Blood on the Throne

Scripture: Revelation 5:1-14, Leviticus 17:11
Revelation 5 speaks about a scroll that only the Lamb of God can open. This gospel message is repeated in other places in Revelation. The central theme of prophecy is salvation. The Bible teaches that life is in the blood. When Jesus gave His life for us it washes away the sins of the world. The Lord will give you eternal life when you humble yourself before Him, confess your sins, and accept by faith forgiveness.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Question and Answer: Karen Batchelor

KB—Question #1: Our first question is really not a question but a statement. I can’t seem to find where to go to get the symbolic printout as you said in the first net meeting. Can you please direct me?

DB: We’ve actually reorganized the website a little bit. You had to go through a few levels to get the free printout of Bible (uh) (KB: Symbols) symbols. Like a sword is the Word of God, a woman is a church in the Scriptures. We’ve now got it right on the home page so you have to just click there, and you’ll be able to find that, then it should be much easier.

KB—Question #2: I am amazed you are not begging for money like some oth… so many other evangelists. (Audience laughs) How do you support this program?

DB: Be patient with us, we’ll start begging soon. (Audience laughs) (Laughs) So (uh) you know, we do go out of our way because (uh) we really want people to come together and to hear the Word. There will be opportunity during these meetings that your local sites—obviously their expenses—that have nothing to do with our expenses here, but there will be opportunity to give towards the expenses of the meetings. (Uh) I promise you, we are not gonna pressure anybody. We want you to come and to feel comfortable, amen? (Audience says amen) And the main thing is we want you to just study the Word. (Uh) People have given that this might be made available to you.

KB—Question #3: Alright. Please explain Matthew 24:41 and Luke 17. It sounds like the secret rapture to me.

DB: Alright. When we talked about the ra…(uh) now, we all believe in the rapture concept that we’ll be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. That’s where we all agree. (Uh) Number of churches disagree on whether it’ll be a secret or not, and will life continue on earth after the church is raptured? Sometimes they point to two passages: one in Matthew 24; a similar one in Luke. I’m gonna go to Luke chapter 17 verse 35. Speaking of the second coming, Jesus said, “Two women will be grinding together; one will be taken, the other left. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken, the other left. Two men will be sleeping in a bed; one will be taken, the other left.” I actually--I left that verse 34 and just threw that in, that’s the one. Two men will be sleeping in a bed; one taken, the other left. Two women grinding.

Alright, here’s a good place for Bible symbols. What have we learned already that a woman represents in Bible symbology? (Audience answers church) A church! Number of verses for that; matter of fact, if you go to the letter of III John, he addresses it from one lady to another. He’s writing from one church to another. “Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church.” So there’s a number of symbols for that. How many kinds of churches are in Revelation? How many kinds of women? (Audience answers two) Two, two women: Revelation 12, Revelation 17. Both opposites: one true church, one false church. How many kind of people will there be when Jesus comes? Two: saved and lost, right? Is there anything in between? Jesus said there’s two roads: the wide gate, the narrow gate; the road to heaven, the road the other way.

Alright, what is sleep represent in the Bible? Jesus said, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps.” Paul says in I Thessalonians, “Don’t sorrow concerning those who are asleep.” What’s he talking about? (Audience answers death) Death! How many kinds of people are asleep right now? The saved and the lost, right? There’s two kinds of people that die, right? And when Jesus comes it says, “The dead in Christ shall rise first.” What would that indicate? That the other group rises later, right? There’s at least a sequence.

Then it says two women (uh) grinding at the mill. Two kinds of wha--what do women grind? They grind the Word; two kinds of messages that are being shared.

And then it says two men working in the field. Jesus says, “The world is the field. The harvest is great, the laborers are few. God has sown the good seed. The enemy has sown way--we--weeds or tares.” (Uhm) And when Jesus comes, there’s two kinds of people out sharing their message: the true and the false. That’s all he’s saying. He’s not making a point that folks would be walking down the street and just start disappearing like they’ve been beamed away. The Bible doesn’t teach that.

KB: You know it’s interesting, I--someone asked me last night, or referred to the incident with the--the recent tsunami, where there would be a husband and a wife together, and one was taken out in the water and died, and the other survived. And they used that as the example for the secret rapture.

DB: That’s interesting. By the way, one taken, one left; you made me think of something, dear. Thank you.

KB: Sure, anytime.

DB: When--(huh) when the disciples asked Jesus where? Speaking of taken—taken where? Who remembers how Jesus answered? “Wherever the eagles are,” I’m sorry, “Wherever the body is, that’s where the eagles or vultures are gathered together.” And then He compares it to the days of Noah when the flood came and took them all away. Who’s taken away there, the saved or the lost? Flood came and took them all away. The children of Israel, when they were good—they got to go to the Promised Land; when they’re bad, they were taken away—taken off to Babylon, or Syria. Maybe people are getting this whole thing mixed up about who it is that’s taken. And (uh) taken if--if you’re in the Promised Land, to be taken away from that, is not good.

In the parable of the (uh) the wheat and the tares—I’m giving you a series of parables here—Jesus speaks of the second coming. You’ve got the wheat, gonna be saved; the tares, gonna be burned. He says, “First gather together the tares in bundles to burn them.” What’s taken first? The bad! Taken away for destruction! So maybe everyone’s been getting this backwards.

KB—Question #3: Alright, our next statement. Good day! Could you place the Ark of the Covenant at the last known place for me?

DB: Good day—(KB: Good day) that’s probably from some of our viewers in Australia (KB: Australia and New Zealand) or New Zealand. (Uh) Y--you know there’s (uh) they made a popular movie about the ark, and they had it in Egypt. It is very likely not in Egypt. The history channel had a program about the ark, and I tuned in I was very interested, and they’re saying it’s in Ethiopia because Solomon may have given it to his illegitimate son he had with the queen of Sheba. Not very likely that King Solomon gave the national treasure away without it ever been mentioned.

(Uhm) The most likely thing is we have every reason to believe the ark was in the temple right up until Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem (uh) during the time of King Zedekiah. It’s believed that Jeremiah, who foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, along with some of the priests, hid the ark in--probably in some cave around Jerusalem, because the city was surrounded, they couldn’t get out. They are--I’ve been to Jerusalem twice, it is honeycombed with ancient tombs and caves underneath the city, and I believe it’s still hidden there. (Uh) One reason for that is it lists in the Bible everything that was taken from the temple when Nebuchadnezzar conquered and burnt the temple, and everything that was brought back. We have a study on the temple tomorrow night. We’ll talk more about that.

KB—Question #4: Doug, could you please explain “the wheel in a wheel” in Ezekiel and is there any prophecy connected to it? And this is from Terry.

