Here's Anne Graham Lotz. What will you give the king for his birthday this year? This is a gift suggestion, okay? This is something I know he wants.
He wants your heart. What do you give a king? It's the theme and the question for today's message here on Living in the Light with Bible teacher Anne Graham Lotz and her text being from John chapter 14 and Matthew 24. At the end of today's message, Anne has a Christmas gift suggestion.
Here now is Anne. John chapter 14, the first six verses. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms.
If it were not so, I would have told you. I'm going there to prepare a place for you, and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I'm going. Thomas said to him, Lord, we don't know where you're going, so how can we know the way? And Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me. Living in a troubled world, you and I can be confident of four things. One, confident in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He says in verse one, don't let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God, trust also in me. And secondly, you place your hope in the place that he's preparing. So Jesus said in verse two, in my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you.
I'm going there to prepare a place for you. The other sign he gave in verses 32 to 35 of Matthew 24, he gave a parable. It was a parable of a fig tree and he said the fig tree is dormant, but when you see the fig tree beginning to put forth leaves and buds, then you know the end is near.
The generation that sees the fig tree begin to bud is going to be the last generation. And the fig tree in the Bible represents Israel all the way the Old Testament, New Testament. In fact, a few days earlier Jesus had been talking to his disciples and he used the fig tree as an example or an illustration of Israel.
So I believe in this parable. He's speaking of Israel. An Israel that had been dormant for 2,000 years, think about it, was reborn on its ancient homeland with descendants of its ancient people, with its ancient currency, its ancient language. In May 14, 1948, it was declared a nation in the family of nations by the United Nations.
America, God bless her, was the first nation to recognize her as such. And Jesus said when you see that happen, the generation that sees that is the last generation. And that's meaningful to me because Israel was reborn on May 14, 1948.
I was born May 21, 1948. That's my lifetime, whatever a generation is. I believe if I live out my natural lifetime, I'm going to live to see that sky unfold and to hear that great shout as the king comes back to take me to be with himself. And I'm going to be reunited with my loved ones who've gone on before.
I believe that with all of my heart. The other way he may come for you is at death. You're afraid to die.
You know, I have to be honest, I'm afraid of the pain, the suffering, the needles, the hospitals, you know, all that kind of stuff. I've been there enough to know I would not be afraid but I would dread that aspect of death. But death itself, listen to me, death itself for the believer is not the same as it is for somebody who doesn't put their trust in Jesus. Death for the believer is just when you close your eyes to this life and you open them to the face of Jesus. The Bible says the believer doesn't even see death.
It's just a transition as your faith becomes sight. If I can explain it this way, years ago I was invited to go to India to open a seminary in Madras and then to tour the southern part of India and speak in different places and I accepted. So I took my neighbor and we took off. We got to Hong Kong. I was sitting there in a coffee shop thinking, Anne Lots, what have you done?
You're crazy. Two American housewives basically on the other side of the world and I have no idea who's going to be meeting me, no idea what to expect when I got there. I was so afraid I felt paralyzed. Have you ever been that afraid you just felt like you just couldn't move and somehow I got on the next plane. I arrived in India, was met by wonderful people, had incredible meetings. I've been to India four times since and each time since I have looked forward to going because I know something of who's going to meet me. I know something of what to expect when I get there. So the same thing is true of death. If you know who's going to meet you and if you know something of what's on the other side, it takes the fear away, doesn't it? Jesus died and he rose again and he came back and he told us something of what we can expect and you open your Bible and you read it and it will tell you something of what's on the other side and we know as soon as we close our eyes that it's like we open. Jesus is right there to receive you to himself. So for a believer death is nothing to be afraid of. I was trying to explain this to my mother.
