God has an encouraging word for you and me today through the Bible-based teaching of Dr. Don Wilton about falling back on your faith. The Encouraging Word In just a moment, we'll head to 1 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 3 with Dr. Don Wilton, well-known author, evangelist, pastor, and today as he opens God's Word, we're going to gain some understanding on what it is to know that you have something you can fall back on and it's your faith.
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That's TEWONLINE.ORG. The Encouraging Word And now, Dr. Don Wilton. What a wonderful joy to be able to stand before you and to open the Word of God and to be able to study God's Word together. I'm going to be preaching a very deeply significant message today. I've entitled our message, Falling Back on Our Faith. And we're going to be going to the Word of God. And I see you.
I can see you in your need. You and I can see one another. We see the Skinner family. We see and we know a lot of things about one another. But there's a lot of things we don't.
The things that people endure. God never promised us as believers that we would just simply waltz our way through life. To help us understand this, we've asked a couple in our church to share their testimony with us.
I promise you, God is going to get your attention as you listen to Roy and Deneen Griffin. So it's been about 18 months. It was December of 2020 when on a Sunday we had been to church. And we came home and I decided to go get a bite to eat. And I came back and my daughter had called me, Bailey, our middle child, and said that something was going on with our son.
That he wasn't answering his phone and that she was trying to get in touch with him. And so I called Deneen and we came back. I came back to pick her up and she was in my truck.
And we were getting ready to go to Charlotte. And that's when my daughter called back and said that we had lost our son. And so it was right here on this front yard that I had to tell my wife that we had lost our son.
And we actually came over and laid on this porch together and we held each other and cried. And that changed our life forever. And it was that day that I had to make a decision where my faith was. Was I going to depend on myself and my ability to cope with this? Or was I going to have to depend on my faith in Christ that I had said that I always had?
And I remember laying in bed that night and we were hugged up, had each other in our arms, and we were crying. And I said, let's pray. And it's probably the hardest prayer I've ever had to make.
But I said, Dear Lord, thank you so much that you allowed your son to die on the cross, that we know that our son is in your presence right now. And I don't know how we would have made it over the last 18 months without having that assurance. You know, through our life, we've had challenges, but God has always seen us through. And we've had what we call God moments where God would show up and things would always work out. And I knew it was God. But this time, things didn't work out the way I wanted them to. And so I really had to trust that God is who He said He is and that He has the best in mind for all of us.
And so that's where my growth has come from over the last 18 months. I've told others prior to this happening, you know, I was a cradle to an old baby and had been in church all my life. But there comes a point in time where the rubber meets the road. And as Roy said, we've been married now almost 34 years and we've been through some challenges. But when our 23-year-old son took his own life, that is when we really had to make the decision, do we believe what we really said we believed all these years and what we told our children? And, you know, I've recalled several times Paul saying, you know, count everything as joy. And one of my favorite verses is in Psalms where it says that God is close to the brokenhearted. And being on this side of such a tragedy, those verses for the first time ever mean something totally different.
And God knew this was going to happen before my son was ever even born because we do live in a broken world. So I just have clung to His Word. You know, there's times that you think, is this verse real?
And we can say that His Word is real and He's proven Himself over and over and over again. And it's almost to the point now because we have new lens, so to speak, we have God goggles now because we have been through one of the worst things that anybody can imagine. And I almost look at some and think, I've experienced firsthand that He is close to me because we've been brokenhearted. And we constantly live day to day trying to share that with others because we see God in a new light and He's still good. Romans 8.18 has become huge in this stage in our faith walk. And basically it says the pain you're going through doesn't compare to the joy that's coming. And there are days where I have to say that over and over and over because God has not failed us yet. And we are promised a greater future with our son than we would have ever had here on earth. So trust God, even through the hard things. We're not saying that it's easy.
It's an easy journey. But I have never felt closer to God for me. Music is huge for me.
And He constantly, since this happened, I haven't turned on the news. I just, you know, I'm like I need to care about who knows Jesus more than who I'm going to vote for. And that's just me. But, you know, there are times that I just listen to music. And God speaks to me so profoundly through the lyrics of certain songs.
Matter of fact, I just shared one with you a while ago. It's great. One of the best mornings that I had when I was struggling to get out of bed each day early on was I woke up to her singing.
