The Goal of the Godly

Date: 11/22/2014 
How do we really follow Jesus?
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Welcome once again, listening friends, to our Landmarks of Prophecy program. And I'm sad when I think about that this is our final presentation in this series, but for those of you who've been watching, maybe you haven't seen them all. You can find out more about the programs and maybe pick up some of those that you've missed or some of the lesson information by going to '' - and again, I want to thank everybody here in Albuquerque and those who have helped with the organization for this program. We at Amazing Facts are just so appreciative. I want to thank the networks - of course, there's Amazing Facts TV, 3ABN that have been broadcasting the program and we're very grateful for that.

Well, tonight we have a very important lesson, the theme of which is about really following Jesus and it's called 'The Goal of the Godly' - lesson #21 in this series of presentations. The theme of our study tonight is about 'How do we really follow Jesus?' And our story springs from one of the great characters in the New Testament - one of my heroes - and that would be Peter the apostle. When he first appears in the Bible, Jesus is walking by the Sea of Galilee and He sees there's Peter and Andrew and James and John and they're cleaning their nets and Jesus says, 'Follow Me and I will make you a fisher of men.' Well, they decided to follow Jesus. Of course, they had a little concern about income and, on one occasion, Jesus said, 'Push your net out - push your boat out and put your net down for a catch.' - and the haul of fish was so great they couldn't fit it in both boats. And Peter, realizing he was a sinful man, he fell down and said, 'Lord, Jesus, you need to depart from me because I am a sinful man. Jesus said, 'Peter, don't be afraid. Follow Me and I'll make you a fisher of men.' So he began to follow Jesus.

I guess I relate to Peter because Peter was always ready to speak before he thought. Any of you ever feel like that sometimes? You say something and 'Oh, I should have thought first.' Peter was the first one to speak among the apostles in almost every situation. Jesus said, 'Who do men say that I am?' Peter said, 'I know, I know.' And when Jesus is walking on the water, Peter says, 'Lord, let me come to You.' He was always the first one. And, you know, God could use that later to help him preach at Pentecost. And when Peter walking to Jesus on the water, he wanted to see if his friends were watching. Peter loved Jesus and he wanted to follow Jesus, but he also was worried about what the crowd thought. And as he was walking out there his eyes were on Jesus, he was doing the impossible, he was walking on water.

By the way, living a Godly Christian life in this world is impossible - just like walking on water - but if you keep your eyes on Jesus, you can do it. All things are possible through Christ. Well, Peter's out there walking on the water in the stormy waves and he thought, 'Wow, I wonder if the guys are getting this on video. He still couldn't stop thinking about if his friends were watching, and when he looked back to say, 'Hey guys, catch this!' He took his eyes off Jesus and he saw the waves and the storm and the darkness and he began to sink. And he prayed the shortest prayer in the Bible - three words - 'Lord, save me!' Jesus forgave him, reached down, picked him back up again.

You know, even if you follow Jesus, you may take your eyes off and sink. Turn back to Christ right away. Say, 'Lord, save me.' Peter was always wanting to be close to Jesus when Jesus was performing miracles, when He was casting out devils - he'd say, 'Yep, I'm - he's my friend - I'm with Jesus.' Very excited about that. But a little later, when Jesus was in the upper room at the Lord's supper he said, 'Tonight, all of you are going to forsake Me and betray Me.' And Peter said, 'These guys might forsake You, Lord, but not moi.' He said, 'I'll die for You!' Jesus said, in John 13:38, "The cock shall not crow, till thou has denied Me thrice." Peter didn't know how much of a follower he really was - of the crowd.

Now, he was sincere, because when Judas came to arrest Jesus with the mob, Peter was the first one to pull out a sword and tried to defend Jesus. As long as Peter was surrounded by his friends and he could see Jesus, he was game for a fight. But a little while later, when Christ was being tried and a young girl came up and began to mock him and say, 'Ha, you're one of His followers, aren't you?' He began to be intimidated and he said, 'I don't know who He is.' And before the rooster crowed twice - three times - Matthew 26:74 - "Then began he to curse and swear, saying, 'I know not the Man." How could somebody change so quickly? Peter was worried about what the crowd was going to think. The crowd had changed. Everyone was mocking Jesus and it affected him.

Now the reason I emphasize this is because, friends, when we enter the last days, being a Bible Christian is going to be unpopular. Did you know that? And you need to know how to fix your eyes on Jesus and walk close with Jesus, even if everyone else seems to forsake Him. And you need to know that, if it's in the Bible, it's the truth and you can trust the truth. When Christ was taken to the cross, the Bible says, 'Peter followed from a distance.' John followed with Jesus when He went to His trial. Peter followed from a distance. And they came to the cross - it says 'The apostles stood afar off.' You know, Mary Magdalene was at the foot of the cross, but here these brave fishermen - they're standing from a distance because there's a crowd mocking Jesus now and they don't want to get too close.