DB: No! I can’t explain that. That is a--I’ll be very honest with you, I don’t have all the answers. (Uh) How many of you have read Ezekiel 1 where it talks about the wheel within the wheel? That is a very deep prophecy. I’ll tell you what I do think about when I read that. It’s almost like he’s given a picture of the--the mystery of life. (Uh) Life is a series of wheels within a wheel. Every cell of your body is a wheel within a wheel. Our solar system is a wheel within a wheel. A galaxy is a wheel within a wheel. An atom, or the electrons, the neutrons rotating—it’s a wheel within a wheel. It’s almost like the mystery of life. It is not a Mazda rotary engine, as some has suggested. But i--it’s like the mystery of life that God has from the--the atom and the molecules up to the galaxies seems to be spiraling, doesn’t it? That’s all I can get out of that. I--it’s--it’s talking about the way God moves. Someone said, “Is it the UFO”? No, I don’t think so.

KB—Question #5: Is the book of Revelation written in chronological order?

DB: I included this question cause it’s very important for you to know it’s not. (Uh) A matter of fact, the book of Revelation is written where it continues to cover the same material from different angles. Instead of thinking of the book of Revelation as something that is linear where they just they’re--they’re going along, think of it as perspective. One chapter is giving the truth from this angle, then they stand, and they look at it from this angle, then this angle, then this angle. For instance, the seven churches; chapters II and III cover the history of the church from the first coming to the second coming—the religious history. The seven seals of Revelation. Lot of seven: seven trumpets, seven seals, seven eyes, seven horns, seven thunders; the seven seals of Revelation—the political history of the church from the first coming to the second coming. The seven trumpets cover a military history of the church from the first coming to the second coming. And so it’s covering a lot of the same material from different perspectives.

If you read the book of Daniel, you’ll see the same thing there. It gives the history of the Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and Roman Empires. First, in the form of a metal image; then in four beasts: bear, lion, leopard, and dragon-like beasts; then in a goat, and a ram, and these horns—same period of time, different perspectives. Didn’t Jesus teach the same truths with different parables to help everybody relate? Sometimes he use sheep, sometimes he use farming, (uh) teaching the same truths.

KB—Question #5: Alright. What does it mean in Genesis 6 where it says, “The sons of God knew the daughters of men”?

DB: (Uh) We’ve touched on this. But when we talk about angels, people wonder-- (uh) I get irritated, sometimes I’ll hear pastors—please forgive me—I mean, they maybe good men, but I wonder how in the world they can believe this. They believe this verse means that aliens had intimate relations with humans and had these weird children. The Bible is not teaching that. Or they believe fallen angels, demons, had sex with humans and had these giant children.

Let’s read it. Genesis 6 verse 1, “It came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful; and they took wives of all they chose.” The sons of God, who are they? Well, it tells in the Bible, John chapter--I John chapter 3 verse 1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we are called the sons of God.” Believers are called the sons of God. Back in the days of this event, there was a distinction between the children of Seth. Adam and Eve and Seth still worship God. The children of Cain were mortal; they were called the daughters of men. They left and built their own city, and they remained separate. But when they began to intermarry, as a result of that, the spirituality was gone through their mixed marriages, and it says that the thought of men’s hearts were only evil continually because they lost their distinct identity.

That’s why believers are told not to intermarry with unbelievers. And some says, “But wait a second, it says that (uh) there were giants on the earth in those days after the sons of God came after the daughters of men. They must have been some kind of something supernatural about them.” The Bible says nowhere the angels can procreate. This is something very simple called genetic vitality. It is often true that when you cross (uh) two breeds of the same creature, that you get a genetic vitality from that. (Uhm) That’s often true. Do you know that it’s true that mutts are often smarter and healthier than purebreds? How many of you know that?

I hope John Lomacang doesn’t mind my sharing this. Where are you at?

KB: He’s down there.

DB: Your mom is a Filipino, right? How tall was she? Five feet! What to you, 6-3? Six-three! And your Dad was black, African-American? American-Indian and African-American, see? He’s so talented and tall? That’s genetic vitality—giant. (Audience laughs) Exhibit A. It doesn’t mean that they were aliens. But then again when I look at John, I wondered sometimes (Laughs) (Audience laughs). Oh, I’m sorry, that wasn’t nice. Next question.

KB: You can do that when you’re good friends, huh?

DB: Yeah! (Laughs)

KB—Question #6: Alright. This one came from our audience here at our location. (Uhm) If one day equals a thousand years, and a thousand years equals one day, did God create the world in seven thousand years?

DB: Okay, first of all when you read these prophecies about applying a day for a year, it doesn’t mean every time you see the phrase, “a day” in the Bible, you suppose to say I mean really a year, or translate that to a year. It’s when it’s a prophecy. When the earth was created, and you read in Genesis about the evening and the morning were the first day, is that a prophecy or it’s just a historical record? So it doesn’t mean it was a seven thousand years, does it? It was seven literal days. If you read the Bible, for one thing, God does--He makes the vegetation on the third day, He doesn’t make the sun, moon, and stars, until the fourth day. Those plants would have to live a thousand years without any sunlight if that was the case so (uh) (KB: Well when Jesus) they have to be literal days.

KB: Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and that wouldn’t be forty years. (DB: Yeah!) if He died at 33.

DB: Exactly! Cause it’s not a prophecy, it’s a historical record. It’s in prophecy a day equals a year. We will say a little more about that tomorrow.

KB—Question #7: Alright. The Bible says that God sent Satan to this earth, why then did God send Adam and Eve to the same place where Satan could deceive them?

DB: When it tells us in Revelation chapter 12 that Satan was cast to the earth, it’s believed that he was restricted to the earth after he was able to entice Adam and Eve to listen to him. Basically, he said to the Lord, “You know, I’m not gonna roam to and fro through the universe with nowhere. I have a planet here that has listened to me.” And man surrendered the dominion of the planet to the devil when he chose to listen to the devil instead of God. So the devil was restricted to the earth after man chose to listen to the devil.

KB—Question #8: Genesis 3:6 says Adam was with Eve when she took of the fruit, yet I recently heard just the opposite, what’s the truth?

DB: I heard that too. I--I heard a minister on the radio, he was talking about that, and says that she gave the fruit to her husband with her. And that’s in Genesis chapter 3. That doesn’t mean he was with her at the tree when she was tempted because that would be very strange, there’s this whole dialogue going on and you never hear from Adam, all a sudden it just says, “He eats the fruit.” (Uh) It means he was with her in the garden and he ate the fruit along with her. It doesn’t mean he was standing there with her when she went through her temptation. We believe she was alone at that point, and then she brought the fruit to Adam. If he was with her, he would have plucked it off the tree just like she did.

KB: Or he would have prevented her from doing so.

DB: We’d hope.

KB: That’s right, that’s what you do, right? You take care of me?

DB: And we wouldn’t be here right now, would we?

KB—Question #9: That’s right. (Audience laughs) Alright. I need you, dear. Alright. Where in the Bible does it say that some people suffer more than others according to their sins in the lake of fire?

