Greetings, friends and new listeners, and welcome to The Sound of Faith.
I'm Sharon Otz thanking you for joining us today because we know faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. In Revelation, John's seventh letter from Jesus was to the church of Laodicea. Jesus indicted them, I will spew you out of my mouth. Did he mean it's better to be cold, backslidden or hot on fire for God than to be mediocre or a hypocrite?
Find out in today's message, cold, hot or lukewarm. I am rich, I have need of nothing. He said you are not only wretched, miserable, blind, poor, naked, but you're totally, here's the key, you were totally ineffective in helping those in need. That's the real indictment.
You are ineffective. And that describes much of the church today. Oh, yes, the church can boast, I'm rich. We got some rich churches, don't we? We have some rich churches. No longer does the pastor, the apostle, so and so say, silver and gold have I none.
They can't say that anymore, can they? You know, they can't say like Peter and John said, silver and gold have we none. They're rich, but they also can't say such as I have, give I unto you, rise up in the name of Jesus and behold.
Amen. That's what Jesus was saying. He's saying it was a picture of the church that they were absolutely ineffective in helping the community around them.
And also because they were in a very opportune place on a trade route that brought foreigners in and travelers in and people in. They should have been able to win those people for Christ. They should have been able to be on fire with the Holy Ghost to bring them in and deliver them and set them free. They should have been able to have the power of the Holy Spirit and living water flowing out of them to refresh those that Satan has beat down, beat up. He said, you've got all this you boast of, but spiritually you are destitute and you have nothing to help those that are in need.
Amen. Now, you know this story, but we'll still turn there. Turning Luke, the 10th chapter, and we'll close with this story, one that you well know that Jesus told us.
Luke 10, verse 30. And Jesus answering said, a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment and wounded him and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance, there came down a certain priest that way. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise, the Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion on him and went to him and bound up his wounds, poured in oil and wine and set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And on the morrow, when he departed, he took out two pence and gave them to the host and said unto him, take care of him and whatsoever thou spendest more.
When I come, I will repay thee. And Jesus asked, which now of these three thinkest thou was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And the man that he was talking to said he that showed mercy on him then said Jesus unto him, Now you go and do likewise.
Amen. So in this parable that Jesus gave, he said a man went from Jerusalem. Now, Jerusalem is built up on seven hills. So whenever you left the house of God, you're always going to go down because the house of God was up. So he went down to Jericho and the road from where he was to Jericho was a treacherous road, very windy road with steep up on the side of the mountain in the cliff. But in addition to that, it had a lot of places where thieves and robbers could hide undetected and then spring on somebody, surprise them, because they would be hiding up in these little places where you didn't see them until they sprung out at you. And that's what happened to this man.
These robbers attacked him, stole everything, but they left him for dead. You know, and we've got people today. They don't just say, give me your money or your life. They say, give me your money and your life.
Amen. So that's what happened to this man. Now he's lying there half dead. What was going through his mind? What do you think he was thinking? Will I ever see my wife again? Will I ever see my children again?
Amen. Am I going to die right here? Because he felt his life leaving him. When you're half dead, amen, unless someone helps you, you're going to die. I'm sure that he prayed. I would have to think being a Jew, he would have prayed. He would have prayed, God, please have mercy on me.
Send somebody to help me. And if he did pray, wow, he couldn't have got a better answer to his prayer. I mean, he couldn't have got a better answer because he heard footsteps. And when he probably strained to look and see, his heart began to beat faster with hope because he saw the well manicured feet of a priest. He saw the tassels that would have been hanging down like this crochet is on my skirt. He would have seen the tassels hanging down from that man's garment.
And he would have said, Hallelujah, I'm about to get rescued. Here comes a man of God. This is the servant of the Most High. This is the priest. He's the one that stands in the gap for the people. He's the one that stands between God and the people.
He's the one that is touched with the feelings of the infirmities and the weaknesses of the people. Surely heaven is smiling down on me right now. Amen? But his hopes of being rescued were quickly dissolved because the feet of the priest didn't even stop. Just passed on the other way.