Christ said, 'If you're ashamed of me, in this sinful and adulterous generation, I'll be ashamed of you before My Father and the angels. But whosoever confesses Me in this sinful and adulterous generation, I will confess his name before My Father and the angels of Heaven.' Don't you want the Lord to be proud of you before the heavenly host? And then, finally, when Peter denied Christ, you know, the third time, Jesus turned and looked at him. Peter went out and he wept bitterly. It broke his heart when he saw the loving look of Jesus. He saw Jesus being beaten, he saw Jesus on the cross - it broke his heart. And then when Christ rose from the dead, he didn't forget Peter. When he told Mary Magdalene "But go, tell the disciples; and Peter;" - he specifically said 'and Peter' - why do you think he said that? Because he knew that Peter was despairing that God could forgive him. He thought, 'I've gone too far. God can't forgive me.'

Don't you ever think that you're a better sinner than God is a Savior. And from that point on, when Peter realized that Jesus had forgiven him - he became one of the most loyal followers of Christ. Indeed, at Pentecost, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. He became the primary spokesman that was preaching the Gospel. So don't think that God can't use you because you've fallen - you've taken your eyes off Jesus, you've sunk before - maybe you've even denied the Lord. If you turn back to Him and you ask for mercy, God will forgive you and He will use you in His cause.

Now this lesson, the principle purpose is to talk about 'How can we follow Christ consistently?' We've talked about prophecy, we've talked about a lot of the Bible themes. I just thought it's appropriate, during this concluding lesson, to especially deal with, 'How can I be a solid Christian in these last days and not give in - not capitulate - to the pressures of the crowd?

Question #1: We've got about 18 questions in this lesson so I'm going to go quickly and I know you'll stay with me. Question #1: How does God determine whether or not we're on His side? The answer is in Matthew chapter 7, verse 21, Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven." It's not just saying - it's not just talking the talk, it's walking the walk, as they say. He doesn't want us just to be hearers of His Word, but He wants us to be doers of His Word. Highest form of worship for a believer, is obedience.

And God wants us to, by His grace, do what He's asking us to do. Romans chapter 6, verse 16, the apostle Paul says here, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" And so, if people say, 'Lord, Lord,' once a week in church, but then the rest of the week they're really serving the devil, Jesus is going to say to them, 'I don't know you.' when He comes. This is the message of the Bible. Jesus said, it is more than just saying, 'Lord, Lord.' It's doing His will, following Him. The devil has a lot of people that are held captive and the Bible says, whoever you obey, that's whose servants you are.

The reason our world is in trouble right now is because our early parents surrendered dominion to the arch fiend villain called the devil, when God said, 'Obey Me. Eat from this tree and you'll live. Do not eat from the forbidden tree.' The devil said, 'Don't listen to God, listen to me.' And when Adam and Eve decided, 'We're not going to listen to God, we're going to listen to the devil.' They basically surrendered the world that God had made for them. And Jesus calls the devil the prince of this world. That's why there's this titanic battle between good and evil in the world. Christ has come into our world so that He can redeem those who are willing to be redeemed, but He will not force Himself on anyone. You must invite Him into your life. You must choose Him. You can't force someone to love you.

Question #2: When the commands of God and men conflict, whom did Peter say we should obey if there's a conflict between the two? Acts 5:29 - this is the new Peter, after his conversion - "then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, 'we ought to obey God rather than men.'" Why is that point important? Are we going to have to choose, in the last days, between obeying the laws of the beast and obeying the laws of God? And when they told Peter, 'Stop preaching in the name of Jesus or we're going to whip you.' Peter said, 'You decide whether you think we ought to obey God or man, but we're going to obey God.' So they had to make a decision and they were persecuted and they were whipped. But they said, 'This is what God told us to do.' I'm hoping I have that kind of love and faith for the Lord so that no matter how the world may threaten us, we're going to stick to our convictions, biblically - give a 'Thus saith the Lord' for what we believe.

Question #3: How do we best demonstrate our love for God? I've touched on this, but I'm - I'm repeating it. John 8:31, Jesus said, "If ye continue in My" - My what? - "Word, then are ye My disciples indeed." It's not just 'Lord, Lord,' it's not just belonging to a church membership, He said, 'Are you walking in' - continuing in - 'My word?' And so it's being, not a hearer, but a doer of the word. That's why we're teaching and preaching these principles of the truth.

And one of my favorite verses, we've repeated before, John 14:15, Jesus said, "If ye" - what? - "If ye love Me, keep My commandments." 1 John 2, verse 4, "He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not" - what? - "His commandments," - this is pretty strong - "is a" - what? - "a liar..." A lot of people say, 'Oh, I know the Lord. I love the Lord.' I say, 'Really? Then what are these idols doing that you're praying to?' Or 'Why are you ignoring one of the commandments?' If you love the Lord, keep His commandments. James 2:10 - does one commandment matter? What do you think? James 2:10, he says, "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in five points" - is that what it says? - "Stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." So the Lord wants us to be consistent in keeping His commandments.

The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice. Again, they are not ten suggestions - ten good ideas. He is God. He wrote them in stone, He spoke them with His voice, and He said, 'You will find happiness.' Deuteronomy 5:29 - God says, "Oh that My people would have such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all of My commandments, always, that it might be well with them and their children forever." That's a wonderful verse. Why? Does He want us to obey all - always - that it might be well? When we sin we have problems, don't we? Doesn't sin cause problems?

