A Love Response

A Love Response

Scripture: John 14:15
Date: 06/09/2012  Lesson: 10
"We should work to win souls to Christ the question we need to ask ourselves is, 'What motivates us to do just that?'"

Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides by Bill May

Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides by Bill May
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Welcome to Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. We are so glad that you have joined us this morning to worship - to study God's Word together. As usual, a very special welcome to those of you that are joining us in the studio this morning to study together - a very special welcome to you that are joining us from across the country and around the world that want to get together, study God's Word, because it is universal and it is saving for everyone no matter who you are and where you're from. We usually sing together in our hymnals as we begin this service, but this morning I have a very special, special group, as you can see behind me, there are some very young ladies, very beautiful young ladies that are special to my heart. They are from the orangevale adventist school in orangevale, California and these girls are going to sing today for us instead of you pulling out your own hymnals.

So you just get to sit back and relax and enjoy their beautiful music. These girls are ranging in the ages from fifth grade through eighth grade and they are led by mr. Brad davis, who is the superintendent - or principal - and the seventh and eighth grade teacher at the orangevale school. If you want more information on the girls' chorus or their school, you can go to 'ovschool.org' and you can check out their school and the girls' chorus and then the beauty of editing is for those of you that are joining us online live this morning, their final concert for the year is this evening for the orangevale school at 6:30 - it's actually at the orangevale sda church at 6:30 this evening for those of you that would like to get more of the girls' chorus. So this morning the girls will be singing to us so just sit back and relax and enjoy Gods' word through music.

Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for the opportunity that we have to come and worship freely before you. We thank you for the promise that you will be with us and that you will guide and direct each step of our lives throughout eternity. We thank you for the opportunity that these girls are here to share the their talents that you have given them and to worship and honor you - their creator and Savior and Lord. So be with us as we now open Your Word and study with pastor doug - just enlighten our hearts and our minds that we can be better servants for you to do our part to wrap up life on this planet so that we can go home with you.

Lord, we can hardly wait. We pray these things in your precious name. Amen. Our study will be brought to us by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor at Sacramento central seventh day adventist church. Thank you jolyne.

Thank you to the girls. That was beautiful, amen? Sure appreciate the orangevale school bringing them over and the teachers did a fine job. And they'll also be singing a little later for our church service, so we're looking forward to that and for those who are part of our online class that stream this service, we stream that as well and you'll be able to hear that then. Welcome friends. I want to welcome our class.

We are continuing our study on evangelism and witnessing. In just a moment we'll get to lesson #10. As always we have a free offer. We try to have these things correspond with the topic of the lesson and I think today is a good case of that. We're going to be talking about - or giving away a book 'face to face with the real Gospel' - it's free - and this was written by dennis priebe.

It's just a tremendous study on understanding the nature of Christ and the plan of salvation. If you've not read this, you really will enjoy it. It's a blessing. Offer #789 - free phone call - -study-more that's 866-788-3966. Call and ask for offer #789 and we'll send it to you just for asking and when you do call we have a special flier that we printed - this study this quarter is dealing with witnessing and members want to know 'what can we do more to witness?' Where do we get tools if we want to go door-to-door or give Bible studies?' We've put something together at Amazing Facts and this is a free flier that talks about tools you can use for witnessing.

We'll just put one of those in if you ask along with your request for that book. Now, today when we study lesson , we're really delving into the most important aspect of why would we share our faith with somebody? It's called 'a love response'. The reason that we share is because of love - a love response. And we have a memory verse - I think most of us know this. If you haven't memorized this then you can't memorize anything.

I think the only thing shorter is 'Jesus wept.' But our memory verse is John :15 - John 14:15 - and any seventh day adventist worth their salt knows this verse so why don't you say that with me? Are you ready? "If you love me keep my commandments." You know, it's so short we ought to get our money's worth and do it twice. You ready? One more time. "If you love me keep my commandments." What should be the spring of motive for witnessing and sharing our faith? Love. Now, there can be a bunch of things in the mix. We might share our faith because we took an expensive seminar and we want to get our money's worth so we figure, 'I better use what I learned in my seminar, we'll go share our faith.

' Or we might share our faith because we feel guilty - that's part of our study today. Some pastors - and I'm sure I've been guilty of doing it - have used guilt to try to mobilize people - shame them into sharing. 'This is, you know, what you need to do and people will be lost and you'll have the blood of the lost on your hands and you need to tell your neighbor. How can you live next door to them for ten years and not give them a Bible study or literature?' And so, you know, some people go, 'oh, I better.' And, you know, we might do some of that for those reasons. And there's some merit to a lot of different reasons.

