What Have They Seen in Your House? - 2019

Scripture: 1 Peter 2:9, 1 Corinthians 7:12-15, 1 Peter 3:1-2
Date: 06/22/2019 
Lesson: 12
"What have people seen in your house? What have heavenly angels seen? What kind of spirit permeates our residences? Can one “smell” the scent of prayer? Is there kindness, generosity, love, or tension, anger, resentfulness, bitterness, and discord? Will someone who’s there walk away thinking Jesus is in this home?"
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Shawn Brummund: Hello and welcome to another edition of the "Sabbath School Study Hour." We trust that you are going to be really enriched as we come together and continue to study the Word of God. We are almost finished our quarterly study that we've been looking at, a very deep, a very practical but very spiritual subject that is the subject of the family. And so we are on lesson number 12, "What Do They See in Your House?" What do they see in your house? And so normally we offer the Sabbath School quarterly, and we can continue to do that if you like to download it at lesson.aftv.org. But we're almost finished and so we're going to be able to look at a new theme in just a couple of weeks. And so we're looking at number 12-- lesson number 12 today, "What Do They See in Your House?" The influence of the family is something that should be number--never underestimated.

Now, before we continue on, we want to make you aware of a free offer that we always like to give each and every "Sabbath School Study Hour" and this is no exception. And so today we're going to offer a little booklet written by our lead pastor, Pastor Doug Batchelor, which is entitled "Compromise, Conformity & Courage." And so please take advantage of that. You just simply need to dial 1-866-788-3966. Again, that's 1-866-788-3966 and ask for free offer number 774. Now, if you'd like a digital download of that, that's also available. You can get on your phone and you can text the code "SH019." That's "SH019" and you just simply text that to the number 40544, and you can see that in your screen. So please take advantage of that. You continue to study a very important topic, especially in our day and age as we want to be faithful to Christ. And so, again, we're so thankful that you've joined us, those who are watching on television, online. We're thankful always for our local church family in the Granite Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church right here in the Greater Sacramento area of California. Now, before we open with prayer and introduce our study and our teacher here today, we're going to celebrate God in song. And so we'll invite our singers out, even right now.

Male: We'll be singing this morning song number 431, "Over Yonder." We'll sing all three verses. ♪ Come let us sing of homeland ♪ ♪ down by the crystal sea wonderful land ♪ ♪ where Jesus buildeth a mansion for me ♪ ♪ Over yonder, down by the crystal sea ♪ ♪ Over yonder, that's where I want to be ♪ ♪ No more sorrow, toil, grief, nor care ♪ ♪ in the homeland bright ♪ ♪ and fair over there, over there ♪ ♪ Water of life there floweth ♪ ♪ fruit in abundant store ♪ ♪ Citizens of that country ♪ ♪ hunger and thirst never more ♪ ♪ Over yonder, down by the crystal sea ♪ ♪ Over yonder, that's where I want to be ♪ ♪ No more sorrow, toil, grief, nor care ♪ ♪ in the homeland bright and fair over ♪ ♪ over there ♪ ♪ Come go with me to homeland ♪ ♪ Jesus invites you there ♪ ♪ Help spread the invitation ♪ ♪ Tell it to men everywhere ♪ ♪ Over yonder, down by the crystal sea ♪ ♪ Over yonder, that's where I want to be ♪ ♪ No more sorrow, toil, grief, nor care ♪ ♪ in the homeland bright ♪ ♪ and fair over, over there ♪

Shawn: God in heaven as we stop, we continue to ask for your Holy Spirit to guide us for it is the only hope that we have to understand your Word. You tell us that spiritual things are spiritually discerned and you give us the promise that you would send your Holy Spirit that you might be able to teach us all truth, and guide us into all things and what you want us to know. And so God we want to pray that your Holy Spirit will be with us in a very needful way even right now. Want to pray that you'll be with Pastor Doug Batchelor. As he teaches us, be with his heart, his mind, his mouth as he serves us, Lord, and he serves you. In Jesus's name, we pray these things, God. Amen. Pastor Doug Batchelor, thank you for teaching again today.

Doug Batchelor: We're continuing, as Pastor Shawn mentioned, our study on families, and our lesson today is lesson number 12 and it's talking about, what have they seen in your house? That title is based on a Scripture we're going to look at in just a moment. What have they seen in your house? We have a memory verse, which is 1 Peter chapter 2, verse 9, 1 Peter 2, verse 9. Now, sometimes I share my testimony, and when you share a testimony, it's not like a sermon where you have a lot of Scripture; but the one Scripture I read before I do my testimony is this verse. Why don't you say it with me? Here it's in the New King James Version. You ready? "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, his own special people that you may proclaim the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." God wants us to live lives that are proclaiming praises. Now, Jesus is the light of the world, but he said, "You are the light of the world." Individually, you're all little lighthouses. We're supposed to let his light shine out of us. It's just like the sun has-- or the moon has no light of its own except it reflects the light of the sun.