It was, I think it was a Mercy Me song in our bathroom. And I thought, you know, God's good. I don't really know what to say to you, Roy and Deneen. I want to encourage you as a church family to go and to see the rest of their story because all of us know it. Because what lay ahead of them was a plane crash in which neither of them nor the pilot should have survived.
But they did. And Roy made a statement there. He said, I had nowhere to go but to fall back, to go back to Jesus. Let's read about this in 1 Peter chapter 1 and verse 3. This is what Peter says under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Way back in March, God spoke to me and I began to lead us in a series entitled Carried Through. That's the series we've been on. This is the final message of that series. God carries us through.
He does it. We may not, we may cannot, but God can. Would somebody say amen to that? This is Jesus, our firm foundation. Next week, I'm beginning a new series right here in 1 Peter entitled The Triumphant Church.
We're going to be in Peter for quite a long time, starting next week, because when God the Holy Spirit spoke to his servant Peter, he saw us and he loved us. This is God speaking to the church. This is God speaking to Roy and Deneen Griffin, to Stephen Gay Skinner and Jared and Annalee. This is God speaking to you. You're the church. God's speaking to me.
This is God. And when God gave us his word, God knew that we, the church, would face various trials. And God understood that these trials would be the testing of our faith. He understood our predicament. He understood our pain. He understood the plane crashes. He understood the premature deaths and the loss of a beloved son. He understood the broken marriages.
He understood the sin that is present in the congregation. He saw that because he knows that, and he wrote for us by his spirit this word. And as we culminate the series on carried through, and as we introduce what Jesus would say concerning the triumphant church, God's people triumphing, to put a Don Wilton phrase on it, saying the best is yet to be.
How can that be? Tomorrow is far greater than today. God has us in the palm of his hands.
God knows because he's all knowing. And here in 1 Peter, and just as an introductory basis, I want to share with Roy and Danin the reason why they've been able to have such incredible faith. Why it is that their witness for Christ, through the death of their own son, through surviving a plane crash against all human understanding, I want them to know, we want them to know, God wants them to know, that we can always fall back on our faith.
Please forgive the interruption. We'll be back with the rest of today's message with Dr. Don Wilton in just a moment. John 3.16 says, For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. We aspire to reach as many people as possible with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Will you join us in this mission? We need your support. Become a ministry partner today.
Call us at 866-899-WORD. That's 866-899-9673 to request information on how you can help support the work of The Encouraging Word. The Encouraging Word is a viewer and listener supported ministry. Thank you for listening today. Again, we thank you first and foremost for your prayerful support of the ministry.
And if you'd like to get involved financially as well, we would be very, very grateful. Now let's dive back into today's teaching. We're in the message, Falling Back on Your Faith from the unique series with Dr. Don Wilton on the Triumphant Church.
Here's five quick reasons. Number one, because we can bless God always. Verse 1, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus.
I loved it when our praise team got up a minute ago and led by our sanctuary choir and over there in the hangar as we were led by Daniel and the band, as we praise Jesus and we lift high the name of Jesus. It's all about Jesus. What was God saying to us? What is the Holy Spirit saying to us?
We can bless God. And he uses Jesus' full redemptive name, this God, this in the beginning God, who is none other than the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He uses his full redemptive name, Lord, our sovereign ruler. Jesus, the incarnate Son of the living God. Christ, the anointed Messiah King. It's he, this God, who grants us his glorious inheritance because we have his great mercy.
And God's great mercy is God's divine motive behind granting believers eternal life and hope in him. Somebody say amen this morning. Whoo! I love that, folks.
We should be coming out of our seat. Bless God, bless God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. What an incredible thing.
What an incredible thing. You know, you don't always feel like it, circumstances. Don't make the heart incline to say, well, let's just get together and focus on Jesus. Let's just bless the name of Jesus. But by the Spirit of God, we can always fall back.
We must stand upon that. Number one, because we can bless God. Number two, because he has given us new life. We have been given new life in him. Look what he says to us. According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again.
I love that. What God is trying to tell the church here, these churches, what he's trying to tell us in his word is so straight down the line. Bless God and thank him because of the new life.
We are not of this world. We've been born again of the Spirit of the living God and the Spirit of the living God enters into our hearts and into our lives. He is the vine. We are the branches and he gives to us fruit in our hearts and lives and fruit that remains. And he's the same yesterday and today and forever. This is Jesus. He's given us new life. We're not of this world. I'm so grateful that Jesus came into my heart.
