Jesus Bade Them, "Follow Me"

Scripture: John 10:5, Luke 9:2, Revelation 14:6-7
Date: 09/10/2016 
Lesson: 11
'How do you act toward new faces in your church? Do you make an intentional effort to talk to them? Or do you ignore these people, thinking that someone else can minister to them?'
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

I love the quote: "the greatest want of the world is the want of men ... Men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall." Yet studies are showing, for several years now, the secular media and culture have sought to portray men as the family idiots. Sadly, respect for the role of fathers and husbands has reached an all-time low. So now, as the dispirited men abandon their roles of Godly leadership, it's not surprising that we're experiencing a moral free-fall in our country. That's why, starting September 30th I'll be presenting a new program called mighty men of God.

Using biblical principles, this encouraging four-part series will address how to be a loving father, faithful husband, and all-around man of God in the family church and nation. Please plan now to join me for this live event and learn from the word how to live courageously for the King. Hello friends. Welcome again to Sabbath school study hour. A very warm welcome to our friends joining us in our extended Sabbath school class, across the country and around the world.

Thank you for joining us this morning and studying together. And also for the members and those who are visiting here at the Granite Bay church - a very warm welcome to all of you as well. We do have a free offer that goes along with our study for today, it's a book entitled higher still and this is free to those who call and ask. The number to call is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #816. That number again is 866-788-3966 and ask for offer #816 - we'll be happy to send you this book for further study and a clearer understanding of the teachings of the Bible.

Our lesson today is lesson #11 and we've been working through our lesson quarterly dealing with the role of the church in the community. Today's lesson is entitled Jesus bade them, 'follow me'. If you don't have a copy of our study today, you can go to the Amazing Facts website and just download lesson #11 - Jesus bade them, 'follow me' and you can study along with us and follow along with the notes. Before we get to our study though, we'd like to begin by lifting our voices in praise. We'd like to invite The Song leaders to come and join me and let's sing together as we praise God for his goodness and also the opportunity we have to study His Word.

Thank you, Pastor Ross. And those of you who are joining us, like you do every week you know what we're going to do: we're going to sing! And we are ready to sing here at Granite Bay so if you'd pull out your hymnals and join with us, our first one is #369 - bringing in the sheaves - we'll do all three stanzas - #369. Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve; waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows, fearing neither clouds nor winter's chilling breeze; by and by the harvest, and the labor ended, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Going forth with weeping, sowing for the master, though the loss sustained, our spirit often grieves, when our weeping's over, he will bid us welcome, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves. Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.

Our next song is thine is the glory - #171 - I really like this song. It's one we don't sing very often and so, if it's new to you, join with us and you will learn it - #171 - we're also going to do all three stanzas of this one. Thine is the glory, risen, conquering son; endless is the victory thou o'er death has won. Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay. Thine is the glory, risen, conquering son; endless is the victory thou o'er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us. Risen from the tomb, lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom; let his church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for her Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting thine is the glory, risen, conquering son; endless is the victory thou o'er death hast won. No more we doubt thee, glorious prince of life! Life is nought without thee; aid us in our strife; make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love; bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. Thine is the glory, risen, conquering son; endless is the victory thou o'er death hast won. Thank you so much for joining with us and, at this time, Pastor Ross will have prayer for us.

Let's bow our heads for prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, once again we are grateful that we are able to gather together and open up the Bible and study together. And this entire quarter we have been looking at the example that Jesus has set for us in sharing with others and ministering to their needs. So once again, as we turn our attention upon Jesus' teaching, we ask for your blessing. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Our lesson today is going to be brought to us by dr. David derose. Thank you dr. Derose. Well, we're continuing our journey looking at the role of the church in the community and we're jumping into lesson #11 on that journey.

We've been looking at a pivotal statement, at least in the history, of seventh-day adventists. Over a hundred years ago, a little book was penned called the ministry of healing and in that book it spoke about Christ's method alone giving special efficacy in reaching people. We've actually been looking at that method: as Jesus came close to people, he mingled with them, he ministered to their needs after showing his sympathy to them, and then it says he won their confidence and ultimately he bade them follow him. And that's where we're at. We're in lesson #11 - Jesus bade them, 'follow me'.

