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June 4, 2012 11:39 am
Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners to receive free email daily devotions or to become a harvest partners, please visit us firstname.lastname@example.org for back in the book of Revelation together. So grab your Bible and having a hard right and hello to all of you and harvest Orange County welcome to our worship service this morning.
The title of my messages Jesus words to the dead shirts don't take that personally. That just happens to be the title Revelation chapter 2. Let's start with the word prayer father as we open your word now.
The Revelation given to John on the island of Patmos.
The unveiling of you. The unveiling of things that come the unveiling of our own hearts. We pray that you will speak to us for. There's a promise contained in this book will you tell us that if we will read and hear and keep the words of this book. There will be a blessing to the Lord. That's what we want to do or reading it. Help us to hear it and help us to keep it. We that have ears to hear.
Let us listen now, we would pray in Jesus name, amen. All right. Let me begin with a quick question.
How many of you like to be sick, raise of your hand on nobody in the service. All right, well let's and that's not the strangest question. There are people that I think actually look forward to being sick or in lease are obsessed with being sick. They always think they're down with something, you know, I think we call them hypochondriacs. It was Ruth Graham who said the definition of a bore as someone who when asked how they're feeling will actually tell you and you know some people love to talk about their latest aches and pains and what's wrong with them so that's one extreme, and I'm certainly not one of those people I'm the kind a guy who doesn't want to go to the doctor.
I don't want to admit I'm sick, but sometimes and the symptoms become too strong you have to go and you object, find out what is wrong. I heard a true story about a woman that was feeling very ill. She was extremely nauseous and she was vomiting so she went down to the Seattle emerged the emergency room hospital in Seattle. After doing a series of tests on her. The doctors discovered the woman had eaten at to stop in order to start is at one of the really thick ones and I when asked about this. She acknowledged it was true. She said I I had a nervous habit of eating half a sock each evening.
That's where okay they did answer a question for me.
Now I know where those other thoughts go right because I don't know about you but I lose this dog and I never throw the other one away. I save the sockeye wood drawer full of single thoughts that don't match and hope that their mate will return one day in. I never get to see them because this crazy woman in Seattle is eating up maybe you been to a doctor trying to figure out what's wrong with you. I heard about a brunette girl who went to see a doctor. You thought it was going to say bluntly was a brunette at UNC said doc everything I touch her tight touch my arm and heard. I touch my head and urged. I took my foot and it hurts everything words. What's wrong with me said is me, but did you ever used to be a blonde. She said well yes I did. I just recently colored by hearing yeah you broke your finger get it everything she touches certain fingers broken everything, that was funny.
We hear Revelation chapter 2 will you look at a very sick church called five tire and then when you look at a church that is effectively dead. Identify as Sardis so good to see how sickness untreated can lead ultimately to spiritual death. So these are the words of Jesus was sick and dying church. But since the church is made up of individuals. These are also the words of Jesus to sick and dying believers or heart of the church die. All the same way a person would die. Maybe it starts with the ache or pain. That's unusual you run a series of tests. One thing leads to another, you get worse with each passing day and you might even find yourself on your deathbed. It's a process of getting sicker and sicker spiritually and remember were looking at the words of Jesus to this seven churches you know as we come to this great book of Revelation we have the Lord's focus on the church before we get into what some might think of as the juicy stuff you know anything Revelation the big all right antichrist Armageddon that second coming, the millennium, all that doubt.
That's all in the book of Revelation, but before the Lord gets to it.
You want to talk to his people. He wants to talk to his church listen want to talk to you and so we've looked at with Jesus at the seed of the church and and we see a regression starting with the church of Ephesus that was in danger of leaving its first love and ending with the church of Laodicea that was so corrupted Jesus was on the outside trying to get it but it starts with the breakdown that Britain was leaving their first love. Then we find the church of Pergamum for there's compromise. Now we come to the church of my attire over there is not only compromised but full toleration of evil, and we see the church of Sardis with the church is effectively on its deathbed. So how can we tell when a church is dynamo to answer that question.
How can we tell if were spiritually dying all answer that as well.
And if we are on our deathbed, so to speak is a ready way to be revived.
