Following Jesus in Everyday Life

Following Jesus in Everyday Life

Scripture: Luke 17:5, Luke 11:37-54, Luke 12:4-21
Date: 06/06/2015  Lesson: 10
"Jesus introduced a new dynamic to human relations: fulfillment comes not from power but from service; leadership derives its authority not from position but from servant-hood; transformation begins not with the throne but with the cross."
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Good morning, friends, and welcome again to Sabbath school study hour. I'd like to extend a very special welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world - and also to the members here at the Granite Bay church - thank you for joining us again this morning. We're studying through our lesson quarterly dealing with the subject of the Gospel of Luke. Today we find ourselves in lesson #10 entitled following Jesus in everyday life. We have a free offer that goes along with our study for today.

It's entitled hidden eyes and closed ears - you'll see it up on your screen. If you'd like to receive today's free offer, just call our resource phone number, it's -788-3966 and you can ask for offer #726. The number again is 866-788-3966 - that's 866-study-more. Once again we'd like to invite our song leaders to come and join us as we begin this time together with song. Thank you, Pastor Ross, and hello to each of you at home.

We're so excited to sing songs with you and I know that you are ready to begin and we are here at Granite Bay. Our first one - turn in your hymnals to #619 - lead on o king eternal - we're going to do the first and the last stanzas. Join with us - #619. Lead on, o king eternal, the day of March has come; henceforth in fields of conquest your tents will be our home. Through days of preparation your grace has made us strong; and now, o king eternal, we lift our battle song.

Lead on, o king eternal; we follow, not with fears, for gladness breaks like morning where'er your face appears. Your cross is lifted o'er us, we journey in its light; the crown awaits the conquest; lead on, o God of might. We're so excited to have william here with us, playing the piano and, of course, like you already met his wife jessica and sherry and katrina. So now you know some names to some faces and our next song, tying in with our theme following Jesus in everyday life is #590 - trust and obey - and I know that sometimes, when you're in those situations where you have to trust Jesus, it sometimes seems hard because we have our own way of wanting to do things. But when we learn to trust him and obey, it just seems to go so much better.

If we would just learn that. #590 - Join with us, we're going to do the first, third and fifth stanzas - #590 - trust and obey. When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, what a glory he sheds on our way! While we do his good will, he abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, but our toil he doth richly repay; not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, but is blessed if we trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at his feet, or we'll walk by his side in the way; what he says we will do, where he sends we will go; never fear, only trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Thank you so much for singing along with us. At this time, Pastor Ross is going to have our opening prayer.

Let's just bow our heads as we pray. Father in Heaven, we thank you for the opportunity, once again, to gather togetherto study Your Word. We ask the Holy Spirit to once again come and guard our hearts and our minds - to teach us how to be everyday Christians, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Well, friends, we have a special mission focus that we'd like to let you know about. I'd like to invite carissa mcsherry to come forward - she's our assistant afcoe director.

Of course, afcoe is the Amazing Facts center of evangelism and we're very involved in doing training - not only here in the u.s., But around the world. We have a number of afcoe-affiliated schools in different parts of the globe. We just recently came back from a trip to south africa and carissa is going to share with us a little bit about that mission experience that we had oh, probably about three or four weeks ago. Well, carissa, what brought the afcoe team to south africa? We had actually been receiving numerous requests from people that are desiring us to come down to south africa and give evangelism training. There are many people in africa and, again, predominately in south africa, that are watching the Amazing Facts programs and there was certainly a craving to learn more and to actually implement it their community.

We had the opportunity to travel to two different destinations. We were in durban - a large city, again, in south africa - and then we traveled on down to cape town. In both of those cities we held evangelism training programs. The first city that we were at, durban, as you'll see on the slide, they held a very large camp meeting there and the focus of our afcoe training was, again, on evangelism - again, equipping the church members to do evangelism in their local communities. We call all attest to this - the afcoe team - that there was a thirst for evangelism there in that community that we had not witnessed before.

We had many people come up to us, again, in tears, and they're saying, 'we have been praying for years for something like this to come to south africa. They were so thankful for this opportunity. In fact, I remember giving one class on, again, evangelism and on friendship evangelism - reaching your community for Jesus Christ. And there was one man in my audience - a man probably in his fifties or so - and, as he was sitting there listening, his face was completely stoic - there was no emotion whatsoever. And I remember thinking "am I not connecting? Is it not making sense?" And I'm trying to gear my comments towards him - I'm looking at him - and still his face is just blank.

At the end of the seminar I went up to him and I began to talk with him a bit and he - he began to fight back the tears. And he said "the entire time you were talking, I was trying not to cry. I have felt so convicted that I needed to be doing full-time ministry in my community. I've been putting off that conviction for some time now, but when you were speaking it's as though God was speaking through you. I'm not going to put it off anymore.