Just went the other way completely. Did that man cry out, wait a minute, help me? Well, if he did, it didn't do him any good because the priest was too busy serving God to serve people. He had places to go. He had important people to see. He had appointments on his agenda he had to keep. And he didn't have time for this interruption.
So he just didn't even stop and kept going. Now, I can imagine that getting all excited about thinking he was getting ready to be rescued when it all fell apart, that would have just drained him even more, whatever strength he might have had. And I'm sure that his spirit was crushed by rejection. Rejection will crush a person. You know, you can get through a lot of tough things in your life. You can go through hard, hard issues. But when someone rejects you, it can just knock you down. And you lose your zeal and you lose your hope and you lose your fight because you feel so rejected. And that's how this man had to feel.
Amen. He had been attacked and robbed by bad guys. And that was terrible. But that happened all the time on that road of Jericho. But a priest was a good guy.
He was one of the good guys who was supposed to help those that were broken and bruised. Amen. That Satan had attacked, but he, too, left that man to die. By and by, he heard it again, the sounds of someone approaching. Someone was coming.
Amen. And perhaps he let his heart begin to be lifted up once more in hope, especially as the feet got closer, because this time the feet came right up to him and looked down at him. See, the priest had just gone on by, didn't even bother. But this time the man came right up next to him and looked down at him and he immediately recognized the garments and the clothing of a Levite.
Oh, happy day. I'm still going to get rescued because this is a Levite. This is the servant of the Lord. These are the anointed ones of God, the chosen ones out of all the twelve tribes of Israel. These are the chosen ones that stand before the holy altar of God and burn the incense and offer up worship and praise. These are the ones that sing on the choir.
These are the ones that play the instruments. These are the ones that lead worship. Surely the servant of the Lord will have compassion on me and rescue me. And when that man came right up next to him and was looking down at him, he thought, here we go, he's going to help me.
But he was shocked because the Levite just looked down at him and turned around and passed by on the other side. Amen. Now, this man was hopeless. The preacher didn't help him. The choir members and singers didn't help him.
Amen. They're too busy. They've got to get to their rehearsal. They got a rehearsal with the organist and and the other singer and and the group. And we got to learn this new material because we're going to sing somewhere. We got to get there.
I got time for this. Oh, I'm stepping on somebody's toes. Amen. But this story has a happy ending, a happy ending, because Jesus said somebody else came. The last person he would have ever expected, a Samaritan. And you know anything about the dealings of Jews and Samaritans. They were enemies. They hated one another and they despised one another.
They had absolutely no dealings, one with the other. And there's a big story behind that. I won't go into it. Basically, the Jews felt like the Samaritans had corrupted the scriptures.
And so in their defense of the scriptures, they despised the Samaritans. And that's the gist of it, though. There's more to it.
But point being, a Samaritan would not help a Jew and a Jew would not help a Samaritan. But this man had compassion. He bound up his wounds. He poured in the oil. He poured in the wine.
Amen. And not only that, he lifted him up and he put him on his beast. That meant he had to walk.
He had to walk that dusty, treacherous pathway and pull that beast with that man on there. And he took them to the inn. He took them to what we would call the house of God, because an inn is a place of safety. It's a refuge.
It's a place of rest and recuperation. And he took him to that safe place and he had him ministered to. And then he had to go because he did have business to take care of. But he waited until he knew that man was safe. And he waited until he knew he was leaving him in good hands.
And he paid for his keep and he paid in advance that they would let the man stay there until he was fully recovered. This man did something that the religious Levites failed to do. He had compassion. Amen. And that's what Jesus is basically saying to the Laodiceans.
He's saying, you see people that are in great need and yet you have no compassion on them. Jesus said, the spirit of the Lord is upon me. He anointed me to heal the broken hearted, to heal the crushed and the bruised, to set at liberty the captives, to open the eyes of the blind.
