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The Light Shines In Rome

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller
The Truth Network Radio
November 27, 2022 12:00 am

The Light Shines In Rome

Moody Church Hour / Pastor Phillip Miller

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November 27, 2022 12:00 am

We face many storms in life, even when we’re in the will of God. While in chains, Paul was sailing to his trial in Rome when a deadly storm arose. In this message, we nail down three applications for facing our storms today. When we find ourselves in a storm, we just might learn something new about God.

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Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer

The book of Acts contains some of the most detailed descriptions of early sailing methods in all of ancient literature. We read of all the ways a crew attempted to avoid losing their ship when faced with a life-threatening storm. In the midst stood the apostle Paul, certain of his destiny to reach Rome, and thus he assured his terrified companions that all would be well.

Stay with us. From Chicago, this is The Moody Church Hour, a weekly service of worship and teaching with Pastor Erwin Lutzer. Today, we conclude an eight-part series on Light Shining in Darkness, How the Gospel Impacts Culture.

Later in our broadcast, Erwin Lutzer takes us to the swirling waters of the Mediterranean Sea as Paul travels by boat to his fate before Caesar. Pastor Lutzer comes now to open our service. We're glad that you are worshipping with us. In a moment, we're going to be singing together a hymn, Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah. This hymn, which is nearly 200 years old, speaks to all of us and happens to be one of my favorites.

You'll notice that what the author has done is he has taken the history of the children of Israel in the desert as they march toward Canaan, and he uses that as our own spiritual journey, inviting God to lead us, inviting his guidance and his blessing. How could we possibly express to the Lord our deep desire to walk with him any better than in the singing of Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah? Let's bow together now in prayer before we stand to sing. Father, we now leave the concerns and the cares of this world to come into your presence, to sing, to evoke your blessing, your guidance, and with all that we are, we exist to bring glory to your name. Make that our passion, we pray, and may this worship be acceptable to you through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen. O thou great Jehovah, new earth through this heaven and earth, I am healed with thou almighty, holy with thy common glory. Red of heaven, red of heaven, give me till I am no more, give me till I am no more. O thou great Jehovah, this old mountain, let's run deep in strength of flow, Red of light, red of light, let me live, give me all my journey through, softly living, softly living, give us still our strength and shield, give us still our strength and shield. Red of light, red of light, let me live, give me till I am no more, give me till I am no more, give me till I am no more. Songs of praises, songs of praises, I will never miss a day, I will never miss a day. Our scripture reading this morning is from Hebrews 11.

Please follow along in the bulletins and join me on the bold print. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country. He lived in tents as did Isaac and Jacob who were heirs with him of the same promise.

For he was looking forward to the city with foundations whose architect and builder is God. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.

And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left they would have had opportunity to return. Instead they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one.

Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Amen. We are on a journey, aren't we?

And the end of this life is not the destination. It is beyond that and we walk with God all the way. This song says we'll understand it better by and by. Can you sing with me? Oh, high and high.

Oh, high and high. When the morning comes. When the saints of God are gathered home. We will tell the story how we've overcome. We will understand it better by and by. Oft our cherished plans have failed.

Disappointments have prevailed. And we've wandered in the darkness, heavy-hearted and alone. But we're trusting in the Lord and according to his word. We will understand it better by and by.

Oh, high and high. When the morning comes. When the saints of God are gathered home. We will tell the story how we've overcome. We will understand it better by and by. Temptations, hidden stares often take us somewhere. And our hearts are made to grieve for some thoughtless word or deed.

And we wonder why the test when we try to do our best. But we'll understand it better by and by. High and high. When the morning comes. When the saints of God are gathered home. We will tell the story how we've overcome. We will understand it better by and by.

High and high. When the morning comes. When the saints of God are gathered home. We will tell the story how we've overcome. We will understand it better by and by.

But tell the story. We will tell the story how we've overcome. We will understand it better. Oh, we will understand it better.

We will understand it better by and by. How my. Everlasting. More than.

Or life to. My. Save your. Close to the. Close to the. My.

Save your. Me. The. The. Close to the. Close to the. The.

The. Thank you. Please be seated. We're going to do now together is to cry up to the Lord to call on God to worship him to ask him to glorify himself through us. We are going to repent of our sins. We're going to give our burdens to the Lord. And even though one voice is only audible, I want you to pray with me that together we might see God's glory.

