ASI Conventions

Keynote: Mark Finley

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: ASIC

Program Code: ASIC180014A

00:20 Our scripture reading is found
00:22 in 2 Peter 3:9-12,
00:27 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,
00:30 as some count slackness,
00:32 but is long suffering toward us,
00:35 not willing that any should perish,
00:37 but that all should come to repentance.
00:40 But the day of the Lord will come
00:41 as a thief in the night
00:43 in which the heavens will pass away
00:45 with great noise,
00:47 and the elements will melt with fervent heat,
00:50 both the earth and the works
00:51 that are in it will be burned up.
00:53 Therefore, since all these things
00:55 will be dissolved,
00:56 what manner of persons ought you
00:59 to be in holy conduct and godliness,
01:02 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
01:05 because of which the heavens will be dissolved,
01:08 being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat."
01:11 May the Lord add a rich blessing
01:13 to the reading of His Word.
01:18 I'm here to introduce our speaker this morning,
01:21 Pastor Mark Finley,
01:23 who most people think of
01:24 as a consummate great evangelist,
01:27 our own Billy Graham.
01:29 But I am here to introduce him for my own personal testimony
01:35 of what he has done for me,
01:38 and the impact he's had in my life
01:40 in setting me on a path to business unusual.
01:45 It was at the 2008 ASI convention
01:50 on a Friday morning at the 9 o'clock session
01:53 that Pastor Finley preached
01:56 a sermon entitled Pentecost Revisited.
02:00 And at the end of the sermon, he gave an appeal.
02:05 And during that appeal,
02:07 he mentioned a quote from Ellen White
02:10 from The Great Controversy
02:12 in which she was talking about the end times.
02:15 And she said,
02:16 "Servants of God with their faces light it up
02:19 will hasten from place to place, "
02:22 going door-to-door was the sense of that.
02:26 And then Pastor Finley did something very interesting.
02:30 He presented a question from God's point of view.
02:34 He said, "Did He see you?"
02:36 And at that point, I was cut to the heart,
02:39 and my husband and I decided
02:41 that we would indeed go door-to-door
02:43 in our neighborhood
02:45 where everyone has almost everything
02:47 they need in this life except God.
02:51 And so as a result,
02:53 a direct result of that particular question
02:57 that Pastor Finley asked,
02:59 my husband and I did indeed go door-to-door.
03:02 And as a result, my husband became a big brother
03:08 to a young boy, a neighbor boy
03:11 whose father died prematurely of ALS.
03:14 And I began Bible studies with a neighbor
03:18 who knew nothing about Jesus Christ,
03:20 and who has been blessed,
03:21 and with who I've been studying for a couple of years.
03:25 And that started me
03:26 on the path of business unusual.
03:28 Over the years, Pastor Mark has become
03:31 a very precious and dear friend,
03:34 whose counsel and advice I've sought often,
03:38 and he answers immediately.
03:41 I really appreciate that.
03:43 His genuine love, and care, and compassion
03:46 for each individual soul for whom Christ died
03:50 is the thing that moves me most.
03:52 And for this reason,
03:55 he truly exemplifies business unusual.
03:58 And because of this,
04:00 I believe God chose him
04:02 to be our speaker for this hour.
04:18 When peace like a river
04:24 Attendeth my way
04:29 When sorrows like sea billows roll
04:38 Whatever my lot
04:43 Thou hast taught me to say
04:49 It is well, it is well
04:54 With my soul
05:00 It is well
05:04 It is well with my soul
05:10 With my soul
05:13 It is well
05:16 It is well, with my soul
05:26 Though Satan should buffet
05:32 Though trials should come
05:38 Let this blest assurance
05:43 Control
05:46 That Christ hath regarded
05:52 My helpless estate
05:57 And hath shed His own blood
06:02 For my soul
06:08 It is well It is well
06:14 With my soul With my soul
06:20 It is well It is well
06:26 With my soul
06:32 And Lord, haste the day
06:37 When our faith shall be sight
06:43 The clouds be rolled back
06:47 As a scroll
06:53 The trump shall resound
06:58 And the Lord shall descend
07:03 Even so, it is well
07:09 With my soul
07:15 It is well It is well
07:22 With my soul With my soul
07:28 It is well
07:33 It is well
07:40 With my soul
07:50 It is well
07:59 Amen.
08:08 It is well with my soul.
08:13 My wife and I've been coming to ASI
08:15 for well over 25 years.
08:20 And every convocation
08:23 is an incredible blessing to us.
08:26 We deeply appreciate ASI, it has become part of our DNA,
08:31 and we look forward every year to the convention.
08:35 Somebody asked me not long ago, they said, "Now Pastor Mark,
08:38 you and your wife are 73 years old.
08:41 And when are you going to retire?"
08:44 And I said,
08:46 "Where is that verse in the Bible?
08:47 I didn't quite catch that one."
08:50 Our ministry continues to expand and our radio
08:53 and television ministry around the world.
08:55 Our evangelistic ministry continues to grow.
08:58 I still have a few sermons left in me.
09:01 And so I am just thanking God for the joy of health,
09:05 for the joy of service.
09:07 We have what we call the living hope,
09:10 evangelistic training school.
09:12 If you did not get our little brochure
09:15 about our classes,
09:16 we run intense classes on how to do health ministry,
09:20 how to be effective in preaching for laypeople,
09:25 correct churches on church growth
09:27 and evangelism.
09:28 The wonderful thing about our classes
09:29 is they're all free.
09:31 Jesus has given us so much that at this point in our lives
09:34 after 50 years of ministry,
09:36 we want to give away what we have.
09:37 So if you want to schedule our classes
09:39 if you haven't gotten one, we are in Haymarket, Virginia,
09:43 Living Hope School of Evangelism.