DB: Well, there are number of passages. Revelation 22 tells us that the Lord says He’ll reward everyone according to their works. Now that would mean one of two things. That means that when the time for punishment comes, there’s a difference in intensity or duration, right? Doesn’t that make sense? (Uh) Jesus says in the gospel of Luke that He that knew his master’s will and did not do it will be beaten with many stripes; he who did not know master’s will and did not do it will be beaten with few stripes. A number of passages in the Bible bear out that—I mean think about it friends—do you think that some poor alcoholic that drinks himself to death is gonna get the same punishment as Adolf Hitler? See what I’m saying? God is just. And everybody there--all sin is deadly but there are varying degrees of sin. Look at the laws in any government. And don’t they treat different offenses differently based on what they are? And God is—it’s like Abraham said, “Will man be more just than God”? God is gonna reward people differently.

KB—Question #10: When the evil men were pounding on Lot’s door, why did Lot say he would turn his daughters over to them. This story in the Old Testament has always troubled me. Thank you for your answer. Jeanne.

DB: That is a troubling in story. There’s a similar one in Judges where someone offered his wife rather than (uh) send out a man. Part of the reason for that, you need to understand the (uh) the incredibly intense (uhm) law of protecting somebody who is come into your home for sanctuary. In the Eastern culture, when you brought someone into your home, it was understood you would give everything you owned and lay down your life to protect them. And (uh) that’s why he said, you know I--these people have come into my home for sanctuary. And by the way, remember they said “We’ll stay in the streets,” Lot urged them to come into his home. And he said, “I cannot turn them over.” And the other thing was the sin of (uh) homosexuality was so abominable. This idea that he would put these men out in the street to be abused that way. I know it’s hard for you and I to understand but that’s what the issues were.

KB: Alright. I think we’re done (Background music starts) with our questions for tonight.

Sermon Questions: Douglas Batchelor

Tonight, our lesson is dealing with the subject of “Blood on the Throne,” and that may sound like (uh) a grisly subject to study in the Bible, but it really is a prophetic study. Take your Bibles if you would, and turn with me—if you have a Bible, turn with me to the Book of Revelation chapter five, Revelation chapter five. This is a prophetic study and you’ll know where this sermon title comes from as we consider this. “And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside, and on the back sealed with seven seals. And then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?’ And no one in heaven, or in the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the scroll or to loose--look at it. So I wept much.”

What do you think that scroll is? That’s the book of life. “So I wept much because no one was found worthy to open and to read the scroll or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, ‘do not weep; behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has prevailed,’” these are two Old Testament symbols for Jesus—the Messiah, “has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.’ And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, that are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” You can find those seven Spirits of God identified in Isaiah chapter 11 verse 2. Seven horns—a horn is a symbol for power. It’s talking about the perfect power. Seven eyes, what do you think that represents? Eyes represent discernment, knowledge; God knows all things; He is all powerful; He is omnipresent. And who is this Lamb that is slain? This is Jesus.

Now when we look in the Bible, if you wanna know who the Lamb is, are we guessing about that, or do you find right in the Bible where John says in gospel of John 1:29? John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” That Lamb is Jesus, amen? (Audience says amen) And then this scroll with the seven seals, we believe this is something that is often referred to as the book of life. Moses talks about God’s book. Daniel talks about those who are written in the book. Jesus talks about the book of life. And who is the only one that has a right to erase our sins and enter our names in that book? It’s only Jesus, because He took our place. Now you might be wondering, “Doug, I came to a prophecy study and it sounds like you’re gonna start talking about the gospel.” I am, but it’s a prophetic subject.

Now turn with me to Revelation chapter 14. And while you’re turning, I’m gonna ask you a question. How many of you during this seminar would like for me to talk about the mark of the beast? Here—you would like to hear about that? Would you like to hear about Babylon, who she is, chapter 17. Notice something. How many of you want to hear more about the second coming of Jesus, you wanna hear those things? In Revelation 14 verse 6, it tells about three angel messages that go to the world, verse 6; “I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth.” Then you go to verse 8; another angel followed saying, “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” And then it tells us, verse 9; a third angel followed, “If anyone worships the Beast and his image.” Well then you go down to (uh) verse 14, “I looked, and behold a white cloud, and one on the cloud sat like the Son of man having on his head a golden crown.” That’s Jesus coming in the clouds.

Before you get to Babylon, before you get to the Beast, and even the second coming, it says the first angel’s message has the everlasting gospel. The central theme of all prophecy is salvation. It is not just to give us interesting comic-book-like characters that we’re to be entertained by. It is about salvation. Now that may not be what Hollywood does with some of these prophetic themes, they tried to just capitalize on the entertainment value of it, but the purpose from God’s perspective is redemptive. So this blood on the throne is talking about the blood of Jesus that washes away the sin of the world.

You know I remember going to (uh) Cameroon, Africa. I’ve been to Africa a few times and (uh) 2002 I went and did a series like this on satellite all over the country of Africa, it was great. Before I went, I made sure and get my yellow fever shot. I had my malaria pills because we went right to the Equator in the tropics in Cameroon. And (uh) there are few diseases, they recommend—matter of fact even when you get there—(uh) I remember I got off the plane, and they said something in French, and I guess I answered wrong, and they pulled me aside, and pulled me behind this white curtain, and this gal with (uh) kind of a doctor’s cope pulled out this needle looked like this long, and I said, “Whoa.” (Audience laughs) And (uh) someone helped me and they said, “They thought you said you didn’t get your yellow fever shot, they’re gonna give it to you. And you don’t wanna get it here because some have wondered if they reused the needles.”

And (uh) I was so thankful I already had my shot. I was also thankful for this amazing fact I learned about blood. You know where they get the yellow fever vaccine? Many years ago, there was a very poor native named As--a--a--Azaby, in (uh) Africa, who contracted yellow fever. And they took a sample of his blood, and they sent it to a laboratory in the Rockefeller Center and others. They mingled it with mice and chicken embryos, until they developed a very weak strain of yellow fever that they could give a person an antidote of. And basically, it gives it to you at such a small dose, you don’t ever know it, but it keeps you from ever getting it. And all of the yellow fever vaccine that has been produced and reproduced and manufactured by the thousands that has saved so many people from this dreaded disease, can all be traced back to the blood of that one poor native. And by the way, he survived h--his bout of yellow fever.

The Bible tells us that (uh) blood is a very powerful thing. There is power in the blood. (Uhm) Here’s a picture of what a healthy blood cells look like. You know the Bible tells us that the life is in the blood. Leviticus 17 verse 11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Every part of our bodies that is alive is fed by blood; it’s given oxygen by blood; the--the spent gases are taken away by the blood; and it’s cleansed by blood. The life is in the blood. Even in these ancient cultures, they understood that. And once a creature loses its blood, it loses its life. You can live without your blood, can you? That’s why kids, when you--when they are young and they first cut themselves, and start to bleed, they seem horrified by it. “I’m losing my fluid.” (Laughs) (Audience laughs) (Uh) “I’m gonna drain.” And it’s--you know, something within us, we--we don’t feel good when we see it on the outside. And (uh) it--it--it’s understandably not natural.