The church is to be a light in the world. And we're in the final stages of building a church that is going to be a training center, an evangelist training center. Been working on this for, believe it or not, 20 years from conception to delivery, which we trust is this year, and we want that--it's up on a hill. It's really nice view, but we want it to be literally a light on the hill from medium. But not only is the church in the community to be a light on the hill, families are to be a light on the hill. You are to be lights in your community through your families, and that's the theme. We're talking about, what did they see in your house?

Now, I may as well get right into what the lesson is dealing with. Turn in your Bibles to the Book of Isaiah chapter 38. We need to do a little reading here and get this story, and it'll basically set the stage for all that we're going to be studying today. Isaiah chapter 38. This is one of the--you know, in the New Testament, you'll find the same story three times 'cause it's in the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They call it the harmonic or Synoptic Gospels. Very rarely in the Old Testament you find a story mentioned three times. The story we're going to look at now, maybe the only one I can think of that you find mentioned three times, it's in Isaiah, we're going to read it in Isaiah, it's in Chronicles, and it's in Kings. So it really stood out in Old Testament history. First go to Isaiah 38, verse 1. "In those days, Hezekiah was sick and near death, and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said, 'Thus says the Lord, 'Set your house in order for you will die and not live.'" Now, setting your house in order, you know what that means. He said, "Make sure that you've got your will and your estate plan and how you want your affairs to be taken care of after you're gone. Get things set in order."

Some of you remember Ahithophel. He went and set his house in order and then hung himself. He knew he was about to die so he freshened up his will and his estate plan and then he hung himself. So when Isaiah says to Hezekiah, "Set your house in order," he says, "You have your will and your estate plan all taken care of 'cause you're going to die." Now, how many of you would like to get that news? That's terrible to get one of those doctor reports that says that your days are numbered. Of course if you didn't know it, all of us our days are numbered. I don't know--I don't want to shake you up but, you know, life is terminal, this life, till you are born again. Then you just go to sleep and you die. So Hezekiah is not very happy about that. It's natural for us to try to live as long as we can, even in this life. "So he turned his face toward the wall and he prayed, and he said, 'Remember now, oh Lord, I pray how I've walked before you," Hezekiah was a good king, "with a loyal heart and I've done what was good in your sight.' And Hezekiah wept bitterly," and it just moved the heart of God. "And the Word of the Lord came to Isaiah, saying, 'Go tell Hezekiah, 'Thus says the Lord--'" As a matter of fact, the Word of Lord came to Hezekiah before he got all the way out of the palace complex. "Go tell Hezekiah, 'The Lord God of David your father, I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. Surely I will add to your days 15 years.'"

Now in English, it rhymes. "'I will deliver you in this city from the hand of the king of Assyria and I will defend this city, and this is the sign to you that the Lord will do this thing that he has spoken. Behold I'll bring the shadow of the sundial, which has gone down with the sun on the sundial of Ahaz 10 degrees backward.' So the sun returned 10 degrees on the dial, by which it had gone down." It says, "The writing of Hezekiah the king of Judah, which he had been sick--" And then it goes through a prayer of Hezekiah. So this incredible experience, Hezekiah is told he's got a terminal disease. We later learn that he had some kind of a boil that was causing a fever and an infection, and he was going to die from some septic problem. 'Cause later, not only does God say, "I'm going to heal you," he then applies a natural remedy and he tells the court physicians to put a poultice of figs on the boil and you will recover. Some of you remember this. You can read this, like I said, in 1 Kings also. And he gets better, but he says, "I'm going to give you a sign." And he asks Hezekiah, "Do you want the sun to go down 10 degrees or do you want it to go back 10 degrees?" And Hezekiah was sick, but he was still sharp enough to know it's a small thing for the sun to go down 10 degrees. It does that all the time. But if it were to go backwards, people would spot it. If it were to jump ahead 10 degrees, they think they just missed something. But if it went backwards and they can measure that on a sundial--and so something happened because of the prayer of Isaiah and Hezekiah that had never happened before or happened since.

In the days of Joshua, Joshua prayed and the sun stood still. But now what's happening is the sun is not just standing still, it's going backwards. Now, you can go ahead and blow a gasket, try to figure out how God did this astronomically. I mean, did the earth stop spinning? How come everyone didn't fly off? Did the sun stop moving or, you know--so people try to figure out, how did God do this? I'm not going to worry myself. I'll ask the Lord that question. It's a conundrum. It's an enigma. We'll ask him when we get to heaven. I just don't doubt. Maybe God just created the illusion for everyone on the planet, but he did it however he wanted to do it. So sun--world stopped, time stopped. It went backwards. Now, people that made it their business to study the heavens in Mesopotamia, the wise men-- now, these are not astrologers, they are astronomers. Very different, and they noticed this. They were of the same order of the wise men of Babylon.