09:45 Then there's a class schedule,
09:46 it'll either be at the door if you haven't gotten it.
09:49 Let's bow our heads and pray, and ask the Lord
09:52 to especially draw near.
09:55 Father in heaven,
09:56 we thank You for the Word of God.
10:00 We thank You that the word is a creative word
10:04 that the seed of the word
10:06 planted in the soil of the heart
10:08 is life transformational.
10:10 So as we study Your Word today,
10:12 I pray Thee, that You touch our lives,
10:15 come and may creation take place all over again
10:20 in this auditorium
10:21 where there is darkness may there be light,
10:25 where there is barrenness,
10:27 may the fruits of the Spirit grow,
10:30 where there is death, may there be new life.
10:32 We pray in Jesus' name, amen.
10:35 Have you ever noticed
10:38 how children particularly young boys,
10:41 at 10 or 11 years old, are often quite forgetful?
10:46 Now their forgetfulness is selective forgetfulness.
10:50 As a lot of 10 or 11,
10:51 I had difficulty remembering my chores,
10:54 and mom would often ask, "Mark, have you made your bed?"
10:58 And my response was, "Oh, mom, I'm sorry, I forgot."
11:03 "Mark, have you cleaned your room?"
11:04 My response, "Oh, mom, I'm sorry, I forgot."
11:10 "Mark, have you taken up the trash today?"
11:12 "Mom, I'm sorry, but I forgot."
11:17 And I remember my mother with a smile would say,
11:20 "Mark, if you forget one more time,
11:24 I'm going to tie a red ribbon around your finger.
11:30 So you'll remember
11:31 when you get up in the morning."
11:32 Now no boy, 10 or 11 years old,
11:35 wants a red ribbon tied around their finger.
11:39 Sometimes we need a red ribbon tied around our finger.
11:43 Sometimes we tend to forget the obvious,
11:47 and this is what precisely what 2 Peter is all about.
11:52 It's about a red ribbon tied around our finger.
11:55 It's about the glory of the second coming of Jesus.
11:59 That's so easy in the hectic pace
12:02 of the 21st century to forget.
12:06 It was about AD 65.
12:08 Peter was a prisoner in Rome,
12:10 condemned to death by the Roman Emperor Nero.
12:14 He knew that the end was near.
12:16 And there was one thing on his mind,
12:19 one thing that filled his imagination,
12:21 one thing that captured his attention,
12:23 one thing that dominated his thoughts,
12:26 one truth that swallowed up every other,
12:29 the Christ he loved,
12:30 the Jesus that gave His life for him on Calvary's cross,
12:35 the Christ who redeemed him,
12:37 the Christ who accepted him in spite of his failures,
12:40 the Jesus that gave him grace to continuous ministry,
12:43 the Jesus of the second chance, this Jesus was coming again.
12:48 And Paul writes to scattered believers
12:51 throughout Asia in the first century,
12:54 but its words ring with eternal relevance
12:57 in the 21st century.
12:59 They come echoing and reechoing down the corridors of time.
13:02 If you have your Bible and I hope you do.
13:04 Take it and turn to 2 Peter Chapter 1.
13:08 And this morning, we're going to look at 2 Peter,
13:10 we'll look at Chapter 1 where Peter talks about
13:13 the certainty of the advent.
13:15 We'll look at Chapter 2,
13:16 where he talks about the judgment
13:18 in the light of the advent.
13:19 We'll look at Chapter 3,
13:21 where he talks about the delay of the advent,
13:22 and he confronts the scoffers head on.
13:25 2 Peter Chapter 1,
13:27 we look there beginning at verse 12.
13:30 Peter writes from Rome.
13:32 He's an old man now.
13:33 His hands are trembling.
13:35 There are deeply etched lines upon his face,
13:38 his hair is gray, but yet he writes,
13:41 he writes from a passionate heart,
13:44 he writes from a convicted soul,
13:46 there's something the old man wants to say,
13:48 and he wants to speak to us here at ASI this morning,
13:51 2 Peter Chapter 1, we look there at verse 12,
13:54 "Therefore, I will not be negligent
13:57 to remind you always of these things
14:01 though you know them,
14:02 and be established in the present truth."
14:06 Peter puts it clearly.
14:08 He says, I want to remind you of some things.
14:10 Some things that are obvious that are so easy to forget.
14:14 The Greek philosophers had a saying,
14:17 and the saying went something like this,
14:19 "Time wipes out all things.
14:24 Time wipes out all things."
14:27 The promise of Christ's return came 2,000 years ago.
14:33 But in the passage of time,
14:36 in the hectic pace of our society,
14:39 it's easy to have the second coming of Christ
14:43 someplace remotely back there in your brain,
14:46 someplace in the consciousness, and Peter says, 2 Peter 1:12,
14:52 "Therefore, I will not be negligent
14:55 to remind you of all things,
14:57 the passage of time causes us to forget."
15:01 And Peter is concerned, not with novelty,
15:05 he's not concerned with some innovative new truth,
15:09 he's concerned about taking believers
15:11 back to the eternal truths of scripture.
15:15 I'm not here this morning to wow you with novelty.
15:18 I'm not here to impress you
15:23 with eloquence or time setting.
15:26 I'm here to remind you of what you know already,
15:28 Jesus Christ is coming again.
15:31 And that coming
15:33 is the greatest hope of the ages.
15:35 Here in Chapter 1,
15:38 Peter discusses the certainty of Christ coming,
15:42 and he's speaking not only to his generation,
15:44 but to ours.
15:45 He's speaking not only to the first century,
15:47 but to the 21st century.
15:49 He's speaking not only to scattered believers in Asia,
15:53 but to gathered believers in Orlando.
15:55 He writes to remind us of eternal truth
15:58 of the return of our Lord.
15:59 You know, it is so easy to forget.