Question #4: According to Jesus, why did the hypocrites act religious? You can read in Matthew chapter 6, verse 2 - you know, they would fast, the Bible says, to be seen of men - to get the glory of men. And then Matthew chapter 6, verse 5, "that they may be seen of men." All of it was about 'We want to be seen.' Does God record everything? We're so often concerned about what people think of us, we forget who sees us all the time. The Bible says, 'The eyes of the Lord run to and fro through the earth looking for those who are loyal to Him so He can show Himself mighty in their behalf.' It says, 'All things are open and naked to the eyes of the one to whom we will give an account. God sees everything. So the question is, are you concerned about what people see - what people think of you or what God thinks of you? You can't have it both ways in the last days. You've got to make up your mind, 'Lord, I want to please you. I want to serve you.'

Question #5: Is it generally safe to follow the crowd? We're still on the same theme. Exodus chapter 23, verse 2, it says, "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." Is the crowd usually right or wrong? Not always, but often, the crowd is making the wrong decision. You can read, again, in Matthew chapter 7, verses 13 and 14 - Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the straight gate:" - that word 'straight' there means 'the difficult' 'the narrow' gate - "for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and" - what? - "many there be which go in thereat:" It goes on to say, "because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Why do few find it? Well, few are looking for it.

You know, in Bible times, cities were often built on hills and enemy armies would come and they'd see them in the distance - it was hard to sneak up back then. You would see all the clouds of dust and the thunder of the horses. The trumpet would blow and people would, from the suburbs and the farms, they would go to the city for a defense. And if everybody wanted to take all of their stuff in the wagons, they'd take the wide road that went through the big gate on the wide way. But if people wanted to go straight up the hill - and sometimes they'd go through a narrow gate, they'd get there a lot quicker and they could get inside the city before the enemy arrived. People that would get involved in the traffic jams wouldn't make it in time and they'd be overtaken by the enemy. And Jesus was saying, 'You can't go on the road with everybody else if you want to get into the kingdom.' It's a broad road. The majority are going to go down the wrong road. The majority are going to follow the false prophets. The majority are going to be going through the wide gate to destruction. You've got to make up your mind to follow Jesus.

He was unconventional that way. 1 Peter 3, verse 20 - he - another verse on that theme: "In the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein" - many are saved? Or - "few, that is, eight souls were saved by water." Jesus said, 'As it was in the days of Noah' - now, I don't want to discourage you, there's going to be more than eight people saved. Some people have wondered, 'Pastor Doug, is it only the 144,000 that will be saved? Wow, what are my odds? Billion people in the world - only 144,000 will be saved?' No, there'll be plenty more saved. The 144,000 are kind of like last-day apostles. You can multiply that - there's many more. Upper room, there were twelve apostles plus 120 - and when the Holy Spirit was poured out and 3,000 were baptized from their ministry. So that 144,000 number is representing a group of leadership, kind of like last-day apostles. There'll be many more saved - and there's room for you. It's not like God is up there in the sky going, 'You know, I've only got so much room in Heaven.' And He looks down on Earth and goes, 'Eeney, meaney, miney, moe, I'll save you. Eeney, meaney, miney' there's room for you.'

What's going to make the decision? Whosoever will. 'Choose you this day who you will serve.' If you want to serve the Lord, you can. God has given you a free choice. You can make a decision. That's why you're at these meetings. Holy Spirit brought you here. Holy Spirit has you watching right now because God wants you to be in the Kingdom. But you need to make a decision and say, 'Lord, I'm going to surrender it to You.'

Question #6: How does Jesus feel when we put the traditions of men before the commandments of God? And these are the words of Christ - Matthew chapter 7, verse 7 and verse 9, "Howbeit in" - in what? Vain. "vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." We've shown, through this seminar, that there are some very popular traditions that are being taught in Christian churches, that are really the commandments of men. The idea that people go right to Heaven and hell when they die, before there's a resurrection or before there's a judgment. The idea that it doesn't matter whether or not you keep the fourth commandments - the one that says 'Remember,' the idea that people are going to burn in torment through ceaseless ages for the sins of one lifetime - the Bible's clear, the wicked are burned up in the lake of fire. They're punished according to what they deserve and, it says, 'They are consumed.' They are no more. There's no more pain. A lot of man-made traditions. We've got to make up our mind, are we going to follow the commandments of God? A lot of people might be very sincere in worshiping God the wrong way, and Jesus said, ‘In vain they worship Me.' So we don't want to worship Him in vain, do we? Amen? And He goes on and He says, "And He said unto them," he said, "full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your" - what? - "own tradition."

You know, when you learn the truth about state of the dead, it's a change in your thinking. When you learn the truth about hell, it's a change in your thinking. When people learn the truth about the Sabbath, that's a revolutionary change, you know why? Some people it might mean, 'Wow, maybe I might need to be going to a church that keeps the Sabbath. That could mean a change in friends. Oh, that could mean I need to change my work schedule. That could mean...' - And it really means commitment. It's like the story about the chicken and the pig - got together and they decided to do something nice for the farmer. And the chicken said, 'Why don't we make him a ham and eggs breakfast?' And the pig said to the chicken, he said, 'Well, for you it's a contribution, for me it's total commitment.' And so, being a Christian is a total commitment.