Amen. You know, we look at Laodicea and we see them as a symbol of different churches throughout the age. But we can even go back in the time of Israel, in the time of Isaiah, one of the most powerful zinger prophecies that Isaiah spoke to them was Isaiah 58. And he accused them of all the religious things that they did, including going to great lengths to fast so they could look wise and holy and religious. But he said, let me tell you what the fast is that I've chosen.
Can I tell you what it is? It's to undo the heavy burden. It's to let the press go free.
It's that you break every yoke. It's that you deal your bread to the hungry and that you bring the poor that have been cast out into your house and you cover the naked. Now there's a time for that to be done literally like we do in the pantry downstairs and like we give to help people that we have done that too. And you might give to ministries that that is what their goal is. I like to give to ministries that do that, that go to other nations when they have catastrophes in India and Africa and such. And they come in and they help them.
Ministries like Samaritan's Purse and ministries like Operation Blessing. Amen. And so that is on a physical basis because if you can't meet the physical needs of people, they're not going to want to hear about your gospel. If they're starving, hungry, naked and dying of sickness, you have to take care of those needs and give them the gospel too. That's the gospel. Amen. But you see, we have to look at the spiritual element because that's what the Lord is saying to us. Because a lot of you, I hope a lot of you are getting ready to go on street meeting ministry. Amen. Jesus said, go out in the highways and the hedges and compel them to come into my house.
Bring them in that my house might be filled. And you are going to come against people that are spiritually broken and almost destroyed by Satan. Jesus said the thief has come not but to steal and to kill and to destroy. He's the thief.
He's the thief that jumped on that man on the road of Jericho and beat him up and left them half dead. That is Satan personified. Amen. And we look at it in the spirit and we know that it's true. Satan has come to steal and to kill and to destroy. And kill takes in your natural life. Kill takes in physical death. So why do we need destroy too? Because if you're killed, what else is there? Oh, there's more. There's a second death.
To destroy talks about eternal damnation in hell. We've got to reach those people. Do you know, I heard on the news this week that people are leaving the city of Baltimore. There was a trend where people were moving into Baltimore. Now they're moving out of Baltimore. Lots of them are leaving.
Why? Because they're afraid. They're afraid of the violence. They're afraid of the drugs.
They're afraid of all of these things. Amen. Satan has come to destroy men's lives. And this is why that we have got to not only give them food at the pantry and clothing and help with their physical needs.
But we've got to be there to break the yoke, to break the cycle, to bring them out, to deliver them, to set them free. Even going into the prisons. Yeah, I know a lot of them get jailhouse religion and it's fleeting. But there's always that one.
There's always that one. We have a brother in this church who just came to me last week. And he said, Sister Sharon, I was there in prison for 44 and a half years. And during those years, your dad, Brother Hardy and Faith Tabernacle in the magazine ministered to me all those years. That's a long time, people.
That goes way back to William Street. And when he got out, he came straight here to this church. Amen. And now that is all history behind him. God didn't get him out sooner. He could have gotten him out sooner, but God left him in there.
And during that time he got stronger and stronger and got the Word of God in him. Amen. And you know somebody who's in prison and all they're worrying about is when am I going to get out?
When's my trial so I can get out of here? And if they don't get out, then they're discouraged and they're despondent. Well, if they don't get out, there's a reason.
God sometimes leaves people in prison because he wants to educate them. He wants to school them. If they will give their heart to God, he will make them tough. He will bring them through. And when they come out, they'll be ready. They'll be already schooled in the school of the Holy Ghost.
And they'll be ready to go out there. Amen. So God is saying to us, don't be lukewarm.
Either be cold, be refreshing, be uplifting, be encouraging, or be hot. Have the Holy Ghost anointing. Don't be afraid to bring people in here that are possessed by the devil.
Don't be afraid to bring them in. And I'm not boasting in myself by any means. I'm boasting in the Holy Ghost. There was a time in my young ministry when I used to pray, Lord, please don't ever let any demon-possessed people come on Wednesday nights.