16:02 Life tends to go on as normal.
16:05 The ebb and flow of life seems to be
16:08 as it always has been.
16:10 We are born, we live, the decades pass, we die.
16:15 And Peter shakes us up.
16:17 He says, "Never forget that death is not the end,
16:20 Jesus Christ is coming again."
16:23 It's so easy to forget, to become complacent,
16:26 to become half hearted, to become lackadaisical.
16:29 And Peter says, "Listen to me, there is a divine certainty,
16:33 all of life is moving to one grand, glorious climax,
16:37 Jesus Christ is coming again."
16:39 It's so easy to forget.
16:41 Life presses in on us.
16:42 There are family responsibilities,
16:44 financial pressures, health concerns,
16:47 and a thousand other things.
16:49 And Peter says, "Listen to me.
16:51 There's a divine certainty, Jesus is coming again."
16:54 In 2 Peter 1:14-16.
16:59 Let's go back and pick up verse 13.
17:02 The aged warrior of the cross is dying now.
17:05 His strength is ebbing away, he's been through the battle,
17:09 his body has been battered, and bruised, and bloodied.
17:13 He focuses in verses 13 and on what?
17:16 On the brevity of life.
17:18 Now, there are two interesting words there.
17:21 Verse 13, "Yes, I think it is right,
17:23 as long as I'm in this tent
17:26 to stir you up by reminding you."
17:29 Now circle the word tent in your mind.
17:31 "Knowing that I surely must put off my tent,"
17:35 again, the word tent,
17:37 "just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.
17:39 More over I will be careful to ensure you
17:43 that you always have a reminder of these things
17:45 after my decease."
17:48 Now notice what Peter says, he talks about the tent.
17:52 He's writing to scattered believers
17:55 in Asia of a Jewish persuasion.
17:59 When Israel wandered in the wilderness,
18:02 they lived in tents.
18:04 And for 14 years, they wandered there,
18:07 but they had a destination.
18:10 Now notice the second word beside tent that Peter uses.
18:15 It is the word decease.
18:16 You see that there at the end of verse 15.
18:21 "Moreover, I will be careful to ensure you always
18:24 that you have a reminder of these things
18:27 after my decease."
18:30 The word decease in the Greek language
18:33 is the root word for Exodus.
18:36 So what does Peter say?
18:38 Just as Israel lived in tents
18:42 that were temporary dwellings
18:44 on their way to the Promised Land
18:46 during the Exodus.
18:48 So every single one of us are traveling through life.
18:52 We travel in these feeble bodies,
18:55 we travel in these frail bodies,
18:58 we travel in this tent like structures,
19:01 but there is a destination.
19:04 That destination is the second coming of Christ.
19:07 That destination is eternity.
19:10 That destination is the Promised Land.
19:13 We are all on this Exodus,
19:15 a journey through the desert of this world
19:17 where pilgrims passing through this world
19:20 on the way to glory.
19:21 We have a destination,
19:23 we are not wandering mindlessly to nowhere.
19:27 If life is going nowhere, if there's no end in sight,
19:31 if we're drifting aimlessly along in the cosmos,
19:36 life has no meaning.
19:38 You know, there are epitaphs on the heathen graves.
19:42 And one epitaph goes like this,
19:45 "I was not, I was,
19:49 I am not.
19:52 So eat, drink, and be married
19:54 because some time you will be like me."
19:57 What hopelessness.
19:59 "I was not, I was,
20:03 I am not after death,"
20:06 this epitaph.
20:07 So, eat, drink, and be married
20:09 because one day you'll be like me.
20:10 In other words, life is not going anywhere.
20:12 Shakespeare once defined life as this.
20:14 He said, "It's a tale told by any idiot,
20:17 full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
20:21 And I read an interesting contest
20:23 in a college newspaper,
20:25 and the college newspaper offered university students
20:29 a significant prize if they could define life
20:32 in one sentence.
20:34 And here is the sentence that won the top prize
20:38 in that contest on a definition of life.
20:41 "Life is the penalty that we pay
20:44 for the crime of being born."
20:47 What hopelessness,
20:49 what despair in the secular world today?
20:52 If there's nothing in life to live for,
20:55 but ultimate extinction at the end of the days,
20:58 life has little meaning.
21:01 If all of life is moving to absolute nothingness,
21:04 if time is a fleeting moment,
21:07 if every breath takes us closer to a step of oblivion,
21:11 life becomes a cruel saga of pain,
21:14 suffering, and injustice.
21:15 But the aged apostle breeze a breath of hope,
21:19 light pierces the darkness, and he says,
21:22 "Jesus Christ is coming again."
21:26 That all of life is moving to one great,
21:28 glorious climax that one day the earth will shake,
21:31 one day lightning will flash,
21:34 one day the sky will be illuminated
21:36 with the glory of God,
21:37 and one day Jesus Christ will come.
21:39 Now Peter gives two great evidences of that,
21:43 2 Peter Chapter 1,
21:45 he gives two great evidences of the return of our Lord.
21:50 We start there in verse 16,
21:52 and we look at the first of those evidences
21:54 that he gives, the first witness, he says,
21:57 "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables,
22:00 when we made known to you the power
22:03 and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
22:05 but were eyewitnesses of His glory,
22:09 for we received from God, the Father, honor and glory.
22:13 When such a voice came to him
22:17 from the excellent glory,
22:19 'This is my beloved Son in whom I'm well pleased.'
22:22 And we heard this voice
22:24 which came from heaven
22:25 when we were with Him on the mountain.'
22:27 Peter says this, "Look, I've seen the glory of God.
22:30 I've seen the majesty of God.
22:32 I was with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration,
22:35 and I was clothed with the glory of God.'"
22:38 That was a miniature second coming
22:40 when God revealed His glory through Christ
22:42 like it'll be revealed in eternity.