You can look at the obligation in the Bible and say, 'the Lord said it, I need to do it.' You can say, well, I've trained to do it, the pastor said I should do it.' Maybe you grew up doing it or you're shamed through guilt into doing it. You know, there's some churches you cannot remain a member of that church unless you do door-to-door work. I do admire our jehovah witness friends in that they do go door-to-door. We had another visit a couple of weeks ago and I do admire our latter day saint - our mormon friends - in that they train them up from the youth that, you know, you're going to go to college but before that you do mission work. It is just inculcated as part of their life that, 'oh yeah, this is just expected.

' And that's good - that aspect - I don't agree with their message but that's a good method - to just train everybody that part of being a disciple, a believer - by the way, in both those churches, I think it's significant to remember they do not have a paid pastorate. Latter day saints - mormons, they haven't got paid pastors and so the members feel a much bigger obligation for getting the message out. There's something to be said for that. Now, I'm not trying to preach myself out of a job, I'm just saying that I think all the members need to feel an element of responsibility - that it's not just the pastor or the evangelist's job to do evangelism, but every believer is to be a witness. And what's the motive for witnessing? Why should we do it? It's got to be because we love.

You know, I've found that when somebody meets somebody that puts a twinkle in their eye and they get excited about them and they start to spend time with them and they start to date them and they've found mr. Or mrs. Perfect - wonderful, they have a hard time not talking about it. They want to tell everybody and they manage to fit it into any conversation. You might be talking about your visit to the drugstore and they'll say, 'well, you know, that reminds me, I've got to tell you about my boyfriend.

' It has nothing to do with it but they just want to get it into every conversation. Why? Because they're in love. And it's just there - it's at the surface all the time. It keeps bubbling up. You've seen that.

And it's not even when someone loves somebody. When someone's got a passion about anything - I've got some friends that they just - they're addicted to fishing. Yeah, come on, you've never met anybody that's just addicted to fishing? And they always seem to find a way to bring it up. Some people it's sports and you talk to them and they say, 'hey, did you see the team this last week? Wow, what a game.' It's because that's what's on their heart. Well, for Christians what should be the topic of conversation that's uppermost in our minds? It's Jesus, yeah, because we love him.

We want to tell others about him and whenever we meet someone new we're always looking for an opportunity to somehow insert our faith into the conversation. But the reason to do that should be not because you're going to get a star next to your name at the church but because you love the Lord. Well, you may get stars on your crown but that's not the best reason. All right, let's get into some of the topic issues of our lesson today talking about 'a love response.' Matthew 28 - here's the great commission - now, you've heard me say this before, but I'd like to say it again. There are two great utterances of Jesus in Matthew that summarize the Gospel.

One is in Matthew chapter 11 and it's the great invitation. It deals with coming to God. And then the other is Matthew 28 - it's the great commission - going for God. The Gospel is all about love for God - come to God - love for your neighbor - you go for God. Come to Jesus in this love relationship then you go for Jesus in this love relationship.

You cannot go for Jesus in this love relationship - horizontally - unless you have first come to Jesus. Well you can, but you're not going to do it for the right reason. You know what I mean? I've talked to a lot of missionaries that have admitted 'God sent me to the mission field to convert me.' They said, 'I grew up believing this is the right thing to do and I felt an obligation. I thought, 'oh, maybe if I go do mission work I'll love the Lord more.'' And they kind of forced themselves into it. They said it wasn't until they really got out there and were converted then they found out the right reason to do what they were doing.

So first you must come to Jesus in Matthew 11 'come unto me.' You fall in love with him and then you go for him in Matthew 28. But let me read it to you. Matthew 28:19 and 20, "our Lord said, 'go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father and The Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" Now, I just want to find out where our microphones are - got a couple verses. We've got a mic here - got one over here. All right.

Someone has 1 John 4:18 and 19 - that's right up front here. Okay, 1 John 4:18 and 19 - I've got some others I'll give out in a moment. So, the right reason for us to do mission work is because we love the Lord and then Jesus said, 'if you're doing it, I am with you.' Now, I've got a theory. I think the Lord is always with us, but I think you will see God more clearly when you are sharing him. Case in point, how many of you remember the story in Luke chapter 24 where the disciples are on the road to emmaus and as they are talking about Jesus, Jesus draws near? It says, 'as they talked about Jesus, Jesus drew near.

