Participants: Dennis Uffindell
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000047
00:29 We welcome you to our program today.
00:32 And trust that you got a blessing.
00:35 My name is Dennis Uffindell
00:37 and I am looking forward to spending this time with you.
00:40 Let us just pray together.
00:43 Dear Father in heaven,
00:44 we thank You that You gave us Your word,
00:47 the wonderful book we called a Bible.
00:50 And that in it You tells us about Jesus Christ
00:53 the Savior of the world and as we focus upon Him today,
00:56 we pray that You will bless each one of us
00:59 in His name, amen.
01:03 A few years ago, a young person said to me,
01:08 what so special about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice?
01:12 After all, many people have
01:15 done great things for their faith,
01:17 they have died for it even.
01:20 So why do we think that the death of Jesus Christ
01:24 with such a special or wonderful thing?
01:26 I don't feel particularly grateful for it.
01:29 And so we have to ask this question,
01:31 what is so special about this Jesus of Nazareth
01:36 this Galilean peasant,
01:38 this independent thinker or Jewish rebel?
01:43 Let's face it.
01:45 Although His followers of 2, 000 year ago,
01:48 followed Him with shining eyes and looked upon Him
01:50 with unflinching devotion and followed Him everywhere.
01:54 In more recent years things of changed
01:58 and people look at Him with less devotion
02:01 and called themselves Christians
02:03 when it dose not change their life very much.
02:07 In fact, some people today
02:08 would even have us re-look at the whole thing
02:11 and tell us that it doesn't really matter
02:13 whether or not He lived.
02:15 It's the spiritual aspect of things that counts.
02:19 So, I believe we need to address this question.
02:25 A man's religion I believe is as valuable
02:29 and as powerful as his concept of his leader.
02:34 And so if we only have a low concept to Christ
02:37 we will not have a powerful religion.
02:42 In John 20:28 we read so far
02:45 as the disciples of Christ day is concerned,
02:48 it says that they fell at His feet
02:51 and said my Lord, and my God.
02:54 In other words, they saw Him as truly unique
02:58 and that affected their whole lives.
03:01 And I remember and I would like to treat it
03:03 that way today what the Apostle Paul said,
03:06 so far as his work for Christ was concerned
03:08 in 1 Corinthians 2:2
03:12 "For I determined not to know anything among you,
03:15 save Jesus Christ, and him crucified."
03:18 You know, its repotted that in Russia
03:21 after before the revaluation young people
03:24 who would never heard the name of Christ
03:26 after they had confronted Him for the first time
03:29 through hearing about Him in there workplace
03:34 or maybe at the university
03:37 that they would be so powerfully effective
03:39 by this wonderful loving person that they were hearing about
03:44 that their lives were completely changed
03:46 and they started following Him with the same kind of fervid
03:49 that the apostles had 2, 000 year ago.
03:54 So let's take a glimpse at this Jesus of Nazareth.
03:59 But as we do so let's remember these,
04:01 He is not the Jesus that we see in the pictures
04:05 which are artificial.
04:06 He is a Galilean peasant, He eats the same food,
04:10 He is sleeps on the same kind of beds,
04:12 He gets just as dusty and as tired
04:15 as any other Galilean peasant does.
04:18 He is not the immaculate one.
04:21 And when we thing of that remember therefore
04:24 that is although more remarkable that
04:25 He had the power that He did.
04:27 Now let's take a little look
04:29 that we find in Luke Chapter 5 of His effect upon some one.
04:33 Jesus is one morning walking out of Capernaum.
04:39 And as He walks toward the Sea of Galilee
04:43 who should be there outside of the gate at the toll both
04:48 but the tax collected Levi Matthew.
04:52 And as He passes by He says the Levi follow Me.
04:58 And the amazing thing is, what happened as a result
05:02 because it tells us that he left all,
05:06 and followed Jesus.
05:08 Now I would like to submit something
05:10 and that is this that that kind of thing
05:14 does just not normally happen.
05:17 You don't get greedy businessman
05:19 suddenly leaving their business and giving up all
05:22 and following someone as he did with Jesus.
05:26 He must have had the enormous power
05:29 over men and women for that to have happened.
05:34 And the interesting thing is
05:36 that it was not just an isolated occasion.