Question #7: Will true Christianity be popular in the last days? Jesus said in Matthew 24, verse 9, He said, "You shall be hated of" - of what? - "All nations for My name's sake." Do you want to be a Bible Christian? When you look at what Jesus did because He loves you so much, just know, if you're waiting for true biblical Christianity to be popular in the last days, it is not going to happen. But if you want eternal life and you want to follow Christ and you want to go by what the Bible tells us is coming, Jesus has made it clear, there may be a cross to bear. You may be ridiculed. Timothy 3, verse 12, "Yea, and all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall" - what? - "Suffer persecution." Paul said there's going to be persecution. It comes in different ways, but how many are going to suffer persecution? All. All. There'll be challenges for everybody. Revelation 12:17, "And the dragon was wroth with the woman," - how happy is the devil with God's people? He's not. And if you say, 'I'm going to serve the Lord' - he's going to try and cause problems.

Let me finish this verse - we've read it before - "The dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed that keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus." Now, you need to know that, when the Children of Israel came out of Egypt, was the pharaoh happy to see them go? Or did he resist their freedom? Was there a struggle? You know, often with a birth, there's some pain and there's a struggle. There's convulsions that happen. There's contractions. And if you want to be a Christian and you're expecting no resistance from the devil, there's going to be challenges.

When Jesus was baptized, did the devil come after Him in the wilderness? But did He get the victory? And He was filled with the Spirit. You've got to make up your mind and say, 'Lord, I'm going to follow You and I know - You're telling me ahead of time' - unlike a lot of prosperity preachers, I'm telling you straight, there are challenges. There are struggles in the Christian life. There may be suffering involved, but there's a whole lot more blessing. The Bible says, 'It is not well with the wicked. There is no rest for the wicked, but it is well with those who serve God.' The Children of Israel did get out of Egypt. God did deliver them. And - even though there was a struggle - so don't get discouraged. If the devil comes to you to tempt you, as he will, do what Jesus did. Fight him off with the Word of God.

Revelation 13:15, "Christ said, "and cause that as many that would not worship the image of the beast should be killed." There's actually an effort to exterminate those who serve God. So, just know that these are life and death issues and this is what Jesus said. You know, you'll have times of peace. Even when Jesus resisted the devil, the third time, He said to the devil, 'The Lord rebuke you.' It says the devil left him for a season.

There'll be - you're going to have plenty of peace and happiness. There'll be good things in this life. One time Peter came to Jesus and he said, 'Lord, we've left everything to follow You. What will we have?' And Jesus said, 'No man or woman has left houses or lands, father or mother, husband or wife for My sake and the Gospel but he will have a hundred times more in this life, with persecutions, and eternal life in the world to come.' - listen to what Jesus said, 'You'll have a hundred times better life even in this life.' Yeah, you'll have trials, but you know what I've discovered? People going to Heaven have struggles. People going to Hell have struggles. People have problems. Life is tough. So if you're wanting somebody to promise you a life where there are no struggles, there's going to be problems in life. If you're on your way to Hell, God's going to make it difficult, to try and get your attention. If you're on your way to Heaven, the devil's going to make it difficult to try to turn you away. So you've just got to make up your mind where you want to go, right? That's the way I figured it. There's going to be trouble either way.

Question #8: Is it possible to serve both God and the crowd? No. Matthew chapter 6, verse 24, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other." Jesus says also, in Matthew 12, verse 30, "He that is not with Me is against Me." Now, you might be thinking, 'Jesus, that sounds pretty - I don't have very many options.' That's right, there's two - life and death. Christ and the devil. Straight gate to Heaven - broad road to destruction. Jesus said there's only two options: live for yourself - self-destruct. Live for Christ, you gain everything. It is more blessed to give than receive. And if you live a life of 'I'm going to live for God. I'm going to want to serve Him. I want a spirit-filled life.' That is the abundant life that Jesus is offering you. But there's no third option.

Question #9: Is it safe to love a friend or a family member more than Jesus? Now this is where it gets a little difficult. It gets personal. Matthew 10, verse 37, Christ said, 'He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Now, when a person hears the truth and they make a decision to follow Jesus, there's sometimes resistance from people in the family. When I decided to be a Christian, you know that didn't go very well with my Jewish family. Matter of fact, they told me at first, they said, 'We would have liked it better if you had become a Buddhist.' But for, because, my Jewish side of the family, they said, 'Christians are the ones that have persecuted us through history. They call us 'Christ killers' we get all kinds of grief from Christians. If you had become a Buddhist it would have been better.' Then I married Karen, they said, 'You married a goyim girl.' And, but then they came to love her and they finally - actually came to church to hear me preach - my Jewish family. But there was some resistance from the family. My father, he said, 'Doug, religion is a crutch for weak people.' He said as he continued drinking his martini. I didn't have the heart to tell dad, 'You've got your crutches too.' And I admit, I am weak. We do need Jesus.

