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SM120527/A Current Message from Ancient Ephesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 30, 2012 6:04 pm

SM120527/A Current Message from Ancient Ephesus

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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Harvest messages are brought to you by harvest partners receive free email daily devotions or to become a harvest partner, please visit us monkey down the roadway here at Main Street thoroughfare in ancient emphasis look at the stones is of the actual stones of the apostle Paul would've walked on. It's amazing to think as you look around and what is left of the city of what it must've been like magnificent columns and incredible buildings, the city dedicated to the worship of so many false gods. The city was transformed because someone took the gospel to them. That's what the Bible reminds us how beautiful are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things in Ephesians 6. Actually, the words of Paul directed toward this very city he said having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. God wants us to take our feet and put on our gospel shoes if you will, and bring the gospel to our culture today. I'm in the ancient city of Ephesus. This city is filled with New Testament history. I'm not far from a temple dedicated to Caesar Augustus, of course, is the Caesar in the New Testament story who gave the decree that everyone must be taxed as Mary and Joseph made the journey to Bethlehem, but this city, Ephesus plays a prominent part in the New Testament church, especially in the life and ministry of the apostle Paul. Paul spent two years in this city. Ministering to the people.

Let me tell you why this place was like paganism central. It was all about the worship of this false goddess known as Artemis or Diana of the Ephesians. They called in fact, this is a representation of the image they made money selling artifacts of this little goddess and it was very profitable for them and in everything was just going along fine with all of their wizardry and magicians and occultism until the apostle Paul showed up and that he began to preach the gospel here and God begin to work. People were being healed. In fact, there was people were coming up and intaking like this went down the Paul war and touching it to themselves and they were being healed others. One story from Scripture of the a guy who was a demon possessed in a couple of traveling exorcists went up to him and tried to cast the demon out of him in the name of Jesus whom Paul preaches and the guy who was possessed by the demon said Paul I know in Jesus I know, but I don't know you and he attacked them and they ran away and then just freak the people out because in this place of darkness. God was at work and the people started turning to God. And so they brought all of their parchments with their writings about the false gods and occultism in all these false ideas and they put them in a big giant fire and burn them in the city was impacted by the gospel of Jesus Christ's amazing thing that all this worship was of this little icon here this goddess Diana or Artemis that she was known in the meat so much money selling this image that one guy named Demetrius said you know these men, speaking of the apostles are going to mess up our train here.

We need to stop them and so a big crowd grew in a riot broke out and they spilled into this massive stadium that still stands today and Paul wanted to go and preach to them and the other apostles said no we don't want to do it. Don't go in there because I think you were concerned for his life, but it just shows you the power of the gospel and the impact it can make all the Bible says the enemy comes in like a flood the spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him here in the city of compasses agreed church was established.

In fact, the book of Ephesians was written to this church to mean think about how significant the book of Ephesians is that is the book what we read about the fact that were saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ not of works lest any man should boast. Ephesians is the book that tells us that were seated in the heavenly's in Jesus Christ. Ephesians of the book that tells her that were engaged in the spiritual battle and we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers in search of my in high places and is the gospel without the church was established. It was a great thing. So wherever the devil is at work know this much. God will always have their claim catapulted into the 21st century if you will, and he saw the future and he was given a flyover of the churches. The seven churches, and Jesus effectively said what he thinks of the churches. The first church was Ephesus.

What we are right now. Then there was the church of Smyrna. Then there was a church of programmers followed by thio Tyra Sardis, Laodicean Philadelphia, but it all started here in Ephesus and remember that Jesus said to these believers you're in danger of leaving your first love. He said I appreciate all that you do for me a hard work.

Your discernment think about it there in this crazy pagan city where everything is believed under the sun, and yet they managed to follow the Lord and served him so that significant in and of itself. So Jesus commends them for the fact that they have this discernment and they worked hard and serve them. But Jesus said, but I have this issue with you your leaving your first love. Jesus says, remember from where you fall and that's our number one repent our number two and repeat it back and be the first works quickly, then Jesus gave a warning and the warning was a futile do this on the remove your lampstand from its place on the book of Revelation, the lampstand or the menorah. The candelabra is a symbol of the church Jesus.

As I walked in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, which means he wants in the middle of the church, but he says to this church Ephesus. If you don't do what I'm telling you on the remove your lampstand from its place. Windows ME, he is saying, in effect, look, you can rest on your laurels. You can't live in your past. If you don't do what I told you to do. You lose your position of influence and significant within and listen.