Can we indeed come back to life. I'm happy to say the answer to that is a resounding yes. Will see the diagnosis of the Lord and then we'll see also his prescription for renewal. But let's start with the church of Thyatira Revelation chapter 2 starting in verse 18 we have quite a few verses to read into the angel of the church in Thyatira write these things saith the son of God was eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass. I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patient. And as for your words. The last are more than the first.
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you tolerate that woman Jezebel who called herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my spirit servant to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent indeed I will cast her into his sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death and all the churches shall know that I am he that searches the minds and hearts and I will give to each one of you according to your work now to you I say into the resin via Tyra as many as do not have this doctrine will not known the depths of Satan, as they say. I will put on you no other burden but hold fast what you have until I come. He that overcomes and keeps my works and that again to him. I give power over the nations no rhythm of the rod of iron, and OB – to pieces like a potter's vessel. As I received for my father and I give to him the morning star. He was an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the church. What's amazing about this church, via Tyra as they started well but then they went into decline. So before correcting them. The Lord commends them. He says in verse nine I know your works, your love, your servant, your faith, and as for your works will last are more than the first know one thing that is impressive that this was a church that was growing and there was more growth in the end than there was in the beginning, you know, it's a good thing. You have a good ending that sometimes we may not have a great beginning maybe were late bloomers.
May we started following Christ.
Later in life, or maybe quite honestly, we've thrown away some precious years chasing after silly things, but recently we've come to our senses and here's the good news get on the race and finish it well better to not have a great beginning but a great ending, then they have a great beginning only to crash and burn.
Better yet, to have a great beginning and a great ending, but your best. They should not be behind you. They should be in front of you. But the problem is, some people live in the past and all have people come up to mutate to grade. Remember the old days, the Jesus movement gathers a great days are they yeah they were meant to tell you the Lord was working in NY and giving them this voice but the Lord was working.
Then it was heavy gray phase wonderful praise God for the then I tell you what I I remember when he had a hair yeah I had area know those are great days and over it. It's 40 years ago. Thank God for what he did in the past, but I'm excited about what the Lord did yesterday.
I'm looking forward to what the Lord is going to do tomorrow. You know what some people are living in the past, still in Jesus is saying to this church via Tyra. You guys your letter works are better than your earlier one set is really a good thing that should be true of every believer there should be constant growth in our life will that was good for then.
But now there is a lapse that is taking place in compromise has said in the beginning to drift off course.
The Bible warns us in Hebrews 21. For this reason we should be closer attention to what we have heard so we do not drift away from it. Listen to this.
The moment you begin the neglect or growth. You will contribute to your decline. Then repeat that the moment you begin to neglect or grow spiritually, you will contribute to your decline.
On Thursday I shared this at our midweek Bible study and harvest Orange County I share with you as well. I read an article in the paper about a personal trainer who had a lot of clients who were overweight.
He never struggled with weight before get always been ingratiate and never had a problem with overeating and yet he had clients and struggling, he found it hard to sympathize with them, so we decided to gain 70 pounds so we could know what it was like they have to struggle with weight and he chronicles all of this on his website make sure before picture with this guy just as the perfect shape.
You know, just cut muscular and trim and everything is right and then he started eating everything in sight is eating regimen is as follows for breakfast yet Cap'n Crunch cereal and the you know all the fatling things for lunch she ate corn dogs and and everything you can think of that would cause you to gain weight of fettuccine Alfredo for dinner you know. And he said at first it was kind of exhilarating because for the first week he's eating like crazy but he is not seen any effect on his body still looking really good. But then after a couple of weeks. He said the first thing to go for the yeah they just sort of disappear and and then rolls of fat start appearing in soon.
He says I'm feeling lethargic and I'm feeling dull and I'm feeling depressed and now is making his way back what he said that's a lot harder than I thought it would be to he was able to say all why do you have this problem with Wayton and why do you struggle with it it so easy to overcome a but know he's there. I think it's a little harder than I thought it would be but he's chronicling his progress on his website and so forth. But I thought what a perfect picture of what it's like to fall in this.
You know, at first as you go back to some of the old ways.