You know, I couldn't help but think about it as I was thinking about the lesson, and I had a question that was running through my mind: if someone had never met you before, would they learn most about you of relevance from your friends or from your enemies. Have you ever thought about that? What would your enemies say of you and what would your friends say of you and what kind of picture would that provide? Well, our lesson actually starts by doing just that - actually introducing us to a statement from some of Christianity's enemies. In the lesson that's devoted to what's called Sabbath afternoon, in your quarterly, it quotes from the roman emperor julian. It says he was trying to revive paganism in the roman empire and, at the same time, Christianity was thriving. And it says there that julian talked with a prominent pagan priest, wondering why Christianity was growing so rapidly and here's the explanation that allegedly was tendered: it said, 'I think that when the poor happened to be neglected and overlooked by the pagan priests, the impious galileans, the Christians, observed this and devoted themselves to benevolence.

They support not only their poor but ours as well. Everyone can see that our people lack aid from us.' Well, you say, that's interesting. That's an assessment from friends or enemies? It's enemies. And so, the enemies are saying the Christian cause is so strong because of selfless ministry, and that resonates, definitely, with what we've been talking about in the quarter. But I have to say, this is the assessment of the enemies.

And it's not a complete assessment. So, since we're trying to look at the context, and we're looking especially at Jesus' call to follow him, I invite you to turn in your Bibles to the book of acts. Because acts gives us a different picture of something that was part of the success of early Christianity. I'm not saying that ministering to people's needs was not an important part of that equation. But if we just look at that as the single testimony to the efficacy of Christianity in the early days of the church, I think will draw some wrong conclusions and, in fact, conclusions that would be at odds with where we're going in today's lesson.

I'm in acts chapter 2 and we're reading from Peter's great sermon on the day of pentecost. You know the context: some 50 days previous to this, Jesus had died. He was resurrected. Now he has ascended to heaven. The disciples have experienced that marvelous outpouring of the Holy Spirit and now they are preaching to the crowds who are gathered in Jerusalem.

Peter is speaking in acts 3. We're not going to read his whole sermon but we are going to jump in to the heart of that sermon where Peter says some things that, well, may not be all that comfortable to have heard, were we in that audience. Let's jump in to verse 32. At the risk of missing some of the context, I'm in acts chapter , verse 32, Peter says, "this Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from The Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he poured out this which you now see and hear.

" - So he's speaking of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the tongues of fire that came down, the gift of tongues that was then manifest in the church. And he says, then, in verse 34, "for David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'the Lord said to my Lord, 'sit at my right hand till I make your enemies your footstool.' Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.'" Now, I just want you to pick up the context of the words of Peter. Think about it: if you're part of that congregation hearing the sermon, what is being manifest? What are you hearing? Yeah, you're hearing a rebuke. You're being accused of the death of Jesus. Are you picking that up in the verse? 'The one whom you crucified.

' Now, I have to tell you, this is a different picture of what the early church was doing then merely ministering to people's needs. Are you seeing there's a little bit of difference here? Some people would even say a disconnect. But let's read on, because here's the response of the people when they're given this stern message - verse 37 - "now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'men and brethren, what shall we do?'" So yes, the early church was involved in ministry, but this first glimpse of the early church under the Holy Spirit's power was not doing miraculous works of healing, they were preaching a stern message that literally was calling people to follow Jesus. Did you catch it? We're saying, 'you rejected the Lord. Now we're calling you, basically, to realize what you have done.

' And so, they speak words not of rebellion but of conviction, in verse 37. And then verse 38 - Peter says this in response to their question of what they should do: "repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.'" And so, throughout the book of acts, just like we see here in the very beginning, we have a message where God is speaking to hearts, calling us to turn from our ways and to turn to him. It's a message, really, that Jesus basically said, 'follow me.' In fact, you remember, many times when Jesus spoke of following him, he said we were to take up our cross and follow him. Now, I think this is all especially important because some of you, as you've been studying through the lesson, you may have been like me, and as you read through lesson 10 last week and as you contemplated that, speaking about ministry, there were thoughts running through my mind and maybe some of that is conditioned by my - my past.

And by my past I could speak about a lot of things but we'll just give you one glimpse. Some of you know I have formal theological training. In fact, someone - I was speaking at camp meeting this year and they heard that I had finished a degree at andrews and they really didn't want to talk with me anymore because somehow that had tainted me now that I had that formal training. But I value that training. One of the classes that I took, in addition to classroom activities, we went and visited a number of evangelical churches and we were looking really seriously at the mindset of the typical Christian church today.