Now, as you look around Ephesus today what you see a great city, once one of the greatest cities of the ancient world.

No you see ruins on impressive ruins. No question. But ruins.

Nonetheless, ruins interest, symbol of lives they go on the same path.

You know, we say well I can walk closely with the Lord. I'm in a compromise a little bit here and a little bit there.

What happened you lose your influence, you lose your impact.

You no longer an effective witness for Jesus Christ. Jesus put it this way in the sermon on the Mount. He said what good is salt, if it isn't salty.

It's good for nothing. Then he says you are a light city set on a hill so let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven, but if you lose your light would go to you and here's my question.

What could is a halfhearted Christian. What good is a compromising believer not much good at all to be able to get your life and see ruins or the Visio life that is productive for Jesus Christ. We would all do well to take heed to the message of the city of Ephesus and the church of Ephesus which is don't leave your first love or you will lose your influence. Our country is filled with cavernous churches that were once filled with the brim with people worshiping God and hearing the word and many of them lie empty now because of people spraying.

It's not stray but stay as close to him as we possibly can.

Lest we end up like this city and this church here in the ancient city about the says the apostle Paul likens our walk with Christ to a runner in a race. He says that he wants to finish his race with joy. Nepal really like the analogy of running races. He used it many times, Inc. he said in the book of Corinthians. Don't you know that those run a race all run, but only one receives the prize so run that you may win me. That's the goal right to win not to get last-place or honorable mention.

And when I was back in the elementary school I went and entered a lot of races and I never won any of them, but I have a lot of those honorable mention ribbons on the wall honorable mention. Ribbons are basically an acknowledgment that you exist you exist and here's a ribbon. Now go away. But you should run when go for the gold as they say not go to just get in the race but go to win the race and you know what, there's no place for mediocrity. As you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you should do the best you could possibly do give the best that you can give to God to you.

Go for the go. Paul also speaking of the idea of running a race said and I would run this race when I'm in the discipline myself, lest I would be disqualified.

In other words, I got a play by the rules, you can just make up the rules as you go. You can disregard the rulebook you have to do it the way God tells you to do it.

What is the rulebook with the Bible.

The Bible is far more than a mere rulebook. Of course, but it does indeed tell us what not to do as well as what we should do. So basically we need to do what God says in his word, and he's given us those parameters for our own good to keep us away from danger. Another thing about running the race as I think a mode of health, a back when I was in high school I went out for track and field. I did a little better than they did not elementary school and I remember when have to go and practice just run around the track, a man I was just so exhausting, but always found the I had an audience. I did a little bit better and especially if in that audience was a pretty girl right. Listen were running for an audience.

Not a pretty girl running for an audience of one God, the dark were told in Hebrews that were running a race and we should run in such a way to win and that we should keep our eyes on Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. That's our motive see in the Greek games when they would run in the races at the end there would be the Emperor or someone else holding the laurel leaves so that was sort of the reward run for the reward go for the gold is and so were looking to Jesus and that keeps us going in the Christian life. You know there are things that will discourage us as Christians, things that will get us down and think it was Corrie 10 boom that said look within and be depressed look without a be distressed, but look at Jesus in being at rest and I think if we can keep our eyes on the Lord. We can run this race.

Well, and by the way, and the race of life. My competition is not with you or with another preacher are not trying to outdo another minister know my competition. If you will, is the world the flesh and the devil. I want to run to win. I want to play by the rules. I want to keep my eyes on Jesus, give me the motive. And finally, Paul says I want to finish my race with joy.

That's a key finishing the race.

Quite frankly, is not to do you any good if you are in first place for 9/10 of the race and you bail at the end because your disqualified so we need to think about how organ it finish this race that we have begun. This is the picture of Paul uses to describe what's important to him, but he had many other word pictures he would use with these people from Ephesus. The second picture that Paul uses as he speaks to that leaders of Ephesus, as we are stewards. He says the ministry that I received from the Lord know the word Stuart is just another word for servant or slave and a lot of people don't like the idea of being a slave of Jesus Christ.

But it's actually the perfect description. Let's understand what that meant. You know, back in those days there was something called a bondslave pulse that I'm up bondslave of the Lord Jesus Christ on a bondslave or someone who was purchased and then free to.

Here's a picture like a slave down on the open market. Jesus comes along, he sees us there on the auction block. He pays the full price and we are now his slave. He owns us.