It might be a little bit exhilarating while I did that nothing happened. I got away with this, and in the world and then it's kind of fun you know. But then you know the problems, and then the depression enters in.
And then the repercussions are there any wonder how I get back again. That's what we see happening to this church. They were spiritually sick. The earlier church. Polygamist was compromising, but now they were accepting. Listen and tolerating open sin. Jesus focuses and specifically on the word tolerance with this church. Verse 20 I have a few things against you, because you tolerate that woman Jezebel who called herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols tolerance is another watchword of the date you can be anything but intolerant. You know, I actually believe, and I'm sure most of you would agree with this but I think this would be a surprising statement to a nonbeliever, but I believe that all the strong Christians that I know are very tolerant, let me define tolerance. We have a worldview that comes from our study of Scripture and from our faith in Jesus Christ.
We believe these things are true and so will we talk to someone is not a believer. We try to convince them. We try to persuade them. We engage in evangelism. We want them to believe in Jesus, like we do, but we all know people that here we have this and say well I don't agree with you. I disagree. So what we do well. Do we have them killed course not. Do we assault them physically if they don't embrace Christ and of course we don't do we scream in their faith know we don't do that either. We lovingly say well I disagree with the lifestyle choices you're making, to pray for you and I hope you'll come to your senses one day, but we tolerate that thing. In other words, we accept that though we don't agree with that. That's a choice that they are making that tolerant just I will tolerate that. I don't agree with that. I don't believe in it, but I'll tolerate it, but the tolerance of the days is different. Sort of redefined it because really when people tell you to be tolerant today and affect are telling you not only to accept something, but to approve it, and even validated their saying you have no right to say that your version of truth is any better than anybody else's version of truth.
Therefore, you should accept and embrace what they believe, just as you embrace what you believe and if you don't, you're in tolerant and I found of the most intolerant people are the ones that talk the most about tolerant because they want me to just accept it as far as saintly don't agree with it know they want me to endorse it and that's with the church of fire. Tyrell was doing. They were tolerating sin and God said I'm intolerant of your tolerance to tolerance is not always a good thing in that sense nowadays. If you don't agree with something while you have a phobia to take a stand is defined as he conviction is called fanaticism choose the churches believed for centuries is regarded out for discrimination.
But Jesus is save I'm intolerant of this sin your allowing sexual immorality into your ranks. He mentions Jezebel.
I don't know if this was a literal Jezebel that was being referred to were he was just using the name is sort of a metaphor of wickedness. We do know about Queen Jezebel in the Old Testament and she was married to King Ahab. She was an extremely wicked woman that we know actually underwrote 850 false prophets. She was culpable in putting the prophets of the Lord to that she was teaching that immorality was not a serious issue in she herself died an untimely death being thrown from a window and eaten by dogs. Queen Jezebel was in the words of the great theologian Frank Sinatra. The lady was a track that's what I'm trying to say so here we find the Lord is saying your tolerating that Jezebel like sin, by the way, you know to think of the names in the Bible that doesn't mean you should name your child that a minimal ammo for using biblical name, but not all biblical names. Please don't name your son Judas or Nimrod or the Pharaoh and donating your daughter Delilah or Jezebel. Okay not a good name Jesus says I'm aware of this tolerance of sin. Verse 18 to the angel of the church in Thyatira write these things saith the son of God's eyes like a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass now. Three important to look at how Jesus is describing himself because this is revealing how he sees things. Having his feet like fine brass speaks of refinement of judgment having eyes like a flame of fire means that this is making him angry. Must've been an amazing thing. During our Lord's earthly ministry to look into his eyes. He was a man but he is also God.
And when you look into those eyes you were looking at God in human form.
And we know that Jesus would look at people with a penetrating glance he could see right through them.
In fact, when he called Matthew the tax collector we read Jesus looked at him, but a better rendering of that verse would be. Jesus looked right through him and said, follow me, we know after Peter's denial, made eye contact with the Lord briefly in the courtyard of Caiaphas is Jesus looked at him. The thing is, Jesus didn't just look at people he knew what they were thinking and often he would expose their thoughts and would completely freak them out where you thinking this right now, you would say, how did he know that because he is God, I'm so glad I can't read people's minds I think would find it very depressing. Talking with someone this and I love you so much are so great you could read there might. I think you're ugly.