Daniel was part of the Magi. He was the chief of the wise men. So there were still people there in Mesopotamia that made it their business to study the heavens, and when they noticed what happened-- now you got to jump to chapter 39. Go to Isaiah chapter 39. "At that time, Merodachbaladan--" This is one of the ancestors of Nebuchadnezzar who had not been born yet. "Merodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, he sent letters and a present to Hezekiah for he heard that he'd been sick and recovered." Now, why did he do that? Just because he's sending a get well card? No. They realized that--you know, when they saw the sun go backwards, they said, "What has caused this phenomenon?" And words had trickled through the kingdoms that it was the God of Hezekiah, Jehovah; the God of Israel that had done this wonder. And they thought, "Wow, I'd like to know more about a God like this." So here, the king of Babylon who's wanting to find out more about this marvel--what a great witnessing opportunity. He wants to find out more about this. He sends a gift. He tries--you know, it says gift paves way for a king. He's got these emissaries that come. They say, "Tell us, how did your God do this? Our wise men want to know. Our people want to know. Our priests want to know."

What a great opportunity. But instead of Hezekiah say, "Let me tell you about my God," he thought, "Wow, wise men from Babylon. Babylon? That's where the center of learning. That's where all the math experts are and the astrologers are. You want to know something from me?" And he was so impressed that they would come from Babylon that he wanted to impress them back with his greatness. And instead of telling them about God, he blew this grand opportunity. It says, "Hezekiah was pleased with them." That means impressed. "And he showed them the house of his treasures: the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious ointment, and all his armory, all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house," there's where you get the lesson, "or in his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them."

You notice the one thing it doesn't mention is God's house. He shows them his house, his treasury. "Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah," I'm in Isaiah 39, verse 3, "and he said to him, 'What did these men say? Where did they come to you from?' Hezekiah said, 'They came to me from a far country, from Babylon.'" Now, a far country in the Bible often means it's a symbol for the lost. The gibeonites said, "We have come from a far country." The prodigal son went to a far country. These people were separated from God, and he had a chance to witness. "He said, 'What have they seen in your house?' And Hezekiah answered." He still was clueless about what Isaiah is saying. So wow, yeah, yeah, he's still just glowing with the "Hey, they came to me from Babylon." "What did they see in your house? He said, "I've shown them all that's in my house. There is nothing among all my treasures I have not shown them." "And Isaiah said, 'Hear the word of the Lord. Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house that your fathers have accumulated until this day will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left,' says the Lord. They'll take away some of your sons who will descend from you." Their names were Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Actually, names were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. "And they will be eunuchs in the palace of Babylon."

Did that prophecy come true? "So Hezekiah said to Isaiah, 'The word the Lord has spoken is good for he said in his heart at least it'll be peace in my day." It's going to happen later on. It's like he didn't care about what was going to happen to his posterity. It's kind of like that motorhome, that big old motorhome you see going down the road; that RV, and it's got the bicycles on the back and the satellite dish on the front and it's towing a jeep. It's got a bumper sticker it says, "I'm spending my children's inheritance." Seen that? So Hezekiah says, "I don't care what happens to the grandkids. At least there's peace in my day." So this is a very important lesson because here he had this great opportunity to--they come to him to find out about his God and instead he didn't show God. He tried to show his glory instead of God's glory.

You know, I heard that one of the great tragedies of history--you know, the Protestant church is growing the fastest in Catholic countries. Did you know that? Places like Mexico, the Philippines, South America, right now Catholicism is declining, the evangelical churches and our churches as well are exploding. You know how much--the places we're really struggling in are places like Middle East and China. Do you know that when Marco Polo went to China with his uncle, Nicolo, and his father, Mateo Polo, the Kublai Khan was impressed with the Christian religion? Marco Polo was--became very good at learning languages, and he spoke fluent Mandarin or whatever it was the Kublai Khan spoke. I don't know if it was some form of Cantonese, but he learned the language and he told about the Christian God. And the Kublai Khan said, "When you go back and you're conducting your trade--next time you go back to your country, to Venice," says, "you tell your chief priest, the pope, send 100 of his priests to my country to teach our people about your God." So when the Polos went back to Italy, they tried to get an audience with the pope and says, "We've just come from this incredibly large empire, much bigger than Europe, of China, like a wall 1500 miles around, and they have asked for us to send 100 priests."

Well, that was at the moment when there were two popes warring with each other about who was the real pope. You know, there were a couple of times in Catholic history the popes were warring. There were two popes that said, "No, I'm the pope." The other one said, "I'm the pope." They were fighting with each other and they kept said-- they said, "We don't have time for that." They said, "You've got-- this is the greatest missionary opportunity in history. Send 100 priests to teach them. The whole nation, there's millions of people. They will convert." And they didn't do it 'cause they were too preoccupied. Finally, at the pleading of the Polos, they sent two priests. One got sick and died along the way, the other one turned back, and historians say history would have been so different if they had taken this seriously.

Have we sometimes missed missionary opportunities because of what people see in our house? You know, you don't hear much about hospitality these days. I have a friend. He wrote a book on Christians and hospitality, and I was convicted when I read it. I thought--you know, I'm one of these guys that after church, I go home and I want to crawl in my cave and-- but the day was when people had a lot more hospitality, Christians would bring people to their houses every week. I remember in our churches we always had who were the elders that took the visitors home. When you are in a bigger church, it's a little harder for one family to say, "I'm going to take these 20 visitors home." But that's why we have some kind of a visitor's potluck every week and the elders come here and--but people used to bring everyone to their homes. Things have changed.