' And then, when he disappears later that evening, then they go to the upper room and they start telling their friends about Jesus and guess what happens again? He suddenly appears. And I think the Lord draws near when we are telling others about him. And he's especially - if you're doing the work of God, he is going to be with you. He is going to be near you. I was always inspired by reading about David livingstone and even though he was going across parts of africa that had never been explored, and didn't know if he'd return alive - he was attacked by lions - and you name it, he experienced all kinds of hardship.

And he would write in his journal, he says, 'I'm comforted' - he says, 'I may die tomorrow but I'm comforted that I've got the promise. He said, 'I'm with you wherever you go' and if he's with me that's good enough for me.' Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go, right? All right, let's read - what did I say? John 4:18 and 19. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love him because he first loved us.

" Amen, how many times there - thank you, good job - love, love, love, love - it says love, what - four times there - five times. That's one of the prominent themes in the Gospel of John and all his letters - love. And the reason to do it is because we love him. Any of you ever go out knocking on doors? Now, I'm not just talking about witnessing, maybe you had to do sales or something. Have you ever had to like just cold go up and knock on someone's door? You always feel a little bit of apprehension maybe? I remember we'd go ingathering - any of you remember ingathering? And we were doing it up in the country where when you knocked on some of these farmer's doors you didn't know if they were going to come with a shotgun - some actually did - they had it right behind the door.

And so you'd go knock on a door out in the country there, you know the houses are not like the city or the suburbs where they're just, you know, all right up against each other, it's like you're going down farm dirt roads and - make your heart go pitter-patter a little bit. But, you know, it was always rewarding when you knocked on that door and the people say, 'oh, I'm so glad you came. I was just praying the Lord would send somebody.' And you know that Jesus prepared the way. But sometimes the devil will give us this artificial fear - trying to prevent us from doing it. 'Perfect love casts out fear.

' You know, can you imagine ordering a person to love? Can you order a person to love? Does God? Does God command us to love? Doesn't that sound strange? That you would take somebody by their collar and say, 'love me. You better love me.' He does though, but he's not doing it to intimidate us, he's telling us that we need to learn to love him because that's the only way that we can live life. Joshua 22:5, here that great general says that same thing, "but take careful heed to do the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, to keep his commandments, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and your soul." The reason to do it is because he's got our hearts. He commands us to love him. Luke 7:41 - Jesus is telling the parable - let me give you the background here - he's at the house of Simon and mary comes in - we believe this is mary magdalene as well as mary of bethany - same mary - and she's washing Jesus' feet.

And Simon, who knows about her reputation - the book 'desire of ages' says he probably had something to do with leading her down the wrong road. He's thinking within himself, 'wow, I thought Jesus was a prophet, but if he was a prophet he'd know about mary. He wouldn't let that woman touch him because she's got a bad reputation.' Jesus, knowing what Simon is thinking, he says, 'Simon, I've got something to ask you.' He said, 'say on master.' He said - and this is verse 41 - Luke 7:41, "there was a certain creditor who had two debtors" - two people owe this creditor money - "one owed five hundred denarii" - it doesn't really matter what a denarii is, just put the word 'dollar' in there - "and the other owed fifty. And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both." - He gave them both the same percentage of forgiveness - 100% - freely forgave them both but they owed different amounts. Which of the two do you suppose will love him more? And what did Simon say? "'I suppose the one whom he forgave more.

' He said, 'you have rightly judged.'" And then he pointed to mary, he said, 'you know, I came in, you didn't wash my feet - she's washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. You didn't kiss me - she's not ceased to kiss my feet. And her sins, which are many, are forgiven and she loves much. For to whom much is forgiven, the same loves much - for whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.' So, who are the ones that are the best motivated to share Christ? The ones who are forgiven much. I heard about this man that was blind for years - or he was legally blind - he had his eyes and a little bit of eyesight, but he was legally blind, but someone told him about a doctor that had developed this new procedure where they could actually do surgery on his eyes and probably restore his vision where he could see fairly well.