I'm going to walk forward in faith." Praise God. So that was one experience that you had during the time that was spent there in durban, doing some training at a camp meeting. Any other testimonies from your experience over there? I know there's many, is there another one you can share with us? Absolutely. We met a beautiful couple by the name of johannes and chantal, as you'll see in the next slide here. Johannes and chantal were thrilled to have representatives from Amazing Facts there at their home.

You see, johannes was raised in a secular home. He had a mother that kept the Sabbath day, but his father was just not religious whatsoever. And so, as johannes grew up, he again, did not have that spiritual interest until he went through a crisis. And as he went through that crisis he realized he was empty and he needed something greater in his life. He decided he would turn to the Bible for the answers.

He was not going to be religious just because his mom was or what some other church taught, he wanted to see it in the Bible for himself. And as he began to study verse by verse, passage by passage, he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. And as johannes studied, he realized that truly the seventh day was the Sabbath and that was the day that God was calling him to keep. It wasn't long before he was baptized into that local church. But, you see, johannes now faced his first challenge - he owned a rather large resort - he and his wife chantal - and, as you know, for resorts the most popular day for people to come is Saturday - Sabbath.

How could he possibly close down his business on the most popular day? But he was convicted. He prayed about it and he knew that was what God was calling him to do and so he decided to step out in faith. He told his coworkers - his employees - what his decision was and they told him, "you are crazy. This business is going to go bankrupt. There is no way we can survive.

" But again, johannes had decided and he pressed forward in faith and today his business has increased by 40 percent. God has blessed and he is using this, again, as a tool for ministry. He and his wife chantal attest to the fact that Amazing Facts was a critical role in helping them in their spiritual walk. They were, again, so excited to have Amazing Facts there and to host us at their location and this next year they are planning on hosting afcoe training there on their property so they can take those tools and minister to others in their community. Amen.

That's an exciting testimony of things that are happening there. Well, after spending about five days up in the durban area, the team then traveled down to cape town, south africa and spent some time working with a local church doing a weekend training intensive. Tell us about that. Absolutely. We went down to cape town and, as many of you may know, jëan ross is actually from cape town and he is a capetonian.

So there we were in cape town, we were working with a riverside church - this beautiful church family here. And, again, we saw that same passion - that same zeal for evangelism. Opening night we had individuals there from 22 different churches. Again, this passion - this zeal - was spreading throughout that community. It was a blessing to work with a team called amen - advent message to every nation.

They were very organized - very business-minded young professionals that are passionate about taking evangelism to the ends of the earth. Well, carissa, we have a special testimony you'd like to share of one experience - there were many, but one in particular that really touched your heart and really, I think, capsulates what afcoe training really is all about. Absolutely. When I was in durban, at the camp meeting, with the team - jëan ross and chuck holtry - I remember speaking one morning on the divine commission - on how God has called us to reach our family - to reach our friends for Jesus Christ - that we are all called to be a part of this mission. At the end I shared a true story about a young orphan boy and about a woman that accepted this orphan boy into her home as her own son - gave him a hug and said, 'my son, you're home.

' And I compared it to the life of Christ - how someday soon we will be in heaven. Someday soon it's as though we'll hear the voice of the father saying, 'my child, you're home. You're finally home.' After I gave that message, a woman came up to me and said, 'I have a testimony I have to share with you.' You see, about a year ago her husband was driving down the road and he saw a man that just seemed so lost - so empty - and so he stopped and he said, "young man, where are you going?" And the young man, about years old, told him, "I'm going to kill myself. I have no family. No one cares about me.

I'm done with this world. I'm going to kill myself." And her husband told the young man, "no you're not. You're coming home with me." And so he took that young man home. When she arrived home that night, there her husband was talking with this young man, showing him where his room would be, making him feel at home. But she was upset.

"Who is this guy? How can he make himself at home here? This is not his house." They already had a son and, again, she was just very upset that her husband would make this decision. Two weeks later, tragically, her husband suddenly died of a heart attack. So now here she is left with this young man in her house and she told her son, "I don't want him. He has to go. He can't stay.

" And her son told her, "mom, he is staying. Dad brought him here and he is staying." She told me how this young man, again, about 20 years old, is so loving and caring and he began to study the Bible for himself. He took Bible studies and soon he accepted Jesus Christ, he accepted the Sabbath and he was baptized in that local church. She said "he's so dependable. He's always taking care of the house, but I've always just been so angry.

He didn't belong. I didn't want him." But she said, after hearing that story of the orphan boy, after hearing of the mother that accepted him, after hearing about how our God, too, is going to accept us and bring us into our forever home, she said, "I can't abandon him anymore. When I get home I'm going to give him a big hug and I am going to tell him, "my son, you are home." Amen. What a powerful testimony of lives that have been changed by the preaching of the Gospel. Carissa, thank you so much for sharing with us this exciting news about some of the evangelism training and some of the experiences of the team down in south africa.