05:39 It was not just Levi Matthew
05:40 and no one else rather we find it was normal
05:44 for Him to have this powerful effect,
05:46 this tremendous impact on people.
05:49 Even those who didn't wanted were affected by Him.
05:53 For instance the Jewish leaders,
05:56 we read in Mark Chapter 3 about them in verse 6,
06:00 that they were not able to resist it either
06:02 because it says very simply "That the Pharisees went forth,
06:06 and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him.
06:10 how they might destroy him."
06:12 Now how they might destroy Him tells us
06:16 that they had said, no to Jesus of Nazareth.
06:19 They did not want to follow to Him,
06:22 but nonetheless they were still affected
06:24 by the power of His personality and the power of His message.
06:31 Another little vignette that we find
06:35 that illustrates this particular points
06:37 so far as the Pharisees was concerned
06:40 is found in Mathew 21:12-13.
06:46 There we read,
06:48 "And Jesus went into the temple of God,
06:49 and cast out all them that sold
06:51 and bought in the temple,
06:53 and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers,
06:57 and the seats of them that sold doves.
06:58 And said unto them, it is written,
07:01 My house shall be called the house of prayer,
07:04 but ye have made it a den of thieves."
07:08 So what happened?
07:10 Jesus walked up to steps of the temple
07:13 and dose He did so his heart was pained
07:16 because it was just like one noisy market.
07:20 The moneychangers were crying for more money,
07:22 the people selling the sacrifices
07:26 were demanding too higher prices
07:28 and it was bedlam.
07:33 And so Jesus with a sad heart looked out on that scene.
07:38 And the amazing thing is that before long
07:40 everything was quiet at all eyes were focus upon Him.
07:45 And then He said, out, take it out,
07:51 and they fled from His presences.
07:54 Why did they do that
07:55 when he was just a Galilean peasant?
07:58 Because He was not just a Galilean peasant,
08:01 divinity flashes through humanity
08:03 and they had to obey Him.
08:06 Now these were fat greedy men
08:09 and as they hurried down the narrow streets of Jerusalem
08:12 to get away from Him,
08:13 they finally puff to a halt and looked up one another
08:16 some what sheepishly and wondered what to do next.
08:20 And then slowly and fearfully they walk back again.
08:25 And what did they find?
08:27 They found a large crowd around Jesus.
08:30 Everybody had not run away.
08:32 There were those who He had healed
08:33 who were saying thank you.
08:35 There were mothers who wanted their--
08:37 Jesus hands upon their children to bless them.
08:42 There were those who just loved to hear the gracious word
08:44 that came out of His lips and they watched with wonder.
08:50 But they had determined to reject Him
08:54 and so none of these changed their determination
08:58 so far as He was concerned.
09:00 Now of all these things of Christ power over man
09:04 the one that for me is most interesting
09:05 and instructive is the one where He stands before Pilate.
09:11 You see, Pilate was no fastidious judge,
09:15 scopus meant nothing to him.
09:17 He had condemned men to death for no good reason whatsoever.
09:21 And now, he finds that he cannot do that.
09:26 In John 19:12,
09:29 we read "And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him,
09:33 but the Jews cried out,
09:34 saying, If thou let this man go,
09:37 thou art not Caesar's friend.
09:40 Whosoever maketh himself
09:41 a king speaketh against Caesar."
09:46 Never had Pilate seen anyone with such evident nobility
09:51 and purity of character as he found in Jesus.
09:55 And so we have this scene of treble vacillation
09:59 as he tries to release Him and at the same time
10:04 he dose not want to offend the Jewish leaders.
10:07 Slowly and surly conviction grips his heart
10:12 that this is indeed who He claims to be
10:16 but on the other hand he dare not offended the Jews.
10:21 The fact is, no one, not even Pilate
10:26 could ignore this man.
10:30 He is on the cross now, He is been scourged
10:35 and the crown of thrones placed upon His head
10:38 and the nails through His hands and feet.
10:41 If anyone should have had His power reduce to nothing,
10:45 it'd surly be now.
10:48 But right then,
10:49 is when His power is reviled again
10:51 because a condemned thief looks down at Him
10:56 in those conditions and says, "Lord, remember me
11:00 when thou comest into thy kingdom."