Some of you, you've heard of Tom Bodett. You know, Tom Bodett was famous before he did the Motel 6 commercial. He was a speaker, a regular speaker in NPR radio, and Motel 6 hired him to do a commercial for their motel, and this was many years ago. It was 1986. And so they hired these very expensive marketing executives to write a radio script that was supposed to be an exact amount of time, and then they gave it to Tom to read the script about Motel 6--come to Motel 6. Well, Tom was something of an expert on the radio 'cause he did radio broadcasts with NPR every week, and he realized as he was getting to the end of the script, he was stopping 3 seconds short. Three seconds is an eternity in radio. And he thought, "I got to put something else in there." And so totally, he ad-libbed: "We'll leave the light on for you." That wasn't in the script. That became the most important advertising campaign, one of the most successful advertising campaigns ever and it wasn't even invented by the marketing experts. That whole idea that our home is your home. You know, it's like the farmer coming in from the fields. "Honey, I'll leave the light on for. Kids coming home late, I'll leave the light on for you." It give that feeling of welcome, and he just ad-libbed that but it communicated that homey feeling. It proved to be very successful.

Well, is your light on for others to come into your home? What have they seen in your house? This is a very important part of visiting. You know, I had an experience I'm not proud of. You may be heard me share this before, but some watching Sabbath School maybe did not hear this. You know, we have a house up in the hills. I'll be taking a little trip up there later this afternoon. I haven't been there in a few weeks. And been there 40 years-- or had it 40 years and-- David and Cindy are here today. They built a house. They lived up there with us 30 something years ago. It's been awhile. And house is off the grid, gravity flow waters, solar electric. Even years later, we put on a little Pelton wheel to make electricity from running water, and good soil, southern exposure. It's nice. So one day I had some gas delivered. Now, one thing I don't have-- I do use firewood. We can heat our water with firewood, but we use gas for the refrigerator and for the stove. In the summer, it's too hot inside to cook with wood so we cook with gas. So we have to have propane delivered.

So one summer, the propane comes up to deliver propane, and the young man jumps out and I look at him and I realize he's a young man that I know. He used to be in my junior Sabbath School class. I used to teach him. I also knew he had not been going to church for a while, and I thought, "Lord, what a providential appointment. Here I can talk to him about his soul and how he needs to come back. He's now a young man and--" But he made a terrible mistake. He said, "Doug, I have never been up here. This is a nice place. Did you design this yourself?" Oh, he let the genie out of the bottle, a genie of pride. And I said, "Well, matter of fact, yes I did." And I said, "You know, I designed it here. So it's got--the sun comes in the winter, and I got the right angle on the roofs so in the summertime you don't get the sun, in the winter you do. See the solar panels on the roof? Let me show you the electric room." And I started showing him. It said, "It's gravity flow water," and I started talking all about the house. And he seemed interested for a little while, but sometimes I've discovered I become hypnotized by my own voice and people aren't near as interested as I think they are. You know, sometimes you think everyone wants to hear everything you're thinking and they don't necessarily. And then he looked at his watch, he said, "Hey, I got to go make another deliver." And he hopped in his truck and he drove away.

And just as I saw the dust billowing behind his truck, I heard a little voice say, "What has he seen in your house?" The Lord sent him to me for me to talk to him about his soul and just all of a sudden I realized how proud I was. I just started talking about me and my stuff and how smart I am, and I've never seen him again and I lost that opportunity. I didn't get his contact information or anything.

Now here's--this leads into this next verse: 2 Chronicles 32. "In those Hezekiah--" This is 2 Chronicles 32, verse 24. "In those days Hezekiah was sick near death, and he prayed to the Lord and he spoke to him and he gave him a sign." Sun went backwards. "But Hezekiah did not repay according to the favor shown him for his heart was lifted up." He thought, "Hey, I'm so close to God. I pray and there's astronomical changes. I'm so close to God." He started to think a little too much of himself. "His heart was lifted up. Therefore, the wrath was looming over him and over Judah and Jerusalem, and Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart and the inhabitants of Jerusalem so the wrath of the Lord did not come upon them in the days of Hezekiah."

That's the same story we're talking about. So in our first section here, it's talking about learning from the king's mistake. When people come to our house, we need to be interested in talking to them about them. How many of you have heard the phrase FORT, F-O-R-T? If you'd like to know how to share your faith in your home with people you meet, just--you might want to write this down, F-O-R-T. FORT: family, occupation, testimony-- no, family, occupation, religion, testimony. I can't spell either. Ask them about their family. Whether you go to their house or they come to your house, let them talk about them. It's so easy for us to talk about ourselves when people come over. Get to know them. Find out about them. Then ask about their-- "What do you do?"