Jesus, when He gave His blood for us, His blood washes away the sin of the world. Now this is something that we can’t always comprehend. It’s like (uh) I think it was Billy Sunday who said, “There’s a lot of things about the gospel I can’t explain but they work.” He said, “I can’t explain how a black cow eats green grass, and makes yellow butter, and white milk, but I like ice cream.” It doesn’t keep you from experiencing the miracle, and I cannot fully explain the mystery of the gospel, how believing in the blood of Jesus washes away our sin, but I can tell you something, it works; and the testimony of thousands of lives bear that out.

(Uh) Sometimes when the blood is bad, a person can get sick. I went to visit a friend a few weeks ago, just (uh) two or three weeks ago; had a form of leukemia. His blood became infected, and his white blood cells were mass producing, and (uh) (uhm) kissed him, told him I love him, had prayer with him, and (uh) he died a few days later. And it was because his blood went bad. You know the story of salvation, you heard me say the other day, really is a story of a blood transfusion.

Now we’re talking about prophecy code symbols. What is wine or grape juice a symbol of in the Bible? Who knows? Blood! When Jesus gave that grape juice to the disciples, He said, “Drink, this is my blood; given for the sins of the world.” What was the first miracle that Jesus performed, who knows? John chapter 3, I’m sorry, I said John chapter 2. He--the wedding of Canaan, He turned water into grape--grape juice. It says wine, but it was grape juice. Jesus didn’t make a six--you know a big ol’ 55 gallons drums of booze for a party. (Audience laughs) So He gave pure grape juice.

What was the last thing that happened before Jesus died? On the cross, men offered Him sour wine, and it--they put it to His lips, and when He tasted it, saw what it was, He turned away. But that’s very interesting; first miracle of Jesus at a wedding, He gives pure grape juice to His bride, and the last thing He does is, men offers Him sour wine. Christ took our sin and He gave us His purity. And this is the story of salvation. Now I’ve already alluded to these three angel messages that go to the world. The first angel’s message is to fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment is come, but this angel is seen preaching the everlasting gospel.

DB—Sermon Question #1: Let’s get on with our questions. And question number one in our seminar; does God really care about me individually?

What do you think? Answer? Jesus says in Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 3, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.” You know friends, there’s nothing that you can do more to make God love you more. There’s nothing bad you can do to make God love you less. That’s hard to comprehend. His love for you is complete, and full, and perfect. That’s just sometimes you know, we have parents and it seems like their love was conditional. You perform well; they act like they love you more, and if you’re bad; they act like they love you less. But God’s not that way. Matter of fact, the Bible tells us that He loves us even while we’re sinners. You know that song Jesus loves me this I know? There’s a verse not too many people sing, “Jesus loves me when I’m good, when I do the things I should. Jesus loves me when I’m bad, even though it makes Him sad. Yes Jesus loves me.”

Nothing you can do can separate you; which is our next reference, Romans chapter 8 verse 38, “For I’m persuaded,” Paul says, “that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” That’s good news friends. That means God loves you—yes you. You might be thinking, “Oh, Doug, well you don’t know what I’ve done.”

You know it’s amazing to me every now and then you’ll see (uh) somebody who is accused of some infamous crime, and Jeffrey Dahmer’s father was at court showing support for his son. And you think, “Wow, I’d be so ashamed.” But He loved his son so much in spite of that. (Uhm) If you want to talk about current news, how many of you seen Michael Jackson’s mother with him at court every single day? The love of a parent; if earthly parents can love their children that much, do you think they love their children more than God loves you? He loves you desperately, amen? And He wants you saved.

DB—Sermon question #2: Number two. How has God demonstrated His love for us? What it is that God has done to show us how much He loves us?

John 3:16, how many of you know this? Why don’t you say this with me? And you who are watching, you can join us, here we go. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” You know we’ve read this verse so many times but it is one of the more phenomenal verses in the Bible. For God—the greatest individual; loved—the greatest emotion; the world—the greatest number; that He gave—the greatest gesture; His only— the greatest singleness; son—greatest treasure; that the world might not perish—the greatest judgment; but have everlasting life—the greatest reward. I mean, it’s all contained in that verse.

And you know I used to take even the word “so” for granted, until one time I heard a minister tell a story. He was reading the paper one Sunday morning and (uh) started to weep, and his wife came over and said, “What’s the problem”? And he said, “I just read this story, it’s just heart breaking.” These parents bought a brand new little red wagon for their son, for his birthday. Four year old boy, riding the wagon down the drive way, he forgot to turn it, didn’t know how to use it yet—you know those little Radio Flyer wagons? And he went instead of turning on the sidewalk, his--the driveway sloped down towards the street, he went right out into the street, got hit by a truck—on the day of his birthday.

And (uh) right after the pastor was telling his wife the story in the paper, they got a phone call, and it was the family. And they said, “We need a minister to conduct our son’s funeral, we’re just now making arrangements.” He said he went to the funeral and of course it was heart wrenching. I’ve done more than my share of funerals as a pastor; for babies, and teenagers, and a--a--and it’s really tough when children die. And the pastor said when the mother came to the casket, she and the father just clung to it, and they cried over and over, “We loved you so, we loved you so.”

And you know ye--you hear that word “so” after story like that, God “so” loved the world. He gave His son. What could you give that’s of more value than your child? Matter of fact, if someone asked you to give your greatest possession, bou…you wouldn’t say a house, or piano, or car, some might say; “my life,” but if you’re a parent, what would you say as your greatest thing? Your child! God gave the greatest thing, the greatest gift He could give when He gave His son. What a shame for Him to give His son that you might live forever, and for you not to take advantage of that incredible gift. Can you understand why in Revelation it says that the wicked flee from the wrath of the Lamb? They’re fleeing from Him because of the shame that God the Father and the Son suffered so much to provide everlasting life, and they trod it under foot. They wiped their feet on His sacrifice. That’s something to really ponder.

You know I heard a story about (uh) a lighthouse attendant, years ago in Scotland. And one day he was out washing the windows of the lighthouse, he gotta clean ‘em every now and then, 150 ft. up, and he leaned back against the metal railing that was to protect him, but the salt air had corroded the metal rivets that went into the--the (uh) lighthouse itself, and it had come loose, and it broke, and he tumbled from the lighthouse, and fell a hundred and fifty feet. He opened his eyes and he saw blue clouds and--no, white clouds, blue sky. And he thought, “Am I in heaven”? And he laid there for a moment, he thought, “Well if I’m in heaven, why does my back hurt”? (Audience laughs) And he collected his wits, and he got up, and he realized that he had landed on one of the sheep that was grazing below him. And it broke his foal, but it died in the process. For the rest of his time taking care of that lighthouse, when he saw the sheep grazing out there, he never looked at them the same way again. Because he realized that one of them died that he might live. I don’t think we really understand sometimes what has happened in this cosmic conflict, what God has done that we might live. He loves us so much.

DB—Sermon Question #3: Number three. How could He love someone like me?