And the typical Christian church today is very much in this mindset of community service being relevant to the community. And I would say, on a certain level, that's good, but I jotted something down and maybe it's something I read somewhere else, so if it's correct you can attribute it to someone else. If you think I've really missed the Mark you can say, 'well there's dr. Derose twisting things again to his own destruction.' Well here we are. I wrote it this way - this is our goal as Christians: it is not - our goal should not be to be relevant to our communities.

Now some of you are getting really worried, aren't you? Our goal shouldn't be to be relevant to our communities, but to be surrendered to the Holy Spirit. Amen. Now I believe that the Holy Spirit is trying to be relevant to everyone, but as I'm looking even at acts 2, and as we jump into this - as we look at this secular emperor and his attribution of the successive Christianity to its ministry, I'm not saying we should set aside ministry. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe in what Jesus demonstrated. In fact, if you had studied through this lesson, you would have found that at the very end, in Friday's readings, it encouraged us again to read from that book ministry of healing and it pointed us to some pages you may want to study in the future, and those are pages 139 to 146 - the chapter called teaching and healing.

And I'm just going to give you a quick synopsis of it and you'll follow along with me in your Bibles. I'm first turning to Matthew chapter 10, because in that chapter the author points us to some biblical pillars of ministry. And we're trying to paint a montage here - you may - it may seem like some of the pieces are not fitting together, but I want you to see where we're going because we're trying to tie together this plan of ministry that Jesus exemplified and that we're called to follow. So in Matthew chapter 10, we're reading about the commissioning of the twelve. So Jesus is giving a special calling to his twelve most intimate followers.

And it says there, in verse 5 of Matthew 10, "these twelve Jesus sent out and he commanded them saying, 'do not go into the way of the gentiles, and do not enter a city of the samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, 'the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." And so we see in this articulation of Jesus' ministry as he's commissioning the twelve, they are to do what? If we were to summarize, what three areas are they called to do? That's right, teach, preach, and heal. Did you pick it up there? Jump over to Luke's Gospel.

Now I'm going to Luke chapter 10. In Luke 10 we read about the commissioning of the seventy. So, another commissioning service - this time Jesus sending out a larger group. And as you read through what Jesus calls them to do, he's calling them to preach about the Kingdom. And, as you get to Luke 10, verse 9 it says, "and heal the sick there, and say to them, 'the Kingdom of God has come near to you.

'" So you're getting the picture. Jesus calls them to preach, to teach, and to heal. You read the great commission - you may not catch it in Matthew , but when you read it in Mark 16 you'll see that Jesus called them not just to teach and to preach, but also to do what? But to heal. So, yes, we are to be involved in our communities. We're to minister to people's physical health needs.

The early church did this time and time again. Let's go ahead and look at an example, because we just looked at acts 2. Our actual quarterly points us to this example of the early disciples in the ministry they were rendering. So as you look through what the early church was doing, you see this very same thing recurring. So I'm now turning in acts chapter 6 - actually, let's go to acts 5 before we go there.

In acts 5 - acts chapter 5 - so this is after Peter's great sermon calling on people to repent. In acts 5 we see, again, the disciples ministering now to people. Acts 5 beginning with verse 12 it says, "and through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch." And jumping down to verse 16 of acts 5, "also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits," - and what happened? - "They were all healed." So are you catching the picture? So the early church was involved, yes, with ministering to their communities, but how did they decide how to minister? Let me give you the typical evangelical model. And this is not just from what I've read from evangelical authors.

It's not just from what I've studied, I mean, I've seen it. I've been in these churches. Here's their model: their model is if you're attending their church they basically - now, I'm over-generalizing, okay? So we have many friends who watch from many different churches, but I'm telling you, this is a common thing in Christianity and, by the way, adventism is not spared of this. The tendency is to baptize any interests that members have and say, 'we will use these to minister to our community. We're part of the community.

What talents do you have? What abilities do you have? What interests do you have? And someone says, 'well, you know, I'm a good basketball player.' 'Well, we're going to start a basketball ministry in our church.' Now, don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that that's wrong to have a basketball ministry, okay? In fact, a very good friend of mine is a basketball coach. He brings a very spiritual attitude towards that as he's working with the players. Okay, so nothing against that. Let's say that someone says, 'well, I'm a great tiddlywinks player.