The Bible says you're not. You're only been bought with a price of glorify God in your body. I am the purchased property of Jesus Christ his ID tag a zombie but wait, it goes on, let's just go back to that illustration. So Jesus takes me from the auction block, and thankfully purchased me because I know you'll be a good master lease is as good out of the courtroom why we going to the courtroom, he says, because I'm going to adopt you see I am not only a slave of Christ. I'm the adopted child of Christ being someone who is adopted in life. I appreciate this. It's a wonderful thing that God is adopted us as we become a bondslave. The apostle Paul said that he was a bondslave of the Lord Jesus Christ and a bondslave was a servant who was purchased but then went on to voluntarily serve his master. He did it because he wanted to know because he had to jump all the same to these leaders about the session you're a runner in a race and you're also a slave so serve the Lord Jesus told a parable about a man that hired servants to do their work and they said we only did that which was our duty to do.

You know I have my duty to God and sometimes people come and thanked me for what I do and I think them but I see you and I'm just doing my duty.

I don't deserve extra credit or special applause and just doing what I'm supposed to do as a Christian I were all supposed to do what were called to do as a Christian because one day will stand before God and will be held accountable for how faithful we were with what God gave us listen everything that you have belongs to God. Your family belongs to God. Your career belongs to God. Your possessions belong to God. Everything it says so really what we say will my plans for my future with my money. What way the second you belong to the Lord and we want to make sure that we remember that in all that we say and do is another thing about having God's ID tag on us. You know, when you travel and you wait for your luggage. By the way, sometimes I check myself in his luggage. It's a much more economic way to fly. It's much cheaper than buying a plane ticket. As you can see, it works out quite well as well travel you of your ID tag on your suitcase and actually have brightly colored ones. So my suitcases stand up from all the rest and we have the ID tag of Jesus Christ on each of us and you know it when the devil sees that he backs off because we belong.

I'm sending on a platform here in ancient Ephesus and behind me is a great library that had thousands of parchments and then you see the main street going to the city.

There and they had public bathrooms along their guys only by the way, nothing for the girls. Aren't you glad you're alive today instead of the first century anyway so here is we look over at Ephesus we think again of the words of Paul to the leaders therein. The next category he identifies is that of a witness.

He says I want to solemnly testify of the grace of God from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church when they come to him. He said to them, you know, from the first day that I came to Asia in what manner I always lived among you, serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happen to me by the blogging of the Jews and how we kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ to the job of a witness is to just tell the truth. For instance, if you witness an accident. The police officer interviews you are you are to state the facts are not there to embellish your testimony or make it more entertaining or interesting or or adapted to your own particular view. None are you just say what you see this is what Paul is saying, you know, we are to give testimony of what we have seen the apostle John said that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that you may have fellowship with us and our fellowship is with God.

It seems to me that if you're walking with God as you ought to your in his word and your growing spiritually your witness, your testimony with his overflow from a Christ filled life. If you find it's a hard thing we can work it up to tell others about Jesus. That doesn't make sense to me. It should just overflow so Paul is saying, hey we are runner in a race were a servant, and we are someone who is to give testimony to what we have seen in her number four Paul compares himself to a hero. He says that I've gone preaching among all of you the kingdom of God and you will see my face no more.

The word preaching means to declare a message is that Harold of the King see the witness tells what is happening him but, in contrast that Harold tells with the King tells him to declare collaborating on this. Paul says in verse 27 that he was going to declare the whole counsel of God, look is a Harold I need to give the whole message to Kings given me a message. My job as a Harold is to announce it to proclaim it are not to add to it and I not to take away from it. You know when I preach the gospel in our Crusades. I feel I have a solemn responsibility to give the gospel accurately to not distorted to not take away from it to not add to it. People say you know the message you give is so simple exactly. I work hard at that because you want to leave out the things that are not essential. And keep in place the things that are core to the gospel message. Really, what is this message we been called to bring to our culture today. The message of the gospel. The word gospel means good news is good news in a bad world. The bad news is, it was, we both send and broken God's commandments and we fall short of his glory.

And there's nothing we can do to make that right in our own strength but the good news is, God loved us so much he sent his own son Jesus Christ to die on the cross in our place and it will turn from our sin and believe in Jesus we can be forgiven again, I Harold that's the message I'm to declare but also as a pastor I am to declare the whole counsel of God. So as we teach the books of the Bible. A line upon line, precept upon precept verse by verse.