And, by the way, there is an interest for us to go back and do some additional training so we're exploring some options to help the folks down there in evangelism training and outreach. Thank you, carissa. At this time I'd like to invite Pastor Doug Batchelor to come forward. He'll be leading us in our lesson for today. Thank you, Pastor Doug.

Thank you, Pastor Ross. Thank you, carissa. That was a tremendous story - a very encouraging testimony. Part of Sabbath school is to do a little mission report and that's why we sprinkle these in along with our study time. I want to welcome our friends who are joining us for our Sabbath School Study Hour and we are going to be continuing with our study dealing with the book of Luke - the Gospel of Luke.

And today, we're, in particular, in lesson #10 and it's called following Jesus in everyday life. Now this lesson, you know, sometimes you'll have a lesson that's based upon one particular theme, but this is really, as you would say, "across the board" - this is an eclectic lesson that just kind of covers - I bet they had trouble at the Sabbath school department, naming this lesson, if you want to know the truth. Because it's taking teachings throughout the Gospel of Luke on a broad spectrum of areas, that are very important but they cover a number of situations and areas in life. We have a memory verse and the memory verse is from Luke 17:5 - Luke 17:5 - if any of you have that, you're welcome to say it with me. And it's "and the apostles said to the Lord, 'increase our faith.

'" Increase our faith. You know, without faith, it's impossible to please God and he that comes to God must believe that he is and he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Now in the first section of the lesson, which we would have under Sunday, it's titled, flee pharisaism. Now when you hear the word pharisee, does that conjure up within you positive, good feelings? Would you take it as a compliment if someone called you a pharisee? No. Probably not.

But, you know, back in Christ's day, it was a compliment - if you were religious - and to call someone a pharisee, that was considered a good thing because the pharisees were considered the puritans. They were the holy ones. They - and the word pharisee means, 'those who are the separatists' or 'the separated ones' - and they were separating from the worldliness and the culture around them. And you can understand it because in the time of Christ, conditions then, kind of, resembled conditions in the world today. You had the influence of alexander the great - they call it the - the Greeks - the helenization, kind of, had conquered their culture and they had a lot of sporting events.

And I don't know if you've seen any of the ancient Greek art, but the athletes didn't wear very much and that's an understatement. I didn't mean a pun by that but they just about streaked around. And so you had these gymnasiums back then and they had the theater in rome and you can go to caesarea and still see - I've been there - one of these theaters. They're built with amazing acoustics and the people were preoccupied with the theater and there were violent games and chariot races and - ben hur wasn't entirely based on fiction. And so this was a very secular world.

Now, against that backdrop, there were a number of jews that knew that they had gone through a lot of problems in their history because of being compromising with the world, which was true. You know, you look at the history of jews during the time of the Judges and the Kings, then they were carried off to Babylon and the ten tribes were conquered by the assyrians. And all these judgments came upon them because they kept compromising their faith. So when they came back from the Babylonian captivity, some of the very loyal jews - they took the good example of Ezra and Nehemiah, and they said, 'we need to make up our minds to never make these worldly mistakes again and we are going to separate from the worlds and the cultures around us and we are going to be genuine jews, no matter what everyone else does. And they were very loyal and they made a number of rules to make sure you wouldn't break God's rules.

For example, you know it's okay to take a walk on Sabbath, but at what point does walk turn into work? And so they went through endless debate trying to figure out how far, exactly, could you go on the Sabbath day before it turns into a labor? And they figured out what that distance was - I don't remember. It's - I've got it in my notes somewhere but, you know, it was a few hundred yards you could walk before it turned into a burden. And, if they were going to go somewhere on Sabbath - on Friday - they would take a roll of string that was a Sabbath day's journey and they would reel it out to their friend's house and say, 'is this too close or too far - can I get there?' They said, 'how much can you carry on Sabbath before it turns into work?" And they finally said, 'well, you shouldn't carry anything or it could be a burden.' 'Well, what if I need a handkerchief?' 'Well, that would be a burden.' 'What if I sew the handkerchief to my clothes, then it's part of my clothes - it's not a burden anymore?' So they'd keep a hankie sewed to their clothes for an emergency. And I've been to Israel and you know that there are orthodox jews today that, when they get on the elevator, and in New York as well as in Israel, they don't want to push a button for fear of it being labor and they'll stand in the elevator until a gentile gets on the elevator and happens to push their floor. So in Israel, the way they overcome that is they have shabbat elevators in some buildings that stop on every floor when you get on.

