Faith Chapel

The Terrifying Ultimatum

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Dennis Uffindell


Series Code: FC

Program Code: FC000050

00:29 My name is Dennis Uffindell,
00:30 and I'm glad to welcome you to our program again today.
00:34 Let us bow together and ask God's blessing as we do so.
00:39 Father in heaven,
00:41 thank You that we can call You our Father,
00:44 and know that You have a Father's tender care
00:46 for each one of His children.
00:49 We also know that good children are attentive
00:53 to what their fathers have to say,
00:56 and we pray that You'll bless us
00:58 that we may be attentive to Your word today.
01:01 And thus be blessed for Christ sake, amen.
01:07 Perhaps the greatest problem that we can have with--
01:12 or the God has with us I should say,
01:14 is that the church down through the ages
01:17 has not really wanted what God said
01:20 was essential for their good,
01:23 whether it was the Hebrews church
01:25 or the Christian church.
01:27 What about today?
01:29 Well, the Bible answers that question,
01:31 in rather startling terms.
01:33 If we go to the Book of Revelation Chapter 3,
01:36 I'm going to read a few verses here,
01:39 it says "Unto the angel of the church
01:41 of the Laodicea write:
01:43 These thing saith the amen, the faithful and true witness,
01:47 the begin of the creation of God."
01:49 So first all let's notice,
01:50 He's the one who doesn't make any mistake
01:53 so far as his witness is concerned,
01:55 but His witness is rather disturbing,
01:58 He says, "I Know thy works,
01:59 that thou art neither cold nor hot.
02:02 I would thou wert cold or hot.
02:05 So then because thou art lukewarm,
02:07 and neither cold nor hot,
02:09 I will spue thee out of my mouth.
02:11 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods,
02:14 and have need of nothing
02:16 and knowest not that thou art wretched,
02:18 and miserable, and poor, and blind and naked."
02:24 Now I don't know about you,
02:26 but I wouldn't want to be in that destitute position
02:30 physically, would you in temporal affairs,
02:33 and I certainly wouldn't want spiritually either.
02:36 What does it mean?
02:37 To be lukewarm means very simply to be insensitive,
02:43 to have no feelings, either for or against.
02:48 To be miserable of course means to have no joy in the Lord.
02:53 And to be destitute, totally destitute means,
02:58 we have no like, Christ likeness of character
03:01 because that is the goal that's worth having.
03:04 To be blind is to have no spiritual discernment,
03:09 and to be naked means not to be covered
03:11 with the righteousness of Christ.
03:13 Now really, I find it difficult to understand,
03:15 how the Lord can even call
03:17 the church like that His church,
03:19 but in His great love
03:20 and readiness to forgive and to bless,
03:24 He still has not cut them off.
03:27 Why is it that they are in this situation?
03:31 I refer to it again and it says in verse 20,
03:36 "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock:
03:41 if any man hear my voice, and open the door,
03:43 I will come in to him, and will sup with him,
03:46 and he with me."
03:49 So then Jesus is on the outside of their hearts,
03:53 not on the inside.
03:56 So He's not in control of their lives.
04:00 The problem is one of relationships,
04:05 but I warn you although this answer seem to be very simple
04:08 and straightforward,
04:10 there's much more to it than appears on the surface.
04:14 In fact what it really means is a terrifying thing,
04:19 hence my title is "All or Nothing:
04:23 The Terrifying Ultimatum."
04:25 Let me illustrate it with a little story.
04:29 An apartment building had caught on fire
04:32 and a woman was trapped in an upstairs apartment,
04:35 the flames were all up the doors,
04:40 I mean, yeah, through the doors
04:41 and corridors and stairs and so on.
04:45 And the wall behind her
04:46 and all she had was the window between her and escape,
04:51 but it was a long way down.
04:54 Fortunately some men
04:55 who were concerned for her safety
04:56 when they saw her there,
04:57 had run and got a large tarpaulin
04:59 and they stretched it out between them beneath the window
05:02 and they said "jump", but she was afraid to jump.
05:07 It was terrifying going down that far and so she hesitated,
05:11 and they called out "jump", but she didn't jump
05:16 and tragically the flames caught her,
05:20 although she was terrified of them,
05:22 the flame caught her and killed her,
05:26 before she made the decision to jump.
05:30 And this illustrates I think very well,
05:34 what the Lord is wanting of you and me.
05:38 He's saying give me all there is of you.
05:44 And we find that extremely difficult to do.
05:48 And it's the terrible mistake that so many have made.
