Must the Whole World Hear?

Must the Whole World Hear?

Scripture: Romans 16:25-27, Acts 4:12, Psalms 87:4-6
Date: 09/26/2015  Lesson: 13
"First, on the day of judgment, how is God going to deal with the billions who have not known Him? Second, is there salvation outside of someone's knowing the plan of salvation as it is in Jesus?"

Winsome Witnessing by Gary Gibbs

Winsome Witnessing by Gary Gibbs
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Good morning, friends, and welcome to Sabbath school study hour coming to you from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church here in Rocklin, California. A very warm welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world, gathering together to study the Bible. I'd also like to welcome the members of the Granite Bay church and the visitors. Thank you so much for coming out this morning. It's always a joy to be able to meet on Sabbath morning and open up the word.

Today we're in lesson #13 of our lesson quarterly, talking about missionaries. Today's lesson is entitled: must the whole world hear? It's lesson #13 - our final lesson in this quarterly. If you do not have a lesson, and those watching online, if you'd like to follow along with us, you can download today's lesson at the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org. We will be starting a brand-new study next week on the book of Jeremiah. So again, our church members here, visitors - we do have our lesson quarterlies.

They're in the back on your way out, you can pick it up. For our friends joining us, you can also follow along online - download the lesson - and we're going to start a brand-new study next week on the book of Jeremiah. We have a free offer we'd like to let you know about. It's a book written by Pastor Doug Batchelor, entitled: compromise, conformity, and courage. We'll be happy to send this book to anybody in North America who calls and asks.

The number is 866-788-3966 - and you can ask for offer #774. Again, that number is -788-3966 and ask for offer #774. We'll be happy to send you the book compromise, conformity, and courage. Well, with that, I would like to invite our singers to come and join me on stage and we'll begin by praising God for his many blessings. You all ready to sing? Those of you at home, I know you are, so we're going to sing some of your favorites.

We're going to start, as we continue our theme with missionaries, o how I love Jesus - #248 - so pull out your hymnals here and at home, and join with us. We're going to sing all three stanzas - #248. There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth; it sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth. O, how I love Jesus, o, how I love Jesus, o, how I love Jesus, because he first loved me! It tells me of a Savior's love, who died to set me free; it tells me of his precious blood, the sinner's perfect plea. O, how I love Jesus, o, how I love Jesus, o, how I love Jesus, because he first loved me! It tells of one whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe, who in each sorrow bears a part that none can bear below.

O, how I love Jesus, o, how I love Jesus, o, how I love Jesus, because he first loved me! Do you love Jesus today? Amen. We're going to sing #426 - I shall see the King - and we will also do all three stanzas. Join with us. I shall see the King where the angels sing, I shall see the King some day, in the better land, on the golden strand and with him shall ever stay. In his glory, I shall see the King, and forever endless praises sing; 'twas on calvary Jesus died for me; I shall see the King someday.

In the land of song, in the glory throng, where there never comes a night, with my Lord once slain I shall ever reign in the glory land of light. In his glory, I shall see the King, and forever endless praises sing; 'twas on calvary Jesus died for me; I shall see the King someday. I shall see the King, all my tributes bring, and shall look upon his face; then my song shall be how he ransomed me and has kept me by his grace. In his glory, I shall see the King, and forever endless praises sing; 'twas on calvary Jesus died for me; I shall see the King someday. One day we shall see the King.

If you watch what's going on in our crazy world, you know that that day is not far away. We're going to now turn the time over to pastor jëan ross, who is now going to have a special feature for us. Good morning again, friends. One of the things that Sabbath school is well-known for is missions. Right from the very beginning of Sabbath school, part of the focus was not only learning truth locally, but also sharing truth around the world with as many people as possible.

So what we like to do here at the study hour, is take a few moments to get a little update on a mission report, an activity that's been taking place involving our church members, or something that Amazing Facts is involved with. So this morning, I'm going to invite Michael demyan to come forward. He is a pastor - he is actually a member here - of the granite bay church, but he has a real burden for the work in ukraine, and every year he goes over there to do some evangelistic outreach to minister to people. So, welcome Michael. Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Come on over here and we've got some slides we're going to be showing you, of some recent mission activity over there in the ukraine. Now tell us a little bit about the religious situation that people are facing in ukraine. Yeah, thank you. Thank you, Pastor Ross and good morning to family. Yeah, I want to tell something about ukraine.