22:44 That's a witness.
22:45 I saw it, Peter says.
22:47 But Peter says, "Let me give you the second witness
22:49 of the coming of the Lord."
22:51 Let your eyes drop down to verse 19.
22:54 He says, "We also have the prophetic word made sure."
22:59 Paul says, Peter says rather, "The echo of the prophets, "
23:03 the prophets have spoken in the Old Testament.
23:06 Jude 14, Enoch, the seventh from Adam prophesied,
23:10 "The Lord will come with 10,000 of His saints."
23:12 The prophet speak, David declares, Psalm 50:3,
23:16 "Our God will come and not keep silence."
23:18 Isaiah cries out in 35:10,
23:22 "The ransom of the Lord will come to Zion with singing
23:25 and everlasting joy on their heads."
23:27 Daniel adds, "Let me add my word,"
23:29 Daniel says,
23:31 "That God of heaven will set up a kingdom
23:32 that will never be destroyed," Daniel 2:44.
23:36 Ezekiel speaks, Amos speaks, Micah speaks, Hosea speaks,
23:40 Peter says, "The prophets
23:43 are speaking down through the ages,
23:45 listen to the prophets."
23:48 The prophets speak of the coming of the Lord,
23:50 the prophets speak of the return of Christ.
23:53 Each of the gospel writers,
23:54 Matthew, Mark, Luke, John herald it.
23:56 The angel say at the ascension of Christ,
24:00 this same Jesus that you've seen
24:02 go up into heaven shall so come in like manner
24:05 as you've seen Him go into heaven.
24:07 And Jesus Himself says,
24:09 "Let not your heart be troubled."
24:12 You believe in God, believe also in Me.
24:15 Do you have a troubled heart this morning?
24:20 A loved one has died of cancer.
24:22 A child died prematurely.
24:26 You lost the job. Your business went bust.
24:29 You went through a tragedy of divorce.
24:32 Up seems down, and down seems up,
24:34 and your life seems confused.
24:37 Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled.
24:40 You believe in God, believe also in Me.
24:43 In my Father's house are many mansions,
24:45 if it were not so, I would have told you.
24:47 I go to prepare a place for you.
24:49 If I go and prepare a place for you,
24:51 I will come again."
24:54 The second coming of Christ lifts our eyes
24:57 from what is to what will be.
24:59 They take our eyes of time,
25:01 and they focus them on eternity.
25:02 We look from the mud of the earth to the glory
25:05 of the joy of heaven.
25:07 Here's what Peter is saying, "Don't lose hope,
25:10 echoing and reechoing down the centuries
25:12 through the voice of the prophets."
25:14 You know, the words, "Jesus Christ is coming again."
25:18 Now, one of the greatest dangers
25:19 facing God's people today is a loss of sense of identity,
25:24 a failure to understand who we are and why we're here.
25:28 We exist for one prime reason as a church, as a people,
25:32 as a denomination,
25:34 to prepare a world for the return of our Lord,
25:37 to reveal His love, and grace, and goodness,
25:41 and the eternal truth of the gospel
25:42 to a waiting world and a watching universe.
25:45 And as time passes,
25:48 and the second coming of Christ is delayed
25:50 because the Adventist movement was always in it
25:53 for the sprint, never for the marathon.
25:56 We were sprinters, sprinting to the end,
25:59 and we're part of a movement that really should not be here,
26:02 but should be in eternity by now.
26:06 But yet the longer time goes on,
26:09 the more difficult it is to pass on to a new generation,
26:13 the passion, the urgency
26:15 of the second coming of our Lord.
26:18 And that's why Peter's message is so important
26:21 because he says, "Never lose hope."
26:23 Chapter 1, the certainty of the Advent.
26:26 Chapter 2, he takes on the scoffers,
26:28 and he takes on the rebellious, and he says,
26:31 "The judgment will come."
26:33 But it is Chapter 3 that we want to focus on.
26:36 Take your Bible please, and turn to 2 Peter Chapter 3.
26:41 The words of this preacher
26:42 may not be critically important,
26:44 but the words of Peter are.
26:46 And the Word of God still speaks,
26:48 and the Word of God still changes lives,
26:50 and the Word of God still transforms us inside.
26:53 2 Peter Chapter 3, we'll begin with verse 1,
26:56 "Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle
27:02 of which I stir up your pure minds
27:05 by way of reminder
27:07 that you may be mindful of the words
27:09 which are spoken by the Holy Prophets."
27:11 Again, he's saying,
27:12 I'm taking it back to the prophets,
27:14 "Christ indeed is going to come,
27:16 and He's going to come soon."
27:18 Peter's not letting the church forget that Jesus Christ
27:21 is going to return.
27:22 Then he says this, verse 3, "Knowing this first,
27:27 that scoffers will come in the last days
27:31 walking after their own lusts,
27:33 saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming?'
27:36 For since the Father's fell asleep,
27:37 all things continuously work
27:39 as they were from the beginning of creation.' "
27:41 Peter's point is clear, the scoffers can scoff,
27:44 the mockers can mock, the ridiculers can ridicule,
27:48 the doubters can doubt, the skeptics can skepticize.
27:51 I hope my English teacher is not here,
27:52 I made up that word.
27:56 But that does not change the eternal truth one wit.
28:01 Jesus Christ is coming in spite of their skepticism.
28:04 Jesus Christ is coming in spite of their mockery.
28:07 His coming is not altered by their unbelief.
28:11 The certainty of Christ coming is a reality,
28:14 Jesus is coming again.
28:16 And that gives life meaning.
28:18 But Peter says something really fascinating here.
28:21 Notice what he says, verse 3,
28:24 "Knowing this first,
28:26 the scoffers will come in the last days,
28:29 walking according to their own lusts."
