking and I don't know how this is going to happen and I don't know what kind of life is going to bear, but if it's you speaking Lord I'm coming in under the do what you say. In spite of what anybody around me says or has said is trying to say those and tell me that it can be done on those who try to say it's never been done or will be done. I don't believe any of them anymore because if I hear the voice of God calling me.
It will be done and it will be done just as God has said it will be done father in Jesus name.
In Jesus name Lord.
Your presence has been here so so powerfully all night.
God we have felt you like an oil in the sanctuary because you are reaching out to people in this generation as a loving heavenly father, your reach to God as the Savior who went to a cross opened his heart and opened his arms and whosoever will, that we may come, God told us to come with her confusion come with our struggles or trials or difficulties bring it all to your cross and you said that you would roll it away from us. So God you would cleanse us and cover us and empower us and invite us on a journey to tell others about how great you are and what you have done all father in Jesus name. In Jesus name. Don't let anybody sit back down, who's been was already stood up at home in their heart. God don't let them drop back into the caves of fear. The let them drop back into the places of addiction and hopelessness. So God old Jesus Christ you promise us that our homes will be changed.
Our families can be saved.
You can bring restoration into places God where there's there's nothing but chaos and disorder. That's the God that you are that's what you do. So we choose to believe you. We choose to cast away our doubts and we choose to believe you with all of our heart. Oh God Almighty God Almighty give the men and women teenagers that are listing today. The courage just to say these few words with me from their own heart. I could ask those that are online and maybe somebody here in the sanctuary because I don't know everybody here, but maybe you can just pray these words with me if God would put it on your heart to do so, Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for coming to get me and bring me home to you again. I don't know how to figure it all out and I don't have to. I just have to move towards you because you died for me. You paid the price for my wrong and you promised me new and eternal life.
So I open my heart. I don't harden my heart.
I open my heart and I get up and come to you and I believe that it will be as you say it will be.
I will be born again. I will be free. I will have a future I will have a hope, healing will come into my home in the my mind and into my family. It will be as you promised me it will be from this day forward. Jesus Christ, you are the Lord of my life. You're my Savior and my God. I will follow you where you lead me I will follow what you ask of me, I will do in my life. I believe will bring glory to your name in Jesus mighty name hallelujah hallelujah thank you God thank you God thank you Lord thy thank you Lord, thank you, Lord. Thank you Lord, if you prayed that prayer do one thing for me just text the word decided to 51,000 on your cell phones good 51,000 text the word decided let us get in touch with you. Let us help you start in this new life in this new walk. Did you have with God and will go to communion and were going to celebrate this incredible victory that God gave to us through his son Jesus Christ. God bless go there again is Carter with his song calling my name. When you see the terrorists have, but in the name softly singing saying home will all follow the time is in Spain this month. Other mothers known the and is a civilian all for all the main my other mothers known the and is a civilian all all your and all and in all. Thank you for joining us this week for a call to the nation with Carter come from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information log onto TSC NYC TSC NYC you can count on a powerful message each week. Call to the nation with Carter,