I dislike you while you're really thinking that about me right now. Jesus knew everything that everyone was thinking he could see right through people and Jesus is safe. I am intolerant of this sin. Here's what the Bible is saying you cannot be a Christian and try to live into the world and immorality is taking place in the lives of those that profess to be believers, but here are some warning from Scripture. Galatians 519 says when you follow the desires of your sinful nature. Your lies will produce these evil results, sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lawful pleasures. Let me tell you again as I told you before that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God to hear that if you live in a moral lifestyle without repenting. You will not go to heaven. In Revelation 22 verse 14 it says outside of the city are the sorcerers and sexually immoral, the murderers, the idol worshipers and all who love to live a life there are no exceptions to this. Don't tell me that God spoke to you and said it was okay. Trust me after this I bet you'll be born of Mary, come up to what you were having sex outside of marriage when God told us it was okay.
Really, how he just spoke to our hearts will I don't know who spoke to your hearts what it was in God because God would never contradict his word in first Thessalonians 43 says God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin to God's is your letting this in your ranks. This is a bad thing.
Now Jesus gives us turn warning to those who would live and morally. Verse 22. Indeed, it will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
This verse seems to be saying that if you continue to live this way you'll be left at the rapture and this would fit in with other scriptures that warn us as we await the Lord's return. We should be watching and be ready look. 12.
Jesus speaks of the wicked servant who thinks that his master is delaying his return begins to beat the other servants partying and getting drunk and Jesus says that the matter will return and cut that person. Jesus says in Matthew 2442 will be in the field and one will be taken and the other will be left there going to be people that will be left when the Lord comes now will get into this more later as we explore Revelation, but my believe is the next event on the prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church when all true believers are caught up to meet the Lord in the air and then comes the tribulation. And for the live or have folks it's going to be hell on earth, and it is my belief that Christians will be caught up to meet the Lord before now people will come to Christ in the tribulation. But if you're a believer before that time opens up or takes place. You'll be in heaven I believe and I'll explain why I believe that as we get further on in this book. But how tragic it would be to be left remember the book of Revelation means the unveiling pointed out to you the word Revelation means to unveil. So what is an unveil of them deals Jesus Christ to us.
It's a revelation of Jesus and reveals the future to us. And guess what, it reveals us to us. It shows us how God sees us so he is giving us this morning to be ready for his return.
Now we shift gears and find out what happens to the sick church that doesn't listen. They end up as a dead church.
Revelation 3 verse one and to the angel of the church in Sardis write these things saith he that has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars I know your work. You have a name that you're alive, but your dad, be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die forever not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard old faster repent. Therefore if you will not want, I will come upon you was that the annual not know what hour I come upon you. You have a few names even in Sardis were not the father garments the walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
He then overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot his name out from the book of life, but I will confess his name before my father before his angels.
He that has an ear living here with the spirit says to the church so we have this sick church of five tire.
Now we have been nearly dead church of Sardis. They look good on the outside never see a movie set or a television set, never the way it appears on screen. It's never as impressive as everything seems smaller and more fake. I mean, that beautiful three-story building may just be up painted façade propped up by pieces of wood and so that is what this church was they look good on the outside but the buyer was gone.
Story is told of a local church that was on fire downtown so the pastor was standing there was the fire department was trying to put the fire out in a man came up with standing and watching and the pastor looked at dispenses. I've been inviting you to come to this church for as long back as I can remember, and you will never come once and yet here you are on this night why that's a pastor I hate to admit this but this is the first time in all the years of this church is ever been on fire.
So this church looks good but something was missing. They had a name that was known far and wide. It was humming with activity.
There was no shortage of money, talent or manpower outwardly and everywhere and every indication of a church on the move. But Jesus reveal things that no one else see to the way we evaluate successful churches is different than the way God our measure of success is probably how many people attend how big and beautiful. The facilities are how great the music is or how great this is a great doubt is in those are not bad things to look at but Jesus sees things differently and the problem with these guys is they weren't measuring up to his standard. Because in verse two he says I have not found your works perfect before God for a better translation would be fulfilled.