28:35 Listen to me, church,
28:36 our morality often dictates our theology.
28:42 What you believe impacts how you live,
28:46 but how you live impacts what you believe.
28:50 Many a man, many a woman, reasons away divine truth
28:56 not because they don't understand
28:58 divine truth,
28:59 but because there's some cherished sin in their life
29:04 that they would have to surrender
29:06 if they gave up divine...
29:08 If they accept the divine truth.
29:10 If you are struggling with some divine truth,
29:13 ask yourself this question.
29:15 Is it because I do not understand?
29:19 Is it more knowledge that I need?
29:21 Or is there some long cherished sin in my life?
29:26 Is there some ingrained lifestyle practice?
29:30 Is there some questionable behavior?
29:33 Is there some deep seated selfish attitude
29:37 that I'm reluctant to give up?
29:40 Often we plateau in our Christian experience,
29:44 not because we need more knowledge,
29:47 not because we don't know enough,
29:49 not because we need to discover some hidden truth,
29:52 but because there's some hidden sin in our life,
29:55 some long cherished habit lurking deeply within,
29:59 some attitude of lust, some attitude of jealousy,
30:02 some attitude of competition with somebody else.
30:06 Their attitudes and practices,
30:09 not in harmony with God's will
30:11 that requires spiritual surgery in our lives
30:14 if we're going to be ready for the coming of Jesus.
30:17 And there are times that surgery is painful.
30:19 I pray that the Holy Spirit
30:23 will speak to our hearts this morning
30:26 and reveal any Christ like attitudes in our lives,
30:30 so we can be done with them in the name of Jesus.
30:33 I pray the Holy Spirit will so move among us today,
30:37 here in this place that a revealed cherished sin
30:40 that's deep down there in the heart,
30:43 deep within the mind, and then we can surrender it.
30:47 I pray that the Holy Spirit
30:49 will so powerfully be present here this morning
30:52 that we will see our sin, surrender our sin,
30:55 and by the grace of God become overcomers.
30:57 What do you say, church?
31:00 There's a wonderful statement in the book, Desire of Ages.
31:04 And it's like this, "Holiness is wholeness for God.
31:09 It is a surrender of the heart in life
31:12 to the principles of heaven."
31:14 Can you say that with me this morning?
31:16 Holiness is wholeness for God.
31:19 Together, holiness is wholeness for God.
31:24 It is a surrender of the principles of heart.
31:28 It is a surrender of the heart
31:30 and life to the principles of heaven.
31:31 What is holiness, everybody?
31:33 It's wholeness for God.
31:36 It is cooperation and not competition.
31:39 It is service and not selfishness.
31:42 It is commendation and blessing others
31:45 when you see them succeed, not criticizing them.
31:48 It is giving and not grasping.
31:50 It is respect and not revenge for those that do wrong to you.
31:54 It is thankfulness, not thoughtlessness.
31:57 It is mercy, not meanness.
32:00 Does Jesus have every part of you?
32:04 Does He have every fiber of your being?
32:08 Are you Christ, in Christ totally?
32:12 Peter speaks to you this morning.
32:15 What would the old man say if he were here?
32:19 He would say,
32:21 "Is there anything in your life,
32:25 any cherished sin, any selfish attitude,
32:30 anything lurking deeply within
32:33 that would keep you from being ready
32:36 for the coming of Christ."
32:38 Now Peter apart employs three major arguments
32:43 against the scoffers.
32:45 He argues from the perspective of history,
32:48 he argues from the perspective of time,
32:51 and he argues from the perspective
32:53 of the graciousness of God's character.
32:55 Take your Bible please, and go to 2 Peter Chapter 3.
33:00 And look at Peter's arguments.
33:02 He first argues
33:04 from the perspective of history.
33:06 We go and pick up verse 3,
33:07 and then we move on from verse 3 and onward.
33:10 "Knowing this first,
33:12 that the scoffers will come in the last days
33:14 walking after their own lusts and say,
33:17 'Where is the promise of His coming?' "
33:19 In other words, the delay has been so long
33:22 that Christ may not come.
33:25 "For since the Father's fell asleep
33:27 all things continue as they were
33:29 from the beginning of creation."
33:31 So the argument of the scoffers is that history is a continuum,
33:37 and there's never been a change that life
33:39 and history have flown uninterruptedly.
33:42 Now Peter meets that argument head on
33:45 when he says, "For this, they willingly forget,
33:48 that by the Word of God, the heavens were of old
33:51 and the earth standing on a water."
33:53 He said, this is they forget that God created the world
33:56 at a historical period of time in history.
34:00 God broke through, the world was created by God.
34:04 Then he says, he argues from creation,
34:08 then he argues from the flood,
34:09 the earth standing on a water by which, verse 6,
34:12 "The world that then existed perished
34:15 and being flooded with water."
34:16 Peter says, look, we're not skin covering bones,
34:19 we're not some genetic accident,
34:21 God created us, God fashioned us,
34:23 we have purpose.
34:24 And the God that created us is the Christ
34:26 that is going to come and redeem us.
34:28 Then he says,
34:29 "God destroyed the world with a flood once."
34:31 You're willingly ignorant, you don't know history.
34:33 God created the world at a historical period of time,
34:38 God destroyed the world with a flood,
34:40 Christ came at a historical period of time,
34:43 and Jesus is coming again.
34:44 Then he argues from the point of time.
34:47 Notice verse 8,
34:50 "But beloved, do not forget
34:54 that this one thing that with the Lord one day
34:58 it says a 1,000 years and a 1,000 years is one day."
35:02 He says they fail to understand God's view of time.
35:05 God's relationship with time is dramatically different
35:09 than our relationship with time.
35:11 The delay of the Advent is from our perspective,
35:15 but God is doing things in a way
35:18 that will settle the great controversy
35:20 in the universe forever.