You know, I meet people all the time and--just this week, one of our members here, Tony and I were playing racquetball. As a matter of fact, yesterday morning, and Nathan was with us, and met a new person and wanted to get to know them. So we said, "So what do you do?" It's a natural segue. And then they'll often say, "What do you do?" And I said, "Well, I'm a pastor." And they said, "What church?" And you get a chance to start talking about religion almost instantly. Then finally, tell your personal testimony. So you can say, "So what do you do?" And then you say, "Do you go to church somewhere?" It used to be everybody went to church in America. He says, "What church?" Well, now you kind of say, "Do you go to church?" And then the last thing you say, "Yeah, I'm a Christian also and God's done so much for me," and give your testimony. And that then creates a segue to talk about spiritual things, and this is a great program to follow in your family.

Go to the next section: family first. And someone's going to read for me Acts 1, verse 8, in just a moment, and we'll get you ready for that. I'm going to read John 1:40 and 42. Chapter 1 of John the Gospel, one of the two who heard John the Baptist speak, when he said this is the Lamb of God, followed him. He followed Jesus. "He was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said, 'We have found the Messiah,'" which is translated Christ, "and he brought them to Jesus." So as soon as Andrew--Andrew is always bringing people to Jesus. You know, it's Andrew who brought the Greeks to Jesus. It's Andrew who brings a little boy to Jesus. Andrew never preaches a sermon that we know of, but Andrew is always trying to bring people to Christ. First person he brings is who? A family member. That's where it should start. Go ahead. Read for us please your verse.

Female: Act 1:8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."

Doug: Notice that Jesus gave concentric circles to the disciples when he told them how they were going to witness. He said, "You'll be witnesses for me: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and everywhere else, the end of the world." This is exactly how they did it. Holy Spirit's poured out in Jerusalem. That's where they lived. That was their home. They started witnessing there and then it expanded and it went on to Judea and then it went on to the half Jews, the Samaritans, and then, to the ends of the world. You know, that's how it happened in Acts. Holy Spirit in Jerusalem, then the Holy Spirit in Judea, then the Holy Spirit fell in Samaria, then the disciples in chapter 8 were scattered everywhere preaching the gospel. So, the very thing Jesus said would happen, is how you read it unfolding in the Book of Acts, but it starts at home. You want to be able to start doing evangelism.

You know, sometimes in doing our AFCOE training, people come to our program and they say, "Why are you taking the training?" "I want to go to the foreign mission field. I want to be a missionary." I said, "That's wonderful. The Lord's put that on your heart." Said, "How many people have you lead to the Lord at home?" "Well, I haven't. Yeah, it'll be much easier to go talk to them pagans out there and primitive countries and--" "So wait a second. You haven't led any of your family to the Lord? You're not leading anyone in your neighborhood or where you work to the Lord?" You don't want to go overseas. First, you want to start at home and see, "Can I lead someone here locally?" If you can't reach anybody locally, why do you think it's going to be easier when you go to a foreign country you can't speak the language? And so good evangelism is going to begin right there in the home.

By the way, where is it the hardest? It's in the home. Jesus said a prophet is not without honor except where? At home. The hardest people for me to reach was my family because they knew my past before I came to Christ. When I said, "I found the truth." They said, "Oh man, you've tried all these different religions. This is just another one, Doug." It took a few years for them to say, "It looks like you're serious about this Christianity stuff." Because I've been hopping from, you know, Buddhism to yoga to meditation, and just all these different things. They said, "Yeah, yeah, I don't--" So hard to reach your family sometimes.

Luke 8:39. After Jesus saved the demoniac, he said, "I want to go with you, Jesus." Jesus said, "No. Return to your own house and tell what great things God has done for you." Jesus said, "Go to your house." What did he do? "He went his way and he proclaimed through the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him." But where did Jesus tell him to start? Jesus blessed his efforts. He was sincere. But he said, "Go home. Tell those in your home." And telling those in your home doesn't mean you go shake them by the throat and say, "You need to believe." It means witnessing in your home, and you want to be a consistent witness. 1 Timothy 5:8, "But if anyone does not provide for his own," meaning his own family, "and especially those of his household, he's denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

So here's a principle. When it comes to providing financially--Bible says if you're not providing for your own family, speaking of a working man, you're worse than an infidel. What's more important, providing for your own family financially or spiritually? The first priority would be-- well, you want to make sure they're fed, but make sure they're fed spiritually. Deuteronomy 6, after he makes that wonderful statement, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one. Thy shall love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." He then says, "And these words that I command you today--" This is the Ten Commandments you find in Deuteronomy 5. "These words I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children. You shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, when you rise up." That means, do you have evening worship?

Last night before we went to sleep-- well, when the Sabbath started in our family, we only got one of our offspring at home for the summer: Nathan. So we have family worship, have a Sabbath worship. Woke up this morning, we kneel together, we pray. Don't have time Sabbath morning for a while--a long study 'cause everyone's kinda running hither and thither. But you always take your time and you spend time with the Lord.

But it's not just when you're, you know, having your formal worship. When you walk by the way, put the word on the doors of your house, on your gates so that it's surrounding all you do in your family. This is--let him see it in your house. Ruth chapter 1, verse 14. Because of the witness of Naomi in the home, it especially impressed her daughter-in-law. Says, "Then they lifted up their voices again and wept, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clanged to her. She said, 'Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her gods.'" In other words, Orpah-- was about to say Oprah. Orpah at one time had worshiped Jehovah, but now she said she's going back to her gods. "Return after your sister-in-law. But Ruth said, 'Entreat me not to leave you or to turn back from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people will be my people. Your God, my God. Where you die, there will I die and I will be buried. The Lord do so to me and more also of anything, but death parts you and me."