Now you and I think, 'well, that's kind of extreme.' But you have to admire them in that they wanted to be careful not to compromise and so they made all of these rules. So the pharisees, they were known to be just extremely zealous, but so much of it, over the years, had grown into like an outward demonstration of piety and religion and it was counterfeit. When Jesus begins to teach - maybe I should start with a passage from Luke and then I'll delve into this more. Luke 16:14 - by the way, in the Gospel of Luke, of the 80 references to pharisees in the Bible, 25 of them are in the book of Luke - a little more than a quarter - Luke 16:14, "now the pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided him." They didn't have a great love for Jesus. You know, the pharisees would pray to be seen of men Jesus says in Matthew.

They gave to be seen of men. They fasted to be seen of men and so much of it was for outward show. Somebody said one time, 'hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue. That's really pretty profound when you think about it. It's someone who may, in their heart - there's a lot of vice - but they will try to look religious to pay the price for the appearance of piety but they're doing it because they care more about what men think than what God thinks - and that's what Jesus said, 'you pray to be seen of men, fast to be seen of men, give to be seen of men.

Give in secret, comb your hair (if you have it) when you fast so that you'll - God knows you're fasting and it's not for men - and when you give, don't let your left hand know what your right hand does. God'll see your giving. God'll reward you openly for what you do in secret.' So Jesus said religion really needs to be from the heart and it should be to satisfy and please God and not men. But the pharisees were preoccupied with the outward rather than the inward. And that's why Jesus said - I'll read this in Luke also - Luke 11:37 - "and as he spoke, a certain pharisee asked him to dine with him.

So he went in and sat down to eat. When the pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner." Now, keep in mind, this has nothing to do with the kind of sanitation we're talking about. The pharisees had a long ritual they would go through. They actually had a written prescription for how you are to symbolically wash before you eat where they would, you know, rinse one hand and have it drip down and rinse the other hand and then they'd dry it and then they'd rinse it again. It was just a whole ceremonial washing before you eat - and Jesus just sat down and started eating.

Now, by the way, you realize it is a good idea to wash your hands before you eat, but it's not absolutely necessary to survive. How many of you remember when you were kids? Any of you make mud pies and eat them? Or at least try? It's amazing that kids survive, isn't it? And mothers go around trying to sanitize their little kids' grubby fingers all the time because they're putting them in their mouth and their ears and everywhere else and they're digging in the dirt and putting it back in their mouth. And, you know, Jesus did say, 'it's not what goes in your mouth that defiles you.' Because what goes in your mouth is purified by your digestive system, but what comes out of the heart is what defiles you. And they had made such a big deal, those pharisees, about the physical washing, they didn't care about the real purity of heart. And so Jesus said, "now you pharisees" - I'm still back in Matthew - I'm sorry, Luke 11 and this would be verse 39, I believe.

"Now you pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness. Foolish ones! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you. But woe to you pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." By the way, this is also found in Matthew 23:23 and some people - you know, it's amazing how often we run into people that say, 'well, there's nothing in the new testament that says you should pay tithe.' That's not true. There are at least two places where Jesus talks to the pharisees - he ridicules them for being so fastidious about paying tithe of their herb gardens.

He says, "these you ought to have done" - and don't leave the other - the pain of tithe - undone. In other words, you should take care of the justice, mercy, and faith, but don't neglect paying tithe. And so, yeah, the new testament also still teaches that tithe is part of God's plan. "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Woe to you pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues (for show) and greetings in the Marketplaces.

Woe to you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them." It's like a grave, you know, full of that which is unclean and dead men's bones and the Bible declared it unclean. And he said, 'you're, you know, you're - on the outside it's like a whited sepulcher.' By the way, that's what Paul called the high priest one time. And so Jesus did not get along with the pharisees and they did not like him very much because he wanted genuine religion and the pharisees had become, sort of, the embodiment of superficial religion. Now, is that still a danger today? The - just the outward religion and neglecting the inward religion. Were all pharisees bad? No.

Can there be pharisees in heaven? Sure. Yeah, you look at acts 23:6, "but when Paul perceived that one part were sadducees and the other pharisees, he cried out in the council, 'men and brethren, I am a pharisee, The Son of a pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged." That was a pretty shrewd thing for him to do because he got the sanhedrin to go against each other and they sort of - the pharisees suddenly became his friends because he said he believed in the resurrection. And, you know, the pharisees, Jesus commended them sometimes for good things. In fact, Christ said, 'except your righteousness exceeds that of the pharisees, you'll by no means enter the Kingdom of heaven.' Now what did he mean by that? 'Except your righteousness exceeds' - does that mean you have to be more meticulous and legalistic than the pharisees or you can't enter the Kingdom of heaven? You know, what I think what Jesus is saying - 'except your quality of righteousness exceeds that of the pharisees' - it has to be real and the Lord calls for a high standard, but he wants it to be from the heart. And then you can look at John 3:1, "there was a man of the pharisees named - nicodemus.