Another words you have not fulfilled your purpose, what is the purpose of the church is the objective of a church just to get big is the objective of a church just to get people everywhere. I don't think so.
To me, as far as I can see in my study of Scripture. The church is a threefold object upward inward and outward number one.
The church is here for the exultation of God.
Number two. The church is here for the edification of saints. And thirdly, the church is here for the evangelization of the world. Number one, were here to exalt God to glorify God.
That's what we give place to worship in this church but were here for the edification of the saints, and that is why we study the word of God and pretty much every service that we have, but there were also here for the evangelization of the world, but there are churches that are not full building.
There purpose now.
Did these guys pray, one sure they prayed quite dutifully with their prayers, with no higher than the ornate ceiling of their beautiful building because they were more interested in the form of the prayer and the one it was addressed to that they listen to sermons are. I'm sure they did quite regularly, but they were more focused on the skill of the orator than the message itself did they worship. I'm sure they had a full-blown orchestra on massive choir. They were more concerned with how it sounded and who it was directed to.
I hope you don't come here and listen to our worship band and say, great worship, or even great worship band. I hope you leave your saying great God that we worship. Then they've done their job and I know they would be the first to agree with that nor do I hope you leave. Here's a great sermon. I'd rather you want to think great Savior, becoming focused on Jesus. That's what was happening that we care for, but sometimes churches are dying. Sardis was the dead church when you tell if a church is dying chuckling doll in his excellent commentary Revelation points on five marks of a denture number one.
He said a dead church worships its past a dead church worships its past. Maybe there were amazing stories of conversion and lives changed but attended tested past. That's why was seen earlier we can rejoice in what God did, 20, 30, 40 years ago. What about now. I don't want to live in the past alive. Churches always living in the present and is planning for the future number to a dead church is inflexible and resisted to change again a dead church is inflexible and resistant to change, sometimes in the church were flexible. What we should be inflexible and were inflexible.
What we should be flexible to make sense.
Here's what we should be in flexible in the essentials were here to worship God were here to study the word I'm inflexible that I'm sorry you come here and 80 want to see something else and go somewhere else because that's what were going to do and every service using I'm in. I could just come out so you know what I really didn't have time to prepare messages week so one watch a movie. I have a copy of the avengers… Get out.
What is the minimum three okay will watch out instead. Listen, I don't waste your time were here to hear the word of God were here to worship the living God. So I'm inflexible there. But then there's areas will be auditing flexible and that would be musical style J people get re-sensitive about this.
While I like this style and this was the style of worship. I was raised on and I don't like anything different than theirs in your style is not valid and and so will become rigid in an area where we should be flexible and look at the style of music that we've had from the first harvest Crusade, 1990. The present date as a change yes should have changed absolutely wife because we adapt to changing culture and we also embrace new technology.
Some people resistant that I don't want technology against technology.
I member in the mid-90s when we maybe was the mid-90s maybe earlier.
I can't remember.
We put up our first video screen I some people get upset leaving the church over this high don't come to church to watch TV warning exactly watching TV. Know what I want to look at the pretrial in a video screen for I think children yet you're probably sitting room from me looking up the screen right now I do that to deny the snow just become looking up at the screen what is taking technology where using it for God's glow.
I want to go to a service center video feed of preaching that sudden dollar that you need to be that why is that God can bless his word of it goes through video. This is what harvest Americans were taking what is work already. Karen is me watch live in Orange County. The next service I would happens in Orange County is shot back your life it's it's all present. It's in the moment. It's the word of God and we can reach more people. Isn't that a good thing not to some people. We've always done it this way, we should always do it that way. Number three a dead church is lazy leadership, complacency and lethargy, said in the churches in spiritual cruise control, not wanting to do anything new or even read think the way things are done. I'm going to tell you what I'm talking about, but there are times we look at things that we've done here.