There's hardly a more poignant declaration of loyalty in the Bible. I sometimes use this when I do weddings, of what Ruth said to Naomi. Why did she say that? She had seen God in Naomi's heart, and she saw it was so different from the gods of the Moabites. She says, "No, I'm staying with you. Your God is my God." Because she saw her live it out in the home. Wasn't because she had all the blessings because here she lost her husband and two sons in the time that Ruth knew her. But she saw how Naomi dealt with all that through trusting God, and she said, "I'm sticking with you." And because of that, she ended up becoming a mother in Israel. Now, somebody has got for me 1 Peter 2, verse-- 1 Peter 3, rather, verse 1 and 2. Dan, I think we're ready for that now. So you go ahead.

Male: "Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands that even if some do not obey the Word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear."

Doug: All right, thank you. Now, Peter is talking here about a situation where you got a believer married to a non-believer. Let's hope that's because one was converted. We know there are cases where-- even though we've been counseled very clearly in the Word believers should not marry unbelievers, sometimes they still do it anyway and then they repent later and they say, "I've got to bring my spouse, wife, or husband to the Lord." And what's the best way of doing that? Being a witness by your behavior. It says conversation in the King James Version. By their conversation. It would certainly include your words, but the most important thing is your conduct. It means as they behold your godly conduct, your love--and I'll tell you, if anybody is going to know that you've got flaws and warts, it's going to be your spouse. Being a consistent, loving, patient Christian that does not get irritated, that does not retort and be sarcastic, and to be loving and kind in the family, that is the biggest challenge. And boy, if you can do that there, it'll win their hearts.

You've probably heard me share this story before. It's one of the old evangelism stories about this-- a woman that was married to just an ordinary man. She had converted to Christ after their wedding, and he ended up turning to drink and he was often coming home drunk and he'd bring his friends home and he'd wake up his wife and say, "Cook me something. I got some friends. You got anything to eat?" Just very rude. His friends banging around in the house making noise, waking her up, and she was always so kind and so patient. I'm not saying you should have to put up with that kind of abuse, but she did. And one night after he had brought his friends over and she cooked them something to eat and they had been misbehaving and they all left, he began to cry. He realized how mean he was being to his wife. And she came over and she put her hand on his shoulder, and he says, "How come you're so good to me?" Says, "I am so rude and I'm so inconsiderate. I'm so unkind to you and you are so good and patient and loving. You put up with such bad behaviors." He says, "Why are you so good to me?" And she said, "Honey," she said, "I found Jesus and I have everlasting life." She says, "I'm going to have a new body and live in a world and he's prepared a mansion for me, and I'm going to be happy forever." She said, "The only happiness you're going to have is this life. I feel sorry for you so I'm just trying to make you as happy as I can." And that broke his heart, and he was converted.

So it doesn't always happen that way, but one of the best ways you can reach people, if you're in a divided home, is by your behavior. And you really need to pray for extra grace to make that happen, amen? Paul says, "Now, what if you are married to an unbeliever?" Now, when Paul writes this, keep in mind he's talking-- the gospel had taken off like wildfire among the Gentiles. Greeks everywhere were accepting Christ, but sometimes just one member of the family, maybe just the husband or just the wife. So he's not talking about people who chose to be unequally married, he's talking about people who are pagans: one of them accepted the Lord, the spouse has not. And so this is what he's talking about here in 1 Corinthians 7, verse 12. "To the rest, I say, not the Lord, 'If any brother has a wife that does not believe and she's willing to live with him, let her not-- let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he's willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband. Otherwise, your children would be unclean.'"

This is a very important theological point here, that there's a sanctified influence of the believing parent on the children. And Paul is also saying the children are an additional reason for married people to stay married, and you're setting an example for them there. But he goes on to say, "But now they're holy. But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases. God has called us to peace." So this is one of the few exceptions for divorce, that if you got two people that are pagans, not talking about Christians-- two people that are pagans, one accepts the Lord, the unbeliever says, "I didn't sign up for that. I worship Mercury and Jupiter. I'm leaving." And this young woman now is abandoned and maybe she has children. Is she now never allowed to remarry again? The Bible says--Paul says here, this would be a case where she would be allowed to remarry again. Says, "You're not under bondage in such cases." But--so you'd be a witness in your family to your unbelieving spouse. Look in Ephesians 5:22. "Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord for the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church, and he is Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands and everything. Husbands, love your wives as Christ also love the church and gave himself for you--for her." So he's talking about, there needs to be love. There needs to be submission in the family, and you melt the other person's heart by the behavior.