11:03 And He assures him that He will.
11:06 And the centurion who presided over His execution
11:09 a hard and tough man says truly
11:13 this was the Son of God.
11:17 The whole story if it had been invented for nothing
11:21 but great effect could never have been
11:24 written more perfectly then that.
11:27 No one, no thing can take away or restrict
11:34 from the power of Christ to save men and women.
11:38 And even death did not change this.
11:42 For we read reading the Apostil Paul
11:46 that when he was on his way to Damascus
11:48 to destroy Christians there and he was confronted
11:51 by Jesus Christ as a great bright light came upon him
11:55 and he heard the voice speaking to him
11:59 and he said, "Who art thou, Lord?"
12:02 And the Lord said,
12:03 "I am Jesus who now persecuted."
12:07 And so he fell to the ground
12:10 and from then on was a totally changed man
12:13 and the persecutor became a promoter of Christianity.
12:19 Jesus of Nazareth is indeed
12:22 and in truth the irresistible man.
12:25 It's impossible to escape His influence
12:28 whether we like it or not.
12:31 Once a man has really confronted to Jesus
12:34 he can never be the same again.
12:37 He will be either better or worse
12:40 but he will never be the same.
12:42 Now I submit that the only way we can explain that
12:47 is on the basis that He is indeed the Son of God.
12:51 And this power is just the same today.
12:56 I remember how a woman who had been brought up
13:01 by a mother who was as regardless
13:03 as anyone could be for whom nothing
13:06 was too evil for her to do.
13:09 But she was-- this daughter was evacuated
13:12 during the II World War to stay in home
13:16 of a Seventh-day Advantest Christian.
13:19 And long afterwards
13:23 she had some people knock upon her door.
13:27 And when she opened the door
13:29 they started talking about Christianity.
13:31 They started talking to her about the Bible.
13:35 And she asked them, well, what they do you keep?
13:38 Because she remembered that this Mrs. Woods kept
13:40 the Saturday Sabbath.
13:43 And when they said, well, it didn't matter which day.
13:46 She said, I knew that wasn't right,
13:48 but she said I wanted to have what Mrs. Woods had.
13:51 So she bought herself a Bible and she started to read
13:54 the story of Jesus in the gospels
13:57 and her whole life was transformed.
14:01 Then she wanted to get in touch with a church
14:03 that Mrs. Woods went to.
14:05 And so she wrote to that church, to the minister.
14:10 The letter eventually came to me
14:12 as I was the minister living nearest to her.
14:15 And I found a beautifully transformed woman
14:18 who was just trusting for more and more of Jesus Christ,
14:22 and she was indeed a beautiful Christian.
14:27 When finally we confront Jesus we are never the same again.
14:35 Not very long ago a young man
14:38 who was in fact, a disbeliever in God
14:43 happened to be in a home of someone that I was visiting
14:46 who had anted me to meet him.
14:48 And after we had talked for sometime about
14:50 ordinary things I turned them to spiritual things and I--
14:55 in the process of doing so the young man said to me,
14:58 well, I don't believe there's any evidence
15:00 that there is a God.
15:03 And the Lord put it into my mind to say to him,
15:07 if you give me half and hour of your time
15:09 you'll never be able to say that again.
15:12 He said would you? I said sure.
15:15 So we made in appointment and I went to see him
15:18 and we started studying the Bible together,
15:20 particularly about Jesus Christ.
15:24 And his whole life was transformed.
15:26 It took time but you know what,
15:30 today he is a minister
15:33 and teaching others about Jesus Christ.
15:37 Jesus can change anybody and everybody
15:41 who will say yes to Him.
15:45 Which brings me to something very important,
15:48 this power of Jesus has been invested
15:51 in everything that we call holy,
15:53 whether it be the Bible or whether it be things
15:57 that go on in church or prayer or whatever we're talking about
16:02 they have a similar power over people.
16:06 And so now I going to say something that
16:07 you would never except
16:09 to hear a minister to say and that is this.
16:13 It's a dangerous thing to go to church,
16:16 it's a dangerous thing to read your Bible,
16:19 it's a dangerous thing to pray
16:22 because if in the process of doing so,
16:25 you do not give your heart to Jesus Christ,
16:30 then what will happen?