Well after being blind for years he was ready to try anything and went to the doctor, had the surgery done on both eyes in one day, and when they took off the bandages he could see. And he was so excited, he went back for his check-up visit - his vision was just about perfect. And he was so excited it changed his whole life, he didn't have to use the cane anymore, he could now drive - it just opened up a whole world - he was seeing people clearly and when he went back for his check-up visit with that doctor he asked if he could have some business cards and the receptionist said, 'well, yeah.' He took a whole fistful of the business cards and he went to the subway and he went up and down the train and he saw anybody with glasses on and he'd hand them a business card he said, 'I was blind and this doctor gave me my sight.' And he just had to tell everybody that he saw that looked like they had any kind of serious vision problem about this doctor. Why? Because he didn't just get glasses, he got his sight. He who is forgiven much loves much.

I mean, the change was so radical he had to tell everybody. And when we realize how much we're saved, you know, I think sometimes if you grow up in the church and you sort of - you sort of drift into making a decision to accept Jesus but you've sort of been around it all your life and you don't feel that radical appreciation for being forgiven for your sins, sometimes those people aren't as evangelistic as the ones who are just totally lost and they know it. And they come to Jesus and they come to church and they say, 'all right, now what do you want to do? Let's go tell the world.' You know, and they're just on fire. You know what I'm talking about? Now, just so you won't confuse what I'm saying, I'm not suggesting that you've got to go out - you know, maybe you've grown up in the church and you've gone to all the schools and you got baptized, but you've never had any dramatic conversion and so you think you've got to go on a crime spree and, you know, end up in the back of a squad car or jail or slum somewhere drinking or in rehab and then you have a conversion and then you're going to love Jesus. He's not saying that.

He's saying that everybody needs to realize that Jesus died for their sin and how bad sin is. And when we realize how much we've been forgiven, you will love much, for whom much is forgiven, the same loves much. We've all been forgiven a lot, right? We need to remember that. Somebody look up for me James 2, verse 10 - who'd I give that to? Over here - James 2, verse 10. I've got a few more verses.

John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said to him, 'if anyone loves me," - here we've got more love - "if anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my father will love him" - wait a second. Did I read that right? "If anyone loves me" - this is red letter - that means Jesus said it - "he will keep my word and my father will love him." What? You mean we first need to love Jesus before The Father loves us? No, it's not saying that. Let's keep reading. "If anyone loves me he will keep my word" - if you love God you'll keep His Word and - "my father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him." In other words, if we love God because of his love for us, we keep His Word and when we keep His Word, he wants to live in our lives. He moves into our lives is what he's saying.

By the way, who loves first? 'We love him because he first loved us.' So, when we first see his love for us it inspires us to want to reciprocate with that love. "And the words that you hear are not mine but The Father who is with me." All right, we're going to look at - now we're talking about not by guilt. The reason to serve God is not because we're guilty, but because we love him. And so, I think we've got James 2:10 queued up here. Are you ready? "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

" Now, a person might say, 'well, you know, if I go out and I share my faith and I witness, then I'm going to earn some points.' But if you're disobedient in some other area of your life, the Bible says, 'he who keeps the law' - and, you know, I orchestrated that we'd have a siren while I was talking about the law there. I just - I thought it was perfect timing. 'He who keeps the law but he offends in one point, he is guilty of all.' It's like saying a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. And so, if a person - if they're arrested for murder and their plea to the judge is, 'well, I realize I'm guilty of murder, but I pay all my taxes and I don't speed' and, you know, they're obedient in every other aspect of society, is that a good argument? No. You're under the law because you've broken it.

And, yeah, the punishment might be different, but you're guilty. So, guilt can't be the reason - shouldn't be the reason that we're serving the Lord, but even after we're forgiven, some people feel guilty. I remember reading, recently, about one of these afghan veterans who lost his lower limbs in an ied - an explosion - and there's quite a bit of that that happened - with just the nature of the booby traps that they had over there in iraq and afghanistan - and even though both legs were gone, he was going crazy because he wanted to scratch his feet but he didn't have his feet. Or he had a pain in his ankle and he wanted to try to move his ankle or move his knee but he didn't have a knee - he didn't have an ankle. It's what they call 'phantom pain' - where you've got pain in a limb that doesn't even exist anymore.

And, you know, that sort of makes me think of after the Lord forgives us of our sin and he says, 'look, you've repented, you've confessed' - we sometimes don't forgive ourselves and we've got phantom pain - you've got pain in a limb that doesn't even exist anymore - and the devil can try and make you feel guilty about something you've already confessed, it's in the past, God's forgiven you, but you haven't forgotten it and it's still affecting your behavior because you haven't forgiven yourself. And there's some people who even - that's what's driving them to witness but it's not the right motive, it's not love, it's a sense of obligation or guilt and they're doing the right thing, but you can do the right thing for the wrong reason. Some people give - let's face it - some people give money in the offering and they're not cheerfully giving, they're doing it solely out of a sense of guilt and obligation. I know people that give and it's sort of like penance - they feel like they're buying forgiveness. Wrong reasons.