Ukraine, now, is like independence country but, as well you know, is very big problem there - like politics problem - and it's not only politics, it's something in ukraine - religion politics and problem. And because there is two big orthodox church - russian church and ukraine orthodox church. And for us, for like adventists, or another people, we have freedom there because they have faith between them and we can do some programs or evangelism in this country. So tell us, I know things, when it comes to evangelism in ukraine, are done a little bit differently than we typically do it here in North America. So tell us about what's working for evangelism in the ukraine.

Oh, they do different programs, but I like to tell you about programs that i, with my friends and my pastors, we do like - like camp meetings every year and we do these like more than ten years - every year - and every year, when we do like evangelism outside the cities, like camp meetings, we have very good result because we have the young people, we have families, we have different people. And every year, every time, we do these programs in different regions because there is couple of conference and each conference has, kind of like, three - four regions and we do this in different parts of ukraine. And, especially in this time, we can't do this program in the very east of ukraine because there is war, but another part it's okay and we do these programs every year there. Alright, so you've been doing this program in ukraine - oh, you said ten years now - that you've been reaching out. What kind of response do you get for these evangelistic programs that you do? Oh, like this year - this slides show you that, like, good result.

We had the baptize people in different regions - like in one region it was 13 people and another one was 11 people - this group - and we baptize people every time outside the city - like by the river or other parts - and then we provide their food. Like you can see here on these slides, we provide their food, they - people they can eat with us and see what we eat - like we are vegetarian and, for them, it's very interesting to be. And like good result we had, this year, 43 people together baptized on these programs. Yeah, you can see like last program was very nice people and very nice experience these people had with us and these programs, yeah. Amen.

So some good results that have been taking place over the past ten years, but even more so this past year you were over there. But you're planning to go back next year and do some additional outreach, not only in the ukraine, but I think you're adding an extra country far away from the ukraine that you're going to be ministering to. Yeah, I like it - thank you - I like to do this program because I'm originally from ukraine and I do this program every year there but, beside of this, my plan is to go to this country - you can see this Bible is madagascan Bible and malagashian language - and I was there for four years, since 2011, and we provide there the same programs. There is very poor country. It's very bad to have transportation there.

It's very bad roads there. It's very bad condition. You can see there, the people is very, very poor, but they are very good - very - you can see this slide show you the people gather together every evening like from 700 to 1,400 - every evening. Every evening we provide the programs. We baptize there and this time more than 2,000 people - attend people there like more than 7,000 and we - we baptize there.

This is indian ocean - very nice place. People there are nice and this year my plan is to go there on end of October to provide and special, we always give one of the best gift for each one who come to church. We give them a Bible. Amen. Yeah.

Absolutely. Well, that's exciting. The tremendous reports that are taking place all the way over in madagascar. Now pastor mike, you're going to be heading over there, is it next year, to madagascar to do some more evangelism? No, this year. It's this year coming up? This year - October - yeah.

Okay. So you were in the ukraine and now you're going to go down to southern africa to madagascar to do some outreach. For our folks who are watching and for our church members, if they want to help in this evangelistic endeavor, I suppose that they could just go to the Granite Bay sda church website - granitebaysda.org - and folks can give to the special madagascar or ukraine outreach effort right there online - or Mark it on your tithe envelope, just say 'madagascar' or 'ukraine' and the funds will go to help support the work. Thank you so much. Thank you very much.

We appreciate it. Okay. It's always encouraging, from time to time, to get these mission reports. You know, there's a lot of our members who are very active in sharing the Gospel - involved in soul winning. You remember, not too long ago, we told you about the granite bay church members who came back from a mission trip recently in Mexico, and so we believe that sharing your faith with others is key for spiritual growth.

Well, today we're talking about evangelism and sharing our faith with others. We're going to be looking at lesson #13 and our teacher today is chuck holtry. He is the director of afcoe. He is also an evangelist with Amazing Facts. Chuck, thank you so much.

Thank you jëan. Greetings. Good morning. Good morning. I'm excited.

As I look at this last lesson it says, must the whole world hear? And do you have an answer for me? Amen. Is the answer yes? Yes. Must the whole world hear? There was a young man who was very interested in doing evangelism and, in his heart, he felt that 'I have to reach the world the best I possibly can.' So he went. And he went to the board of leaders - a ministers meeting - and he brought it up to them - this is several hundred years ago - and as he brought it up to them, one of them looked at him and said this: "young man, sit down. When it pleases the Lord to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine.