05:51 Jesus spoke about this often.
05:53 You may remember that in Mathew 25
05:56 there is a story of the Ten Virgins.
05:58 Five were called wise and five were called foolish.
06:02 The wise ones, it says had oil in their lamps,
06:05 representing the Holy Spirit
06:07 and therefore the Holy Spirit's presence in their lives.
06:10 The foolish ones had a little, it ran out,
06:13 they were not ready when the Lord came
06:15 and they were left outside.
06:18 The scary part if I may put it that way is this.
06:22 When they knocked on the door and asked for entrance,
06:25 Jesus said, "I never knew you."
06:30 And then in another one--
06:33 He says something very similar in Luke,
06:37 "I never knew you."
06:39 Why?
06:40 Because they had neglected the necessary preparation.
06:45 They were not doing God's will
06:47 although they thought they were.
06:49 Thus their deeds were evil in the sight of God,
06:53 rather than good, even though to human beings
06:55 they may appear to be good.
06:57 And their reward-- and this is the serious part,
07:01 their reward was the same as those
07:04 who had never ever professed to be Christians.
07:08 Now that is heavy stuff.
07:11 And it can on the surface appear to be unfair,
07:16 but Jesus makes very clear the reason why as we go along.
07:21 So the point that I'd like make right here is this.
07:23 There are no big saints and little saints,
07:27 no big sins and little sins.
07:31 Why?
07:33 Because the issue is not how bad you are
07:36 or how good you are,
07:38 but rather it's who is Lord of your life.
07:43 God does not discard us because we sin.
07:48 He discards us in the end
07:50 because we've totally discarded Him.
07:54 And He says it's all or nothing.
07:59 Make me king of your life,
08:02 and I'll take care of all the problems,
08:06 but if you have to be my follower,
08:09 I must be King of your life.
08:14 So righteousness by faith
08:16 which the church talks a lot about
08:18 and yet it's so often misunderstood
08:20 and even misrepresented.
08:23 It's not an escape from implicit obedience.
08:26 It's the door that opens us to that,
08:29 so that Christ can live His life in us,
08:35 having taken care of the problem
08:38 of our sin and guilt.
08:41 So what He is saying is, there is only one way
08:46 out of your problem as a sinner.
08:51 It's not trying harder, it's not biting your teeth
08:54 and gritting-- biting your tongue,
08:56 and gritting your teeth
08:57 and building up your determination.
09:00 I've tried that and I can tell you,
09:03 it doesn't work.
09:07 But we're not left in doubt about what it really is
09:10 because Jesus told a story
09:12 that illustrates it beautifully.
09:15 A rich young man came to Jesus one day,
09:19 he came running to Him.
09:21 Now rulers don't do that, it's not dignified, is it?
09:25 You Know, you come with property quorum.
09:28 He was anxious.
09:30 He came to Jesus and knelt at His feet and said
09:33 "Good Master, what good thing
09:35 shall I do that I may inherit eternal life."
09:39 And Jesus asked why he called Him good
09:42 and then said very simply.
09:44 "If you would enter eternal life, keep the commandments."
09:48 And so the young man said "well which?"
09:51 And Jesus said, mentioned several of them,
09:54 of The Ten Commandments,
09:55 and the young man was very happy about that
09:57 because he said well,
09:58 "All these thing have I kept from youth up."
10:01 But there was still that nagging emptiness
10:05 so he said, "What lack I yet?"
10:08 So Jesus put his finger
10:10 on the sore spot in his experience
10:14 and He said if thou would be perfect,
10:17 go sell what you have and give to the poor,
10:21 then come and follow me.
10:25 Tragically we read
10:27 that the young man went away sorrowful,
10:30 doubtless he hung his head because it says,
10:33 he had great possessions.
10:37 I would like to state to you
10:39 that actually he too was poverty-stricken
10:43 because the possessions
10:44 that matter most are not material things.
10:47 I've known wealthy people
10:49 who were some of the most unhappy people I've ever met.
10:52 And I have known some poverty stricken people,
10:56 who had a joy that anybody could rightly envy,
10:59 because they were totally committed to Jesus Christ.
11:06 How is it with you?
11:10 He may have to ask you,
11:11 He will inevitably have to ask you
11:14 to let him separate you from certain things
11:18 that for some foolish reason you treasure,
11:23 but He only asks you to separate them-- from them
11:26 because He knows
11:29 that is necessary for your walk with Him.
11:33 In Mathew 6:24 Jesus said this,
11:38 "No man can serve two masters:
11:42 for either he will hate the one,
11:44 and love the other,
11:45 or else he will cling to the one,