Aren't you? I'm so grateful that I'm governed and controlled by the Spirit of the living God, not by the Spirit of the evil of this world. Where would we be? Number three, we can always fall back on our faith because we have hope in the resurrection.
Look what he says there. He says giving us a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. I'm going to be honest with you folks. I have preached countless, countless, countless numbers of funerals. For a pastor, minister of the gospel for you, how many times do we stand at a graveside? How many times have I come into your homes? How many times have I held hands with you?
We have held hands together. How many times? How many buckets of tears have been shed? When people deal with death and separation and loneliness, where do you go? I just find myself being compelled into Paul's letter to the church at Corinth, going to first Peter, the first epistle of Peter, going back to my faith. This Jesus, this son of God, Lord Jesus Christ, this redemptive savior, this one who is God incarnate, became Messiah King, became sin for us who knew no sin himself. This one who took upon himself my sin and your sin was crucified and buried. And yet on the third day by the power of God was raised from the dead and ascended to be seated at the right hand of God the Father. Now making intercession for you and for me. Somebody praise, say praise the Lord. Wow. That's hope.
That's a living hope. Number four, because we have an inheritance. Bible tells us very clearly that we have been saved to an inheritance through the resurrection of Jesus.
I'm going to unpack this even more. He uses three words to describe. He says this inheritance is imperishable. It is undefiled. It is unfading. Wait until you hear me explain that next week. God's word.
We don't have to wait until the deceased are the deceased to go and sit in a lawyer's office to discover what it is they've left to us and what it is they didn't leave to us. God has made it abundantly clear. And it's an incredible, incredible thing. Listen, beloved friend, I don't know where you are today. I know what you're dealing with. I know what I am. I know what we are. Where are we? Who are we?
What are we going through? And God says yes in the plane crashes of life and the disappointments and the sin that goes on around us and the betrayal and the mistrust and all these things that we deal with as human beings, as believers in Christ. Go back to your faith. Bless the name of the Lord. Go back to your faith, because he's given you born again life. You are not the same. You've been changed by the Spirit of God. You don't march according to the world. You march according to the drumbeat of the Holy Spirit of God. Go back to the hope that you have because of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Go back to the inheritance that is guaranteed and kept by the power of God. And he closes, he puts a bow on it at this stage. Number five, because we have a reason to rejoice. We got a reason to rejoice. Folks, I tell you that verse seven and eight, so that tested genuineness of your faith more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire. Watch this.
Don't miss this. In this you rejoice. In this you rejoice. So that in Christ, regardless, you may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the foot of Jesus.
Would you bow your heads with me? Lord Jesus, we gather together at the foot of the cross and we rejoice because you are God. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
I've said to you a million times with exaggeration, I don't ever know how to close a service. I don't know how to say stop when it comes to Jesus because he is mighty to save. Give your life to Christ today.
It's the greatest thing you could ever do. Give your heart to Jesus. Without him, you cannot do it.
You won't negotiate life. Valleys and mountains, give your heart to Jesus. Put your roots down in a local Bible-believing church.
You won't survive without it because it's God's plan for you. Surrender your life to Christ. Let's do it. Let's just pray together. Lord, right now I'm praying that this worship service would culminate in the voice and the call of God in and through Jesus Christ. And I pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. You know, as Dr. Don was praying, it could be the Lord was stirring your heart to understand how important it is not only to put roots down in a Bible-believing church, but to start with giving your heart to Jesus.
It's the most important decision you'll ever make. You've been listening so well to Dr. Wilton Ace who's been teaching and preaching in the pulpit. Now open your heart to what he wants to share next.
Well, hello again, my friends. Are you ready to give your life to Christ? You know, you've been listening like this and God has been speaking like this, hasn't he?
And he's speaking to your heart. I'd love to help you give your life to Christ right now. Why don't you pray this prayer? Make this your prayer because you know that God not only hears our prayer, but he answers our prayer too. Pray this prayer with me. Dear God, I know that you love me very much.
I believe Jesus came and died on a cross just for me and that he gave his life for me. Right now I confess my sin to you and by faith I receive you into my heart and into my life. In Jesus' name I pray. Well, if you've prayed that prayer right now, in just a moment we're going to send you some information.
I want you to listen real carefully because you can take note of that. We've got the means by which we can connect together and I want to connect with you because you're part of my family. You're part of the family of God. You are my brother, my sister in Christ. God bless you today. Our time's gone for today, but stay connected with us on our website, tewonline.org. That's tewonline.org. The encouraging word.
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