But would you join me as we pray? Father, we want to come to you today and say that you are an awesome God. We also humbly confess that we do not understand your ways, but we are.

We revel in your majesty and in your sovereignty. And Father, even though we cannot penetrate behind the veil, so to speak, we thank you that what we know of you has blessed our hearts and we thank you today that despite your greatness, that you are a redeeming God that you picked us up from the gutter. We sinners self deceived as we are, you came to us in our great need and you rescued us and you forgave us and you brought us into your presence.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. I pray that there may be nobody listening to this prayer who does not sense the connectedness that they can have with Moody Church and that you have brought them here to grow them and to strengthen them and enable them and give them opportunities to grow in the faith. Now, Lord, we pray we pray against all of our self deceptions. We pray for those today who come with heavy hearts because their sin is they think their sin is too great to be forgiven. We pray that you may enable them to remember that where sin abounds, grace abounds more. And we pray for those who come thinking they have no need at all.

Lord, reveal their sin to them that they might humble themselves along with the rest of us and know that our need is great, abiding and lasting. We ask that you will reveal to us all those sins that need to be confessed and forsaken, enable us, Lord Jesus, to deal with issues that we have shoved under the rug of our hearts long enough and make us a transforming community, we pray. We ask today for our president, for those who advise him for the debates that are going on in our land today, we pray, Father, that you'll give wisdom and guidance and especially we pray that in these late hours that your Holy Spirit would bring about a great renewal of your people and the gospel, that we might still see this nation turning to you and seeking your face. Forgive us, Father, for our sins as a nation.

We pray for the ministry of Moody Church right here in our community and we pray for our mayor, for our governor. Lord, these all serve at your pleasure and we ask today, Father, that you might make us effective in seeing transformation because we love you and we want to live out what we know. Now, Lord, among us there are those who are sick, those who are discouraged because of financial reversals. The needs are as varied and as endless as those who are seated here before me today. Enable us to give all that to you and to see you today as greater than our need.

We need a fresh vision of who you are. Receive the gifts that we have brought with us as expressions of our own continuing worship, we ask, and we do love you, though we wish that we loved you more. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Amen. This is the last in a series of messages entitled Light in the Darkness, how the gospel impacts culture. And today we're going to discover how the gospel got to Rome as we end this series. And as we stop to think of all that has happened, let me keep in mind that, let you keep in mind that we're going to be talking about Paul on his journey to Rome and the storm that he was in. If you're here today and you are in a crisis, you have come to the right place because you are either in a crisis, you've just come out of a crisis, or God is preparing you for a crisis. And that's why you're here today. And we, of course, join not only with all of those here at The Moody Church, but the hundreds and perhaps thousands of people that have joined this today by way of internet, by way of streaming.

We've heard from about 80 different countries, and we welcome you as well. Because all of us go through storms, and today we're going to learn how Paul did it and how we can do it too. But first of all, a little bit of background. The apostle Paul was there in Jerusalem, you remember, and he was accused of starting a riot, and he was accused of desecrating the temple.

Both charges were bogus. And as a result, however, to save his life, he was taken to Caesarea, and it is there in Caesarea that he stood before men such as Felix, Festus, and King Agrippa. And if you've been with us in this series of messages, you know that we discussed Paul's defense in the midst of these people of power. But Jesus had told the apostle Paul that you are to bear witness to me, both in Jerusalem and Rome, and so the apostle Paul appealed to his Roman citizenship, and he said that he wanted to go to Rome, and to Rome, Paul did go. The Bible tells us that he left the beautiful harbor of Caesarea, and now we are actually in the 27th chapter, the 27th chapter of the book of Acts. Acts chapter 27, if you would turn with me there, if you would please, and it's on page 936. There are Bibles there in your seats, and you can follow along with me, 936. It says in verse 1 of chapter 27, and when it was decided that we should sail for Italy, they delivered Paul and some other prisoners to a centurion named Julius.

We're not going to read this whole chapter by any means. It is absolutely loaded with nautical terms, probably 15 or 20, many of which I did not know what it was even referring to. But if you're a person who is interested in boating, it'd be interesting for you to study this passage almost word for word as the book of Acts explains what happens, as Luke tells us the story. On board the ship there is Luke, and there is Paul, and there is Aristarchus, as well as other prisoners, and of course many sailors. And then the Bible tells us that they go and they go past Cyprus, and then they come to a place called Lycia. We're now in the last part of verse 5, and it is there that the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing for Italy, and he put us on board.