35:23 The reason we've had a delay of the Advent
35:27 is because in the divine drama of destiny,
35:32 in the light of the great controversy
35:34 between good and evil,
35:36 God's love that was revealed on the cross
35:39 will be revealed in His people before end time,
35:43 and before a waiting world and a watching universe,
35:46 God will have people that are so committed to Him,
35:50 that are so transformed by His grace,
35:52 so charmed by His love,
35:54 so attracted by the cross that they revealed to the world
36:00 the life of Jesus, of unselfish love, of kindness,
36:04 and compassion.
36:06 And here, Peter says, "God's never in a hurry."
36:10 He's dealing with the great controversy
36:12 in a way that His love, and grace, and power
36:14 will be revealed to the universe.
36:16 God's concern is the security
36:19 of the universe forever.
36:22 God's concern is that sin never rises a second time.
36:28 Peter says to the scoffers, "You don't know history."
36:30 Peter says to the scoffers,
36:32 "You don't understand God's purpose is in time."
36:35 But he says one other thing to the scoffers.
36:37 He says, "You fail to understand
36:38 the gracious character of God."
36:41 Verse 9,
36:42 "But the Lord is not slack concerning his promise,
36:45 as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us,
36:49 not willing that any should perish,
36:51 but that all should come to repentance."
36:54 The delay of the Advent is not because God is tardy,
36:59 it's not because He's slow to fulfill His promises,
37:02 He is longsuffering.
37:04 The longsuffering of God
37:08 refers not only to the patience of God,
37:12 it refer not only to God's desire
37:14 to save all humanity,
37:16 it refers not only to His gracious mercy,
37:20 it refers not only to His patient longing
37:23 to see every individual in His kingdom,
37:26 but it refers also to His suffering.
37:30 God is longsuffering.
37:34 He suffers long,
37:37 and He's willing to suffer
37:39 the pain and the agony of a sinful world
37:43 to ensure the security of the universe forever.
37:47 This planet in rebellion brings sorrow to God's heart.
37:53 He has endured the pain of sin for millenniums
37:57 because of His great love.
37:59 He doesn't want one person lost.
38:01 His heart is broken over sin.
38:04 His capacity to suffer is in direct proportion
38:09 to His capacity to love.
38:12 His suffering began the day that sin began.
38:15 And His suffering will never end
38:17 until the day that sin ends.
38:20 He is the Lamb
38:22 slain from the foundation of the world.
38:26 And when God created the human race,
38:27 He took a risk,
38:29 and that risk was to create human beings
38:31 with the capacity of choice, knowing full well,
38:34 they could make wrong choices,
38:35 and knowing that
38:37 sin would bring grief to his own heart,
38:38 but love could do no other.
38:40 And as day-by-day,
38:42 Jesus sees the heartache and suffering in our world,
38:45 His heart grieves, and as Isaiah puts it,
38:48 "In all their affliction, He was afflicted."
38:51 Ellen White describes it in the book Education this way,
38:55 "Those who think..."
38:57 I'm reading Education, page 263.
39:00 "Those who think of the result of hastening
39:02 or hindering the gospel,
39:04 think of it in relationship to themselves
39:06 and to the world.
39:08 Few give thought of its relationship to God.
39:12 All heaven suffered in Christ agony,
39:16 but that suffering did not begin or end
39:19 with this manifestation in humanity."
39:22 "The cross," and I'm quoting,
39:24 "is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain,
39:28 that sin from its very inception
39:30 is brought to the heart of God.
39:32 Every deed of cruelty, every departure from right,
39:35 every failure of humanity to reach the divine ideal
39:39 brings grief to Him."
39:41 The greatest motivation to turn loose of sin
39:45 is not the fear of hell
39:48 or the joy of heaven,
39:50 it is the one that loves me so much
39:56 has pain in His heart
39:58 every time I turn away from Him.
40:03 The greatest motivation to turn loose of sin
40:06 is seeing Christ on the cross with nails
40:10 through His hands and a crown of thorns
40:12 upon His head
40:13 and blood running down His face,
40:15 and knowing that He bears the sins of all humanity.
40:20 And looking at that cross,
40:23 knowing that my rebellion today,
40:25 knowing that my selfishness today,
40:28 knowing that my greed today
40:30 brings grief and sorrow to His heart.
40:33 Peter comes to a conclusion, 2 Peter 3:10, 11.
40:38 In Chapter 1, he talks about the certainty of the Advent,
40:42 in Chapter 2, he talks about judgment
40:43 in the light of the Advent.
40:45 In Chapter 3, he talks about the delay of the Advent
40:47 and the longsuffering patience of God.
40:50 And then he says in 3:10, 11,
40:56 "But the day of the Lord will come,
40:59 the delay of the Advent will not take place forever."
41:02 There is a point beyond
41:04 which God will not allow sin to go.
41:07 There's a point upon
41:08 which God's people on their knees seeking Him
41:10 received the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
41:12 "The gospel is preached to the end of the world.
41:14 But the day of the Lord will come
41:17 as a thief in the night
41:18 in which the heavens will pass away
41:20 with great noise,
41:21 the elements will melt with fervent heat,
41:23 both the earth and the works
41:25 that are there in will be burned up,
41:26 therefore
41:29 since all these things will be dissolved,
41:32 what manner of persons ought you to be
41:35 in holy conduct and godliness."
41:38 Peter's urgent appeal
41:40 in the blazing light of the second coming of Christ
41:44 is an appeal to the church today,
41:46 it's an appeal for holiness, it's appeal for godliness,
41:50 it's appeal for a grace that is so powerful
41:53 and life transforming
41:54 that it makes you a different man
41:56 or a different woman.