' I'm not even sure I know what tiddlywinks is, okay? But if you're a tiddlywinks player, then we're going to have a tiddlywinks ministry in our church because that's what you're good at.' I mean, are you familiar with this? This is a mind-set in many churches today. Now I'm not saying anything against that. I don't know how God is leading in any setting. That's not my job. But I think there's a problem if we look internally at 'what I like to do and what I have abilities to do' because we're in danger of not doing the very thing the Lord has called us to do.

Amen. If our focus is trying, in our own human minds, to be relevant to our community, I would suggest to you that we often do it at the expense of being receptive to the Holy Spirit. Let's take another case history because we're looking at the book of acts. Many of the examples we're drawing right from here. Let's go now to acts chapter 8 - acts chapter 8.

Prior to acts 8 there had been some challenges in the church. And, as an answer to some of those challenges, a number of deacons are appointed to minister to the church. One of those deacons is Philip. There's Philip the apostle and there's Philip the deacon. So we're going to read about some of the ministry of Philip here in acts chapter 8.

Let's pick it up in verse 4 - acts 8, verse 4, speaking of this great persecution that occurred after stephen's death. It says in verse 4 of acts 8, "therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. Then Philip" - Philip the deacon - "went down to the city of samaria and preached Christ to them." So what is he doing? It's a preaching ministry. It's not a community service ministry. Again, community service is wonderful - it's part of Jesus' ministry - but this is not what Philip was called to do at that point.

Philip goes down to the city of samaria, he preaches Christ, and what happens? Look at verse 6, "and the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip," - wait! Wait though! Wait! - "Hearing and seeing the miracles which he did." So there is - so he's preaching but there's miraculous signs that are accompanying his preaching. It says, verse 7, "for unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed." You say, 'well there it goes - there you go, dr. Derose, he's doing this powerful ministry teaching, preaching, and healing. What's very interesting is you read through acts chapter 8, because in acts 8, after this amazing event - I'll tell you, if we had an evangelist like this in our ranks - and we may, you never know - I'm not one to compare, but what would you do if someone who you thought was one of the most powerful evangelists today received a call like what we're going to read further on in acts 8, because look at the call in verse 26 - acts 8:26, "now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying," - what are you ready for? Huge evangelistic series - you say, 'we gotta book this guy. You know, where else do we need the message preached with such clarity and community service combined with it.

Where is the Holy Spirit going to call Philip? - "'Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to gaza.' This is desert." This is desert. Let's just imagine that here at this very pulpit, this very place, a powerful evangelist was speaking and he announced to you and said, 'the Lord has just called me to go to the north pole.' You'd say, 'the north pole?' I mean, surely, what would you say? Someone with a powerful ministry reaching thousands of people going to the - maybe millions of people - now they're going to go where? North pole. Last night I was thinking about this illustration so I had my boy Michael do a fact check. I said, 'Michael, I don't think there's anybody on the north pole.' He says - well, we won't go into the dialogue - anyway, he researched it out and he said, 'dad, there's nothing but ice up there.' And they occasionally have, I guess, some kind of research stations in that vicinity, but it's not like antarctica where you can put something on some land mass. So you can double check and see if his research was accurate.

Maybe I shouldn't have told you who did it, but the point is - the point is, going to the north pole, this seems like the end to ministry. You would say, 'if you're talking about being relevant to your community, you would not do this.' Right? By the way, in acts 8, who was calling Philip to go into the wilderness? Who was calling him? Jesus. Philip was not focused on - in his own mind - what was relevant to his community. What was he focused on? He was focused on following the Holy Spirit. And so Philip - it says in verse 27, "so he arose and went.

" Do you know how many times people in the Bible - pillars in the Bible have done this very thing? They've done things that we would say are limiting their sphere of influence. Are narrowing their ministry. Think about Abraham. Where was Abraham when he was called? He was in ur of the chaldees, one of the wealthiest, most prominent cities in the then-known world. They have actually uncovered some of the treasures of ur of the chaldees.

Amazing work in gold. Have some of you seen this? It's amazing. He lived in what all evidence indicates was a beautiful home. And Abraham gets a message to leave and where is he going? Yeah, he didn't know. This stuff is - this is kind of embarrassing for the church, isn't it? I mean, think about it: a prominent church member packing the moving van and the neighbor comes by and says, 'hey, abe, where're you going?' And what does he say? 'I don't know.