We get the whole counsel. You know sometimes there's a temptation for a preacher to only go to the topics they're personally appealed to him. But the reality is we must give all the God's word has to say and really, what is it matter what I think about anything. Anyway, I've been told in Scripture that I'm to preach the word, not preach pop psychology year preach politics or preach morality per se.

I'm to preach the word. People need the word of God. That's the only thing that will change a life. It was the word of God proclaim the by the apostle Paul in this city that turned it around and it was the negligence of the word of God. The cause it to fall into ruin.

The same could be said of our lives.

We believe the word of God and follow it. We just flourish and grow when were blessed.

But when we neglect the word of God.

We shrivel to a relevance someone sums it up best.

Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, there stands in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in it because he meditate day and night. Then it goes on to say he'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters that will bring forth fruit in this season's leave, shall not, whether whatever he does prosper if you want to be a fruitful Christian and a growing Christian need to stay grounded in the work. Paul also in this chapter warns of false teachers coming in. He says greediest wolves will come in drawing away disciples after themselves and as we are immersed in the word of God is conversant with Scripture will know the true from the false. I heard the story of a man that work for the counterfeit department in England. Scotland Yard and there he was to identify counterfeit currency. Someone asked him if he spent a lot of time handling the fake money and he said II never touch the falls currency. I only handle the real thing.

So when I come in the contact with the counterfeit. I know the difference. I think of were conversant with the word of God. If we read it on a daily basis. Thus, reading and learning the whole counsel of God. We will know the true from the five and finally, Paul compares himself to a watchman verse 26 he says therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men does it mean exactly be innocent of the blood of all men bullets explained in Ezekiel 317, 18, Son of Man, God says, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message for me passing on of the people immediately, but I warn the wicked same under the penalty of death, and you failed to deliver the warning they will die in their sins, and I will hold you responsible demanding your blood for their what is a watchman on the wall. They will be these up high, giving him the vantage point is I looked down here on the ancient city of Ephesus, and here is the great library that housed all the volumes of the books and parchments and so forth and the watchman's job was to be alert to look out for an approaching enemy was a watch over the citizens.

Inside it was to give warning to resign enemy coming, he would warn the people and enemies coming.

Guess what world watchman on the wall is well. We need to warn people and I think it's really important that as we proclaim the gospel that we don't shy away from telling the whole truth to me and I mentioned that the gospel is good news, good news that I can be forgiven, but there's been ideas of I don't believe in the bad news is that if I reject Jesus Christ a face in eternity separated from him and how you know it's been said is a criticism of the church over the years all, there's all these hellfire and brimstone preachers are my responses. That is really where are they.

I would see many of them lately. All I know there are a few out there still thank God, by seems to me we have so many feel-good preachers that tell us all we can be successful in champions and winners and one of the guys ever warning like Jonathan Edwards did many years ago that there is a future judgment. I'm telling you we got to give the whole gospel. So if you're talking to someone about the Lord and and they say will you and II hear what you're saying and I can see you're a happier person because you're a Christian, but will happen to me if I don't want to believe in Jesus Christ would even say well you know it'll be uncomfortable telling the truth. There's a judgment awaiting them.

That's the job of the watchman on the wall to give warning to the people so they don't have to face that judgment are you being a faithful watchman.

I hope so. This is the actual amphitheater where the apostle Paul came he wanted to preach.

But the others would not let him. As the people were whipped into a complete frenzy, yelling out greatest anything of the Ephesians is just madness which you can see why Paul wanted to bring the gospel to the city you can see why Paul addressed the elders here in Ephesus and told the guys not listen or runners in a race and we are stewards and we are watchman on the wall and in all the pictures that he used that we have to be vigilant that we have to be on alert because the only way to turn back. Darkness is to let the radiant light of the gospel shine. You know I think of our own culture today and it seems like he could be described as an EBC culture ABC anything but Christ, you know, not unlike ancient emphasis that believed in pretty much anything and everything and people would come from all around the world to take a ride in their magical mystery tour that led to oblivion and nowhere and frankly to ruins others.

The message of the gospel that we are to bring to our culture. It's so urgent it's amazing to me how though some 2000 years of passed since Paul walked in this place and brought the gospel.