Over the years and we so you know it's time to blow that up that's not working anymore, but we've always done it this if we don't need to know we needed no you know what we don't need a cassette ministry anymore, but we had a cassette ministry for 15 your debit nobody us cassette player doesn't matter. We have this cassette, you know, but will get stuck in a rut about a certain style or a certain approach and we need to constantly be evaluating looking at our big mission of what were called to do. Are there more effective ways to do this is is not as effective as it used to be. Kennedy change that's a good thing number for a dead church neglects you. Maybe it's because are tending to an aging congregation, so they failed and reached the next generation.
We have always put a high priority on reaching young people of this church normally started. I was a young person I was 20 years old. If I get enough you know this but the reason we started Sunday morning was we wanted to have an outreach for those who were old because of a lot of young people were coming on Sunday nights and we thought let's have an outreach to older people started on Sunday morning for anyone over 30, but you know sometimes look will introduce maybe some music and will that you can have that the older people won't like it got yelled of the older people will like it when you know what I think the older people can just flex a little bit and you know what I'm one of the older people to I know that is your thing and you know you're older you I think your 20 still, I know I have but I'm feeling hey if I'm sitting next to a young person in church that should make me glad it's an older person you see because I can help them as an older person and they can help me as a younger person. Which brings me to my last point number five sign of a dead church that lacks evangelistic zeal if new converts are not coming to the church. It's only a matter of time until that church stagnates, and is spiritually dead lesson. New believers are the lifeblood of the church. We should want them, we should pray for them. We should embrace them. We should encourage them. Yeah, that's what was happening to the church of Sardis. They were dead.
So which of the dead church do for that matter, what should a believer who is entered into a dead state do with the great physician gives advice, gives his advice for a complete spiritual recovery doesn't do you any good if you go to see the doctor don't do with the doctor tells you to do. Follow the directions heard about a patient that went to see their doctor to dog. It's been one month since our last visit and I still feel miserable the doctor as a questionable did you follow the instructions on the medicine I gave you the peace and said I sure did. The bottle said keep tightly close as true. Keep reading to tell you it will tell you what to do next and sometimes you know we we won't listen will keep this tightly closed, open it up here what it says Jesus tells us what we need to do. Here's a hint it's found in the way the Lord presents himself to this church. Verse one. He says he's the one who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars of the symbols were identified for us in the first chapter of Revelation. The seven spirits are some of the Holy Spirit in his fullness. So here's what Jesus is saying what you need is the power of the Holy Spirit in your life but say that you went on bought a new car you were driving it around happily was great for the first week and 1/2 and then suddenly, inexplicably, it sputtered a little and I just stop. So you call the tow truck and how to take it back to the dealer where you purchase it and said I bought this car you sold me 11 it doesn't run anymore. So the salesman asked to see your keys and the turn your car on notice that your fuel light was on said did you ever put gas in the start know why I thought it was electric know it's not electric you need to review your car so in the same way in the Christian life were charging along things are going well. We start this spotter. Maybe our life comes to include complete standstill and we wonder what's wrong, here's a question, have you refueled lately need to be filled with the spirit is not just a one time event.
Ephesians 5 says be filled with the spirit speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, but in the Greek text to be translated. The constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, be filled over and over again get refills from God and noted just because that statement of Ephesians 5 contextually goes on to address the family talks about men and women, husbands and wives and fathers and mothers, parents so effectively. God is saying you want to be a good husband you need to be filled with the spirit want to be a good wife devote of the spirit about parenting need to be filled with the spirit we need God's help, to do everything he has called us to do now. Jesus gives his prescription for spiritual renewal.
Three things number one. Wake up, wake up verse to be watchful better translation of that would be wake up. I just got back from an international trip and I had severe jetlagged. I'm not a good jetlagged person.
Some people I know that going to another time zone, they just adapt me. I have all of just like for up to a week before I actually adapted one of my trips are like a week so just when I'm adjusting I could get on the plane to fly back and I would just like for another week, and in your jet lag is unlike normal tiredness. It you you get up really early and in then you know you start the wall around 2 o'clock, so I have like a triple espresso and I'll be good for a little while and then around 5 o'clock.
I'm beyond tired I can't even put sentences together. I'm over in the corner with my head against the wall drooling. You know maybe… Would you get the idea. I can't function.