Nicodemus - will he be in heaven? Yes. Yeah, and you look in acts and it says among those who were baptized after the Holy Spirit was poured out, they were priests and they were pharisees - that their hearts were changed. So there were some very sincere pharisees, but Jesus had no patience for the outward religion. Look again, at another example from Luke - in Luke 18, verse 9, "also he spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 'two men went up to the temple to pray," - that's a good thing, right? - "One a pharisee and the other a tax collector." - Better known as a 'publican' - they were the antithesis of a pharisee. In their culture, if you wanted to compliment somebody for their religion you'd say, 'oh, you're a good pharisee.

' I know, you and I think it's an insult, but they thought that was a compliment. If you wanted to insult somebody, you would call them a tax collector. Now that was much worse back then than it is today. Today it's still not - no one, you know, is happy to hear tax collectors at their door, but back then they were considered like the mafia. They were pretty unrighteous in their company.

"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a pharisee and the other a tax collector. The pharisee stood" - probably near the front - "and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men'" - so what's his prayer about? Is his prayer about God? Is his prayer about his neighbor? Or is his prayer about him? - "I thank you that I am not like other men - extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector." - All of it was horizontal - "I fast twice a week;" - he probably did. That's a good thing. It wasn't required, you know what I mean? Fasting's not all bad - "I give tithes of all that I possess." - That's good - "and the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast," - in self-humiliation - "saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'" - That's one of the shortest prayers in the Bible. And you know what Jesus said? - "I tell you that this man" - the publican - "went down to his house justified rather than the other;" - the pharisee - "for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he that humbles himself will be exalted.

" You know the hardest thing for God to reach is pride - pride and self sufficiency. Someone said 'you're never more like the devil than when you're proud.' I think that was John knox that said that. And you're never more like Jesus than when you're humble. So the pharisees - it was all like they were proud of their humility. And, you know, that sort of is an endless cycle.

How many of you want to be humble like Jesus? I do. If you ever get to that point where you think, 'I finally got the humility of Jesus,' then you are at risk of becoming proud that you're as humble as Jesus. So yeah, you've just got to guard - you know something else on that subject? Can you tell me where in the Bible we're to pray that God will humble us? It doesn't say that. But over and over in the Bible it says 'humble yourself,' which is proof that you have a free will. God cannot force you to be humble.

God can put you through some humiliating circumstances, but for you to really - look at all that the Lord did to pharaoh. Did it humble him or did it harden his heart? See, you're all free to react to circumstances, but only you can choose to be humble and unless you consciously choose it, we will be selfish and proud. And so, it's something that we must embrace and it doesn't come naturally. So the pharisee - it was all about self-righteousness - and the publican, he was forgiven. Someone once said, 'the number one cause of atheism is Christians.

' Those who proclaim God with their mouths and deny him with their lifestyles are what an unbelieving world finds simply unbelievable. So it's the outward - don't you see people in the world and in the media, they love to find hypocrisy among Christians and just all of the programs - and they write it into all of the scripts - that the biggest scoundrel in any program is going to be the professed Christian and they're mocked and they're derided. Someone else - oswald chambers - he said, 'the world is glad of an excuse not to listen to the Gospel message and the inconsistencies of Christians is the excuse the world is looking for. So the Lord wants us to be authentic and the hypocrisy of the pharisees rubbed Jesus the wrong way. Alright, well, I'll move on.

We need to get on to our section on fearing God, and this would be Monday. Luke 12:4 - Luke 12:4, "and I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

" So here he's telling us about who to fear, and then he says 'do not fear.' So, are we to fear God or not fear God? Is all fear - you know, this is - this is a conundrum understanding this sometimes because the Bible says in the Gospel of 1 John, chapter 4:18, "there is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love." - And then you look at the three angels' message and what is it? First angel, Revelation 14:7 - we're to proclaim "fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment is come." So how do we reconcile these two apparently contradictory forms of fear in the Bible? 'Job was a perfect and upright man, one who' - what? - 'Feared God and hated evil.' That was a good fear. Adam and eve, they said, 'we heard your voice in the garden and we were afraid and we ran.' Is that the right kind of fear that God wants us to have? No. So the way I understand it is it is appropriate to have a fear that is an awesome reverence for the majesty of God. I think that it was John wesley that said, 'if you fear God, you won't fear anything else' - if you truly fear God - 'if you don't fear God, you'll fear, basically, everything else.