41:57 God is a problem,
41:59 and God's problem is the sin problem.
42:01 Sin reigns in the universe, and it reigns in our hearts.
42:05 And the central issue in the Great Controversy
42:08 is over the character of God.
42:10 Is the grip of grace greater than the grip of sin?
42:16 Is God's love more powerful than selfishness?
42:19 Will there ever be a group of people in this world
42:23 who love Jesus more than they love sin,
42:26 whose hearts are more set on heaven
42:28 than the things of this world,
42:29 whose minds are more fixed on eternity,
42:32 who live totally dedicated,
42:34 unselfish, godly lives, a service.
42:37 What can break the hold of sin in our lives?
42:43 What can transform us into His image?
42:47 What can deliver us
42:49 from the chains of evil that bind us?
42:52 What can release us from the prisons
42:57 that so often enslave us?
43:00 There is only one thing that has the power to do it,
43:03 the cross of Calvary.
43:06 Why is the cross the remedy for the sin problem?
43:11 At the cross, we see love in action.
43:14 At the cross, we see the divine righteous
43:17 Son of God suffering in agony, pouring out His life for us.
43:21 At the cross,
43:22 we see the just dying for the unjust,
43:24 the righteous one dying for the unrighteous,
43:27 the innocent one dying for the guilty,
43:30 the obedient dying for the disobedient.
43:32 At the cross, the Son of God bears the guilt,
43:35 the weight, the burden, the shame,
43:37 the condemnation of our sin.
43:40 At the cross, we are freed from the shackles
43:42 that bind us.
43:44 At the cross, love breaks our hearts.
43:46 At the cross, the chains are severed.
43:50 At the cross, we are set free.
43:52 At the cross, healing grace flows to heal
43:55 our sin sick souls.
43:57 Listen to this amazing reference
43:59 in Acts of the Apostles, page 532.
44:02 "Before the believer is held out,
44:05 the wonderful possibility of being like Christ."
44:09 Oh Jesus, that can't be me.
44:11 I know myself better than anybody else knows me.
44:13 I know this sinful, wicked heart,
44:15 Jesus, that can't be me, Jesus.
44:18 Notice,
44:21 Jesus will lead us to be obedient
44:23 to all the principles of His law.
44:25 But of himself,
44:26 man is unable to reach this condition.
44:28 The holiness that God's Word declares he must have
44:31 before it can be saved
44:32 is the result of the working of divine grace
44:35 as he bows in submission to the discipline
44:38 and restraining influence of the Holy Spirit.
44:39 Now listen to this one.
44:41 Man's obedience can be made perfect
44:44 only by the incense of Christ's righteousness,
44:48 which fills with divine fragrance,
44:50 every act of obedience.
44:52 I cannot but He can.
44:56 I am not, but He is.
44:58 I am weak, but He is strong.
45:00 I am frail, but He is almighty.
45:03 I am sinful, but He is righteous.
45:06 And as we come to Him,
45:11 opening our hearts to Him,
45:15 Jesus says, "My child,
45:17 I'm not only the author of your faith,
45:19 I'm the finisher of it."
45:21 Jesus can finish in you what He began in you.
45:27 When you see your defects, when you see your weakness,
45:32 when you struggle with those cherished habits,
45:37 the cross is all sufficient.
45:40 Our Savior longs to do something in us,
45:44 so He can do something through us.
45:47 He longs to do something for us,
45:50 so He can do something with us.
45:52 He longs to change us,
45:55 so we can change the world.
45:59 You have only one life to live,
46:04 time is passing.
46:06 It's the urgent hour.
46:09 It's no longer business as usual,
46:11 it's business unusual.
46:13 The present is rapidly becoming the past,
46:19 and the future is rapidly becoming the present
46:25 in the flood light of eternity,
46:28 in the blazing light of the coming of Christ.
46:33 Will you this morning make that full,
46:38 complete, absolute, total,
46:41 radical all out commitment
46:44 to this Christ of the cross?
46:47 Recently, in fact it was last Sabbath,
46:51 my wife and I were in a little village in England
46:55 at a place called the Cotswolds where the houses,
46:58 they have stone houses.
47:01 We're taking a Sabbath to refresh our souls.
47:05 And I came upon a little stone house.
47:08 And in that stone house, there was etched in stone
47:12 these words,
47:14 "Every noble life
47:17 leaves the fabric of it forever
47:20 woven into the work of this world."
47:25 "Every noble life
47:28 leaves the fabric of it forever
47:31 woven into the work of this world."
47:36 You've one life to live.
47:39 What are you going to leave behind?
47:42 What legacy will you leave?
47:46 What will you weave
47:49 into the fabric of this world?
47:53 Will you live in the joyful light
47:55 of the second coming of Christ
47:58 committed to share His love
48:01 and His grace with others.
48:06 Is there anything in your life, any attitude,
48:11 any habit, any cherished sin
48:16 that keep you from being the man, the woman,
48:20 the young person that God wants you to be.
48:25 I love that old song,
48:26 "Come every soul of sin oppressed."
48:29 There's mercy with the Lord, only trust Him,
48:34 and only trust Him, and only trust Him now.
48:39 Beth is going to come and sing.
48:42 I want you to bow your head and meditate.
48:45 Listen to the words of the song.
48:47 Let Jesus speak to your heart.
48:50 Let Jesus touch you deeply inside.
48:54 Is there something way down there inside,
48:58 something that keeps you
48:59 from being totally committed to Jesus?
49:04 Have you been holding something back for Him?
49:06 His plans for your life are amazing,
49:11 far greater than you could ever imagine.
49:13 Listen as Beth sings,
49:15 and let the Spirit of God speak to your heart.