16:31 Well, that you became a worse person
16:33 rather than a better one.
16:35 But we will always be changed when we confront Jesus Christ.
16:42 It reminds me of something that happened
16:46 with this young man that I was telling you about.
16:49 You see, he was gripped by a series of books
16:53 that were very godless books.
16:55 And so in our Bible studies
16:57 he was being pulled back and forth
16:59 as to whether he was really interested
17:01 in this enough to follow through
17:03 or whether he would continue with this literature
17:06 that was pulling him away from God.
17:10 And I asked him, I didn't know about these reading
17:13 and I asked him, whether he knew what it was
17:15 that was holding him back from Jesus Christ?
17:19 And he thought for a moment
17:20 and his wife jumped in quickly she said, I know.
17:24 I said what-- what is it?
17:26 he looked at her husband then she said,
17:29 it's those books that you are reading.
17:32 Well, next time I went for a Bible study
17:37 he said to me,
17:38 pastor, would you come with me into the bedroom?
17:41 And there he had the bookshelves
17:43 with 150 of these books
17:45 or something like that a large number of them.
17:47 He said, I feel I need you to stand here with me.
17:50 I don't want to sell these books
17:51 or give them to somebody else that'll have the same influence
17:54 as they have had on me.
17:56 I want to destroy them
17:58 and I want you here with me as I do it.
18:00 And he started to rip those books up
18:02 and drop them into a garbage bag.
18:05 From that day on, he started making
18:07 real progress in his walk with Jesus Christ.
18:10 We have to be willing to say no,
18:13 to what the devil wants and say yes, to Jesus Christ
18:17 and when we do everything changes.
18:21 That's the beautiful thing about it.
18:25 We read regarding Jesus
18:27 that He came to save His people from their sins.
18:31 One of the sad things that I have discovered is,
18:34 the people have the idea
18:36 that they have to change themselves
18:39 before Jesus will speak to them,
18:41 before they will accepted by Him.
18:43 But that's not the case.
18:46 All we have to do is look to Him
18:50 and if we say, yes to Him,
18:53 He will bring about the changes that are necessary.
18:56 We cannot change ourselves.
19:00 Jesus also said,
19:01 I-- "if I be lifted up will draw all men unto me."
19:09 Today, this man, this God man is looking to you
19:15 and asking you what will you do with Me?
19:20 What we'll you do with Jesus?
19:24 We only have so much time to do it
19:28 and that's the key to the problem
19:30 that many people have had in the Bible
19:32 with the story of Judas or the story of Pharaoh.
19:36 It looks as though God set them up to reject Him
19:39 and therefore to be destroyed.
19:42 But that was not the case, He never dose that.
19:46 He wanted to save Judas and he plead with him
19:50 to give his heart Him
19:52 but Judas would not let go
19:55 his selfish pride and his greed.
19:58 And so in the end, he was forced to say no,
20:03 to Jesus Christ by that very choice.
20:06 Similarly with Pharaoh, had he cooperated with God
20:10 well, he could be remembered as the Pharaoh
20:13 who changed so totally that he set God's people free.
20:19 But he determined not to do that
20:21 and in the process of resisting and saying no,
20:25 he eventually destroyed himself.
20:29 And so you and I have to face that same fate
20:35 and make that same decision.
20:37 Let's not pretend that because we are going to church
20:40 and because we use the name of Jesus,
20:43 because we pray sometimes and read the Bible sometimes
20:47 that everything is going to be all right.
20:50 See what happened with the Pharisees of Jesus day is
20:53 they said all the right things on the surface
20:57 but their hearts were unchanged
21:00 and they had not said no to-- yes to God.
21:03 They had in heart said no to Him
21:06 and the result was that as a nation
21:10 they were cutoff and only as individuals
21:14 can they now belong to Him as you and I.
21:19 And so I asked you,
21:23 what are going to say to Jesus Christ today?
21:28 Are you going to follow the steps
21:30 of the others who have done
21:32 that is meant that life had no meaning
21:35 and as Judas like commit suicide
21:40 or they just give up all hope
21:43 or you going to say yes to Jesus
21:46 and have the beautiful, radiant life
21:48 that can be found in those people
21:51 who found Him to be a living Savior
21:53 and a powerful person who love them
21:57 and could do the work of transforming them
21:59 that they cannot do for themselves.