And so, you know, you'll have people that are close - the devil will often use those closest to you. When the devil came to Job, after Job lost his possessions and he lost his health and he lost his children, and he's trying to cling to just threads of faith that he's got in God, the devil had Job's wife come and say, 'Why don't you just give up? Curse God and die.' The one closest to him. Now she may have been a good woman, but she got discouraged that day. And the devil will sometimes even use those in your family. You cannot - you know, some people have said, 'Pastor Doug, I'm going to give my heart to Jesus. I'm going to join the church and I'm going to get baptized, but I'm waiting for my wife - I'm waiting for my husband - and, you know, once they make a decision...' Well, it might be okay if you wait a little bit, but if you wait too long... The best thing you can do for your family is you put Jesus first and you tell them, 'This is between you and Jesus, but I've made my decision, I'm following Jesus. I hope you join me.' Luke 14, verse 26, Jesus said, "If any man come to Me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife, and children," - and the word there 'hate' means 'love less' - it's kind of the King James translation - "and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple."

Now Christ is being pretty clear. What place does He want in our life? First. First. Because everyone you love, who gives them to you? What are you going to love, the gift or the giver? Everything else is a gift from God, so why would you love the gift more than the one who gave you the gift? Put Him first. Jesus said, 'Seek first the Kingdom of God.' Don't let anybody come between you and your God. There's nobody in this world who can give you Heaven. So don't let them confuse you. Only Jesus can give you that. You follow Him. Matthew 12:50, "For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother." You want to be part of Christ's family? What did Jesus say, 'Whoever is doing the will of God, I am adopting you into My family. By the way, what is the will of God? Psalm 40, "Yea I love to do Your will; Your law is within my heart." The will of God is the law of God. The new covenant is the law of God written in the heart. And Jesus said we become part of His family. The apostle John says - 1 John chapter 3, "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called sons of God." - That'd be sons and daughters. He's adopting us into His family.

Question #10: Is it wise to put a prosperous career or earthly treasures before Jesus? Matthew 26, verse - I'm sorry, Matthew 16, - Matthew 16, verse 26, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

You hear these tragic stories of people that think more about things than their own life. It's like on the Titanic, people going down and trying to get their gold when the lifeboats are launching. And they're immediately thinking about their stuff. And I remember reading about the Titanic - you know, one of the people that perished on that ship was John Jacob Astor and when all the lifeboats had launched and he realized he was going down, one survivor reported that he said, 'I would give everything I have if I could live.' What profit is it if you gain everything in the world and you lose your own soul? Luke 12, verse 15, "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." You do not see a hearse pulling a U-Haul. You cannot take it with you. As Job said, 'Naked I came into this world and naked I'll leave. Blessed is the name of the Lord.'

And so what's the treasure? What's the real treasure that we store in Heaven? People. The only thing going to Heaven: lives that are transformed by the power of God. Your stuff's not going. The great kings of Egypt that built these massive pyramids and filled them with treasure, like Tutankhamun - I've been there to Cairo and seen his treasures. I also saw his coffin - he didn't get to spend any of it. And so you can't take it with you. Don't be distracted by - there never has been a generation in the history of the world that has been saturated with more materialism than this generation. We've got whole channels dedicated to buying junk 24 hours a day, selling junk. And people are buying stuff and they haven't even unpacked the stuff they bought the month before. And we've become slaves. You can become a slave to your stuff - can't go anywhere - can't do mission work because who's going to watch my stuff? I've got to buy an alarm to guard my stuff.

I heard an interesting story. Last year, I think it was maybe 2012, a man had a 1967 Austin Healey 2000 car that he loved and it was stolen from him and he was - he filed a police report and it broke his heart and he just loved this car so much. And he kept trying to find it everywhere and it never did turn up again. For 42 years he looked for his car. He was searching the internet and all of a sudden he saw there was an Austin Healey looked very much like his car. This man lived in Philadelphia - it was in a Beverly Hills car lot - it was on eBay. He checked the ID numbers - it was his car. He flew to California. He still had the original title and the keys and took a little doing, but he got his car - he still had the police report. Got his car back. Cost him two thousand dollars to get it towed back to Philadelphia, which is what he paid for it when he originally bought it. Years later he got it and he's, of course, having the whole thing refurbished now. People at the Beverly Hills car lot were not very happy they had to hand it over. And he's putting an alarm system in it. But think about that. For a guy to spend 42 years looking for something. That's kind of neat that he found it, but you know what's going to happen? He's going to die and someone else is going to get that car. What profit is it to gain the world and lose your soul?

Question #11: Is it safe to continue disobeying God's will after He has shown us the truth? Now once you know the truth, you're blessed if you walk in the truth. Hosea 4:6, God says - and this is the prophet Hosea - "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:" - that doesn't sound fair, Lord - if you stop right there in that verse - to destroy people because they don't know something - but you keep reading, He explains: - "Because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee." And it goes on to say, "Seeing thou hast forgotten the" - what? - "the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children." That's pretty serious. He says, 'My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge - because you've rejected knowledge, you rejected the law of your God. He withdraws His protection.

The blessing of God rests on us when we surrender ourselves to Him. Read Deuteronomy 28 when you go home. It's called the chapter of blessing and cursing. God says, 'If you love Me and you obey Me, you will be blessed when you go out, you will be blessed when you come in, you'll be blessed when you sit down, you'll be blessed when you rise up, you'll be blessed in your barn, you'll be blessed in your family.' The blessing of God will rest on you - it doesn't mean you'll be trouble free, but you will be abundantly blessed. And He says, 'If you disobey Me and you reject Me, I'll withdraw My protection. You'll be cursed in the field, you'll be cursed in the home. You'll be cursed when you go out, you'll be cursed when you come in. You'll be cursed when you stand up, you'll be cursed when you sit down.' Matter of fact, the curses go on for a ways - it could be discouraging. God's trying to scare us into trusting Him. He doesn't want us to be cursed.