49:23 Come, every soul by sin oppressed
49:30 There's mercy with the Lord
49:37 And He will save you
49:41 He will save you
49:45 By trusting in His Word
49:53 Only trust Him Only trust Him
50:00 Only trust Him now
50:08 He will save you He will save you
50:15 He will save you now
50:21 Would you like to say to Jesus this morning?
50:25 Lord, the best I know, I'm giving my life to you.
50:31 You know, that's what God requires.
50:34 We don't know everything about ourselves.
50:37 The past for you is but a memory,
50:42 the future for you is but a dream,
50:46 but this moment is yours.
50:48 This moment is yours.
50:51 Would you like to stand and say,
50:52 "Jesus, the best I know, I'm giving my life to You,
50:57 and I want to be ready for Your return.
51:02 When we make those kind of decisions,
51:05 come to this Christ of the cross,
51:08 His arms are open for us.
51:11 You know, I could offer the benediction,
51:12 and we could go out and say that was a nice meeting.
51:18 But we're too late in earth's history
51:20 for nice meetings.
51:23 I have a special appeal,
51:25 this is not a general appeal.
51:29 But as I was thinking and praying about this message,
51:32 I have an appeal for three groups of people.
51:35 First, there is somebody here in this audience
51:39 that you have been struggling with something in your life,
51:44 not in harmony with God's will,
51:47 and the Spirit of God, this morning, has touched you
51:50 about that thing.
51:51 It may be some habit, it may be some attitude.
51:56 And just now,
51:57 I'm going to invite you to come and say,
52:00 "Jesus, I'm giving that thing to you.
52:02 I'm giving that thing to you."
52:04 Beth is going to sing.
52:05 Secondly, there's somebody here today
52:07 that you have been disappointed,
52:09 something in your life has disappointed you,
52:12 and that disappointment
52:14 has fogged your vision of the coming of Christ.
52:17 But you're walking out of here with new hope today,
52:19 and you're coming to this altar and you're saying,
52:20 "Lord, I'm leaving all those disappointments behind.
52:24 I'm leaving them all behind, Lord.
52:26 I'm coming to You to lay that thing down."
52:29 And thirdly, there's somebody here
52:33 that maybe you've never made a full surrender to Jesus
52:35 and you want to do that today.
52:37 Just say, "Lord, I want to be ready for Your coming."
52:39 If there's something in your life, come,
52:41 forget about this audience,
52:42 just come here and pray, and say, "Jesus, it's yours."
52:45 Somebody that had something in their life
52:47 that's disappointed you,
52:49 and you've seen that thing, and you say,
52:51 "I'm laying that down, You come."
52:54 And somebody here,
52:55 who's never fully made a decision for Christ,
52:57 you want to make it.
52:58 Let's sing, Beth.
52:59 And if you know the chorus, when you come, only trust Him,
53:02 only trust Him, only trust Him now.
53:04 Let's sing it together with Beth on the chorus.
53:07 You just come as Beth sings.
53:09 Forget about the audience,
53:10 just come, bow your head and pray.
53:12 Let God speak to your heart,
53:13 let this be a special moment in your life.
53:15 Look back on this at a time when God came and touched you
53:19 and Christ spoke to you.
53:27 For Jesus shed His precious blood
53:35 Rich blessings to bestow
53:42 Plunge now into that crimson flood
53:49 That washes white as snow
53:53 Only trust Him, let's sing it together.
53:56 Only trust Him Only trust Him
54:03 Only trust Him now
54:10 He will save you He will save you
54:17 He will save you now
54:23 Yes, Jesus is the truth, the way
54:30 That leads you into rest
54:37 To dwell in that celestial land
54:44 And you are of holy bands
54:52 Only trust Him Only trust Him
54:58 Only trust Him now
55:05 He will save you He will save you
55:12 He will save you now
55:17 We're going to pray.
55:21 Here is the gracious good news.
55:25 Jesus wants to save you
55:28 more than you want to be saved.
55:31 The longing of Christ
55:34 is to have you in heaven with Him.
55:37 Heaven's not going to be worth it for Him
55:40 if you're not there.
55:42 That's what the cross is all about,
55:45 His desire to have you with Him.
55:47 That's what the second coming of Christ is about.
55:50 He's not coming predominantly to burn up a world,
55:54 He's coming to take you home, He's coming to take you home.
55:58 And an ancient prophet 2,000 years
56:02 speaks down through the ages,
56:04 and his message comes echoing
56:06 and reechoing down the course of time.
56:08 Never forget it, Jesus is coming for you.
56:13 Let that hope inspire your heart.
56:16 Let that hope break down
56:17 every barrier of sin in your life.
56:19 Let that hope send you from this place
56:22 impelled to serve Him now and forever.
56:25 Let's pray, Father in heaven,
56:28 thank You that life is not an endless journey
56:33 to nowhere.
56:35 Thank You that life is not some cosmic joke.
56:38 Thank You that we're not moving to oblivion.
56:40 Thank You for the blessed hope
56:43 that Jesus Christ is coming again.
56:46 Thank You that You want us in heaven so badly
56:49 that You sent Christ to die.
56:52 Father, the words of the song echo in our hearts,
56:56 and we trust You today.
56:58 We come to You today,
56:59 I prayed for those at the altar today.
57:01 May the barriers of sin be broken down,
57:03 may the shackles of sin be released.
57:07 Put new hope in our hearts
57:09 where there's been discouragement,
57:10 new joy in our souls.
57:14 Send us from this place as powerful witnesses for You,
57:18 now through all eternity, amen.
57:21 Let's sing that chorus again as you get back to your seats.
57:24 Go in the joy of Jesus, go in the grace of Jesus.
57:27 Just the chorus,
57:29 "Only trust Him. Only trust Him."
57:31 Only trust Him Only trust Him
57:36 Only trust Him now
57:43 He will save you He will save you
57:49 He will save you now


Revised 2019-01-03