" Is that true? No. You know, there's - some questions that are coming out in our lesson today. As we're going to be looking at must the world hear? There are some people who feel that 'just let it alone and God'll take care of everything.' And there are others that feel that if you do not get into exactly the same exact understanding of everything as they do, you will be lost. Kind of two extremes. What does the Bible teach? Is that what we want to hear this morning? Yes.

We're going to look at what the Bible says and the Bible is going to, I believe, open up a picture for us for must the world hear? Are you ready? Our first one is Jesus is the only way to be saved. Jesus is pretty clear on this. Jesus says, in John chapter 14, verse 6, "...i am the way, the truth, and the life: no one comes to The Father" - what? But by me. "But by me." - Or except by me. So is it important? Is Jesus important? Yes.

Is he a way? He says "the way." He is not a way, he is the way. Another point he said, 'I am the light of the world.' You might remember this from John chapter 8 - 'I am the light of the world.' It doesn't say, 'I am a light.' For those who are in darkness and ignorance, he is the light. There is not another light, he is the light. For those who are lost there's not another path. He is the path.

There's another passage - he says, 'I am the bread.' I meet hungry people. Maybe you meet hungry people. I'm not talking about physically hungry. Spiritually hungry people. People are searching for something in their life.

They don't need bread, they need the bread. Jesus says, 'I am the bread.' Jesus is - he is the source of salvation. I don't - one more - Jesus said, 'I am the door.' There's not another way. In fact, if you come in another way what do you call it? A thief and a robber. So what we're looking at today to start out with is Jesus is the only way.

When it comes to mission work, he is the source of salvation. We're going to be sharing several things today that are almost a little bit controversial and it's kind of hard to do without a giving and taking, so I'm going to try to do that with a video here, but one thing we must start out with is this: in spite of the controversy, Jesus is the way. He is the light. He is the truth. He is the bread.

He is the door. He is the source. Now, if you open up your Bibles to acts chapter 4, verse 12 - acts chapter 4, verse 12 - we're going to look at a couple of verses here to kind of solidify this point in the beginning of our lesson. Acts chapter 4, verse 12. Peter and John are speaking, more specifically, Peter - in verse 12 it says, "neither is there salvation in any other.

" Who is he speaking about? Jesus Christ. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." It is only in Jesus that there's salvation for humanity. Only in Jesus. The next verse we're going to look at is 1 Timothy, chapter 2 and verse 5. 1 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 5 - in our Bible study this morning we're going to be going to quite a few different places to give us a solid foundation to stand on.

1 Timothy 2, verse 5 says, "for there is" - how many Gods? One. "One God," - and there's how many mediators? One. "One mediator between God and men," - who? The man Christ Jesus. "The man Christ Jesus." So here it is, Jesus is the only way for salvation and he is the one mediator between God and man. Our next verse, John chapter 14, verse 6.

I quoted it already, but I'd like us to look at it. John chapter 14, verse 6 - Jesus, again, is speaking. He's speaking to his disciples and it's that - that last night - the night before the crucifixion. They're on their way to the garden of Gethsemane and he says this to them, "...i am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto The Father, but by me." From Jesus' words, himself, the only way to get to The Father is through who? Is through Jesus. Our next point here - the final one for this section - Matthew 1 chapter 1 and verse 21 - Matthew 1 and verse 21 - some of you could probably remember this - it's very early in the life of Jesus.

This is actually before his birth. Someone comes and speaks these words to Joseph: "and she" - that's mary - "shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall" - do what? - "He shall save his people from" - what? - "Their sins." The only way, and the whole reason for these verses is this: the only way a human being can be saved is through Jesus Christ. That's the only way. Now I hope I'm raising some questions in your mind. I'm doing this on purpose, okay? The only way that a human being can be saved is through who? Jesus.

Jesus Christ. Now, my next question is this: what does Jesus' Name have to do with it? Romans chapter 10 - Romans chapter 10 and verse 13. While you're turning there, right now our afcoe class - Amazing Facts center of evangelism - is in full swing. And we were discussing this subject in our Bible class this week and it was exciting. It forced us to think.

I think all of us were thinking a little bit more as a result of it. And so, what you're hearing today - I hope you don't mind - is a little bit of an afcoe class. Romans chapter 10 and verse 3, "for they" - verse 13, excuse me - "for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be" what? Saved. If you call upon Jesus' Name in faith and belief, what will happen? You will be saved. You'll have salvation.