Put us on board, because remember, Luke is with Paul. Alexandria was the breadbasket of the world, and we can understand that this ship, which was loaded with wheat, was on its way to Italy. Now the Bible tells us that they came to a place called Fair Havens. Fair Havens is really just off the coast of Crete. It says in verse 8, coasting along with difficulty, we came to a place called Fair Havens, which was near the city of Lycia.

Now I must read, and then we're going to put it all in context. Since much time had passed and the voyage was now dangerous, because even the fast, that is a reference to the Day of Atonement, we're talking about October, was already over, Paul advised them, saying, Sirs, I perceive that the voyage will be with injury and much loss, not only of the cargo and the ship but also our lives, but the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said. And because the harbor was not suitable to spend the winter in, the majority decided to put out to sea from there, on the chance that they somehow could reach Phoenix, which was about 40 miles away, a harbor of Crete, facing both southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along just that far. Paul is going to encounter a storm. And this passage of Scripture tells us something about storms, and it really does apply also to the storms in our life. When you read it, you almost get seasick because of the experience that the Apostle Paul and his friends and the sailors and the soldiers who were aboard what they had.

We're talking here about a ship that is about 140 feet long and about 40 feet wide with 276 people, we discover, and on the way they go. What I'd like us to do now is to look at some lessons that we can learn from Paul's experience here on the way to Italy, on the way to Rome. First of all, notice carefully that storms often come to us when we are doing God's will, when we're doing God's will. Now there are some storms that we bring into our lives, and they are our fault. Jonah, for example, his storm. The reason that he went through that experience is because he was a disobedient prophet.

He was running from God. And sometimes we blame the pagans for our storms when really the purpose of the storm and the reason for it might be some disobedient Christian who is bringing this storm upon himself. But there are some storms that we are involved in that are not our fault, that are brought upon us by others, and that's what the Apostle Paul was experiencing here. You remember I read a moment ago that he was talking to the people and he said, let us not go because we are going to encounter a tremendous storm and destruction. And so Paul counseled them to spend the winter in fair havens. But of course the man who owned the ship and the other people, they thought that they could take the risk of going at least as far as Phoenix, another 40 miles away, because this harbor evidently was not very good to winter in. But even so, it turns out that they are going to wish that they took the Apostle Paul's advice.

Very much they're going to regret that they didn't. But now Paul is going to be in a predicament on the same ship with people who made a decision for him, and there's no way that he can get out of it because he's going to the same place that they are going to, just like you and I sometimes do in our storms. Maybe you're here today and you are in a storm that was caused by someone else. Some of you parents are in a storm that was caused by a child or your children. Some of you spouses may be here and you are in a storm that was caused by your spouse.

I think, for example, of a woman who became party to dishonesty because she signed an income tax form that was dishonestly filled out by her husband. So she's in a storm, not of her own doing exactly, but a storm that is brought upon her by others. Now what is really encouraging is for us to realize that whether you are in a storm today that is entirely your fault, or whether you are in a storm that was brought upon you because of someone else, some friend, some member of your family, either way, please keep in mind that God is there to help you. He's there to help us in the storms that we create and the storms that others create for us. There's a second lesson that we must learn, and that is that storms cannot hide the face of God.

They cannot hide the face of God. Now, in order to explain this, we need to go back to the text to look at exactly how bad things were when they set sail. You'll notice it says, a tempestuous wind called a Northeasterner, I'm in verse 14, struck down from the land, and when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and we were driven along. Skipping a few verses, notice it says in verse 18, since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo, and on the third day they threw the ship's tackle overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and no small tempest lay on us, all hope of our being saved at last was abandoned.

Wow. What an experience they were having. And you just imagine it now, all of their cargo is going to go.

They are going to save some wheat. Later on they throw it into the sea as well, as we shall learn, but for now they're keeping back at least enough for food, even though the 276 people on board did not eat for 14 days, the text tells us. Now it's not because they didn't have something on the ship that they could eat, but if you know anything about being storm-tossed and seasick, you know that your appetite tends to go away, and that's the kind of experience that these men on this ship were having. And so the sun was dark and the moon wasn't there, the stars were not giving light.