All right, and then there's--the next section talks about family life is for sharing, and here we go to 1 Corinthians 4:16 and 17. By your example, you mirror Christ in the family, to visitors and to the actual other members of the family. 1 Corinthians 4:16 and 17, "Therefore I urge you, imitate me. And for this reason, I've sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ as I teach everywhere in every church." So there should be a modeling of Christ in the family. Ephesians 5:1, "Therefore, be imitators of God as dear children." And so we want to model God's behavior in our family. 1 Thessalonians 1:16, "And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the Word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit." And then one more here in Hebrews 6, verse 12. "That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promise."

You all know what bonding is in animals? You have--they found it in fish, they found it in birds, and they find it even in mammals. I remember when I was a kid, I was playing soccer in Central Park. I actually kicked the soccer ball up against the window of the Natural Museum of Natural History. It didn't hurt the window 'cause there were iron bars. But I went to get my ball and I found--this cat ran out from the metal bars of the window and I looked down and I realized, "Oh, she had some kittens." You know, there's feral cats all over New York City. They also have feral rats, too. But I thought, "Wow,--" I looked in and saw these little bitty kittens. They weren't that big. And I went to pick one up and it's spat at me and it wanted to kill me. Now, it couldn't do much, but it scared me. You ever seen that little bitty cat? It was just old enough where it knew that I was not its mother, and it was wild. I couldn't take it home. Then, again, I've been there when baby kittens are born and they're used to a human being around the mother and petting the mother. You can pick them right up and they figured, "Okay with mom, okay with me." That kind of bond, they become used to it. With ducks, do you know if-- when the duck hatches, if the mama duck is not there but the family dog is there, if that dog is lying by the baby ducks, when that dog gets up, the ducks will follow the dog. How many of you have seen this? They bond, and people have a little bit of that inside us.

Every human being has a little photographic plate, for lack of a better word, inside our minds and we sort of become like what we behold. We are changed by beholding. And so as we model Christ in our families--it's especially sensitive when they're children, but even for older people-- when I first became a Christian, I had no idea how a Christian was supposed to act, but a pastor and his wife took me into their home and they modeled Christianity. I said, "I don't know. How do you keep the Sabbath? What does Sabbath keeping look like?" I saw how they did it. "What does family worship look like?" I saw how they did it. "How are you supposed to talk to a husband and wife?" I saw how they treated each other. They're just so kind. One time he was carrying a long pile of lumber, Pastor Phillips. He was like 80 something years old. He had a long piece of lumber and his wife was in the driveway. When he turned around just like a vaudeville thing, he hit her in the head with a board. She said, "Joe." He clobbered her. And he said, "Oh, I'm so sorry, dear." She said, "It's okay." And they were so nice. I thought, in most families, they would be screaming and cursing each other after something like this. But--so I saw how they modeled it. And people--even when you're older, by beholding people, modeling Christianity, you become changed. So you want to do that in your family. If you have not been doing it, it's not too late to change. Amen? You get the Holy Spirit, all things are possible. Someone's going to read for me Isaiah 58. Our families should be centers of contagious friendliness. Okay, you have that?

Female: "Is this not the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bond of the wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; when you see the naked, that you cover him, and to hide yourself from your own flesh?"

Doug: So what does he say? What Isaiah is saying is one of the most important fasts. You bring people into your homes, that you bring to your home the poor who are cast out. Jesus said, "When you have a feast, don't invite your friends." Bring them in your home. Now, that doesn't mean that you need to all go get a van and drive around the neighborhood and bring all the homeless to your home. Blessed are the poor in what? Spirit. God especially wants us to bring people into our home that are-- have spiritual poverty. They don't know the Lord. Study with them. 1 Peter 4:19, "Be hospitable to one another without grumbling."

You know one reason we don't have so much hospitality today? Hotel chains everywhere. People travel, they don't stay in homes anymore. They stay in hotels. I know. Bonnie's here. When the Heritage singers first started going on the road, they stayed--you would arrange houses for them to stay and they stayed in people's homes. Last few years, it was all hotels. Things started changing. You remember when pastors would come to a town and do a meeting? It's, "What family would they stay with?" But now it's, "What hotel will they stay in?" Now, people communicate digitally. People used to go to homes and talk. They talk on the phone. Singing. You wanted to sing with a group? You went to home and you'd sing. Now, you just press the button on your iPod or whatever and you get the music that way. Relationships used to be you interact with people. Now, you turn on television and you watch other people relate. People are so absorbed now in their personal comfort and convenience. The idea that a stranger would invade our homes kind of puts us all out, but what does the Bible say about hospitality? "Speaking of someone who qualifies as a bishop, sober-minded, good behavior, hospitable, able to teach." Titus chapter 1, verse 7 and 8, "But a bishop must be blameless as a steward of God, not self-willed but hospitable, a lover of what is good." Romans 12, verse 9, "Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love, distributing to the needs of the saints given to hospitality."