Wrong reason to witness, wrong reason to serve the Lord. Romans 3:19, "now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those that are under the law, that every mouth might be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore, by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin." The law is not there to save us from our sin, the law is there to show us our sin. And that's not the reason to be witnessing. We need to be doing it, again, because we love the Lord.

You've probably heard the illustration before about a farmer that was on his way to town, taking some produce, and he passed an old man carrying a big bag of potatoes - he was walking - and the farmer pulled over and he had his wife in the front seat, and he told the old man he said, 'look, you know, I have no room up front but if you want you can hop in the back, you don't need to be carrying that bag of potatoes.' The old farmer - the old man walking down the road said, 'thank you very much.' And he climbed into the back of the truck and he knelt down and he kept the bag of potatoes on his shoulders. The farmer looked in his rear-view mirror and he called out the window, he said, 'brother, you could put your bag of potatoes down.' He said, 'oh no, mister, you were nice enough to give me a ride, I wouldn't ask you to carry my potatoes.' So, you know, for us to come to Jesus and say we're accepting Jesus and we're going to serve Jesus and to be doing it by guilt, you're still carrying your potatoes. The whole thing doesn't make any sense at all. You want him to be able to take away your shame and your guilt and to do the right thing for the right reason. Ecclesiastes 7:20, who has that? "For there is not a just man upon earth that does - that doeth good and sinneth not.

" So if we're - have you ever thought, 'i'd like to serve the Lord' - and we're still talking about the guilt part - but two big arguments I hear is 'I still have problems in my life. What right do I have to talk to anyone about Jesus? I don't feel like I've gained complete victory. I don't know that I'm totally converted.' I won't ask for a show of hands but I'm sure there are people that have thought that. And so we don't do it yet because we just don't feel good enough. Might I submit to you that sharing what you do have is part of your conversion process? When Jesus first called Peter to follow him - do you remember the miracle where Jesus multiplied the fish and it filled his boat? And Peter said, 'Lord, depart from me for I am a sinful man.

' Was he telling the truth? And Jesus said, 'don't fear, follow me and from now on you're going to catch men. Now Peter could have said, 'oh, Lord, I'm a sinful man. How can you use me to catch others?' Well, that will be part of your training process. That will be part of your conversion process. Now, even after Peter followed Jesus for three and a half years near the end of Christ's ministry, when Jesus is about to go and be crucified in Jerusalem, he says to Peter, he says, 'Peter - satan get behind me.

' He said that to Peter. Do you remember that? And Jesus said, 'I'm going to be crucified and I'll be betrayed and Peter said, 'far be that from thee. Oh, that's not what God wants for you.' And Jesus said, 'get behind me satan.' And then he said, 'Peter, satan's desired to have you that he might sift you as wheat. But I prayed for you that your faith does not fail and when you are converted strengthen the brethren.' When you are converted? Three and a half years of training - Jesus had already sent Peter out - the twelve had been sent out, the seventy had been sent out. Peter was probably in that group both times.

They came back and said, 'the devils are subject to us.' They worked miracles and then Jesus still has the audacity to say to Peter 'when you're converted.' How can he say, 'when you're converted.' When he'd been using him to do evangelism? You know, in our afcoe program we see this happen all the time. A lot of people come and they say, 'you know, we're kind of still going through a conversion process ourselves.' And in the course of the four-month program many of them they get baptized during graduation - they say, 'you know, I really was converted in the process of sharing my faith with others.' Something also happens is as you're involved in sharing your faith with others, you hear yourself speak, you are influenced by your own words. So don't feel like you either don't know enough - who here knows everything? If you wait until you understand all the answers to all the arguments before you share your faith you'll never do anything because you'll never come to the place where you feel like you understand it all - I don't understand it all. I was teaching an afcoe program this week and someone left some notes out and I picked it up and they were a different - a quiz and a test that the afcoe students are getting on defense for the law and I'm looking at it going, 'wow, that's a good one. I don't remember knowing that one.

' I'm still learning some of the good arguments in evangelism - and good studies and I've been doing it for 30 years. So if you wait until you think you know everything, you'll never do it. Someone once told me the first criteria if you want to teach a donkey something is you need to know something the donkey doesn't know. And the first criteria in giving a Bible study is you've got to know something that the person you're studying with doesn't know. And you share what you do have.