For two full weeks, 14 days, these men were on this ship. Now, in the midst of this, Paul has a good word. You'll notice it says in verse 21, since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, Men, you should have listened to me.

Is there a parent who is listening today who has not said this to his child? Men, you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. Yet now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For this very night there stood before me an angel of God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, Do not be afraid, Paul, you must stand before Caesar, and behold, God has granted you all those who sail with you. So the Apostle Paul receives a vision, the last vision that he receives as recorded in the book of Acts.

There are six of them, and this is the last. An angel of the Lord comes, and the Apostle Paul has this special revelation that lets him know that God is going to take care of him because he's got to get to Rome. It's very important that he get there according to the will of God. So everything now is jettisoned. You'll notice that the cargo has gone into the sea, and all that the sailors and those aboard care about now is their own life. That's what's important to them.

You know, we have friends like that. Rebecca and I have someone who's not at all connected with Moody Church, and he's about to lose everything. His home is over-leveraged. It almost is certain that he's going to be losing his house, his car.

He's without a job. Everything is going to go. And in this experience that they are having as well, everything is going to be gone except their own lives.

God is going to spare their life. And maybe there's somebody who's listening to me today, and you're that person. It seems as if everything around you is being taken from you. Maybe you'll be able to go on, but you don't know where you're going to live or what you're going to do because everything is lost.

That's the experience of these 276 people on board. But now I have to ask you a question. Where is God in the midst of this? You can't look to the sun for perspective. You can't look to the stars for guidance. Does the storm hide God's face?

And the answer is, of course, no, it doesn't. As God was there in this experience, God knew the longitude and the latitude of that little boat. Long before the GPS was invented, God knew exactly where that little boat was or that ship. God knew exactly the depth of the water, the speed of the wind, and the height of the waves. All that was known to God.

His knowledge is so complete that he even knew exactly how much every one of those boards on that ship could handle. All that was known to God, and he could see them even when they couldn't see him. And you know, there are times when there are storms in our life when we can't see God. We just can't see him.

Three years ago, I told you about the death of my close friend, Mark Waltz, with whom I played tennis for 20 years, and how he told me that he walked into the room as he was struggling with cancer, in all of his pain in the middle of the night, didn't want to awaken his wife, and just sat there. And he said it was as if all the faith just drained from his soul. What about all the verses of scripture?

What about all the promises of God? Listen, there are times when you can't see God, but when push comes to shove, as it often does in life, I need to emphasize that it is more important that God can see us than that we can see God. And God is there. Even at times that we cannot see him. You see, that's why we sing, When darkness veils his lovely face, I rest upon his unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. God is with you today, even when you can't see him. Storms are encountered in the will of God.

That's the first lesson. Why was the Apostle Paul in the predicament he was in? He was simply doing God's will. God says, go to Rome.

He's on his way to Rome, and this is what he gets. But he's in the middle of a storm, but storms cannot hide the face of God. And there's a third lesson, and that is that storms cannot, storms cannot hinder the purpose of God. God had a purpose. There was a reason why that boat had to go to Rome, a very important reason. And you'll notice that God in the purpose comes and speaks to the Apostle Paul by means of an angel, and you know in verse 24, the angel says, do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar.

I love that little word must. About 10 years ago, I preached an entire message just on some of the musts of the Bible. God says you have to go there because that's my purpose for you. So there was no chance in the world that the Apostle Paul was going to drown. God had a plan for him, but the storm was not going to thwart that plan. It's interesting to see how the other sailors reacted to all that was happening. You'll notice it says in verse 30, and as the sailors were seeking to escape from the ship and had lowered the ship's boat into the sea under the pretense of laying out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, unless these men stay in the ship, you cannot be saved. You see, what the sailors were going to do is to escape secretly. When you are not a person of faith, what you are looking for is an escape hatch. What's the first thing that I can possibly do to get out of this predicament and save myself? And I don't care what happens to my family.

I don't care what happens to my church because I'm number one. That's what was happening here with these sailors. Look at the response of the soldiers. And here we are going to read how the whole story ended.

I'm picking it up in verse 41. But striking a reef, they ran the vessel aground. The bow stuck and remained immovable.