Now I can say that know what I’m talking about. You don’t. But you can say it know what you’re talking about. “How could He love me”? As I said, He loves you more than earth any earthly parent. The Bible tells us in Romans chapter 5 verse 8, “But God commended His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “I’d like to give my heart to the Lord and when I’m good enough I’ll start coming to church.”

Actually I had a friend; he might be watching this program right now, someone who’s attending our church in Sacramento, and I met him in the parking lot and he said, “I haven’t been to church in so long, if I come, the door’s gonna fall off.” I said, “You just come.” And the first day he came, the door came off its hinges. (Audience laughs) And he was a little unnerved by that but he came in, he said, “I think the devil just did that to try and scare me.” And he’s been coming ever since.

But (uh) some people think, “Ah, I’m not good enough to come to the Lord.” And (uh) it--you know what it reminds me of? Can you imagine a parent saying to their child, they’ve been out playing and they’re dirty; our kids have been enjoying the snow and they’ve been out in the backyard of where we’re staying, they get all muddy and they come in—what would a parent sound like if they said, “Would you please get cleaned up so you can take a bath?” Did you hear that? Get cleaned up so you can take a bath? That sounds backwards to you? And yet some people think this is how God’s operating; “If you would start behaving better, I’ll love you and save you.” That’s a big mistake.

And they think, “I’d like to be Christian, but I’ve got these temptations, and these sins, and I’ve gotta stop, and then I can come to the Lord.” No, you come to the Lord just like you are, and then He activates His Spirit and power in your life, to free you from these chains that bind you. You come just like you are. You don’t get cleaned up to take a bath. You come to Jesus, you bathe in the blood of the Lamb, and then that transforms you. And you gotta trust Him to come just as you are, and it happens. Hebrews chapter 9 verse 22, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin.” In the Bible, it’s very clear that our forgiveness is obtained by the life. Now, why is this? That sounds pretty severe.

DB—Sermon Question #4: Question number four. What does His death do for me?

Well a whole spectrum of things. First of all, John chapter 1 verse 12, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God.” That’s a wonderful promise, friends. You know what that means? If you receive Him, He will give you power to become His children. He adopts you into His family which brings us to our next verse. We quoted this during our question time. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called sons of God.” Adopted into the family—you know, that’s a wonderful thing to consider. We are aliens of God.

You know one time the religious leaders were having an argument with Jesus, and they said, “We’re of our Father Abraham.” And Jesus said, “No, you’re not!” He said, “You might be literal descendants of Abraham but,” He says, “you’re not doing the works of Abraham, so you’re of your father, the Devil.” That’s pretty strong language.

When we are adopted into His family, He treats us just as though we’re--we’re His own. And you know what? We start to assimilate His behavior. It’s like (uh) I heard the story of two twins that one day went to school, they’re checking in to school, and teachers taking their birthdays down. Are they--I’m sorry, it was two brothers, and they weren’t twins. And the teacher said, (uh) “What were your birthdays”? And their birthdays were within a few weeks of each other. And the teacher said, “Now how can that be? Because you’re obviously not twins, and your birthdays and your brothers, and they’re are only a few weeks apart, I mean your mother you know couldn’t have waited two weeks between kids, so how that worked out?” And they smiled and they said, “One of us is adopted.” And the teacher said, “Oh, which one”? And they said, “We don’t know.” (Laughs) (Audience laughs)

That’s pretty neat when you think about it. God looks upon you as though you’re His, amen? And He treats you—matter of fact, when you accept Jesus and the sacrifice of Jesus He will treat you as though you’re His son. When Christ got baptized, the Father said, “This is my beloved son, in whom I’m well pleased.” Those words that He said to Jesus belong to you when you make that decision to commit your life to Jesus— you’re completely adopted.

DB—Sermon Question #5: Number five. How do I receive Him and pass from death to life?

Talk about what this process is. Romans chapter 3 verse 23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” First, here’s some steps to receiving the Lord. First recognize what? That you’re a sinner! Now I don’t know if you fully understand how serious that is, but sin is a terrible, deadly, contagious disease. (Uh) At sometimes I think that (Sound effects starts) we don’t fully appreciate how lethal sin is. (Uhm) You know if somebody--if (sound effects stops) a doctor tells you that you’ve got poison ivy and you’ve got skin cancer, is he your friend? Is he? No! If he’s a good doctor, he’s gonna tell you how dangerous your disease really is, and this is how the Lord is. When--when we really understand the deadliness of sin, then (uhm) we appreciate the salvation. Isaiah 53 verse 6, part of the problem is, we’ve all rebelled, we’ve turned each one to his own way, all of us out doing our own thing.

You see, there are two great motives in life. One motive is selfishness; the other motive is love. Everything that Jesus ever did was motivated by love—for you and me. That was the spring of action for Adam and Eve before they sinned. But after sin, our wires got crossed somehow, and humans became very selfish creatures. A matter of fact, the whole creation was infected with selfishness. And the plan of salvation restores us to the image of God where instead of doing our own thing of rebelling, and living for ourselves, we’re willing to do His will. And that’s a struggle.

And then of course, the last part is; what is the penalty for this rebellion? The answer? Romans chapter 6 verse 23, “For the wages of sin is…” what? “…death!” The only way we could be saved was through the death of Jesus. And it was this incredible death of Jesus that (uh) helps us recognize how much He must have loved us. Christ died on the Cross, He bled, He suffered, and you and I cannot fully comprehend what He really went through to make that all possible. I Corinthians chapter 15 verse 3, the Bible tells us Christ died for our sins. He really did die, and He suffered (uh) in a way that you and I can’t comprehend. He took our place. The Bible says in I Peter chapter 3 verse 18, “For Christ also hath suffered once for sins, that just for the unjust.”

Two thousand one, I was in the Philippines, and one of the things I did there was I visited a prison; 10,000 inmates in this prison. And it’s kind of interesting how their prisons operate there. We are able to walk in right among the people on death row, and to be able to visit with them, and they had their own little church, and they cook on fires, and we still--on our office at Amazing Facts we’ve got the great big beautiful boat that they carved with--I don’t know where they got these tools, but they must have had some very crude rocks and stuff, they carved this boat for us, and gave it to us as a gift—all handmade.

I heard a story after leaving, about two Filipino brothers that were twins. And one of the brothers was drinking while he was driving his jeepney--his taxi, and he hit a family, and killed two or three individuals in this family, he was tried and sentenced for manslaughter, life in prison. He was married and he had several children of his own, and so it was devastating to the family. His brother, twin brother; who was single, felt so sorry for his brother that was now in prison and--and couldn’t see his family, and live with them and support them anymore, he said; “You know I--I have no family and I don’t think I ever will marry.” He went to visit his brother in prison. Had a visitor’s pass, took his brother’s prison garments when no one was looking, put on his brother’s prison garments, took his (uh) pass, gave it to his brother, gave his clothes to his brother, and they traded places, he said, “I’ll serve your sentence. Your family needs you.” That’s love.