Of course my mother, she knew she taught me, right? But about five months before she went to heaven she had pneumonia and we thought she was going. So I was sitting beside her bed and told her I'd recently been to Westminster Abbey and at the time it's different now but Westminster Abbey at that time you entered by sort of a small door and Westminster Abbey by the way is the grand cathedral downtown London you know where kings and queens are crowned and they're baptized and they're married and they're buried and it's just I think the last time we got a good look at it maybe was Prince William and Princess Kate when they were married but anyway you used to go into the area that was like the narthex and in the narthex that's where you bought your ticket that would take you into the next door and the next door when it opened it would take you into the sanctuary of Westminster Abbey. You also bought a guidebook and the guidebook would tell you something of what to expect on the other side of that door. So I told my mother when I went to Westminster Abbey I never saw anybody clutching their ticket and their guidebook and running out into the street and say I've been to Westminster Abbey I've been to Westminster Abbey the whole purpose of the narthex was to provide a transition into the sanctuary and this life is the narthex to heaven it's in this life we get our ticket to heaven when you put your faith and your trust in Jesus alone for your salvation when you put your faith and trust in Jesus as God's sacrifice to make atonement for your sin you ask him to forgive you cleanse you with his blood you believe he rose up from the dead to give you eternal life you receive the eternal life that he offers open up your heart and you invite him to come live inside of you as your Lord your surrender control of your life to him choosing to follow him the rest of your life follow him all the way to heaven and when you do that then you have your ticket and you get your guidebook which is your bible and you read your bible and your bible will tell you something of what you're going to see on the other side it doesn't give you as many details as we'd like you know but it gives you enough so that you know that you know that you know you want to go and you want as many people as you know to go with you which is why i think today is the time to share the good news that we have hope in jesus in this person and the place he's preparing in his promise that he's going to come back and take us to be with himself five months later my mother left the north x and at that moment the only thing that mattered was that she had her ticket when she was a little girl in china raised by missionary parents she put her faith in jesus and it didn't matter if she was a best-selling author the wife of billy graham brilliant conversationalist that was seated at the president's table when they went to the white house dinners because she could carry the conversation with anybody play the piano her art hangs in my home none of that mattered what mattered is that she put her faith is that she put her faith in jesus and she trusted him and she had her ticket and i know i was beside her bed when she closed her eyes to this life she opened them to his face and she was home because she's the father's child i haven't shared this publicly but when my husband was in um on life support and icu and his doctor came in and i just put my hands on his shoulders and got nose to nose with him and i said doctor so-and-so if this was you would your family have the peace and the assurance of knowing where you're going when we unplug them and they have the peace of knowing that they're going to see you again because you put your faith in jesus and he assured me that he had and i pinned him down and he told me that he had confessed his sin received christ as the savior he knew he was going to heaven i said tell your family let them know because at that moment and i see you with my husband on life support as hard as that was for all of us and the whole family was gathered around him we didn't grieve as those who have no hope we knew we would see him again because he had put his trust in jesus when he was a little boy at vacation papa's school in the verse james 5 10 i think it is drawn near to me and god says draw near to me and i'll draw near to you and and he had done that and given his heart to jesus and so i know he had his ticket so if you have your ticket let your family know tell those that you love that when the time comes for you if jesus comes for you not at the rapture because you go before then if jesus comes for you at death it's okay you'll see them again if they've put their faith in jesus in fact i'd put it to them if they want to see you again they need to put their faith in jesus right their faith in jesus right so in a troubled world place your hope in his person the place he's preparing that's perfect in the promise that he's coming to receive you to himself either at the rapture at your death and then put your hope in the fact that the path he's laid out for you and me is the right one in verse five of john 14 thomas said lord we don't know how to get to heaven i'm so glad thomas said that because then we have verse six when jesus answered i am the way and the truth and the life no one comes to the father except for me first time i was on larry king i had to fly out to los angeles and i sat across from him and he said and you're not one of those who believe that jesus is the only way to god are you he's and then he said to make it harder i'm jewish and he said you don't believe jesus is the only way and i said larry i'm not smart enough to know how somebody gets to heaven but i'll tell you what jesus said jesus said i am the way i am the truth i am the life no one that means no jew no muslim no kindu no buddhist no methodist no baptist no anglican no episcopalian no catholic no presbyterian no atheist no agnostic no one gets to heaven except those who put their faith in jesus in jesus that's what he said only time i've ever been on meet the press i was sitting there and the guy sitting next to me was a pastor he had a huge leadership position in washington and he said so ann what do you do with a verse like john 14 6 when jesus said i am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father except by me and i looked at him and i said you believe it he did not and he was a pastor jesus said that so the path that he's laid out for you and me to fall is going to lead us to our heavenly home he said so he is the way he is the truth he is the life god so loved the whole world yes he does everybody all those categories that i just mentioned god loves them god loves you god loves you god loves you god so loved you that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him that's the most inclusive invitation isn't it whosoever believes in him would not perish you're not going to go to hell you won't be separated from god but you'll have everlasting life and eternal life is a personal right relationship with god right here and now and it's heaven when you die so can i ask you when have you claimed jesus by faith as your savior lord you can believe you go to church and we say all the things we say we believe until you receive it until you appropriate it for yourself it doesn't count for you so when did you actually by faith tell god that you're sorry for your sin all the bad things wrong things you've done i've done plenty of them and