And the stern was being broken up by the surf. The soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any should swim away and escape. They wanted to save their own next two. And of course, if you let a prisoner escape, your own life was in jeopardy. But what the soldiers were planning to do again is, let me save myself even if I have to kill you.

But the centurion wishing to save Paul kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and to make for the land and the rest on planks or pieces of the ship. And so it was that all were brought safely to land. That's after all of the wheat was thrown into the sea. You'll notice it says in verse 38, that's what took place. The apostle Paul gathered them together after 14 days. We didn't read it there, but it's in verse 33. He says, it's the 14th day since you haven't eaten.

Let's eat together. And then after they eat, everything else goes into the sea. And the ship arrives, of course, totally broken up. Nothing is saved except their lives. But you see, the purpose of God was not thereby hindered.

Because of that little word, must, you must go. You must go to Rome to stand before Caesar. Now, what was on that ship? Why was it so important that Paul make it? Well, the book of Ephesians was on that ship. If Paul had drowned, we wouldn't have that book in the New Testament. The book of Philippians was on that ship. How could we live without the book of Philippians in Ephesians? The book of Colossians was on that ship. Because it is generally believed that the apostle Paul wrote those books after he got to Rome. The book of Luke was on that ship. Luke hadn't yet written his own book. He hadn't written the book of Acts. Can you imagine if Luke and Paul had drowned at that point and they never had an opportunity to do the writings that are part of scripture today?

Think of how impoverished we would be. So God says you must go to Rome and the storm will not hinder you. You're going to make it, because it is my will and my purpose. Yes, we encounter storms when we're doing the will of God. I need to emphasize that some of you who are going through a storm today, you are in the middle of God's will. The storm does not mean that you're out of God's will. And the storms do not hide the face of God. He is there. He is watching.

He is caring. And certainly the storms do not hinder the purpose of God. What God proposes to do, he will accomplish despite the storms that you and I encounter. You say, well, Pastor Lutzer, if I'd have had a vision like the apostle Paul, you know, if an angel were to come to me at night and tell me how the end is going to happen, then I could have confidence. Well, you know, I've never had a vision like that.

You probably have never had a vision like that. But do we really need one? You know, it's very interesting. In Romans chapter nine, verse six, the apostle Paul is asking the question as to whether or not God failed with regard to the Jewish nation. Because, you see, the whole thing was Jesus Christ comes to the Jewish nation and for the most part they reject him. And so Paul is dealing with that in Romans. And in verse six, he says this, he says, it is not as if the word of God has failed. That's the way translators translate it.

But the actual Greek word is this. It is not as if the word of God is off course. I'm speaking to you today and you feel as if your life is off course. You are being windblown and tossed and you have no control over where you are going, it appears as if.

And you say to yourself, where can I find stability? Well, the Bible says it is not as if the word of God is off course. You might be, but God's word stands and there are plenty of promises, aren't there? Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Fear not, for I am with thee.

I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of Christ, even famine and a sword and a lost house or even health issues. Nothing can separate us and it is on the basis of those promises that we continue on in our storms. And it is important for us to realize that God is with us in the process.

I'd like to nail this down for us so that we never forget it and so that our lives are changed as a result of what we've seen here in the text today. First of all, storms are intended to get us to go where God wants us to be. Storms are intended to get us to go where God wants us to be. You see, God wanted the Apostle Paul in Rome and by the way, after the shipwreck they discovered that they were in Malta and they spent the winter there in Malta and then the next spring they went to Rome and the Apostle Paul, he was there in house arrest and eventually he was put to death under Nero.

So that was his experience. But you see, God wanted Paul to get there and he used a storm to bring it about. Now, it's possible God could have caused very warm and very tranquil waters but God knows that storms do something good to people. You see, there are some of you here who are in a storm today and let me explain to you exactly why you're in a storm. God wants your attention because you've never received Jesus Christ as your savior and your destination that God wants for you is to accept Christ as savior to receive him into your life and the only way he can really get your attention is to put you through a storm. When you're in a storm, you should always ask, God, what is it that you want to teach me while I'm here? Some of us, we go through storms because God wants to develop our faith. Sometimes storms might be discipline in our lives.

They have many different purposes but all of those purposes always converge and they become a part of God building us and transforming us and helping us to understand what our values should really be and showing us the nature of what's important and what isn't. Storms alone can do that. So let us remember, storms are God's way from getting from point A to point B. Storms also should never be encountered alone.