And one more verse and that is acts chapter 10 and verse 43. There is a reason for these verses as we go through them. Acts chapter 10:43, "to him" - speaking of Jesus - "to him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive" - what? - "Remission of sins." Or forgiveness of sins. It is through Jesus that I receive forgiveness of sins. It is through Jesus that salvation comes.

It is through Jesus that I have light. It is through Jesus that I have bread. It is through Jesus that I have a way and a truth to follow. Jesus is the source of life. 'He that hath The Son hath' - what? Life.

"Life." John 5:12 - that's important for us to grasp. Jesus is the source of everything. And I'm speaking to a group of people who I know already believe this so you're looking at me like, 'thanks. Appreciate it. Glad I know that.

' But we must solidify this in our mind before we go to our next step. First, we looked at the fact that it only comes through Jesus. Now my question is this: hypothetical question - our lesson quarterly brought out this question so I'm going to bring it to you. Must you know the person who's saving you to be saved? Must you know the person who's saving you to be saved? I'm glad that I got - oh, for those of you who are not listening - who can't hear on a video - the answer is yes and no. In other words, we're not - we're kind of playing with that thought in our mind.

So let me ask you another question: old testament patriarchs, those who never heard the name of Jesus, will they be saved? You would say 'yes.' Hebrews chapter 11 gives me a whole long list of them. You say, well chuck, they believed in God. Yes, but did they have the name of Jesus? No. So I'm just trying to help us think through a few thoughts here. They had faith in a Messiah to come.

Is that right? But they did not necessarily have faith in the exact name of Jesus. They knew that there was a Messiah to come and they had faith in that Messiah, but they didn't know his name yet except he was the Messiah, The Son of David. I'd like to look at a few verses and then read a passage to you from a book called Desire of Ages if that's okay. So let's look at a few passages - Romans chapter 1 - Romans chapter 1 and let's look at verse 18 to start with. Romans chapter 1, starting with verse 18 - and this is just after that famous passage where the just shall live by their faith.

Then Paul shifts gears here under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and he says this in verse 18, "for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unGodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;" so God's wrath is revealed against unGodliness and unrighteousness. Then he says this in verse 19, "because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them." He said the reason why God's wrath will be poured out on their unGodliness and unrighteousness is because I have shown myself to them. They should know better. Is that okay? Now notice what it says in verse 20 - here's how they know, "for the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are" - what? - "Made" - if you want to know who Jesus is, you can look at what he made and that will help you understand him. Then it says in verse - it continues on, "even his eternal power and Godhead;" - will be seen - "so that they are without excuse:" you mean those who are - knowledge is simply through, maybe, the created world, aren't with excuse when it comes to whether they accept Jesus or not? That's what it's saying here, isn't it? Let's look at another passage: job chapter 12.

The book of job chapter 12 - poor job, he is in the midst of being tormented by his friends with their accusations. And here's what he says in job chapter 12 and verse 7 - beautiful passage - it says, "but ask now the beasts, and they shall" - do what? - "They shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?" Beautiful. Ask the fowls of the air, ask the creatures, ask the earth, and they will let you know it's God who did it. My friends, there are people who can, simply through a study of the creation that God made, come to a knowledge of God - can see that.

Let's go to another passage: John chapter 10 and verse 16 - John chapter 10, verse 16 - this is Jesus' words here and he says something - we're not going to go too far with this, we're simply going to take it at face value and then continue on. John chapter 10 and verse 16 - Jesus speaking to his disciples, "and other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd." So he said there, 'I have people who are not in the fold; they're not in the same belief system that we have, but they're mine and someday they're going to hear my voice and they're going to come in and we're all going to be together. Now we see this in a lot of places - Revelation chapter 18 - do we not? We see the fourth angel sound - it says, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen. Come out of her' - what? - 'My people.' So, therefore, even in a corrupt religious system of Babylon, God has his people. It's a picture we're being given here.

So God - first we looked at the fact that God can speak through his created works. There is a book called steps to Christ - maybe you're familiar with it. There's another book called education. Both books are crystal clear that God's second book is creation - it's nature - and God speaks through that. There are ways that people come to know Jesus better.

Acts chapter 14 - acts chapter 14 and verse 17. Thank you for joining me in this journey today. I was glad that I was doing the Sabbath school lesson, simply because, when I saw what it was, I knew I didn't have all the answers that I wanted so it gave me a chance to study. Acts chapter 14 and verse 17 - and, by the way, when I was done, I still don't think I have all the answers, but I think we're a whole lot closer. Acts chapter 14 and verse 17, "nevertheless, he left not himself without witness," - this is speaking of God who, in past, suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.