believe jesus died on the cross if for nobody else just for you asked him to forgive you cleanse you believe he rose up from the dead to give you eternal life which is that right relationship with god now in heaven when you die and you receive the eternal life he offers and open up your heart invite him to come inside submit your life to his authority follow him through life and all the way to heaven when have you done that several years ago i was invited to the white house and i responded and they said rsvp you know so you have to give them so much information i was expecting them to ask for my weight and my age but anyway they have rsvp when i got to the gate the guard said um you know so who are you and i said well i'm anne gramm lots and the president has invited me for breakfast and so he looks down his list and he said oh yes mrs lots i see your name you're welcome come on in so i had been invited but if i had not rsvp'd then i could get to the gate and say the president has invited me for breakfast and he would say well look look down the list and what's your name and what mrs lots i don't see your name here but did you rsvp no i didn't think i needed to you know i know he's expecting me i know he wants me to come and look here's my invitation i have an invitation at breakfast in the white house and the guard would say i believe he invited you and i believe you were you know you've come but but if you didn't rsvp you can't go in that's what i'm trying to get across to you you're invited to live forever in god's heavenly home you're invited to be a member of god's family you're invited to have the joy and peace of knowing your sins are forgiven and that you're right with god and you have peace in the midst of a troubled world you have peace and you have joy that nobody can take from you so so when did you rsvp make sure you have jesus said there'll be people that show up at heaven's gate and they say lord lord we did this for you we did that for you we went to church we did this in your name and he will say depart from me you never rsvp that's my paraphrase he said i never knew you so please make sure that you're rsvp so going back to the gift suggestion what will you give the king for his birthday this year ask him what he would want you to give him and it may be something that i would have no idea about but this is a gift suggestion okay this is something i know he wants number one he wants your heart and if you've never put your faith in jesus alone for your salvation do that today do that as your gift to the king settle once and for all your salvation your forgiveness in the midst of a troubled world you have hope confidence everything's going to be okay because you're the father's child and if you've done that if you've rsvp'd and you've given him your heart then i suggest that you re-examine your heart where is your hope placed your confidence if it's in washington dc if it's in our leadership if it's in your bank account if it's in your education if it's in your family if it's in your health examine where your hope is placed and the gift suggestion is this would you recommit to placing your hope your faith your trust in the person of jesus christ knowing that he's preparing a place just for you claiming the promise that one day he's coming for you the rapture at your death following the path that he lays out he has a plan and purpose for your life you know that it's not an accident that you're living at this day and time in this troubled world he has a purpose for you ask him what it is and then i guess my third gift suggestion is that you would tell somebody else how they can have hope in a troubled world tell somebody else about heaven and how they can get there pray with me please dear god all i want to rsvp i desperately want real hope living in my troubled world and so i confess to you that i'm a sinner i've done wrong things and i'm sorry and i'm willing to turn away from all that if you'll help me i believe jesus died on the cross for me and i ask you now to apply his blood his death to me cleanse me with his blood i claim his death is your sacrifice for my sin and i believe jesus rose up from the dead to give me eternal life so right now i receive the eternal life that he offers and i understand it's a right relationship with you now as well as heaven when i die and i choose to open up my hearts i invite jesus to come live inside of me in the person of the holy spirit i surrender the authority of my life to him as my lord and i choose to follow him every day of my life all the way to heaven thank you for hearing my prayer so can i just say a word to you if you can i just say a word to you if you rsvp'd if that was your prayer you can tell me you can write on that response card they're not going to make you join this church you know but just to let somebody know we can be praying for you by name if you need prayer there are people here who will do that with you i'll stay around and pray with you so anything we can do to help you as you make that decision and for the rest of us lord we bow before you and we're just so thankful thank you thank you thank you that you came down two thousand years ago god came down and became flesh how can we take that in how can we take that in we stand amazed at that manger in bethlehem looking into the face of god knowing that you came down because you loved us you care you're involved you're not distant you're not way up in heaven just neglecting us and all of our mess but you're right here right now so i ask please that spiritually you take our faces between your hands and you turn them up to look at you that we would once again recommit ourselves to placing our hope in jesus our trust in him even as we trust you you and we place our hope in the place you're preparing for thank you thank you that is this world is being destroyed and lord i think it's going to get worse but somewhere out there you're preparing heaven a home for us thank you that this life is not all there is thank you that we don't have to be afraid thank you for your promise that you're coming for us lord you're coming for us oh help us to be ready the moment that trumpet blows help us to get other people ready help us to be bold and share wonderful good news with our families this christmas maybe that would be our gift suggestion maybe that's what you want for us to come out of the closet and tell our families that when we die or when you come for us they can know that they know they know that we're safely in heaven with you and they can be too if they put their trust in you that's what you say so lord i also pray that in this troubled world you would keep us on that right path we're like sheep we just tend to go astray so keep us in your will keep us in your purpose help us to discover what that purpose is give us opportunities as we go about our shopping decorating partying whatever to tell other people what heaven is like and what christmas really means god has come down because he loves each one of us so help us as we make these decisions we love you and it's in jesus name we pray amen you can hear living in the light with angram lots weekly and for ways to experience the god-filled life as you pursue your personal bible study go to angramlots.org and she'll help you get started with free resources you can use and share with others join us here each week for living in the light
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-17 22:38:49 / 2022-12-17 22:47:47 / 9