I read an article the other day that said people that are sleep deprived are just as dangerous on the road as drunk drivers, the effects of the same. So this word of the Lord is to a person who is completely lethargic, jetlagged to the max.
If you will, a person who is out of touch you think wake up your life depends upon this snap out of it. Number two. Strengthen the things that remain verse two. The word strengthen means to stabilize that which is frail. There's something good there strengthen that sort of like a person who is very ill.
Or maybe it's close to death. We've seen the semen so many movies are some of the shaking them saying, stay with me. Don't leave me Jesus is leaning over this churchy saying stay with me. Don't leave me now. There still whole and then the third thing is be ready for the Lord's return number three verse. Therefore, if you will not want, I will come upon you as I think he doesn't announce when they're coming. Otherwise they wouldn't be a very good thief would say with the when the me and I say we rob you around 215 had a busy tonight. Oh, thanks for the information you have the police department there you have the National Guard. There you have the Navy SEALs there are to be ready for them right so they don't announce that they just come as a thief. Unexpectedly, the Lord says I'll come like a thief. See only think of the Lord returning at any moment that doesn't frighten us as Christians because were ready for his return.
But if were not right with God. He's coming like a thief.
There's an element of danger and that is something we might even dread what is your attitude toward his return. It says a lot about you spiritually, John gives to potential reactions to Christ's return and first John 228.
He says dear children, continue to live in fellowship with Christ. Tony returns will be full of courage and not shrink back from Jim Shane. See if you are right with God. You will be full of courage is your weight is return if you're not right with God. You will be shrinking back in shape. Finally, a very important but often misunderstood verse.
Look at verse five he that overcomes will be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before my father before his angels. The Bible clearly teaches that God has a book that goes by a number of names is called the book of remembrance containing the names of those who fear the Lord and think in his name. Sometimes it's just called the book. Other times it's called the book of life for the lambs book of life, and according to Revelation 21 day at the great white throne judgment.
The books will be open plural, and the dead will be judged by the things written in the book and they both will be open singular which is the book of life, nor is not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Lesson no Christian will be present at the great white throne judgment. This is for nonbelievers only.
You say why. Perhaps to demonstrate to them why they're going to face judgment because I'll be judged out of the books but the big issue is is your name in the book and the book of life. Listen, you might have your name in a church register but not have it on the divine register is your name in the Lamb's book of life right now. If it is, then don't sweat the small stuff is that's the big thing I want to occasion the disciples were excited because they were able to cast out demons by the power of God and Jesus and you know what guys don't get all excited because spirits are subject to you.
Rejoice in this instead then your names are written in heaven. I know my name is written in the Lamb's book of life know when that happens I have no idea was it always written there because God always knew I would believe I was it written there.
The day I accepted Christ of this, I am not sure but I know it is there. And God promises a victorious Christian care that he will not blot their name out affect this statement I will not blot your name in the Greek is a double negative, as if Jesus was saying, I will never buy any means blot out his name.
Some of this, the believer who walks with God need ever need not fear for their salvation.
Indeed, far from removing her name from this book. Jesus promises to confess it for his father and the angels in verse five, Revelation 3 he that overcomes will be clothed in white garments. I will not blot his name from the book of life, but I will confess his name before my father and before his angels. Jesus says all stand up for you in heaven. Can you imagine that there you stand little old you unworthy, you and Jesus is that boy is mine.
That girl, she belongs to me father. I'm speaking up for them right now. I'm sending up angels.
Are you listening, that's my child right there. I stand up for them. That's his promise to you. What is your name is written in the book is it in a related statement. Jesus said in Luke 12, I say to you whoever confesses me before men, him of the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God.
Whatever denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God often not confessing him can be a way of denying him.
Let me illustrate you're in a conversation with a group of nonbelieving friends and it turns toward big issues.