It's like the parent that says, 'You know what happens to people that play in the street?' You put the fear in your kids. I got a few tickets when I was growing up. Matter of fact, I went to traffic school several times before I even had a license. It's a different story. And I remember - some of you might remember this - they used to make us watch these films called 'Red Asphalt - Mechanized Death.' Terribly gruesome films that showed what happened when people drink and drive or drive without their seat belt or drive too fast. Anyone else? Am I that old? Anyone else know what I'm talk - oh, okay, you went too, huh? Oh, we know who the drivers are. And you think, 'Boy, this'll give you nightmares.' But you know why the highway patrol did it? Put the fear in teenage drivers about what really could happen - what the consequences could be. And you know what? Praise God, I'm still alive and I've never had a serious accident. It may have worked.

And God is trying to put the fear in us that if we reject Him, it's - we're basically - if you don't have God and His angels watching over you, you kind of fall into the hands of the enemy and that's a dangerous way to live. So, when He shares His truth with you, don't say, 'Well, you know, I don't like it, I don't want to do it.' You're rejecting knowledge that will save you and bless you - and that's a dangerous business. You read on, Hebrews chapter 10, verse 26, "For if we sin willfully" - how? - "after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful expectation of fiery indignation that will devour the adversaries." That doesn't mean that if you slip and fall after you receive the truth; it means if you choose to live a life of sin after God has given you a knowledge of the truth, there's nothing more the Lord can do. He sends us truth to bless us and save us. But it's not just hearing the truth, we've got to walk in the light as He is in the light. Amen?

Question #12: What will happen to those who persist in rejecting the truth? 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verse 10, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish;" - why do they perish? - "because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And" - it says - "for this cause" - the verse goes on - "God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth," - notice the word truth there - "but had pleasure in unrighteousness."

Why do some people reject the truth? Because they have pleasure in unrighteousness. You know, that pleasure doesn't last. The pleasures that the devil offers are temporary. You know why Moses was so great with God? It says, 'He forsook all the treasures and pleasures of Egypt that he might endure conflict with the people of God.' He forsook all that temporary pleasure that he might have the eternal joy. And it's a dangerous business. It's all about believing and loving the truth. It goes on. It says - John 3:19 - "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men" - do what? They - "loved darkness rather than light..."

I remember doing a meeting like this one time and I met a man at the door and he looked very troubled. And I said, 'How are you doing?' I said, 'Do the presentations make sense?' 'Yeah.' 'Do you believe it's true?' 'Yeah, I wish I never came.' I knew what he was thinking - I said, 'What's up?' He said, 'Well, now I know about my sins and I was happier not knowing. Now I can't go on doing what I was doing and I'll be miserable.' I said, 'Well, I pray you are miserable until you surrender to the Lord.' I mean, what else would you want to pray? That they could be comfortable on their way to destruction? And so, if you are troubled by your sins, praise God! That's a good thing. You know, as long as you know there's a problem, then there's an answer. Jesus is offering an answer. But heaven forbid you have no conscience and the truth doesn't trouble you a little bit. One of the works of the Holy Spirit is to bring conviction. And you go, 'Whew, I need to make some changes.' That's good! That means there's life. When a newborn baby is born and they cry, that's a sign of life.

Question #13: Will those who persecute God's people in the last days believe they're doing the right thing? You know, you can be absolutely sincere and dead wrong at the same time. You read in John 16, verse 2, Jesus is speaking - He said, "Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." The apostle Paul, when he started out going from town to town, arresting, imprisoning, and, in some cases, executing Christians, like Stephen, did he think he was doing the right thing? Oh, he was so sincere and he was dead wrong. Jesus got his attention on the road to Damascus and he had to repent. And he had to admit, 'I was totally going the wrong way.' Very sincere.

I remember doing a meeting like this and somebody who had studied for the priesthood came to the meetings. And, you know, there's a lot of things that a person who had gone to Catholic school, who had studied for the priesthood. They come to a meeting like this, they hear the reformation truths - and, I remember, one night he just stormed out and I thought, 'Oh, I'm afraid we may not see that brother again.' And before I could even call him, he came back the next night and he talked to me after the meeting. And he said, 'You know, I was so angry and I went home and I just prayed and prayed and said, 'Lord, am I angry because it's the truth or am I angry because he's wrong?' And he said, 'I started searching the Bible. I said, 'Lord You've got to show me.'' And the Lord showed him and reinforced the Scriptures that we had been sharing. And he said, 'You know, I just need to come and tell you that this was the biggest struggle of my life, but I am so happy that I came.' But that man was - he stayed up all night long reading the Bible, praying, crying, because he realized things that he believed sincerely all his life, were just wrong. I remember when I first heard it and I thought, 'How could that be? How could so many people be wrong?' And I realized, you know, 'What did you expect? Did you expect the truth to be popular in this kind of world?' The devil's doing all he can to hide and obscure the truth and Jesus said, 'If you seek, you'll find.'