Things haven't changed all that much people still believe in false gods people still put other things in the place of the true and living God. They want to find some worship system that will accommodate the lifestyle they've chosen, but we can back off were the watchman on the wall where the steward of the message where the witness and we need to bring the message of the gospel to our culture because it's the only thing that can turn it around because of Paul's preaching this city was turned upside down because they forgot his preaching. This city lies in ruins. Let's remember to bring the gospel to our culture to our world to your world from the ancient city of Ephesus publish.

So what we learn from the words of Jesus to the church of Ephesus will he told them to remember.

That's a really important thing for us to do as Christians to be remembering all the time.

It doesn't mean that we want to live in the past when at the same time we want to learn from our past and if we have past victories we can rejoice in them and if we have past mistakes. Hopefully we can learn from them. It's been said only those who are forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

I am amazed at how much information the human mind can retain a little while ago I was going through a box of photos and memorabilia from Christopher my son who is now in heaven, and I have to tell you that's always a very difficult thing for me to do because it's bittersweet. You know, there are those moments that you remembered together.

And then there said sadness and the deep sense of loss I as you go through those things.

But there are certain things that will trigger incident. I don't recall committing to memory print since all see a photo office at all, remember a conversation I don't ever remember trying to remember the conversation, but it's very embedded in the memory banks of my mind. So it's a good thing to remember. And of course today or choose me tomorrow is Memorial Day and that is a day what we are asked remember the tremendous sacrifice that so many of me for our countries, all the wars that we been in over the years is not a day to just get together enough barbecue or have a three-day weekend.

We can do that and enjoy our freedoms, but it's a day to remember what is been done for us and I think it's also really good thing to fly the American flag that something I do in you don't agree, what, I was scared that maybe this might be the communist service. I wasn't sure, but I'm surprise of my block on one of the very few people. The Liza Stars & Stripes on public holidays for think it's a great thing to remember that in the end there's other things that we need to remember as well spiritual thing.

And in fact of the apostle Peter in his second epistle reminds us of some of the basics of the Christian life. Eat tells us we should have faith and be godly love our brothers and be long-suffering. Then he goes on to say in second Peter 18 so I want to always remind you of these things even though you know them and are firmly establishing the truth. You now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body. Why this reminder to remember well.

Scientists tell us that though we don't forget anything and another sense it seems practically we forget everything we forget what we park our cars in malls.

We forget what time an appointment is we forget commitments that we have made. We forget to pay our bills. Somehow we never forget who we loaned money to.

However, some even forget their marriage vows or choose to ignore them, and we sometimes forget some of the most important lessons we learned in life and even worse, sometimes we even forget God himself.

So the Lord has instituted a special time we gather together as the church and we call it the Lord's supper or communion.

Why do we do it to remember what Jesus did for us in the book of first Corinthians chapter 11 verses 23 to 25.

Paul gives us these words I received from the Lord that which I delivered to you that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which he was betrayed took bread when he had given thanks, he broke it and said taking eat. This is my body which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me.

In the same manner. He took the cup after supper same. This cup is the new covenant in my blood. This you should do often.

And as you do it you do so, in remembrance of me. So this is a command from the Lord himself.

He say I want you to remember what I have done for you now will use the word remember it doesn't mean to simply recall that a historical event took place in 2000 years ago were Jesus Christ, the man from Nazareth died in a Roman cross and rose again three days later. We want to remember that, but the word that is used here for. Remember in the Hebrew is more than simply recalling an event, it needs to go back in one's mind and recapture as much of the reality and significance of an event or experience one possibly can. Let's say that you're being interviewed by a police officer.

They wanted to know about an incident that took place a year ago so they would say no. I want you to concentrate.

I want you to remember the facts and tell me exactly what happened. So you would focus in and he would push other thoughts out of your mind to zero in on that and find the information that is necessary so as we come to the communion table. That's what we are to do to go back in our minds IFU will to the cross, they might symbol Craig actually wasn't there and I don't think you were either no I wasn't there 2000 years ago at the cross, but as I look at the accounts given to be in Matthew Mark Luke and John, and other supporting passages like Isaiah 53 in Psalm 22 I can get a pretty good idea of what it was like to stand at the foot of the cross.

So as I remember, I am to go to that place and think deeply about what Jesus did push other thoughts out of your mind, not even evil thoughts were just distracting thoughts like oh I wonder what I should have for lunch today. After the service we think about things like that or go to the iron honor. Is it just me or is great getting more handsome every year.

All those are my thoughts of you choosing I got computers especially don't think those things and I was only kidding about. Here's another thing when it says this do in remembrance of him in the original language. The word affectionate is implied so you could translate it out as follows Jesus speaking and affectionate remembrance of me.