Life and death issue and someone says well I don't even know if I believe there is a God and others as well. I certainly don't think there's a final judgment or heaven or hell in everybody's weighing in and opining the way in nature knew you. They say what you think and your responses well I don't know what's also controversy old and I don't really like to get into politics or religion. So I'm just talking to say can be really blunt with you and affect you just denied the Lord. I'm not saying that you have to put the name of Jesus in every conversation and be obnoxious about it, but I am single one of those divine setups happens you know what I'm talking about were a door is open and it's so obvious and all you have to do just walk in and say I believe thus and so see you have a great what if I say that and they think I'm intolerant. Oh what you're saying the truth.
Say what is right.
Confess him before men. Jesus says, and he will confess you before the father and the angels, so let me ask you this in close is your name written in this book and do you know maybe you don't. Maybe as I talk about this. It had a free shot a little bit. I don't of my names written in the Lamb's book of life. I know mine is not because I deserve it because I put my faith in Jesus, who died on the cross for my sin and rose again from the dead. I know it's there and I know Christ will stand up for me on that date. Do you know that. And if you don't would you like to maybe there are some of you that as we talk about the Lord coming like a thief. That's how you kinda view it like a thief in something you discredit something you recoiled from.
No, instead he should have great courage as you think about is imminent return. If you are afraid when you hear about the return of Jesus. That would be an indication to me that something is wrong with you spiritually are quite frankly might be some of you who are doing this very thing we read about your committing immorality or tolerating evil in your life it's gone from a little compromise to full toleration of it in your rationalizing that same will.
I think, no, no it's not okay God's own you clearly listen folks, this is your wake-up call. Tension member. What we read Jesus said he that has ears to hear them here with the Spirit is saying that the church let me personalize that you have ears to hear what God is saying to you as an individual. Today the moment and I pray, to give you an opportunity if you need to to put your faith in Christ. For the first time and if you need to come back to the Lord, because you been compromising our tolerating sin. I give you an opportunity as well. Let's all our heads are perfect with Lee's father we purge your word now. You told us what to do if told us to wake up. He told us to repentance. You told us to take action. Help us to do that now we would pray no will or heads of God and her eyes are closed and were praying together. How many of you would say today Greg I don't know my name is written in the book of life.
I don't have this confidence that I will go to heaven when I die, but I want this confident I want to believe in Jesus. I want to be ready for his return.
Pray for me affect your desire. If you want to be sure your name will be written in the book of life. If you want to go to heaven when you die if you want Jesus to stand up for you if you want to be ready for his return. Would you lift your hand up right now wherever you're sitting and I'll pray for you. You want your name written in this book of life you want to go to heaven lift your hand up wherever you are and I'll pray for you. God bless you lift your head up or I can see a God bless you and God bless you and you and you and the Bakken up there in the balcony.
God bless you. I can't see you outside, but the Lord sees you take the little step of faith and raise your hand.
Also red harvest Orange County raise your hand up right now. If you need to make this commitment to Jesus. Anybody else razor the bless each one of you. Anybody else raise it now blasts one final moment you want your name written in the book of life you want to go to heaven razor in a blush shoot but heads are still valid.
Maybe there are some of you that have been tolerating sin, you have been doing things you know are wrong, and God has spoken to you. You've received your wake-up call and you're ready to repent of that sin and that you would you raise your hand of the limited prayer for you did a bless you publishing this is the place to do it among friends and family here in the church. Anybody else raise your hand up a prayer for you. God bless you father thank you note for each one of these and I pray you give them the strength to stand up and follow you nominally asked that everyone that is raise your hand if you would please stand your feet nominally join a prayer to stand upright when you are wherever you want. Stand up, stand up outside in the amphitheater in the court building that harvest Orange County stand your feet nominally join a prayer of commitment or recommitment to Christ anybody else then up in the balcony stand wherever your seeing me stand now, even if he did not lift her again but you want to make this commitment or recommitment did Jesus do it now.
One final moment stand out anybody else to know the bless all of you standing anybody else down a bless you.
You God bless all of you that are standing. I want you to pray this prayer out loud after me in. This is a prayer of committing your life to follow Jesus Christ.
Again, as I pray pray this out loud after me pray this.
Now, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but you died on the cross and shed your blood for my sin. I turned from that sin. Now I choose to follow you as Savior and Lord is gone and friends from this moment forward. Thank you for calling me and accepting.
In Jesus name I pray, amen