Now I heard, listen--l--listen, I heard you gasp. Did I hear it? How come I didn’t hear you gasp—when I said God gave His son to take our place? Have we become complacent about what really happened? We hear it so much that it’s like someone said one time we become inoculated against the real thing? That God not only suffered, He sacrificed His divinity to come down to earth and to suffer on our behalf because He loves us so much. And the Bible says that when we accept this sacrifice, He comes into our hearts. John chapter 3 verse 7, we experience a new birth, we become new creatures. Old things are passed away, all things are made new.

DB—Sermon Question #6: Number (uh) six. What must I do in order to obtain this gift of salvation?

Now we need to understand this. Is there something I need to do? Is everybody gonna be saved? Talk to me here in (uh) Maryland. Is everybody gonna be saved? (Audience answers no) Did Jesus die for everybody? (Audience answers yes) Then obviously, there must be something that we need to do to respond to His sacrifice, correct? What do I need to do?

Number one, ask. It’s not that hard. Ask and you’ll receive. It’s a gift that we receive for asking. But we must choose to ask Him for that. Ask Him to forgive your sins. Ask Him into your heart. God does not force His way. Revelation? “He stands at the door and He knocks.” What do you think that door is? It’s our heart. He wants to come in. Not only that, He says, “If anyone hears my voice.” Not only should we hear Him knocking; (knocking sound) we should hear Him calling. He says, “My voice.” He’s wanting in, but you must ask Him in. He will not force His way in. The devil will break in to your life but Jesus won’t do that, He has manners! And by the way, if you have not asked Jesus in to your heart, then who is in? If you wanna get the darkness out of your life, invite the light in. And if you wanna keep Jesus away from the door, invite Jesus in and just send him to the door whenever the devil knocks, right? That’s the answer.

Acts chapter 3 verse 19, “Repent therefore, and be converted, that your sins might be blotted out.” Now what does repentance mean? Repentance is a sorrow for sin, and a willingness to turn away from sin. It’s basically--repentance is you’re going this direction, and then you’re convicted because of your sins, and you turn around. Repentance is a U turn on the road of life, and instead of going towards destruction, you’re now going towards God’s kingdom. Notice something though, if I have spent my life going this way, then God arrests my attention, and I change directions--in military school I used to do that. Now, have I changed directions? I’ve repented, but have I moved? Don’t miss that. When you come to the Lord you come to Him where you are.

When I first accepted Jesus into my heart, I was smoking, and drinking, and using drugs. See, but I got it right. I came just like I was, and He began to change me. You accept Jesus right where you are. Then Isaiah chapter one says, “Learn to do good.” If you spent your whole life learning how to sin and you decide to be a Christian, do you automatically gonna know how to behave differently? There may be a process in learning, (uh) but don’t underestimate the power to deliver you all at once. God can break the chains and set you free from your addictions. And I’ve seen people who’ve come to the Lord, and the very day that they gave their hearts to God; they threw away the bottle, they threw away the needle, threw away the cigarettes, and I’ve just seen ha--have you seen these things before friends? Just dramatic conversions! But there’s still even for them, a learning process about living the Christian life. Repentance means being sorry; sorry that we hurt the Lord.

Furthermore, it says in I John chapter 1 verse 9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from” how much? All unrighteousness—what a wonderful promise! Now confessing our sins, (uh) I get worried at the very shallow concept I hear some churches teaching regarding what it means to accept the Lord. We’ve all seen it before where a--an evangelist or some public meeting, or a pastor says, “Would you like to accept the Lord today? All you need to do is you just come forward, say this prayer that takes about 35 seconds, and you can leave. And that means now you’ve been saved.”

Well, I’m sure the Lord has saved people that way. But when I read my Bible, there is little more depth to it. You ask the Lord in your heart. You repent of your sins. You confess your sins. I think that sometimes that part is left out of those brief altar calls. You know what I’m talking about? I mean you think about it, Jesus died that you might be forgiven. He says, “I’ll trade places with you. I’m taking your death; I’m giving you my life. I’m taking your hell; and I’m giving you my heaven. I’m taking your weakness; I’m giving you my strength. All the wicked things you’ve ever done that you should suffer for, I’ll take it.” For you to say, “Hey thanks” and walk away, that’s pretty shallow. We should get on our knees and say, “Lord, thank you for saving me. I am a sinner. Here’s what my sins are.”

By the way, why do you confess your sins to God, because He doesn’t know? I used to think, “Alright Lord, you better sit down, I got some things to tell you.” (Audience laughs) I mean He knows. Why do you pray? Jesus says, “God knows what the things you need before you even ask.” You’re not praying to inform God. We’re praying because it’s helping you acknowledge that whatever it is you’re confessing is wrong.

Let me make a suggestion to you. And this is even for those of you who have been Christians all your life. If you want to experience real peace and forgiveness, many people have come to church, and they follow the Lord for years, and they’ve never really experienced the intensity of deliverance and freedom that God wants them to have because they’ve taken their conversion--(uh) it’s been too shallow of an experience, too thin. Get by yourself. Get a piece of paper, get on your knees—if you’re able—make a list, and say, “Lord, show me my sins.” I dare you to do that.

And how many of you can remember every sin you’ve ever committed? I’m not talking about that kind of list, you’d be there forever. You couldn’t keep up with yesterday. But say, liar. Most of us can write that down, right? Thief. You ever taken something? “I borrowed it.” You haven’t given it back yet, that’s called stealing. (Audience laughs) (Laughs) Adultery. “Whoa, I‘ve never done that.” Have you thought about it? Jesus says, “If you think it in your heart.” Impure thoughts, gossip—you can all put that on your list, right? And then if you put the categories down, Jesus died for those sins and wh--when you’re writing those sins down, you’re acknowledging the wrong, and you’re giving Him permission and to save you from those. And you know what else I’ve discovered is, then when you’re tempted the Holy Spirit will say, “Doug, now you’ve asked me, you’ve said that’s a sin, you want forgiveness, I’m gonna help you keep from that.”

When I first came to the Lord, I had a very foul mouth. Both my mother and my father (uhm) I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but they did know how to curse, and they never--if they hid it from, us we didn’t notice. (Audience laughs) And so kids learn from their parents. My grandmother could curse and embarrass a sailor; sweet little lady. So I grew up like this. When I became a Christian, I became convinced that it was just not right. And I confessed to the Lord, I said, “Lord, forgive me for my foul mouth and taking your name in vain.” And then you know what happened? I--I thought I would never be able to quit because it was so ingrained in my vocabulary. And all of a sudden I’d be talking to somebody, and I get ready for one of those “ssss” words to come out of my mouth. All the sudden it’s like the Holy Spirit put an emergency brathe--brake on my tongue, went (makes a sound) and I just notice say don’t say that.