' I don't know -but you - there's all these people that you could reach. You could do practical ministry right here in ur. 'Abraham, where are you going?' 'I do not know. The Holy Spirit has called me to leave.' I mean, this is really radical Christianity, isn't it? Jesus, as we read through this lesson, is actually not just interested in us meeting people's needs, he's interested in calling people through us to follow him. And Jesus often tells us to take up our cross and follow him.

It is not always a popular message that we're called to give. Let's look at John chapter 10 - that's in Sunday's lesson - John chapter - as we've got a number of thoughts that we're trusting the Holy Spirit will weave together for us - John chapter 10 - Jesus, here, speaking metaphorically in John 10. In many places in John's Gospel - you know, Jesus gives different analogies - different metaphors for his ministry. As John 10 opens up, Jesus says, 'most assuredly I say to you, 'he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

To him the doorkeeper opens and the sheep hear his voice and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.' Many years ago I was with another physician in the hospital. It was a busy hospital. We were in an area toward the front of the hospital - a lot of noise - a lot of activity - and all of a sudden he said, 'that's my daughter! That's my daughter!' What? His daughter? I mean, I don't see any daughter. But sure enough, somewhere around some corner he could hear the voice of his daughter.

I was totally oblivious to it. How could it be that he could hear the voice of his daughter amid all that confusion and I couldn't? You would say, 'well, it's obvious, because he' - what? - He knew the voice of his daughter. And so, in John 10, we're talking about knowing the voice of the good shepherd. And this is really the heart of what we're talking about, because how would Abraham know to leave everything? How would Philip know to leave his effective evangelistic ministry if he didn't know the voice of the good shepherd? How do we know Jesus' voice? That's right, it's the same way you know anyone's voice, it's by spending time with them. The Father knew the voice of his daughter not because they were estranged and he hadn't heard from her in a number of years, but because they lived in the same house - because they were intimate.

So if we want to know Jesus' voice, what must we be committed to? Spending time with him, right? And it's not a burden, it's a joy, because God wants to reveal His Word to you. Do you sense that? And if you don't sense it, spend more time with him. And follow him when he asks you to do things that don't make sense. Now there is a danger to this. I was reminded of it just last week.

Last week I was at asi and some - a number of you were there. The adventist layman's services and industries - their big international meeting - and I had a new book with me. Some of you have been praying with us. We've got a new book out called 30 days to natural blood pressure control and I was doing a seminar on this topic and so I had this book in my hands and I ran into someone - a friend of mine - and we were talking about the book and I said, 'I've gotten into trouble over this book already. And they said, 'what was that trouble? And I said, people are looking at the book and they're saying I'm selling it too inexpensively and they're accusing me of not being a very good businessman.

And this person said, 'well, I've wondered about you in that regard for many years.' And as I thought about that, you know, I said, 'there's something interesting.' How good a businessman did it appear Abraham was when he left ur of the chaldees? How well did Philip seem to be trading on his master's talents when he went to the desert? These are interesting questions, aren't they? You say, 'dr. Derose, you're just trying to justify yourself. You're a lousy businessman. Stick with ministry.' Okay, well, whatever. Some of you might think I'm not all that good in ministry and I should stick with business.

(Laughter) okay, anyway, it doesn't matter what anyone's assessment of you is. I'm picking on myself because God is calling each one of us. Did you catch that? Go back to acts 2 because maybe I hastened by that too quickly if you don't think this is relevant to you. In acts chapter 2, the very people that were responsible, under the word of inspiration, for the death of Jesus - and you could say, 'we're all responsible. He died for all our sins.

' But Peter, after, telling them that they were responsible for the death of Jesus in acts 2, verse he said the promise is for who? It's to you. And to your children and to who? To all who are afar off. So the promise of the Gospel comes to every single one of us. So I don't care where you're at today. I don't care what you've done.

The promise is for you. And so, as we're reading about this, we're reading about a Jesus who commissions people who've messed up. That's good news, isn't it? And whether people's assessments of us are correct or not, plenty of people have assessed all of us as not measuring up in some regard. And maybe they even sized you up that way when you walked in today and they said, 'who picked out those clothes that you're wearing?' Now, no one, yet, has said that to me, but you understand what I'm saying? We live in a very judgmental world, but Jesus commissions each one of us. He calls us to follow him.

He calls us to know his voice. Let's hasten on to Tuesday's lesson. And the reason I'm going to Tuesday is because it shows us one of the most powerful ministries. It's called the bridge - it's called the bridge. We're talking about introducing people to Jesus and, you know, it's so easy - I've done lots of community programs over the years.