' But if you really only fear God and you fear him appropriately where you're consumed by nothing more than pleasing God, that's step #1 in being a Christian. It is appropriate to tremble for God, but it's not the kind of fear where you run from him, like adam, but you go to him through just awe - you're drawn by his love - but the presence of the Lord - how did John act when he saw the presence of an angel? Fell on his face. Yeah, he fell down like he was dead. What about Daniel when he saw the Lord? 'I had no strength reMained in me.' He fell down. How about Ezekiel? What about Isaiah, 'woe is me, I am undone.

' You go through the Bible, Jacob said, 'I'll die for I've seen God.' I mean, you go through the Bible and the ones who have encountered God were terrified, but they all continued to love and serve him. And so, it's just a reverence for him and a majesty to him, and an awareness that you belong to him. Then there's the fear of the unbelieving that they run from God and that's not what God wants us to do. Here's the wrong kind of fear: Deuteronomy 28 - and this is in your lesson - Deuteronomy 28:66 - if you disobey God he says all these curses will follow you: "your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear day and night, and have no assurance of life. In the morning you shall say, 'oh, that it were evening!' And at evening you shall say, 'oh, that it were morning!' Because of the fear which terrifies your heart, and because of the sight which your eyes see.

" Now that's the fear of a person that doesn't have the Spirit of God. On the other hand, you know what brought about the conversion of John wesley? He was in a storm on a boat, coming back from a failed mission trip in North America, to england and they encountered a terrible storm and he observed the moravian families, that were sort of like a german primitive baptist, they were singing in the midst of the storm, up on the deck of the boat. You get seasick when it's bad and you go down below, and they were up on the deck and the waves were crashing over and all these things are happening and wesley said to The Father, he says, 'aren't you afraid?' He said, 'no, we're not afraid to die.' 'Aren't your women and your children afraid?' 'No, we are - our lives are in God's hands. Whatever God wills, we're happy with that.' And he realized he didn't know the Lord and that brought about the conversion of wesley because he was afraid of God instead of having a loving reverence for God. So - didn't Jesus sleep in a storm? And you know what he said to the disciples when they woke him up and said, 'master, carest thou not that we're perishing?' He said, 'why did you - why are you afraid?' That suggests to me that if we have the kind of faith we should have, we won't be afraid of these circumstances because our lives are in God's hands.

How could Paul write with such peace? You ever read 2 Timothy? He's about to be executed. He's preoccupied with the well-being of the church, not that he's going to die in a few days. I mean, he said, 'I know that my departure is at hand, but I know whom I've believed and I'm confident that he is going to keep that which I've committed unto him against that day.' Paul was not afraid of dying. Peter said, 'I know - the Lord's shown me I must put off my tabernacle' - meaning he was going to die - but he was preoccupied with the church and that's in 2 Peter - but they weren't afraid to die. And this is what converted so many in the roman empire, when they saw the Christians die without fear in the coliseums.

So don't you want that kind of faith? But that doesn't mean that you don't have a reverence, an appropriate awe, trembling, at the glory and the majesty of God. So, alright, John - oh, let's see - psalm 27:1, "the Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" You know, when God came to David once, because he had sinned, he said, 'I'm going to give you three options:" - I mean, it'd be terrible to pick your punishment. Your parents ever do that to you? They give you options: 'so what would you like? Would you like to get whipped three times? Would you like to have, you know, two days of no friends? Or would you like to" - oh, it's - I hated that. So the Lord, through a prophet, he asked David, he said, 'do you want three days of plague to fall through the city or do you want to be chased by your enemies or do you want so many years of famine?' And David said, 'well, I don't want to fall into the hands of man and be chased by my enemies" - he had already been through that - he says, 'I'm going to fall into the hands of the Lord.' So a plague came on Israel and God shortened it in mercy. David said, 'you know, I can trust that God and his judgments, whatever happens, it'll be love.

' But he didn't want to have to worry about the fear of man. Now in this section, where we're talking about appropriate and inappropriate fear, biblically, Luke has this parable. Luke 12:13, "then one from the crowd said to him, 'teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.'" - You know, I'll just pause here and say something that I hope is taken appropriately. As a pastor, it is amazing to me - you see families that get along for many years and then the parents die and if their will isn't very precise, siblings that have gone to the same church and got along for years and they're adults, you know, sometimes they're even in their later years - they get into fights over stuff and they never talk again. And that's not uncommon.

But here - so make out a good will. Be specific. Here someone says, "Lord, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." What usually causes those battles? Love of stuff, yeah. But he said to him, 'man, who made me a judge and an arbiter of you?'- I'm not the arbiter of your will - he said, "take heed and beware of covetousness," - what is Jesus saying? By the way, which commandment is that? Tenth, right? "Beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses." I've seen people fight over little knick knacks and you go to their homes and they're full - the garage is - they can't fit the car - the car's on the street because the garage is full of junk. You know what I'm saying? "Then he spoke this parable to them, saying: 'the ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully.