And it was the most--to me this may sound like a small thing, but one of the most convincing things to me about the power of God was the way the Lord was able to save me from cussing just like that. It didn’t happen the first day I accepted him, it happened after I became convicted, and then I confessed it. Then the change came. You see the power of confessing something? You’re giving God permission then to release His power in your life to save you from those things. Then after you make your list; say, “Lord, you promised if I confess these things that you will be faithful and just to forgive me, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness.” And when you get off your knees, you’re gonna feel a thousand pounds lift from your shoulders. You’re gonna feel the joy of the Lord, amen? (Audience says amen)

Not only repent: ask, confess, believe that He’s gonna do what He promises. He says, “I’m gonna cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” Then how much will He cleanse you from? (Audience says all) And that means when you get off from your knees, you have eternal life. That’s good news! You have it, you’re not hoping for it. He’s made a promise to you. Then you need to receive that, claim the promise. He’s made that promise. It’s sort of like if--if someone gives you a check for ten thousand dollars, you might say, “Wow, praise the Lord! I could use this and this is gonna make a big difference in my credit card statement.” And--but if you don’t ever deposit that check, how--how good is that gonna be? If you just say, “I believe in it,” but you never take it to the bank. You need to do something about it and invest it. Deposit the checks. Say, “I’m receiving what you offered, Lord, I believe in it.” Claim it.

DB—Sermon Question #7: Number seven. When I join His family through faith, what change does Jesus make in my life?

Well, He makes a lot of changes. First of all, II Corinthians chapter 5 verse 17, it says; “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; all things are made new.” You know another example for me of the marvelous way that conversion works, and I’ll share more Saturday with you about my personal testimony. I remember the first few times I went to church, I just--the music they sang in this church that I went to—bless their hearts, there was a lot of old people, they’re watching now, I have to be careful what I say. (Audience laughs) And (uh) and they would sing these hymns and that just sounded like a funeral dirge you know, and--and I grew up with the music of the world you know, and I’d go to church, and I’d look at the hymnal—matter of fact they were put on the bulletin. We’re gonna sing hymn number six and whatever it is and has 12 verses. And I’d looked at it before they got to that hymn part, and I’d see if there were more than three verses, I’d go to the bathroom. (Audience laughs) Because you’d say it was painful for me.

And then one day, I saw that they were singing a song I said, “Oh, it’s only got three or four verses I think that I can endure it.” And they were singing a song; I will sing of Jesus’ love, sing of Him who first loved me, for He left His throne above and died on Calvary.” And you know, for the first time I started listening to the words instead of thinking about the rhythm, and I began to weep; right there in the church, all those old people around me singing off key, (Audience laughs) playing out of tempo. And it began to soften my heart, and then I started looking at the hymns differently, and you know what? Now, if I here the music that I used to listen to—I hate that, and I love the wor—(uh) the music of the--the Lord. God’s changed me. He makes you new creature.

I used to love the smell of alcohol. I smell beer and alcohol now it’s revolting to me. And cigarettes, I used to smoke. I--someone came to our apartment today to do some work, and they smoked, and they weren’t smoking in the apartment but just the smell on their clothes was nauseating to me. And the things I once loved, I now hate. You become a new creature, He changes you. Also He gives you peace. The Bible says, “My peace I give you, a peace that passes understanding.” If you know you’ve got eternal life, then it doesn’t matter what’s happening around you, you can have that kind of peace.

(Uh) Let me see if I can illustrate this. Suppose—don’t answer, but suppose that you knew that you had an all expenses vacation paid to Las Vegas. You could visit all the malls, you had a credit card, you could buy anything you wanted, you could go to all the casinos, you could gamble, you could enjoy any of the entertainment for a month, it’s all yours. Now, you don’t have to raise your hand, but I bet some of you would say, “How do I sign up? That sounds like a lot of fun.” Las Vegas, month—all expenses paid, shop till you drop, nothing’s too expensive. No entertainment too costly. But the fine print says at the end of the 30 days, you drop dead. Now you sign it, you’re on your way to Vegas and you pull out your contract and now you read the fine print; you’re locked in. How much would you enjoy that month? (Audience laughs) You wouldn’t enjoy it, would you? I wouldn’t enjoy it.

Let’s look at another scenario. You go to a heavenly hospital and the doctor says, “I’ve gotta perform a painful surgery without anesthetic, but when it’s over you’ll have a glorified body and live forever in heaven.” Would it make it easier to face the surgery? Yeah, you’d probably say, “Give me something to bite on.” But I would rather go to that hospital and go through that painful surgery and then live forever, than go to Vegas and die. These are the two choices everybody has. You can take up your cross and follow Jesus and have peace now and live forever, or you can try to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but you’re on death row. You can’t enjoy it. You’re dying right now.

We’re all under the curse of sin, amen? John 14 verse 17, “Even the Spirit of truth; you know Him; for He dwells with you, and shall be in you.” Not only does God give us peace, but He says, “I’m gonna be in you; I’ll be with you; I’m gonna give you my Spirit.” What a wonderful thing that your body becomes the temple for God, and He dwells in you! I mean that’s--that’s a lot of love after all we’ve done, He said that our bodies can be His habitation.

First of all our (uhm) not first of all, third of all; then He also promises, “I will supply all your needs.” Jesus says, “You don’t have to worry.” The promises in the Bible for God’s provision are not for everybody, they’re promises for the believer. He told His disciples to go out and preach. He says, “You don’t need extra shoes, you don’t need a purse, you don’t need a cloak.” He says, “You just need me, you trust me, I will provide your needs. You pray Lord, ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ and I’ll give it to you.” He brought the children of Israel through the wilderness, and the whole time they went through the wilderness, their clothes did not wear out, manna came from heaven, water came from a rock, when a battle came up, He gave them victory, no matter where you are, He will provide for you—if you’re living for Him. That’s good news! Isn’t that good news friends? Why would someone say no to Jesus? And He’s brought you to these programs because He wants you to experience that. He promises, “I’ll never leave you and forsake you.” You know that’s the best part of all, the Bible ends by saying, “God Himself will be with them.” God wants to dwell with us.

DB—Sermon Question #8: Question number eight. Will this changed life really be happier than the pleasures of the old life?

Well the Bible promises. He says in John chapter 15 verse 11 says that, “I want you to have joy and your joy might be full.” Full and running over. David says, “My cup runs over.” He wants you to have that kind of joy. It doesn’t come from the pleasures of the world. It comes from having the Spirit of Christ and God in you. John chapter 10 verse 10; He’s come to give us life and life more abundantly. You know some of these people think that Christian life is to be a drudgery; a series of self denials. Don’t forget this; God will never take anything away from you that is good. He will only ask you to turn from that which will hurt you.

I remember some parents came to a meeting like this in Texas and they were telling me a story. A mother was cleaning their house one day and they heard, “ka-plow,” and then another, “boom,” went running through the house, and pretty soon she found her kids that were both like I don’t know, five and seven years old. In the closet they got a hold of Dad’s gun, and they we’re shooting it. And she took the gun away from them, and they started crying. I don’t know if that was from the fear of the report of the gun, or--or because she took away the--but can you imagine kids saying, “Oh, but we we’re having a good time.”