Was Lot hospitable with the angels? Ended up saving them. What about Rehab with the spies? Did Jethro take in Moses? And Moses got a wife out of the deal. And those of you who are singles, Elijah stayed with a widow and she had a baby and a resurrection. She invited him to her upper room. Jesus was invited to Peter's house and he healed Peter's mother-in-law. And you got Zacchaeus. Jesus said, "And I want to abide in your house." Martha and Lazarus invited Jesus. A lot of hospitality in the Bible. We're just out of time. Let me remind you of what our free offer is today. Friends, if you've joined us a little late, you missed this at the beginning, it's called "Compromise, Conformity & Courage." Talk to us about how to live in the last days. If you'd like a free copy, all you need to do is call, 800-866-788-3966. That's 866-STUDY-MORE. Ask for offer number 774. You can also get this--you can text and download it. Just text "SH019" to 40544 and you can read that online. God bless you till we study his Word together again next week.

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Gary: Early 1980s, all the baby boomers were turning 21 and the nightclubs seemed to exploding and I thought of the entertainment lighting company.

Female: I was the president. There were six divisions doing the raves in the '80s and '90s, you know, in some warehouse where you're setting up lighting and fog and, you know, who knows what's going on in there and nightclub installations. I loved it, and it was who I was.

Gary: Bought a new house out of town and we moved about two or three times, but we were all going into different churches. We're in a Lutheran Church and then we're at a Methodist Church and I think we went three different Baptist churches. My wife was raised Catholic. I was raised Methodist. Currently, I've been reading all the Hal Lindsay books and watching all the "Left Behind" movies. And so I really wanted to understand what the Book of Revelation was all about, but nothing really ever made sense to me.

Female: One day, Pastor Lloyd Logan came knocking and he had that Net 99 flyer. Lloyd Logan: We were preparing for an evangelistic series, and different people were going different directions. I was in Hidden Hills to invite people to the meetings. female: I saw that coming at me, you know, all the colors and I thought, "Oh, no, this is some kind of cop thing."

Lloyd: And she says, "Thank you very much. I'm not much interested myself. Well, my husband likes that kind of thing." female: And Lloyd said, "Would you give it to him, please?" And I said, "Okay, I will." So I took the pamphlet and I put it on the counter. Gary came home and he walked by it.

Gary: Ran to the kitchen, quickly eat and take a shower, and go back out and work a show.

Female: Two, three days went by like this and I moved that brochure from the counter, put it on the dining room table, put it back on the counter, and I actually threw it in the garbage. As I threw it in that garbage can, I could hear him and see his face saying, "Would you give it to him, please?" And I actually took the garbage out. And that night lying in bed, I kept seeing his face and hearing his voice and thinking, "Boy, I got to get that brochure out of the garbage." And I took that and I put it right underneath the remote control. "Bright colors. He'll see it."

Gary: I finally sat down in my living room and I picked up the remote and I saw that angel holding out that scroll.

Female: "Whoa, cool. What is this?" And I was in the kitchen cooking and I thought, "Oh, no."

Gary: And I looked at it and I turned it over and then I saw a little building-- a little church building, and it wasn't too far away. It was about six houses down, and I said, "Friday night."

Female: And I certainly wasn't going. I mean, it wasn't my intention to go.

Gary: I didn't have any shows going on that night. And so I thought it was a one night deal. I went and as I heard about the Millennium man, I was just blown away. I didn't want it to end. I knew what I was hearing was all from the Scripture, and it wasn't based on Hollywood movies or other books that were written. They said, "Come again tomorrow night." And I thought, "Wow, great. Two nights." So I tried to tell my wife about it and she still wasn't interested, and then she decided to come.

Female: I started to hear the truth, you know, and I started to get fed.

Gary: Every night after the seminar, they would hand us an Amazing Facts study guide. I couldn't get those fast enough.

Female: The business kept us going 7 days a week and it was night and day.

Gary: Crew is working around the clock. And so, when we finally heard the Sabbath message, you know, so far everything was true right from the Bible.

Female: Church on Saturday, no work? Anyway, it all clicked.

Gary: Both our heads turned at each other. Our jaws dropped open. F

Female: I said, "We can't do that."

Gary: And the first thing that came out of my mouth was, "We have to."

Female: I knew that it would be a sacrifice and I was in fear about it.

Gary: We didn't know how we were going to do it, but we talked to the pastor about it and the pastor said, "We'll just pray about it and God will open doors."

Female: I didn't want to give up all the connections I've made, all the networking, all the money, all the investment.

Gary: We went to the board and asked them if they would consider closing on Saturday, and they agreed to. So we closed the storefront on Saturday, but we're still doing productions and that kind of bothered us. So a couple months later, God opened the door for my wife. She exited the company. I prayed about it, and God opened the door for me too.

Female: Gary shortly after was offered a job being paid more money than he made as an owner of the company.

Gary: He said, "I'll give you $1,000 raise and you will never work another weekend."

Female: And we were able to keep the Sabbath and enjoy the wonderful blessings that God had for us on the Sabbath day.

Gary: My kids never again had to say, "Quit talking about work." After the seminar was over, my wife and I and my children were all baptized into the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Even if I gave up everything, I knew that God would have something better.

Female: I have much more understanding and there's much more depth in my Christian walk with the Lord.

Gary: We started an Amazing Fact Bible School at our church. It allows anybody to understand the Scriptures, to understand the end times. Church changed my life dramatically, and I'm very happy and excited to be a part of it.

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