And he thought within himself, saying, 'what shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?' So he said, 'I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.'' But God said to him, 'fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?' So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.'" If all we think about is 'what's in it for me?' And 'what have I stored for myself?' And we're not concerned about God and his work and we don't appreciate the blessings that God has given, that's something to fear. That's actually - Jesus is saying that's dangerous. Alright, next section we have be prepared and watchful - and in Luke 12:48 Jesus said, "but he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes," - stripes are when you were whipped and it left a stripe on your back - "shall be beaten with few. But to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

" We're to be vigilant and watchful because we're all to give an account to God for what we do in letting the world know and what we do with the gifts the Lord has given us. Jesus tells this parable in Luke 12, verse 35, "let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants who the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for The Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect." You know, it's interesting that Jesus said he might come in the first watch, but if he doesn't come, don't get tired of serving him. He might come in the second watch, but if he doesn't come in the first and the second watch, oh man, now you've waited for, you know, 6 - 12 hours - what about the third watch? And so Jesus is saying it might be later than you think. Don't despair. Now we're all Seventh-day Adventists, at least most of us, and the word adventist means that we're a people that believe in the near or soon advent (return) of the Lord.

Is there a danger that adventists could get to the point where they stop believing in the eminent advent of Jesus? Yes. Yeah. Isn't that kind of what the Lord foretold what might happen? Why is it that there are so many parables and stories that Jesus tells about an apparent delay connected with the second coming? While the bridegroom tarried, what percentage of the ten virgins went to sleep? Fifty. A hundred percent. It was five wise, five foolish, how many were sleeping? A hundred percent until they heard the cry.

Why? He tarried - an apparent delay. Jesus says, at the end of Matthew 24, 'if that servant says in his heart, 'my Lord delays his coming.' Christ might be alluding to the story where Moses goes up the mountain. And it says, 'when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down.' Later than they thought. When Saul is waiting for Samuel - Samuel said, 'after seven days I'll come. When Samuel delayed, Saul lost faith during that time of testing and he lost the crown.

It seems like the prophecies tell us there is an apparent delay that God is foretelling. There's the appearance of it. Why is it that Jesus said, 'in such an hour as you think not The Son of man comes"? You can get the tape and check for yourself, but back in 1999, when I was doing the net 99 programs, I told everybody, 'if everyone thought y2k' - year 2,000 - end of the world - any of you remember hearing any of that? And I said, 'I don't think Jesus is coming.' And people said, 'you should never say that. Why do you say that? The year 2,000 - six thousand years - it'll be the end.' You know, and people were very excited about that. I said, 'my Bible says 'in such an hour as you think not.

' And everybody thought he was coming. I said, 'no, that's not - probably - everyone wait for the stock Market to drop - everyone ran to the hills and they cut up their social security cards and their driver's licenses and put food in 5-gallon plastic buckets and, I mean, I really - I know people that did all these things - getting off the grid and world's going to end and - here we are now, fifteen years later. But now people have started saying, 'oh man, we've got another millennium spread before us. He may never come.' On such an hour as you think not. Now I start getting excited because it's when the church starts saying, 'my Lord delays his coming.

' That's when you know that the coming is near. Alright, so what did Jesus tell us to do until that day? Luke 19:13 - he said, "occupy till I come." What does that mean? Do business, stay busy, grow your talents, share the Gospel. By the way, you know what I think is the best sign of the nearness of Christ's coming? Alright, since you asked, I'll tell you. Matthew chapter 24, verse 14, "the Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, and then the end will come." There's nowhere in the world I go now where people don't have access to the Gospel. I mean, through the internet and satellite, islands out in the middle of the pacific that used to be remote and isolated, there are tribes where people are literally barefoot and they've got the internet on phones.

I'm serious, I mean, it's just amazing, wherever I go now - and we run into people that are streaming our programs and a lot of other Gospel programs. Jesus didn't say the whole world would believe, he said it'll go into all the world as a witness - an opportunity. And so now the Gospel is going into china, it's going to go into the middle east - a lot of these countries - and then the end will come. He didn't say it might come, he said, 'then it'll come.' That's one of the reasons I think that the end is near. Alright, be prepared, be watchful - and it says, 'be a faithful witness.

' Acts 1:8 - and this was written by Luke - "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and samaria, and to the end of the earth." And so the Lord wants us to start at home. Someone said, 'if you want to change the world, clean your bedroom.' Start at home and then start being - you know, billy graham met a young man that said he was going to go to a foreign mission field - they were traveling on some conveyance, a plane, a train, or something - he said, 'where are you going?' 'I'm going to be a missionary.' He said, 'how many people have you brought to the Lord in your hometown?' 'Well, nobody yet, but I'm going to go - I'm going to go and do mission work.' He said, 'look, if you can't reach people in your family or your hometown, don't think it's going to be easier in some strange land with strange customs and a strange language.' He said, 'you want to start where you are being a witness.' And we're - through the Holy Spirit we can all be witnesses, amen? And Luke 8:4, "and when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to him from every city, he spoke by a parable: 'a sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.