And anything God takes away from you is because He’s trying to save you from that which will hurt you. And don’t miss this; He’ll always give you something better. And if we could only believe that—God will always give you something better, “Oh Lord.”

You know now that I am a Christian, and in my testimony I tried virtually everything the world had to offer; I mean, the drinking, and the drugs, and the sinful living, and (uh) the whole thing. I have so much more fun now as a Christian. And I’ll tell you more about that another time, I don’t have enough time tonight.

DB—Sermon Question #9: Number nine. Can I make myself do all the things a Christian can do?

Answer? No. Not without Jesus—how much can you do without Christ? John 15 verse 5, Jesus says, “Without me, you can do zero.” We can’t do anything good. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. But what is the other promise? “I can,” through Christ, “do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” He’ll give us the strength to do what even seems like it’s impossible. He gives you that power. Now don’t miss this, God will never ask you to do something without giving you the power to do it. Inherent in every command of God is the power to perform what He’s asking you to do.

Furthermore, Philippians chapter 1 verse 6, “He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” He starts His work, and you know remember what I said, it’s a walk. Sanctification—you come to the Lord just like you are and then He begins to work in you. The Bible tells us He’s the author and the finisher of our faith; meaning that today you may not be what you used to be, you may not be what you want to be but you’re--if you’re a Christian, by His grace, you will become like Christ. He’s continuing to transform you. He’s begun this work.

Furthermore, Philippians chapter 2 verse 13, it says, “Both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” He changes our desires. He gives us a new will, amen? And this is the big struggle. Is--you know we wanna do our thing; and God says, “You wanna do My will.” He changes your desires.

DB—Sermon Question #10: Number ten. Is it hard to obey the Lord?

Answer from the Bible, John chapter 14 verse 15, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” How can we obey Him? It’s only through loving Him. First John chapter 5 verse 3, “For this is the love of God that we keep His commandments.” Some people think that, (uh) “He doesn’t really expect me to keep His commandments, does He?” You know, they’re actually--are we saved by keeping the commandments? No! But when we are saved, will we want to if we love Him?

Keep in mind friends, there are churches out there today that are teaching they’re the ten suggestions; that they’re the ten recommendations; the ten big ideas—but they’re the Ten Commandments still, amen? God still wants us to keep His commandments, but what is the reason for doing that? Because we love Him!

I remember a pastor sharing a story I thought was appropriate. This woman got married to a military man. She was young and she--you know, was looking at his uniform and didn’t look at what was in the uniform. And then after she married him she found that she had married a tyrant. And the guy was so strict and austere; everyday before he went off to the Base, he’d give her a list of what she was supposed to do through the day. And it was not a very happy marriage. I mean, her list would say wake up 5:30 with reveler--revelry, and you’re to--then (uh) make my breakfast, build the fire, pack my lunch, wash the clothes. And he had this list, and then he’d come home at the end of the day, and he’d inspect the house, and he’d look at the list, and he’d check these things she’d done on the list. You think she was happy? (Audience answers no)

God in His mercy had that fellow die in a line of action. (Audience laughs) And she met another man few years later. She took more time; she looked on the inside this time. He was really sweet, a good man, cared about her. They had a wonderful marriage for many years. One day she was cleaning out the attic and she stumbled on, she opened the book, and out fell one of the lists from her first husband. And she looked at that, right then, the hair stood up on the back of her neck, and she began to just snarl, “The audacity of that man, who does he think he was—giving me a list, telling me how to live; wake up 5:30—Oh, I still wake up 5:30.” She’s looking at the list. “Build the fire—oh I still build a fire, cook breakfast, I still pack lunch, iron clothes.” And lo and behold, she was still doing everything on the list and didn’t even think about it, cause she loved the man she was doing it for. She was doing all the same things, but now doing it because she loved the person. Some people think of God as a tyrant who’s giving them a list. You must first fall in love with Jesus, and then the things He’s asking you to do. It’s a pleasure to obey God when you love Him, amen?

That must be--let me illustrate one more way. How many of you have children? Why don’t you kill your children? (Audience laughs) Was that direct enough for you? I know why—it’s because there’s a law that says don’t kill your children, that’s why you don’t kill them, right? Or is it is just because you love them? Let’s hope--let’s hope, if--if you’re not killing them because of the law, don’t raise your hand. (Laughs) (Audience laughs) And so love, when you naturally love, you--you, love is the fulfilling of the law, is what Paul says, amen? Furthermore, we’ll then have a transformation in our hearts and our will. It will not be us doing our own thing. We’ll say like Jesus, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.”

DB—Sermon Question #11: Question number 11. How can I be sure that keeping the command--my keeping His commandments is not legalism?

Answer? “Here is the patience of the saints and they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus,” Revelation 14:12. It must be the faith of Jesus. When we do it because of our faith in Christ and the faith of Christ, that’s why we’re doing it. We’re not saved by works, but by what? Faith!

DB—Sermon Question #12: Number 12. What significant act seals this love relationship with Christ and what does it symbolize?

Oh we’ll just touch on this right now because it’s really a complete part of the presentation of the gospel. We seal that commitment through a ceremony called what? Baptism! Acts chapter 22:16, “Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” And (uh) it’s a symbol of marriage. It’s our marriage, our public commitment to Christ. The Bible is very clear on this.

DB—Sermon Question #13: Number 13. How can I be certain that my faith and love for Jesus will increase?

Now I don’t wanna miss this part. There are three very important disciplines in the Christian life. You need to read the Bible. Search the Scriptures. You need to breathe, which is pray without ceasing, and you need to share your faith. Exercise your faith. Tell other people what God has done for you. You have a physical body that has real needs. If a baby is gonna grow, does a baby worry about growing? Jesus says, “Which of you by taking thought can add a cubit unto your stature”? Baby grows cause it receives the food, the air, the cleansing, the exercise from its parents, and it will naturally grow. And this is what Jesus wants to do for you. You come to Him just like you are.

Friends the Lord wants you to have this new life. He wants you to experience this gift, and the blood of Jesus has made this possible for you. I heard a story a number of years ago. It’s actually not been that long ago, but (uh) a boy’s little sister, Mary, had a serious disease of the blood. And the only cure was to get a transfusion of this rare type. And it just so happened that her little brother who is about 6 years old, he had the same blood type. And they said, “Johnny, would you be willing to give some of your blood to Mary, so that she could live”? And he thought about it for a while and he said, “Yes!” He knew that she’d die if he didn’t. In the process of the blood transfusion, it hurt, he whimpered a little bit and said, “Doctor, is it gonna hurt to die?” And the Doctor said, “You’re not gonna die.” This boy thought that he was gonna have to die so that his sister could live, and he was willing to.

Jesus, in the same way, has made the sacrifice willingly, to die. He gave His blood for you and me. How could you tell Him no? You know friends I’d like to invite you, and everybody who is watching, to make a decision tonight about what you’ve heard. (Music starts) It’s so important, friends, God has given you an opportunity tonight to make your decision for Christ. Have you never done it before? Why not now? Jesus has poured out His blood that you might be filled with His Spirit.

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