They may be only crumbs - you don't have to have the whole loaf - share what you do have and don't feel too guilty that you can't share. Motivated to serve. All right, somebody, I think, has got John 15:13. Right up front here. Are we ready for that? Go ahead.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Should we be inspired by the example of Jesus? Is Jesus, when he asks us to share our faith, asking us to do something he did not model for us? Once Jesus took up the mantle of ministry - decided to go into full-time ministry - that was at his baptism, how much did he do it? How much of his heart and soul did he put into it? Yeah, he did it with both hands. 'Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.' Jesus said, 'look, I've given you an example. Now, I've laid down my life out of love for you.' Now that ought to remind us and inspire us with a reciprocal love. Greater love has no one than this. To lay down his life for his friends I remember years ago, when there was an airplane - and I don't know what airline - it may have been - oh, I'd better not say, but an airline went down in Washington, d.

c. - It crashed into a bridge right on top of the potomac river. It did the same thing that they did in the hudson, he aimed for the river, but he hit the bridge, landed in the river - it was freezing water - and finally the rescue helicopters came. A number of people survived the crash but they were drowning in the freezing water. Do some of you remember this story? And several times helicopters came to pluck someone from the water and there was a man there who would take it to some - hand the ring to someone else and they'd pull them out and they'd bring it back to him and instead of climbing on he'd hand it to someone else.

He did this two or three times and when they finally came back to him he had succumbed to the cold and he drowned. And reagan, when offering a tribute to that man who continued to lay down his life for others that they might be rescued first and he ultimately died, he quoted this verse. 'Greater love has no man than this that he would lay down his life for his friends.' What more can you give than your life? And when Jesus says, 'can you please tell others about me?' Most of the time he's not asking us to lay down our lives. Now, in some countries it might cost you our life - your life - to witness, but in this country, we really don't have to lay down our lives to tell our neighbors, do we? Then again, am I using shame? I'm hoping I can inspire you by love. Romans chapter 5, verse 6, "for when we were still without strength," - and this is through 8 - "for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the unGodly.

For scarcely will a righteous man" - I'm sorry - "for scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God demonstrated his love towards us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us." It's not that the Lord is saying, 'you be good enough and maybe I'll die for you.', He was willing to die for us in spite of the fact that we were not good enough. So love needs to be the reason. Then there's the other trap, connected with the guilt trap, of legalism. Some people share because of legalism.

Ephesians 2, verse 8 - somebody has that. Got a hand back here. Ephesians 2, verse 8 - and I'll be reading Galatians 2:16. "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even when we have believed in Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh will be justified." Can we witness our way into the Kingdom? Now - no, of course not. But I want you to think about something, there is a sanctifying influence in sharing your faith with others.

In other words, you can't be saved by works - don't misunderstand - but I've seen a lot of people that have been converted while sharing their faith with others because in hearing themselves study the truth - they might not even understand the Gospel, but they got a Bible study, and in giving the Bible study to someone else they have an epiphany themselves and they go, 'oh, wow.' Some of you have heard me share my testimony that the person who exposed me to the seventh day adventist teaching gave me the book 'the Great Controversy' and they weren't fully living the life themselves. And as they saw me gravitating to the Lord and to the church and studying these things, they were studying with me - came back to church also. So in the process of sharing with me, they began to have a revival in their own experience and - so that often happens. But, no, we're not to do it as a work. It should be done as a love.

Now I gave out a verse. Someone has Ephesians 2:8. Are we ready for that? I think we are. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

" We are saved by grace. It says we are saved for good works. It's not the works that save us, but we're saved to do good things. So the Lord doesn't save us to just sit at home and say, 'isn't it wonderful to be Christian? Amen.' the Lord saves us to be involved. You know, in a lot of areas of life, what you don't use you will lose - whether that be your mind or your muscle - what you don't use you will lose.

You might have a talent to play the guitar - about the only thing you can keep is riding a bicycle - they say you never forget that. But those of you who are musicians, if you play trumpet or one of those instruments or flute, you'll lose your pucker if you don't use it - you'll lose the skill - you lose your timing - whatever it is. And with Christianity the way that you keep the Gospel is by giving it away. As you share it with others it keeps it fresh in your own life, otherwise it gets stagnant and you know about Lukewarm water in the Bible - it starts to breed things and you just get spiritually sick. So look for opportunities - even the small ones - to share your faith with others.