To this, sometimes we can turn the communion service into far too somber of a time, though it commemorate something tragic commemorate something that was also glorious or told that it was the joy that was separate for Jesus that enabled him to endure the cross, despising the shame, who would think of joy and a deal like that again we are back was ripped open a day were spikes were driven through your hands and feet a day when a crown of thorns was pressed upon your head. A day when your friends turn against you. A day when you bore the sins of the world, but the joy according to scripture was what it would accomplish the joy set before and folks, the joy was you and me. It was the knowledge that Jesus said that this sacrifice would bring about your salvation.

So as I reflect on his death, and maybe I reflect on my sins and my shortcomings don't just feel sad, but also feel glad for what Jesus accomplished for you at the cross.

This is not all about your worthiness or your merit because the Bible does Sam not to receive it in an unworthy manner the cross just reminds me the way I came to Jesus in the beginning was through his death and the way I come to them today is a say if I like going to move beyond that.

When I first became a Christian visitor center. I needed to come to the blood of Jesus were now alive know the Lord for so many years and I'd memorize X amount of Bible verses and then these things for God no, I still come the same way as I'm still a sinner by nature, and I still need constant cleansing from the Lord. That's why Paul can of zeros in on this point. In verse 27 first Corinthians 11 reminds us now as you eat this bread and drink this cup don't do so in an un-worthy manner and unworthy manner would be to do so in a frivolous way or in a cavalier fashion, sort of in let's hurry up and get this over with approach Nono think deeply about the cross.

Think long and hard about what Jesus has done for you and then think about your own life, because Scripture also tells us as we come to the communion table. We should examine ourselves. You know they tell us we should do self exam and it's a good thing to do periodically and sort of take my own spiritual pulse a few well I say how my doing. As a follower of Jesus, am I moving forward or my moving backward. Or maybe another question to ask yourself, am I certain I'm a follower of Jesus to receive the elements of communion and not believe in the one they represent is the ultimate unworthy manner and Paul warns to do so is to literally eat and drink judgment to yourself so only say this to you if your visitor today and you're not sure of your Christian and you have no intention of becoming a Christian man I strongly urge you to not receive the elements of communion just let them pass. We will look down at you for that will pray for you that you come to believe in Jesus, but it would be better to not receive these elements then to receive them and not believe in the one that they represent.

But of course I have a better idea, believe in the one they represent what your faith in Jesus. How can you remember someone you never knew you can't so we talked about remembering Jesus, you need to know him first, and if you don't know him yet.

I would like to give you an opportunity to put your faith in him right now before we receive communion. So if you've never asked Christ to come of your life or maybe you're in a backslidden state today. You need to make a recommitment to him would you respond to this invitation.

I as we pray let's all bow our heads if you would father we thank you so much for sending Jesus to die on the cross and Lord Jesus, we thank you for coming and laying your life down for us and now I pray for any here that have joined this, you do not yet know you are to help them to see their need for you and help them to come to you now, heads of God and her eyes are closed or praying.

If you would like Jesus Christ to come in your life if you would like to be forgiven of your sin. If you would like to know with certainty that you will go to heaven when you die if you're ready to say yes to Jesus right now. Would you just stand your feet wherever you are. Nominal lead you in a prayer right where you are, so you can join us in this communion service again. You want Christ to come in your life you want him to forgive you of your sin, you want to be sure you go to heaven when you die. Stand your feet wherever you are and let me lead you in a prayer. God bless you to stand up, stand up, you there at harvest Orange County stand your feet. You guys out there in the amphitheater. Stand your feet you up in the court building just stand up right now wherever you're seeing me stand your feet on the lead you in a prayer and God will hear this prayer because the Bible says whoever will call upon the name of the Lord be say maybe you find yourself in a backslidden state today and you need to come back to Christ wanted to stand your feet as well will lead you in the same prayer anybody else stand now publishing to stand up there at harvest Orange County stand up bless you one final motive. Forgive the stand stand now.

I will pray together. Anybody else stand out publishing all right all of you that are standing.

I'd like you to pray this prayer out loud after me again as I pray pray this out loud after me. Pray know if you would, Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner which he died on the cross and shed your blood for me.

I'm sorry for my sin.

I sure and from it now. I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord his God and friend. Thank you for calling me and accepting me and forgive me. In Jesus name I pray, amen

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