I'm telling the truth. I used to pray that, Lord, let them come on Friday and Sunday when brother Hardy is here. Don't ever let them come on a Wednesday night. But one day it happened. And this demon-possessed woman came and she was manifesting. And you know what? When you got the Holy Ghost and you know he's got your back.
Amen. They brought that woman up here. Two big guys were trying to hold on to her. She was fighting, trying to claw at them and get loose.
And I'm not talking about wimpy guys, I'm talking about strong men had all they could do to hold that woman. She was trying to get loose. And if she got loose, she was coming for me. But we bound her in the name of Jesus. Now, I don't believe that she got totally dispossessed because she really didn't want to be free. How many met people like that?
You know, they're playing around, they're playing a game. And she didn't really want to be free. But I'll tell you what, we brought her under. She came under, she walked away. Instead of coming up like this, she walked away. If she wanted to be set free, she'd have been set free.
But she walked away. Let me tell you something, we've got to be ready because there are a lot of churches, the majority of churches, I will just tell you, the majority of churches, they've got this religious program and it sounds great. But where's the power? Where's the anointing? If you've got somebody who's really full of the devil, where are you going to take them?
Where you want to take somebody that's really full of the devil? Think about that. Amen. Let it never be said, a faith tabernacle, that you can't bring them here. Amen. We're going to be full of the Spirit. We're going to stay full of the Spirit. We're going to be on fire for God. We're going to be cold when we need to be cold and hot when we need to be hot. But we're not going to be lukewarm. Amen. Come on, stand on your feet. So whatever you do for the Lord, you've got to do with all your mind, soul, spirit and might.
That's what he's saying. Amen. Especially now when we see the condition of those, the big mega churches, there really are social gatherings.
Amen. But no matter what the size of this church is, we're going to be real and we're going to be on fire, aren't we? How many can say, Lord, you can count on me?
Join hands with someone next to you. Father, we are joining together in one mind and one accord and we're making a commitment before you now, Lord, as we are on the threshold of the season of street meetings and block parties and Lord, we want to be on fire for you. We want to obey the call of the Lord to go out into the highways and compel them to come into your house because if we can get them into your house, we know your anointing and your spirit and your word will do the work that you do, Lord, through your vessels whom you have chosen. And Father, I pray that you'll just give us a burden and a vision because without a vision, you said we will perish and Lord, direct us to the people you want us to go to.
Let us not be shy or hesitant. Let us go, Lord, and compel people to come out to the house of God. Lord, I pray that you'll bring them into the Bible class. I pray, Lord, that you'll bring them Wednesday night. You'll bring them Friday night. You'll bring them Sunday night, Lord.
I pray that you'll bring them in and when they come in, that there will be saints of God that are here, that are on fire, that are anointed, that are worshiping, that the heavens may open and that the spirit of God may come down. Lord, just anoint us afresh and anew. I pray in Jesus' name. And Lord, if we've got things going on in our lives, it's not right with you, Lord. I pray, clean us up, Lord. Cleanse us, Lord. Get rid of the pride and all the self-absorption and the self-promotion because it's all about you, Jesus. It's all about you, Jesus. Lord, we pray, let the prison ministry grow.
Let it grow. Let there come a church within the prison itself, Lord. Let there be those that are there, Lord, that are truly saved. God, give them the anointing.
Give them the word. Make them strong, I pray, when they come up against Muslims, when they come up against those that are in the drug wars, when they come up against the gangs, that they will be fearless because they have the Holy Spirit anointing on them. And the word of God is in their mouth. And they're not afraid because, Lord, you are there with them.
We pray all these things in Jesus' name and let the church say, Amen. Attention, friends of Sound of Faith. September is radio month and we want to send you a free gift. It could be a CD or a book and it's coming to you free if you write in with the call letters of this radio station written on the bottom left corner of your envelope. This will help us determine where our program is blessing people like you. Write to Sound of Faith, P.O. Box 1744, Baltimore, Maryland, 21203.
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-04 13:40:59 / 2023-05-04 13:51:09 / 10