That's the best formula for revival, but you're not doing it as a work to be saved, we're saved by grace. Is everyone clear on that? It is a good thing to do. Even if you don't have the right motive for witnessing, I'd encourage you to witness. Even if you don't have the right motive for giving, I'd encourage you to give. Because in the act of giving it starves selfishness in your own nature.

Even if you don't feel like feeding your children, I think I'd feed them. So you should do the right thing for the right reason, but you should still do the right thing if you're doing it for the wrong reason, right? So you should still witness because it's - it'll be good for you. I'm not done talking about the legalism trap. Somebody look up for me John 6:28 and 29. Okay.

Right here - John 6:28 and 29 - and I'm going to read Romans 11:5 and 6. "Even so then, at this present time there's a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it's no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works then it's not grace; otherwise work is no longer work" - otherwise work is no longer work. That's what it says.

Now, when we hear the word grace - I'm actually talking about this in the sermon a little later - there's a big misconception that grace is only a cover-up that God gives us for sin. Grace really is the power of God through the person of Christ inside to do the will of God. It not only helps us to accept his forgiveness, it empowers us to do his will. He gives you grace to do what he calls you to do. Okay, next verse I think is John 6:28 and 29.

"Then they said unto him, 'what shall we do, that we may work the works of God?' Jesus answered and said unto them, 'this is the work of God, that you believe in him who he sent." So did Jesus believe in salvation by works? Well, did you read this? This is the work. Is there - it says 'what work shall we do?' There is at least one work - it's that work that Jesus described there, 'this is the work of God, that you believe' - is believing a work? Well, you can call anything a work if you want to. Anything you do can be called a work. Let me just make it even more confusing. Is there something you need to do to be saved? All right, I'm going to get an audience shot.

Those in the studio, I want to see a show of hands here, you ready? How many of you believe there's something you need to do to be saved? Are you works oriented or what? Anything you do is a work, huh? Well, is belief a work? You could call it that. That's typically not what we think of, but you've got to believe. The thief on the cross did something, didn't he? But he was saved by faith. He looked to Jesus. He confessed.

He repented - publicly. He believed. Everybody's got to do that. But it's not like then you've got to then pay tithe to be saved - like that pharisee. Or that you've got to go on a pilgrimage or whip yourself to be saved.

The works that we do - I'm not talking about whipping yourself - the works we do are because we love the Lord and - but there is something you need to do that's - the saved and lost will be separated based on that. Titus - here's another example - Titus 2, verse 14, "who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed." He wants to redeem us from every lawless deed - "and purify for himself his own special people, zealous for good works." Now, he purifies us and he wants us to be enthusiastic about doing the will of God, but what's to be the ultimate motive? It's to be love. Basically, we are saved for service - freed to be a slave. I know that's not a very popular way to put it, but this is what the Bible says. Will somebody look up for me James 1:1 - who has that? Right over here - let's get you a microphone - James 1:1.

I'll read a similar verse here, Peter 1:1 - begins as many of the epistles do, "Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:" Peter saw himself as a bondservant. All right. You're going to read for us, I think, James 1:1. "James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: greetings." All through the Gospel - Paul - how many times does he say, 'Paul, a slave' or 'a servant of Jesus Christ.'? Do you ever pray and say, 'Lord, I'm just a slave.' We don't like thinking of it that way. So often, in our culture, we think of people as employees.

But with all the employee rights that we have in the western countries, it's a whole different concept than - a slave was really owned by the Lord. A slave is someone - they call the shots, they give the orders, and you say, 'I am totally yours. I am at your disposal.' It's like Samuel, when he kept hearing these voices - eli finally told him 'go back to your bed and say, 'speak Lord, your servant is listening.' Even king Solomon referred to him as a slave in his prayer - when it says, 'Solomon loved the Lord and God appeared to him.' He referred to himself, 'Lord, I am your servant. I am your slave.' He's a king, but he saw himself as a slave or servant of God. We are all servants and we're doing it, but we love the Lord.