So verse 16 goes, 'I'm suffering all nations to walk in their own ways.' Then in verse 17, "nevertheless he left not himself without witness," - that is, to these nations - "in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness." He had a witness. He was doing good to these people. So while they're out there, these nations - see we're not just speaking about Israel, we're speaking about a broader sphere - they have witness of God because God does things that are good and provides for their needs. So that's another picture that God can operate. Acts chapter 17 - let's just continue on - acts chapter 17 and verse 26 - while you're - before we read this, I had a chance to stand where Paul made these words and that was a moving experience for me.

A year ago I had the privilege, with afcoe, of being in a place called athens and we went to mars hill, spent time there and - I know it sounds exciting - I spent my morning exercise routine every day climbing up to mars hill. Walking among the trails there - some of the olive groves that were around, seeing where this might have happened - and as I looked at it - you know, we're talking about a pagan city, completely overwhelmed with people who worshiped idols. Notice what Paul is saying here, "and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;" - God - he said God's in charge of all men. He determined who's going to do what and how far they can spread and what they can own, etc. - "That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:" he has been in control of what they do and what they can do and what they cannot do and - and - and it's hoping that through that, they're going to be able to seek after and sense for him.

And it says "he is not far from every one of us." Dear pagan friend, he is not far from you. Dear religious friend who's not Christian, he's not far from you. Dear Christian friend, he's not far from you. What's he doing? He's speaking to us and asking us to follow him. Do you believe that God speaks to heathens and asks them to follow him? Do you believe that he speaks to buddhists and muslims and hindu? Amen.

I agree. Do you agree that he speaks to us too? God is constantly speaking to each one of us, asking us to come closer. Come closer to him. There's one more passage, Romans chapter 2 - Romans chapter 2 - and I like the first couple of chapters of Romans if - as we go through it. Romans chapter 1, Paul, under inspiration, is given a foundation for the book of Romans.

In Romans chapter 2 he's looking specifically at the heathen. In Romans chapter 3 he's looking at the Jewish Christian world. And at the conclusion of this he said, 'you know, all of us' - what's it say in Romans chapter 3, verse 23 - "for all have sinned, and" - what? - "Come short of the glory of God." You can be a pagan heathen and you can be a good jew or Christian and guess what? You've fallen short. That's the picture. Now let's go back to Romans 2 - give you a little foundation there - Romans chapter 2 - and starting with verse 12, "for as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law:" - so if you sinned and you didn't know what the law was and you sinned anyhow, you're going to perish anyhow.

That sounds encouraging, doesn't it? Let's continue - "and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;" - so you knew what the law was and you sinned anyhow and you broke it anyhow, you're going to be judged by it. Then it says this in verse 13, "(for not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. For" - verse 14 - "for when the gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law are a law unto themselves:" - wait a minute, they don't have a written law in front of them yet they are doing the law? And that's okay, they're a law unto themselves. Then it says this in verse 15 - "which shew the work of the law" - where's the law? Where's the law? - It's "written in their hearts," - have you heard that phrase somewhere before? That is a new covenant experience we see described in Hebrews chapter 8. The law of God written in hearts - is this speaking about good jews? Is this speaking about good Seventh-day Adventists? Who is it speaking about in Romans chapter 2? This is speaking about gentiles who knew not the law as it's written out.

That means that God can have a living experience with people - people have a living experience with him, who know not the written law but it's written in their hearts, so it is written. I've got to clarify that - it is written, but it's written in their lives and hearts. They haven't actually seen it in the physical form that you and I may have it. But let's continue - make sure I'm not going off of this - "their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)" - you know what that means? The Holy Spirit's working well in their lives. 'You should be doing this.

' 'No, no, you shouldn't be doing this.' Is there times that the Holy Spirit speaks to your life and your heart and tells you to do something or not do something that's really not written out, but you know he's speaking to you? I had that happen. I remember, for awhile it was my parents that were my conscience: 'better not do this.' 'Better do this.' I remember I'd get so frustrated. There was certain music I would like and my dad would say, 'son, you're not allowed to listen to that music. Not in my house.' My dad was my conscience. But then, eventually, I got out of the home and I had to see if I had another conscience.