Question #14: How did Peter describe those who have learned the truth but refuse to follow it? 2 Peter 2, verses 21 and 22 - Peter said - "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness," - now, that doesn't mean he really doesn't want you to know - "than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." Then he uses some very graphic language - "but it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, the dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." You know, after the Lord brings us and we hear these things and we realize we can have a new life - a spirit-filled life - an abundant life - and say, 'You know, I like the garbage of the world, instead.' To turn back to that - I don't know what I'd ever do, after what God saved me from, to go back to the old ways. I'd be miserable. Just knowing - you know too much. You can never enjoy that wicked life again, once you know the truth - once you know what it's like to walk with the Lord.

Question #15: Does following Jesus involve some struggles and self-denial? Yeah, this is what the Lord told us would happen. Luke 9, verse 23, Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily," - every day - "and follow Me." Every day I pray in the morning - and you want to say, 'Lord, not my will, Your will be done. I want to serve You today.' We've all got these - everyone has a battle inside. Jesus said, 'The Spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.' We all have this battle between our spiritual nature that wants to do God's will and our carnal selfish nature that wants to do the things of the world and follow the devil's temptation. And there's like a tug of war going on. It's almost like a political campaign. The Lord has voted for you and the devil has voted against you and you've got the tie-breaking vote. You've got to make up your mind: 'I'm going to go with the Lord today.' Daily you deny yourself, take up your cross and that's when you find your life. Christ said, 'Whoever seeks to save his life for himself, you lose it. But whoever will let go of his life for My sake and the Gospel's, you find it.' That's when you really begin to live.

I've got such an abundant life, I mean, if I - when the Lord found me I was living in a hole in the ground like a - digging in a garbage can and just miserable, selfish - and once I surrendered my life to Jesus, everything changed. I thought, what a blessing. I travel around the world. I try and help improve people's lives. I see all kinds of places. It's a wonderful thing to serve Jesus.

Number - oh, I'm still - second part of this is James 4, verse 7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." You know, during this seminar, you're just coming. You're watching. You are drawing near to God. And I'll bet you, you feel the Lord is drawing near to you. You are thinking more about God and spiritual things. That's His honoring His promise. And if you continue to draw near to God, He'll continue to draw near to you.

Question #16: Is it safe to procrastinate or postpone a decision to follow Jesus? The most dangerous thing you can do. Hebrews 4, verse 7, the Bible says, "Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." You surrender to the Lord now and today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time. You know, you wait until you see the final events unfold - that's what the people did back in the days of Noah. Hebrews 2, verse 3, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" When the rain finally started, it was too late. When the fire began to fall on Sodom, it was too late.

So now, while there's probation and the door of mercy is open is the time to respond. 2 Corinthians 6, verse 2, "Behold," - what? - "now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." And before this meeting is over, I'm going to invite you to say, 'You're right, today is the day.' And if you have not, up to this point, completely surrendered yourself to the Lord, this would be the time to do it.

Question #17: What benefits come as a result of accepting and following the truth? Well, there's a lot of them. For one thing, Psalm 119, verse 165, the Bible says, "Great" - what? - "Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them." Why am I sharing these things about the law? Because I'm legalistic or because I want you to have the joy and the peace that Jesus promises. I'm doing it because the Bible does it. You just don't hear these things anymore because it involves some self-denial. Great peace. Again, John 8, verse 32, Jesus said, "And you will know the truth" - and what will the truth do? - "...make you free." There's a power in the truth that sets you free. It helps you have context and purpose for life. And the Lord wants you to have that.

And again, in 1 Peter chapter 1, verse 22, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit." There's a peace that comes - a purifying influence into your life. He gives you an abundant life. There's rest. There's hope. There's joy. There's love.

We started out talking about Peter. And that's our last question, really, what question did Jesus ask Peter three times? Do you remember, three times Peter said, 'I don't know Him.' 'I don't know the man.' Cursing and swearing, 'I don't know Him.' And Jesus said to Peter in John 21:14, He said, "...[Peter] lovest thou Me?" Do you love Me? You know, we're not - we're not exactly sure, but history tells us that when it came time for Peter to be executed by Nero, during the persecutions of Nero, he was going to be crucified. Paul was a Roman citizen so Paul was beheaded. If you're not a Roman citizen, you were crucified. Peter, learning that, he said, 'I am not worthy to die like my Savior because I denied Him. Crucify me with my head down.' And we have every reason to believe that that story is true - that Peter was crucified head down. Jesus told him, "Peter, when you are old, you will stretch out your hands." He said, 'Simon, do you love Me? Do you love Me? Do you love Me?'

You know, I heard an amazing fact a few years ago. There was a man in India and his name was Dashrath Manjhi - 1960 his wife became ill with a minor illness, if he could only get her to the clinic in time, but the clinic required him to drive miles around a ridge, even though it was only three miles away. There was a big ridge - rock mountain in the way and she died enroute. He loved his young wife. She was beautiful. And it broke his heart. They appealed to the city - government officials, 'Please, cut a pass through this mountain. The city's only three miles away. It takes so long for our people to shop and to get emergency care and to go to school.’ The government ignored them. This man, because of love for his wife, he took a hammer and a chisel and a shovel and he began to chip away at this rock mountain - true story - every day. People thought that he had just lost it, but they felt sorry for him. They said, 'What are you doing?' He said, 'I don't want anyone to ever experience the broken heart that I have felt. I am going to make a way for people to get help.' For 22 years, largely by himself, he hammered and chiseled and he cut a pass - you can see on the screen there - 25 feet wide, 360 feet long - through this mountain so that people could then access help - medical help, education, supplies, in the town. He had taken a trip that would normally be 43 miles and he cut it into three miles.