They should never be encountered alone. The apostle Paul, as we pointed out, was on a ship and he was on the ship with other people and they were together in this and a bad decision was made by somebody else. Paul had to live with it. Now, God intended that when we go through a storm, we always have the support of others. You see, first of all, your family is in a storm if you're in a storm. In fact, your whole family might be in a storm and so you're in this boat together and you can't walk away from it because after all, you're connected. If you're going through a storm, then there's also the Church of Jesus Christ that should be a part of your life so that you don't have to walk through this storm alone. That's one of the reasons why we stress so much connecting here at The Moody Church and even our equipping classes, which are beginning very shortly.

All of that is very, very important. The information is important, but connecting with one another is exceedingly important and we want you to feel at home in the body of Jesus Christ because ultimately, when you're going through a storm, we want to walk with you in that storm because we are in the same boat together and even as a church, we're in a boat together. So let us keep in mind that storms should always be confronted not alone but with others who are with you on the ship. Finally, I think it's important to realize that all of us are going to come to an ultimate storm and that is death. The Apostle Paul goes to Rome for two years. He is under house arrest and most scholars believe that he may have even been free for some time, but then he is put into prison and he dies under the emperor Nero. So you see, the ship that took him there to Rome not only took him there to witness and to write but also took him there to die and eventually, that will be the storm that all of us take. And it's important to realize that we need to be ready for that final storm and God is going to use it.

Maybe an accident, maybe a health issue. There are many, many creative ways to die. All that you need to do is to go into a funeral home and sometimes it's surprising at the ages of people who are there, how they died.

We don't know exactly how our death will come but this much we do know that God is going to safely take us from this life to the next despite the storms, despite the heartaches, despite the times when we can see neither sun nor stars, God will bring us safely to the shore and we will be there. Some of you know Tony Evans and his great ministry. He's a personal friend of mine and he and I have been together a number of times and he tells a very interesting story. He says that he and his wife Lois were on a cruise and it came over the intercom that the ship was headed for a storm and so the captain basically told the people, you know, buckle down, do whatever you have to do because it's going to be very, very rough for the next couple of hours. His wife Lois didn't like that news so she phoned the captain or tried to. She spoke to his assistant and she said to him, why is it that we're going into the storm?

If you know that the storm is out there, why don't we just stay here and ride it out rather than going into it? And the assistant said, I'll speak to the captain and I'll call you back. A few moments later he called her back and said two things.

First of all, and I'm sure the first thing was said very diplomatically, in effect he said, you know, the captain is in charge of this ship and you're not. Just remember that. And then he said these words that I never want you to forget. How many of you promise you'll never forget the words that I'm going to tell you?

All right. The captain said, tell her that this ship was built with this storm in mind. When you trust Jesus, who died and proved that he had the power of death by being raised from the dead, you've trusted someone who has your storm in mind. And he will take you all the way on your journey to your heavenly home. Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come to grace that led me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.

When you're on that ship, my friend, it was built with your storm in mind. Let us pray. Father, we do ask in the name of Jesus that you might help us to see that you are bigger than our storms, you see us in our storms and your grace is poured out upon us in our need. For those who have never trusted Christ as Savior, we pray that they might do that. In fact, right now, if you've never trusted Christ, you can believe on him where you are seated. Say, Jesus, I want to trust you.

I want to believe you. I want to accept your death in my behalf. Do that, O Father God, we pray. And as we now continue to worship you, as we remember your death, make this a transforming time for each of us as we worship you acceptably. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen. On today's Moody Church Hour, Pastor Lutzer brought the last message in his eight-part series on Light Shining in Darkness, How the Gospel Impacts Culture.

We hope this series has encouraged you to believe that the Gospel can indeed penetrate darkened hearts and cause men and women to come to faith in Christ. It's because of the investment of many people that The Moody Church Hour is heard around the country. We'd like to ask you to consider becoming an endurance partner, someone who stands with us on a regular basis with your prayers and gifts.

For full information, go to our website at and click on the endurance partner button. That's Or call us at 1-800-215-5001. That's 1-800-215-5001. Or you can write to us at Join us next time for another Moody Church Hour with Pastor Erwin Lutzer and the Congregation of Historic Moody Church in Chicago. This broadcast is a ministry of The Moody Church.
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