The Holy Spirit started speaking and saying, 'chuck, maybe that's not for you.' He didn't quite say it that way he said, 'that's not for you.' The Holy Spirit's a little more direct, isn't he? But it helped me - he does that to us and there is no codification in Scripture saying, 'thou shalt not listen to this exact form of music.' There is some good principles, I believe, but the Holy Spirit does it speaking to us. And we can know, can we not? So that's what's happening to the gentile world here as we look at this. I am taking too long to prove this point. Let's continue on in verse 16, "in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by" - who? By who? - "By Jesus Christ according to my Gospel." I want you to know that even the gentiles who knew not God, who were worshiping God with the law written in their hearts unknowingly - that's the picture here - are still being judged by Jesus Christ. You're either saved through Jesus or you're lost without him.

Does that make sense? You may not know him, but it's only through him that salvation comes. I want you to realize, my friends, that in the cases that we've just looked at, although there isn't specific knowledge in some areas, there is still repentance and a general knowledge of truth in the men and women that are being described in Romans chapter 2. There's still a change of life. When the Holy Spirit speaks to their conscience, even though they may not call that speaking the Holy Spirit, they turn around on the path - from the path of destruction - and walk towards God. They repent and change their lives and that is okay, in God's eyes.

So we've looked at two things out of five and we're halfway done. The first thing we looked at is there is no salvation outside of who? Jesus. He is the Savior. It's only through the merits of his blood that any of us have any chance. Crystal clear: he is the way, the truth, and the life.

There are some people that God will give the merits of his sacrifice to, even if they don't fully know him the way we do or by the name Jesus, because they are following the light that they know - they are following the speaking of the Holy Spirit to their conscience. That being said, I'd like to read this passage from Desire of Ages p. 638, "Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly. Those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard his voice speaking to them in nature and have done the things that the law required.

" Then it says this: "their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts and they are recognized as the children of God. Desire of Ages p. 638 - What a beautiful passage. So if I were to take what I just said and went far with it, I would get myself in a lot of trouble. Would you agree with me? You don't have to agree with me, but I'll agree with myself.

I would. There is a theory called 'universalism' - you know what that is? I didn't know until I read this week's lesson. Universalism is the belief that everyone is going to be saved - even lucifer, someday, will be saved, ultimately, because it's just the way it's going to happen. And then there's another belief called pluralism which says, 'all religions lead to God.' You can be muslim, hindu, Christian, buddhist - whatever you want to be - it's all going to lead to God eventually.' Are those two beliefs right? No, and we're going to see that a little bit more as we go through here, because we've seen clearly that the only way we can be saved is through whom? Jesus. Jesus Christ.

But then, well, do you mind if I share a few Scriptures with you? Jeremiah chapter 29 - Jeremiah chapter 29 - and this - when I was a young man in college, a friend of mine shared this text with me and it was one of the greatest encouragements I had ever had. You see, you may be like me. I struggled in my walk in my life and there were times when I realized I'm just falling flat on my face. But I know in my heart I really want to do what's right, and I love God and I really want to get back up and keep moving, right? Jeremiah 29, verse 13 says, "and ye shall seek me, and" - what's that next thing? - "And find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." That's good news because even if I'm falling, I'm going to get up and I'm going to keep seeking because I want to find God. I want to know him.

I want to know what he can do in my life. I want to surrender my life to him. I'm a seeker. "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." In verse 14, the first line says, "and I will be found of you, saith the Lord:" wow. You will seek and you will find.

Matthew chapter 6, verse 33 - you probably know this by memory, "but seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and" - what will happen? - "All these things shall be added unto you." It is seekers, my friends, who find God. It is seekers who find God. Now I have about 15 texts here - texts - that verify that same point. I'm not going to look at all of them, for the sake of time, but let's look at a few of them. Zephaniah - we haven't turned there for awhile, so let's turn there - Zephaniah chapter 2 and verse 3 - Zephaniah chapter 2 and verse 3 - now I should have memorized exactly where Zephaniah is so that I could tell you where it's at.

It's after Habakkuk, if that's helpful. Zephaniah chapter 2 and verse 3 - it says, "seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of palestine" - all the meek of who? Meek is the humble, right? So seek me all ye humble, ye meek people of where? Planet earth. Man, that's a wide range. He's not just speaking to the chosen ones here. Actually, he's speaking to his chosen ones, but not the chosen nation per se.