Did Jesus do less for us to make a way? Because of love for us - to get to the Kingdom. And He is giving us an opportunity to make that decision. He says, 'Do you love Me? Do you love Me? If someone would carve through a mountain - you know, if you have faith you can move mountains, right? And Jesus has gone through a rock mountain for us that we might be saved.

I'd like to invite our ushers - if they would pass out these decision cards. This is the last night. I think it makes a difference if we do something tangible. And we're going to hand out a card to you and I'm going to invite you to make a decision tonight. We want to have prayer with you. Those of you who are watching - I believe you can find these decision cards at the '' website. You can make a decision for Christ tonight. If the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, do it now. And there's some simple questions on here. As the ushers are distributing these cards, I'm going to go over with you in just a minute and have prayer with you. I'd like to invite Mary, if she'd come out. She's going to sing a familiar chorus with us and then we're going to pray together.

All to Jesus I surrender,

All to him I freely give.

I will ever love and trust him,

In his presence daily live. I surrender all.

I surrender all.

All to thee my blessed Savior,

I surrender all.

Amen. And that's what the Lord is asking you to do tonight, friends. To say, 'Lord, here I am. I'm giving it all up. I'm letting go. Not holding back any keys or any strings. If you want to make that decision tonight and you'd like us to pray for you. I hope you'll be willing to indicate that. Nobody's going to bother you. There's four simple questions. First question: I choose to follow the teachings of Jesus as found in the Bible. If you can say yes to that, go ahead and mark that there on your card and say, 'I want to make that decision.' Second question: because I love Jesus, I want to be obedient to Him and keep all of his Ten Commandments. This is going to be the big test in the last days. We're not saved by keeping the law, but we won't be saved if we deliberately ignore and disobey that new covenant. Put 'Yes' if that's your desire. It's not a promise you're never going to sin, it's a promise to say, 'Lord, I'm willing to do Your will.' Third question: I choose to "Worship Him that made Heaven and Earth" by keeping the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment. Basically, saying 'I believe in the Ten Commandments including one that many are neglecting that God is asking us to remember in the last days. Give Him your time. Give Him your worship. It's going to be a test in the final issues. You can check that. And then fourth, maybe you have a special prayer request for our Landmarks of Prophecy team. You could put that down there and we'll remember you in prayer. And, if you don't mind, be sure to indicate that. For those online, the card is online as well and you can let us know what your decision is.

Now, friends, there's only two choices. It's life and death - blessing and cursing - good and evil. And the Lord has shown us that He loves us and He wants us to have that life that He came to give. Jesus left the glories of Heaven. He came to this world. God became a man to die on our behalf, to save us. He suffered like we'll never be able to comprehend, on the cross, and He's saying, 'I want you to live with Me through eternity, but you must choose to follow Me. The truth of Jesus is revealed in His Word. That's what we've been sharing with you during this seminar. I hope, friends, that you'll make a decision tonight, to receive a love of the truth, because the truth will set you free. Amen?

Those that are here with us in Albuquerque, you can just pass your cards to the aisle. We'll collect them. If, for whatever reason, that doesn't happen, there'll be ushers at the door. And in our concluding moments, I would just like to say, on behalf of the Amazing Facts team, we would like to just thank everybody here in Albuquerque who has come to this series. It has been a joy for us and we have wonderful memories. I want to thank those of you who have been tuning in and watching. And I pray that the meetings won't end right now. Please connect with some of the follow-up programs in your area.

If you felt the Holy Spirit working in your life during this seminar, you know why? It's the Word. The power of the Word, amen? You keep reading the power in those pages and God is going to bless you. Do you believe that friends? Keep studying. I would like to pray with you and with those who are watching, before we go off the air - hopefully the ushers are getting the cards together - and just ask for God's blessing.

Father in Heaven, we are so grateful for Your blessings. We are so thankful for the truth. We know that everything that we've seen happening in these last few weeks, has been a miracle of Your grace because You love us and You want to save us. I pray, Lord, that each person who is listening now, and watching, present here in Albuquerque, one of the home groups around the world - that they'll make a decision right now. Lord, I'm not just going to think about it, I'm not just going to talk about it, but I'm going to surrender all to Jesus. I want to live for Him. I want to work for Him. I want to be Your servant. I want everlasting life. And then believe. Lord, I pray they'll believe that You will give it to them. I know a lot of struggles are represented, that there'll be trials, but help us know that greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world. Bless us now, Lord, fill us with the Holy Spirit, and I pray that You'll help us meet together again in Your kingdom. We thank You and ask all this in Christ's name. Amen.

Thank you very much, friends. God bless you. Make sure and turn in your cards. God bless you who are watching. Continue to study, '' - thank you.

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