And so, everyone in the community is happy when you're serving, but when you start talking about the Gospel and start talking about the claims of the cross, sometimes people get very uncomfortable. And yet, we're called to do both. We're not just called to be experts in public relations. And so, here in Tuesday's lesson it speaks about the bridge and it says, 'what is the bridge?' I'm reading from the first full sentence in that lesson, if you're following along. What is the bridge to bring people to the 'follow me' stage? We should ask, rather, 'who is the bridge?' You are.

The strongest argument in favor of the Gospel is a loving and lovable Christian. And it speaks about this aspect of bringing people to Jesus. You know, as I thought about this, perhaps one person in the Gospels who crystallizes this characteristic more than any other - in fact, almost every time he's introduced, he is introducing people to Jesus. Who am I thinking about? That's right, I'm thinking about andrew. Turn in the Gospel of John with me and we're going to pick up a few glimpses of this because sometimes we don't think we have much to offer, but can we introduce people to Jesus? Can we do that? You know, one of the ways we introduce people to Jesus is simple telling them what Jesus has done in our life.

That Jesus has called us. And I was telling you this morning that Jesus called me from a position of prominence to one of little regard and then he blessed in that very context. By the way, at that ministry in New York city, some of the most remarkable things happened. I remember one woman actually being directed by a vision to the place where we were ministering. I don't think I've had that happen anywhere else.

But also, some - many difficult experiences as well. I'm in John 1 and John the baptist is ministering - he's baptizing - and he's doing just what we're talking about. Look at verse 35 - verse 35 of John 1 - "again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as he walked, he said," - what? - "Behold the lamb of God." So we're talking here about introducing people to Jesus and here's what John is doing: he's pointing to Jesus as who? Remember, he's speaking to jews, primarily. What is he referring to Jesus as in John 1? That's right, the lamb of God.

He is saying Jesus is the fulfillment of the entire sacrificial system. Okay? Did you pick up on that? And so, these disciples - verse 37 - two who hear it begin following Jesus and Jesus asks them, 'what do you seek?' And they say to him, 'rabbi, where are you staying?' And Jesus simply responds in verse 39 of John 1, "come and see." And then it is - we read verse - "one of the two who heard John speak, and followed him, was andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, 'we have found the Messiah' (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus." So andrew brings his brother to Jesus. There's not any great sermon there that andrew preaches.

He simply introduces his brother to Jesus. Now today, how would you introduce someone to Jesus? Well, you can engage them with the Bible, right? You can share how Jesus has worked in your own life. You can simply say - even saying that you're a follower of Jesus is a testimony in today's world. Turn with me now to John 6 - John 6. We want to catch another glimpse of andrew introducing people to Jesus.

And this is especially relevant as we're speaking about our own ability to be involved in ministry. In John 6 we find Jesus with a multitude and it says, in verse of John 6, "then Jesus lifted up his eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward him, he said to Philip, 'where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?' But this he said to test him for he himself knew what he would do." "Philip answered him, 'two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.'" - They say two hundred pennies - that's what the King James version translates this as. This doesn't sound like a lot of money. What was a penny or a denarius - what was that? That was a day's wage for a common laborer. So what would that be in today's terminology? What would be a day's wage for the average laborer? It's probably somewhere around seventy or eighty dollars, isn't it - here in California if you work an 8-hour day? More.

Some of you say more than that. Okay, make the math easy. Let's say it's eighty dollars, okay? And let's look then: eighty dollars - that's one day's wage - this is two hundred days' wages. How much does that come out to be? Someone's saying, with great assertiveness, sixteen thousand dollars. Now, for some of you that may be small change, but for those who want further confirmation that I'm not a great businessman the way the world counts business, sixteen thousand dollars is a lot of money to me, okay? That is a sizeable sum.

But the story's not done. You know - look what happens next. Verse 8 - verse 8, "one of his disciples, andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, 'there is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?'" Now we need to pause here and break this down because we're talking about our own witness - bidding people to follow Jesus. We're looking at it in a context of community ministry - reaching our communities - and I'm suggesting to you, if we just think about what's going to be popular with our community, we will miss our greatest calling. I mean, I could go through example after example - maybe we'll have a chance to do that - where - well, we don't have to go any further than Jesus himself.