"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment;" - oh, these are ones who are wanting to do what he wants them to do. We looked at this concept before - the Holy Spirit speaking to hearts - "seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger." Powerful. Let's turn a few pages back, closer to the new testament - Zechariah chapter 8 - Zechariah chapter 8 and verse 22 - Zechariah 8:22 says this: "yeah, many people and strong" - what's the next word? - "Nations" - thank you - "shall come to seek" - who? - "the Lord of hosts" - where? - "In Jerusalem, and to pray before" - whom? - "the Lord." Again, we see a seeking in being done, not just by people that we would put in the category of God's special church, but we're seeing a seeking by all people and they come and worship God. This is God's desire and I believe it will be happening. It's happening right now.

There are seekers, right now, in a lot of countries that are blocked off to Christianity. They're seeking and God reveals himself to them. Oh, not quite the way he does it with us, but he reveals himself to them. Maybe in dreams. Maybe an angel comes and visits them, but he reveals himself in ways that they know - that their person who they're seeking has been found.

I like to look at one more passage that I used to not quite connect well with, but after looking at the issue of seeking, I have. Hebrews chapter 11 - you probably know where I'm going, those of you who've memorized Hebrews chapter 11 - "but without faith" - we're in verse 6 - "but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must" - what? - "Believe that he is, and that he is a" - what? - "Rewarder of them that diligently seek him." My friends, those who are saved in the end of time are seekers, not professors. Those who are saved in the end of time are those who are seekers. So what is the - why do we exist? Why do we even have this call for missions? Let everyone else go out there and seek. It should be all taken care of.

God speaks in nature - doesn't need me. Maybe that guy who spoke at the meeting earlier, you know, a couple hundred years ago - says, 'hey chuck, sit down. If God wants to convert the heathen, he'll do it his own way.' Should it happen that way? So why us? Well, you want the answer, right? I do - it's here - crystal clear in the Word of God. I'm just trying to figure out how I can put in the next day's lesson and finish on time. I think I might have to just skip it.

Is that okay? You can say 'yes' - you can say 'no' - but I think I'm going to have to anyhow. Wednesday's lesson talks specifically about us being saved by grace. I'm going to point - a few pointers in that before I go to our final day. Those who sin are in rebellion against God. The rebellious and the unrighteous need to hear a call because they're not seeking and we need to call and, by chance - by God's grace - convict them (through the Holy Spirit convicting them, not us) to turn to God.

How is that possible? I mean, quite frankly, if God can't - if nature doesn't do it, how in the world can we do it? This is the most beautiful part of the whole lesson. God uses us because we are the best method. Right away I've got a lot of red flags popping up in your mind saying, 'you've got to be out of your mind, chuck.' God uses us - I would say we're the second-best method because the first method was Jesus Christ, himself, amen? Let me just share a few thoughts with you. According to Romans chapter 1, verses 18 through 20 and job :7-9, God speaks through nature to humanity and they learn of him and they're without excuse because their conscience will speak to them, that's clear. So God uses nature to speak.

Do you know God also used earthly relationships? He uses earthly relationships to teach them about us - teach us about himself. Isaiah chapter 49 and verse 15 - we're going to do a couple very quickly here - Isaiah chapter 49, verse 15 - God uses nature and God also uses earthly relationships - verse 15 of Isaiah 49 says this: "can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on The Son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee." What a picture is being given. Now I - I have a young child and I know the intimate connection between child and mother. I see it all the time, the intimate connection. There is nothing my wife would not do for our child - nothing! And God says, 'you know what? Even if she gave up on him, I won't give up.

' Is that good news? God doesn't give up on us. He will not forget us. What a - what a picture is being given here on this earthly - earthly relationship. Here's another one - Psalms chapter 68 and verse 5 - Psalms , verse 5 - speaking of jah, as he is called here, our Lord God - in verse 4. Verse 5 says he is "a father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

" A father of The Fatherless. Some people here are fatherless because your father wasn't a good father. Some of you are fatherless because you don't have a father. Some of you are fatherless for some other reasons. But he is a father.

A woman can't - may forget her child; he won't and he's the father. What a picture we're seeing of Jesus. What a picture we're seeing of God. Hosea chapter 2 and verse 19 - Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea chapter 2 and verse 19 - God says this - now he's more than a mother and he's more than a father. Look at this in Hosea 2:19, "and I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.

" What he's saying here is, 'I want to make you my spouse. Regardless of what you've done, I want to make you my spouse. I'm going to take you, unfaithful person, and bring you to myself. I will be more than a mother. I will be more than a father.