But others fell on good ground and sprang up yielding a crop of a hundredfold. And when he said these things he said, 'he who has ears to hear, let him hear.'" You know what that means? When it comes to being a witness, you want to sow as much seed as possible because three out of four of those seeds didn't produce a crop. But they were sure thankful about the fourth. You know, I understand that a lot of salesman - they make a whole lot of calls before they make a sale. And mormon missionaries, they go out - I don't know what the ratio is, you might know this, carissa, but I think they count on going to like 50 homes before they get a Bible study, but they're so - they just know it ahead of time.

You know how many times a fisherman might have to drop his line in the water before he pulls in a fish? They don't get discouraged. And so you've just got to count on sowing a lot of seed and you'll end up getting a harvest along the way, amen? Anyway, we have run out of time for today's lesson. I want to remind our listeners, if they didn't catch it at the beginning, we have a free offer and it's called hidden eyes and closed ears, written by Joe Crews. We'll send it to you for free it's offer #726 - offer #726. Call 855-788-3966.

We'll send this to you and you can also read it for free at the amazingfacts.org website and we'll be happy to share that with you. If you order one read it and then share it with a friend. Out of time. We encouage you to study your lesson and we'll get together and study it together next week. Amazing Facts.

Changed lives when I was 15 I bought my first bag of marijuana out of curiousity. And from the age of 15 on to 23 was a constant experimentation with different substances. By the time I was 23 there was not a drug I had not tried. I had worn myself out searching for happiness. And one day I came home, tired as usual, and I started drinking.

And as usual, after I started drinking, I started looking for a higher buzz. Someone came by with some xanax. Someone also came by with something else that I liked and that was cocaine. This time, not thinking, I took the whole thing. So I went to bed about 5:00 in the afternoon.

My roommate went off to work that night. When he came back from work the next day though he noticed something was wrong because I was still in bed in the same position. He tried to wake me up and he couldn't wake me up. When my parents found me, they found me curled up in the fetal position in my hospital room, unconscious still, and I stayed unconscious, in this coma-like state for the next week. I stayed the next month in the hospital slowly getting better to where I could sit up in bed, and I had to learn to walk again.

But my parents found this one facility out in the hills of tennessee. I had to admit that I liked the place, but they were Christian and even worse than that I said "yes" when they asked me if I wanted to go to church that week. Before the pastor said the benediction I was so excited because I was planning my escape. And so after everybody was all in bed that night I made sure that they were snoring and that they were asleep. I went into the kitchen and stole a few bananas, got my backpack ready - I figured I could get sober on my own.

My favorite song was I did it my way. Of course, my definition of sober was a nice supply of marijuana each day and alcohol on the weekends. And of course if I had a bad hangover I might need some of those relaxing pills to take. But other than that, that would be it. So here I am stranded on the street in the big city of houston.

My bag of clothes is gone. My cell phone is gone, my wallet, my bus ticket's gone. I don't have anything but the shirt on my back. It's at that point that this man comes up to me - this mysterious man and he's actually very short and appears to be homeless. And he led me to some food and even a place to stay that night.

Looking back it is my firm conclusion that that was an angel. So my dad was able to come down to houston and pick me up and take me back up to the health retreat at wildwood in tennessee. They had a satellite. On this channel there was a man named Doug Batchelor. I liked what I heard.

I liked the way he explained the Bible. It was so simple and he also had an experience similar to mine. And I talked to lou about him and they happened to have a whole set of cassette tapes. I would wake up at 4:00 in the morning sometimes and I would get up and I would watch two of those videos before breakfast. I would sit this close to the tv watching what Doug Batchelor was saying, just eating up every word of it.

I was so tired of hearing lies and even believing my own lies - it was so wonderful to find something that was solid, that I could rely on. And so when I got home from rehab in my local church, erik flickinger from Amazing Facts was holding an evangelistic series. They solidified my conviction and it was then I made the absolute decision to follow Jesus. I praise the Lord Jesus Christ for Amazing Facts. I praise God for Amazing Facts because they're so Bible-based.

They send out evangelists who are willing to teach the truth to people. I'm thankful that they're preaching right now all over the world, changing lives just as they changed mine. Together we have spread the Gospel much farther than ever before. Thank you for your support. Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo.

From the creation of the world to the last-day events of Revelation, Biblehistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper. Visit the amazing Bible timeline at Biblehistory.com. In six days God created the heavens and the earth.

For thousands of years, man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week, millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift. Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit 'Sabbathtruth.com'. For life-changing Christian resources visit afbookstore.com

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