I mean, what is the closing picture of Jesus' ministry as he's standing there beside pilate? How successful did Jesus' ministry look when he was standing in pilate's judgment hall? It looked totally ineffective. It looked like Jesus had played his cards wrong. In fact, the wise businessmen of the day - in fact, you know there was one very shrewd businessman among the twelve. You know who that was? Judas. It was Judas and Judas knew there was a different way to conduct ministry.

And Judas was actually making some financial gain from his connections. Now, don't misunderstand me. I was just with many of my friends in ministry and I run a business, actually. We run - it's a ministry or a business - it's called 'compass health' so, you know, I'm not condemning anyone who's in business, otherwise I would be pointing, you know, four fingers at myself when I'm pointing one at someone else. You understand how that works, don't you.

But here's my point - here's my point, if we just look from a secular business mindset, these things can look like failures. But let's come back, now, to where we're at in John 6 because andrew is using his human computational abilities and yet he is still bringing what he has access to or what the body, you might say, the body of Christ in that setting had access to. He brings to Jesus something that seems insignificant. How many of you feel today that your talents are insignificant? How many of you feel that when we're talking about introducing people to Jesus you say, 'there's no way I could do that'? There's no way I could do that. I'm reminded of why I'm here today.

In fact, just this morning as I walked in someone introduced themselves to me. I hadn't recognized them seeing this person in many years. He was one of the first Seventh-day Adventist ministers I had ever met. I met him in faribault, Minnesota because I was attending a secular college there, never having heard of Seventh-day Adventists. I was going to a school called carleton college in northfield Minnesota and there was another adventist minister there who said, 'this school needs the Gospel.

' They had been on the campus long enough to see there - it seemed like there was no vestige of Christianity on that secular college campus. There was no one there who identified themselves as a Seventh-day Adventist, for example, and this pastor got permission to hold a non-credit class on Bible prophecy there at carleton college and that's where I was introduced to the Seventh-day Adventist message. But I'm telling this story for this reason: I would have never gone to those meetings were it not for another fellow in the dorm, because he walked into my room, he saw the flyer for the meetings sitting on my desk and he said, 'oh, you got one of those too? Are you going to those meetings?' And I said, 'well, I was thinking about it.' He said, 'they're going to be great meetings.' He didn't know anything about it, okay? I mean, to my knowledge, and somehow he talked me into telling him that I would go to those meetings. And so, when the actual day came for that non-credit class - it was - it was taught as a class. There was no fancy singing.

It wasn't an auditorium, it was in a college classroom with a syllabus and a book. I was too busy. I had, you know, a bunch of tests coming up and all kinds of stuff going on, but I told this guy that I would show up. So how do you do that? How do you make good on your word when you just don't have much time. 'You know what I'll do?' - I said - 'I'll show up at the very end of the meeting.

' So then I came, right? They were promising a free book anyway - maybe I'd get a free book. So I wait until I think the meeting's about over and I slip in. It was a much longer meeting than I bargained on. (Laughter) so I heard a lot more than I was expecting, but whatever - I don't even remember what that first meeting was about, but it spoke to my heart. It was not a popular class.

Not many students came, in fact, I learned from this minister - actually from his son, years later, that he had tried to do this in many places - many secular universities and college campuses, and most everywhere he went, peoples' verdicts were the same. It was a failure. He didn't get permission to do it - how do you feel after you've failed multiple times? Do you give up? He didn't give up. He brought what he had to Jesus and Jesus did, at least in my life, just what he did with those loaves and fishes that andrew had access to. The message is simply this: if you're wondering how to introduce people to Jesus, just allow Jesus to work in your life and then share what he's doing.

You're wondering about that fellow that invited me to the meetings, probably - never came. (Laughter) never showed up. And I tell you that for another reason - because you can invite people to engage with Jesus and even have an experience that you don't have. I'm not saying that's the best way of being a witness. It's better to share from your own experience.

But this fellow had no experience with those classes at all. And he invited me to come and I told him I would and I showed up and it changed my life. Amen. Have you ever invited someone to church? Now, what happens if they don't come? And what if you invite a lot of people to church and they don't come? How many of you could just conclude you do not have the gift of evangelism? No. You know what I would tell you is keep inviting people.

Do you invite people to study the Bible with you? You know, it's not hard today. There are all kinds of wonderfully prepared lessons. And, you know, the lessons actually have questions like are raised in this lesson - inviting people to follow Jesus. If you can't say it yourself, it's in the lesson. When you get to the end of the lesson it says something just like they have - they have one these renditions of the sinner's prayer here in Thursday's lesson.