I will be a spouse.' What a picture is being given of God. God speaks through nature. He speaks through earthly relationships. You know, I - I was listening to a young man, recently, sharing about how his mother has changed his life - how much his mother meant to him - how the prayers of a mother are powerful. I have another friend that I've talked to recently and she said, 'chuck, the only reason I'm a Christian is because of my dad.

' There's power in these earthly relationships - incredible power for the saving of souls. Steps to Christ page 10 says this about nature and earthly relationships - it says they imperfectly represent God's love. Let me repeat that. They imperfectly represent God's love. And because they were imperfect, because they could not fully represent what God's love is, God had to send his son.

And when he sent his son, his son was going to show us 'this is what love is. This is who God is. I'm going to vindicate his character. I'm going to vindicate his love. I'm going to vindicate what he is and what he does.

' Jesus Christ is that. You see, nature can't fully reach us. Earthly relationships are good, but they're fully human. What can reach us is the union of the human and the divine. The best way to do mission is the union of the human and the divine.

If you miss nothing - I mean, if you miss everything else, don't miss that point. The best way to do missions is the human - union of the human and the divine. The best way to reach humanity in its fallen condition - Jesus did not come as an angel because that wasn't the best way. Jesus did the very best way and the very best way is the divine Son of God coming in fallen humanity to reach you and I where we're at. That's the best way to do missions.

With the knowledge and experience of humanity, Jesus could best reach humanity. I believe that today it's the union of the human and the divine that is still the best way. 'I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live. Yet not i, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in The Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.' My friends, when Christ comes and lives in my heart - when he comes and lives in your heart - when the human is connected with the divine, that is the greatest power for mission. A converted spirit-filled Christian can do more on behalf of Christianity than anything else.

Nature is nice. I love nature. If I had my way - my poor wife, but I'll tell you - if I had my way, I'd disappear every month for a couple of days and hang out as a hermit in the woods and just enjoy God's incredible nature - especially out here in certain parts of California. But that's not the best representation of who God is. It is the union of the human and the divine.

You know, it says in 2 Corinthians chapter 4 - 2 Corinthians chapter 4, "for God, who commanded the light" - what is that, verse 6? - "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath" - done what? - He "shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." So the glory of God is shining on my heart and he says this: "but we have this treasure" - this glory of God - "in earthen vessels, that the excEllency of the power may be of God, and not of us." You want to see the success of missions take place? Can I tell you a secret? It's not handbills. I'm an evangelist, I use handbills, but that's not it. It's not simply great health programs. They're fantastic - it's the right arm of the message - but the only reason it's the right arm of the message is because health should be a union of the human and the divine. That's the only reason.

The reason why there's success in ministry - the reason why there's success in missions is because the human and the divine are united together. That's God's plan. That's why you are needed - you. We don't need more radio waves, although I think they're great. They're reaching places that we couldn't reach.

What we need is Christians filled with the Holy Spirit - converted Christians who allow God to work in their life and their communities, among their friends, among their relatives, in their homes. Then, how quickly would we see the work done? Ephesians chapter 3 and verse 14, "for this cause I bow my knees unto The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him" - you ever feel like that's impossible? Do you ever feel like it's impossible for your life to be filled with all the fullness of God? I do. I know who I am and I look and say, 'man, God, how could that happen?' And then he tells me this beautiful promise in verse 20 of Ephesians chapter 3, "now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

" Today the secret for Granite Bay - for those who are watching, wherever you live - the secret for the success of missions is Christ in you, the hope of glory. The secret success of mission is the uniting of the human and the divine because when that happens, miracles take place. The Holy Spirit - God - is alive and real right around the people who need him most. I want to have that experience, how about you? Let's close with a word of prayer. Father in Heaven, it doesn't make sense that we frail humans can be of use to you.

But we know that when we allow ourselves to be emptied of ourselves and that you fill us, that union of human and divine is what you long for and is what you use for the saving of souls. It's the most perfect representation of your love. Please draw close to us as we finish up this lesson. Draw close to us, father, as we go throughout the divine service and father, as we continue in our lives, may we not forget what you want to do in us. We trust you to do it, for we ask in Jesus' Name, amen.

Nothing is more important than coming to Jesus and going for Jesus. Have you got plans this fall to bring a soul to Christ? Plan to attend the heroes of faith evangelistic program, uplinked from lansing, Michigan, from October 2 to October 10. Plan now to attend with your family and friends, and learn from the past how we can be heroes of faith today. Go to theheroesoffaith.com to find out how you can register your home and your church. Make an eternal difference in someone's life.

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