22:04 I'll never forget how in times passed
22:08 I've had that struggle
22:09 when I'd become disappointed with myself
22:13 and I wished that I was different.
22:16 And the Devil said, why bother?
22:19 Why not just give it all up?
22:22 But I knew that I couldn't do that
22:24 with that wonderful person.
22:25 And so He's kept on working with me
22:29 and I trusted one day,
22:31 I should be like Him for I've seen him
22:34 as He is as the Bible says.
22:40 Some years ago,
22:43 I had the privilege of meeting a young woman
22:47 who was a total atheist.
22:50 She believed that it was all a lot of rubbish
22:53 but she was a very bright young woman.
22:55 In fact, she had graduated from a first class university
22:59 with top honors.
23:01 She was aluminous reader
23:03 and she had read all kinds of things.
23:07 And then, I don't need to tell you how,
23:11 she came have Bible studies with me.
23:15 And the thing that I will never forget she said was,
23:19 after we had, had a couple of Bible studies
23:22 she said these is thrilling.
23:24 I've never read anything so wonderful in all my life.
23:27 And each time I had to stop
23:29 because I had another appointment
23:31 she said, oh, do you have to stop?
23:33 Can't you on?
23:35 Because the power of Jesus Christ had come her life
23:42 and she realized the wonderful truth of it.
23:47 No, He will not force us.
23:51 Jesus simply appeals to us to come to Him.
23:56 He says, "Come unto me,
23:59 all ye that labor and are heavy laden,
24:01 and I will give you rest."
24:05 And I've discovered that there are not too many people
24:08 in our modern world even in North America
24:12 which is a Christian country there are not too many people
24:16 that have peace of heart.
24:18 Even among church going people,
24:20 simple because they do not have
24:22 this living relationship with the wonderful Savior
24:27 who died for us 2, 000 years ago?
24:31 How do we enter into that relationship?
24:34 By choosing to trust what He has said about Himself
24:40 and about what He can do in our lives.
24:44 And so He accepts the responsibility
24:47 for what happens to us
24:49 once we've given our life to Him.
24:52 We don't have to say, I've got to start being better
24:55 and I've got to stop doing this and I've got to stop doing that
24:58 and being afraid.
25:00 What we have to do is simply say,
25:04 "Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief."
25:10 And if we do that He will continue to work.
25:15 The Bible says, "It is God that worketh in us
25:19 to will and to do of His good pleasure."
25:22 I'm so glad about that because He has all power,
25:29 I have virtually none.
25:31 He has all goodness and I'm a sinner
25:37 but He takes full responsibility for my future,
25:41 for my actions, even my thoughts,
25:47 if choose to say yes, to Him.
25:51 And so today I invite you to do that.
25:56 And to say yes, Lord, I want You.
26:00 I choose to walk with You.
26:03 Not because I think I'm good.
26:05 Not because I think I'm acceptable to You
26:08 in any other way than that Jesus Christ died for my sins
26:14 and You want me as Your own.
26:19 Let us pray.
26:22 Dear Father in heaven,
26:25 thank You that You are such a loving
26:27 and a gracious God.
26:30 Thank You, that this wonderful person Jesus Christ your Son,
26:34 came down here to earth to be our Savior
26:38 and set us a perfect example
26:41 and has promised to live in our hearts today.
26:45 Make that real for each one of us,
26:48 we pray and may Your love radiate in our hearts
26:54 and control our lives for we ask it
26:58 in Jesus name, amen.
27:02 May I just remind you of one thing,
27:05 when we make that decision there's somebody
27:08 who is not going to be at all happy.
27:10 You know who that is, don't you?
27:12 It's Satan.
27:13 But never, never, never be afraid of him
27:18 while your life is in Jesus hands,
27:21 because He is much, much more powerful
27:24 then ever the devil has been
27:25 or ever will be and He will see you through.
27:30 But keep your hand in the hand
27:33 of this wonderful God who says, I love you.
27:39 I want you for My own.
27:42 I have saved you through My Son
27:47 and I want you to live with Me,
27:50 not just for a day or two
27:52 but I want you live with Me forever.