You know it's - I remember when the pastor who baptized me shared this illustration in a sermon one time and it's more awkward today to use this, but he was talking about the era of slavery in North America and there were a bunch of slaves that were being auctioned somewhere in the south there and there was this one very proud man - strong man - and he had been recently pressed into slavery and he'd been beaten - he wouldn't subdue - he wouldn't cooperate and he was in chains and his master got fed up with him and he decided to sell him. And while they're bidding for this slave this one southern gentleman made an offer on the slave and the slave said, 'mister, you're wasting your money, I won't work.' And someone else bid and this other southern gentleman in a white robe, he bid even higher. He said, 'mister, you're paying too much. I won't work.' And the bidding went up because he looked like he was strong and had a lot of spirit and finally the southern gentleman in the white suit made the final bid and they said sold and they slapped the hammer down on the auction block and he said, 'mister, you just wasted a lot of money on me' he says, 'because I won't work.' And finally they brought him over to him and he paid the price for the slave and he said, 'you can relax' he said, 'I bought you to set you free. And he was dumbfounded and thunderstruck for a moment and then he didn't call him mister he said, 'master, I will serve you forever.

' Now, that's really how it is. Christ buys us to set him - us free and we now serve him because of love for him. We're willing servants. Romans 6:6, "knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin." You know, the Lord saves us to serve. We're not - everybody serves something - you just need to make up your mind.

'Am I a slave to sin or do I want to be a slave, a servant to Jesus?' And serve him willingly. Will the Lord force us to serve him? I think he - everybody knows that whenever someone walked away from Jesus, Jesus never followed anyone down the road tugging at their clothes and clinging to their ankles saying, 'don't leave me.' Because you can't force love. He said, 'you know, I love you, I want you to follow me.' He'd invite them - when they walked away, sometimes they walked away sorrowful - he gave them that freedom. You can't force somebody. Every now and then I - it's not my favorite thing to do but I get involved in some marriage counseling and a husband, for instance, will come to me and he'll say, 'my wife says she's found someone else and she's leaving me.

What can I do?' And, I find out - I'll talk to him a little bit - what's happening is he's at home and he's trying to badger and nag his wife into staying with him. I said, 'brother, you're going about it all wrong.' I said, 'that'll never work. You're going to drive her away.' I said, 'that might be why she's leaving.' I said, 'if you want her to stay, you've got to make yourself as attractive as possible.' Now, it's always helpful if you make yourself physically attractive, but I'm talking about in your personality. I said, 'you want to be loving. You want to be as nice as you've ever been.

You want to be as thoughtful as you've been. You want to be as kind as you've been. You want to do things for her that - like you've never done before.' I said, 'you make it difficult for her to leave - not by nagging and badgering and trying to shame and threaten.' I know husbands sometimes they tell their wife, 'if you leave me I'm going to kill myself.' Well, that'll really work for a little while. I said, 'you've got to make yourself' - I said, 'if there's any hope' - and I said, 'you know what? And if you do the best you can do to be as attractive as you can be and they still choose to leave, there's nothing you can do.' Pray. You can pray.

You can be as loving as you can be but you can't force somebody. They've got to want to. And you know, I find it's that way with witnessing. You might try and use guilt and shame and just shake the Bible at people for a little while, but ultimately they've got to really see who Jesus is and fall in love with him. That's the only thing that lasts.

You can take people through seminars and that's all important - and training - but ultimately they've got to fall in love with the Lord. The other thing is, they've got to try it. If you can get them to try it, you can - sometimes they'll get addicted - they find out how neat it really is. You know, with anything - it's probably not a good analogy but - everybody that gets addicted to anything has to try it once, don't they? And same way with soul winning. Some people they get out and they give a Bible study and they lead somebody to Christ and they come back and they're on cloud nine.

You know, some of these afcoe students, they come back after seeing their first person come to a meeting and get baptized and they're just so excited saying, 'man, I want to do this the rest of my life.' And it's because they've got to taste it and find out how exciting it is to see a life change - or someone go from being lost to being found and that's where the real joy comes from. Once again - it happens every week - it seems like I almost always run out of time at some point. It happened again. But I want to tell you before we go off the air, don't forget we have our free offer, 'face to face with the real Gospel'. And just call the number on your screen: 866-788-3966.

We'll send it to you, just call and ask for offer #789 and when you do we'll also send you this special flier of witnessing tools that we prepared for this quarter's lesson. But love has to be the right reason, amen? Because we love the Lord. If you want to love him better, spend more time with him. You know him better, you love him better, you'll share him better. Now that's got to be the motive.

God bless you. If you've missed any of our Amazing Facts programs, visit our website at 'amazingfacts.org'. There you'll find an archive of all our television and radio programs including Amazing Facts presents. One location. So many possibilities. Amazingfacts.org.

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