And they have things like this in your lesson studies. And if you don't know how to point someone to Jesus, the lesson will walk them through it. Well, we'd be negligent not to touch on a few other aspects of this lesson before we finish. In Wednesday's lesson we have Paul before king agrippa and we talk here - I'll read this right from Wednesday's lesson. This is the second paragraph there if you're following along in the quarterly.

'Some may say' - and I'm paraphrasing - 'I will take care of the first part of Jesus' method but I don't do the bidding - I don't do the 'follow me' part. That's not my gift.' Can we just beg out of inviting people to follow Jesus? You say, 'dr. Derose, I want everyone to think well of me and if I ask people to follow Jesus' - it might happen to you what happened to me not long ago in my medical clinic as I developed new - you know, some really good rapport with this new patient and then I brought up the subject of Jesus and this person got really angry. That doesn't always happen. I just did it the other day and someone was very appreciative and we ended up having prayer together.

But this woman got very angry. And so you'll say, 'well, there you go, sticking your foot in your mouth again. You should not have said anything. You should have won her confidence more and then talked about Jesus.' Well, listen, I'll leave that to the Holy Spirit.' You say, 'dr. Derose, don't blame the Holy Spirit.

That's you. You've got to listen to the holy spirit.' Well, okay, point well taken. I can't tell you what happened there, but I can tell you she was not very happy and I don't know that I'll ever see her again. I actually don't think that I will. But, in John's Gospel and in Luke's Gospel - I want you to turn to Luke 6 - this is our final Scripture - Luke 6.

Luke is giving his rendition of the beatitudes and it just - as we're closing through Jesus' method, I think there are pitfalls on either side. There's this big pitfall that we will not minister to our communities. We have to do that. We have to be involved in health evangelism. I'll be the first one to tell you that.

But if all we do is focus on ministry and trying to be popular with our communities, we're missing the point. In Luke chapter 6 we have the rendition of Luke of the beatitudes. And after Jesus has spoken blessings in Luke 6, we read Jesus' pronunciation of woes. I'm in Luke 6, verse 24, "but woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger.

Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets." I read that - you say, 'that's not a nice note to close on.' I read it to you for this reason: God is going to call us to do things that our communities will love - they'll appreciate us for. They'll say, 'wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone were Seventh-day Adventists?' But you know what? God is going to call us to do some things too where people are not going to appreciate what we do. There's opportunity to study more. We've got a free gift.

It's called higher still: finding eternal security in Christ - that's our free offer. It is #815. You can get it by calling -study-more - that's 866-788-3966. Until next week, I encourage you to study, to dive in, to get closer to the one whose voice we all need to hear. I love the quote: "the greatest want of the world is the want of men .

.. Men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall." Yet studies are showing, for several years now, the secular media and culture have sought to portray men as the family idiots. Sadly, respect for the role of fathers and husbands has reached an all-time low. So now, as the dispirited men abandon their roles of Godly leadership, it's not surprising that we're experiencing a moral free-fall in our country. That's why, starting September 30th I'll be presenting a new program called mighty men of God.

Using biblical principles, this encouraging four-part series will address how to be a loving father, faithful husband, and all-around man of God in the family church and nation. Please plan now to join me for this live event and learn from the word how to live courageously for the King. Amazing Facts has impacted my life. And I just praise God for Amazing Facts. Amazing Facts actually did have an impact on my life.

This whole process - getting where I am today - I felt good about that. I didn't feel condemned. I began reading the Bible and - I got baptized into a Seventh-day Adventist - I realized that there had to be more to life. God is really doing this. The life that he's given me.

This message was so powerful. I'll follow Christ wherever he goes. Amazing Facts. More than years of proclaiming God's message around the world. And then the logo pops across Amazing Facts presents.

I've listened to a lot of different ministers, but this was the first time that he's actually saying something where I had to grab my Bible and actually pick it up and I've never heard this before. Let me - let me look through and find this. And I just couldn't get enough. And so I started doing Bible studies. Every single one of these guys started being changed, including myself.

My question was, 'why did that happen to me, God?' the Lord was able to reach out and - and I actually saw him as a father. I lost everything and that was when I realized that it was God missing in my life. I went to a prophecy seminar, which knocked me out. This message was so powerful and so irrefutable, I just went, 'this is real. This is - this is amazing.'

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question