11:48 and despise the other.
11:49 You cannot serve God and mammon."
11:53 Those were Jesus' words.
11:55 In other words you can't be on both sides.
11:58 We all know that tragically the United States
12:00 has faced problems with traitors
12:02 and I suppose most countries have had that,
12:05 where people have sold secrets to the other side for money
12:10 or for kicks or whatever it was.
12:14 It is impossible to faithfully serve two masters.
12:18 He say either serve Me or go your own way
12:24 but don't pretend.
12:29 Jesus said, "He that is not for Me is against Me."
12:36 So that's what it is: It's all or nothing.
12:41 And unfortunately today in the kind of society
12:44 in which we live that can sound like fanaticism.
12:48 Oh, you don't have to or doesn't really matter if.
12:57 But I would ask this simple question,
13:00 who is likely to be right, the King of the universe
13:04 who says this and this and this is what I require
13:10 or the foolish sinner,
13:12 caught up in sin and selfishness,
13:15 who says I don't think.
13:18 Frankly it doesn't matter
13:19 what Dennis Uffindell thinks to whose.
13:21 It really doesn't matter what you think,
13:23 but it matters a great deal what the God of heaven thinks
13:28 and what we choose to allow Him
13:31 to do in our lives in that regard,
13:33 determines whether in fact we are for Him or against Him.
13:41 There are no halfway measures.
13:44 There is no possibility of compromise here.
13:49 That's Christ's ultimatum.
13:54 What He is actually saying is this.
13:56 "I want all there is of you or I can't have any at all,
14:04 won't you choose me?"
14:07 Now that's terrifying.
14:10 I know from personal experience,
14:13 but I also have seen
14:15 this ultimatum be faced by individuals.
14:19 And I have seen how before this,
14:23 their Christian experience was weak and wavering
14:26 and it was not full of joy.
14:31 They don't have peace, and they don't have assurance,
14:34 just as that rich young ruler did not.
14:39 So we decide ourselves,
14:43 by the way we respond to what God says.
14:47 Now let me illustrate this.
14:49 Many times we try to serve two masters
14:52 because we try to rationalize our own attitude enacts.
14:57 We like to indulge in greed or pride or appetite,
15:02 or impure thoughts or shall I illustrate it with gossip.
15:08 You see this lady, excuse me ladies
15:11 for saying lady but anyway,
15:14 she didn't mean to hurt anybody,
15:17 she didn't realize she was
15:19 but she was doing it all the time,
15:21 under rationalization for talking,
15:24 gossiping about people woes--
15:26 she liked people but every day she was hurting people
15:30 because she refused to control her tongue.
15:37 Something has to be done about this kind of things my friend,
15:41 and only the Lord can do it,
15:44 but He will not take any sin or evil from us
15:48 that we do not give Him permission to do,
15:52 and that's why it has to be all or nothing.
15:57 You see, the God of Heaven
15:58 in spite of what the devil claims
16:00 is not a dictator.
16:02 He will not force anyone into heaven.
16:04 He will not force anyone to serve Him.
16:08 He will either love them into doing it totally
16:13 or they'll not be His at all.
16:19 Speaking to His followers 2,000 years ago
16:24 Jesus said this in Luke 14, "If any man come to me,
16:29 and hate not his father, and mother,
16:32 and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters,
16:35 yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
16:40 And whosoever doth not bear His cross,
16:42 and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
16:46 So likewise, whosoever he be of you
16:50 that forsaketh not all that he hath,
16:53 he cannot be my disciple."
16:56 Now that's a hard saying,
16:58 and many turned away from Jesus at that time
17:01 because they were not prepared
17:03 for that kind of level of commitment.
17:06 But Jesus is not really saying
17:08 what we mean with the word hate today.
17:12 In the Bible times the word hate is choosing
17:16 who shall come first.
17:19 And so let me put it in my own words.
17:24 My, friend, what Jesus is saying to you
17:26 and to me is this,
17:29 "I have done and I am willing to do
17:32 everything for your salvation and happiness,
17:36 but it is absolutely essential that you understand
17:39 fully the terms of my covenant and accept them.
17:45 I am offering Myself totally to you,
17:49 but the only way that you can have me
17:52 or anything that I have to offer
17:54 is if you give yourself unreservedly to Me."
18:00 That is the ultimatum.
18:03 Let me repeat a little of it,
18:07 "I am offering Myself to you" Jesus says,
18:10 "totally, and the only way
18:14 that you can have or will ever have,
18:18 what I am offering or anything that I have to offer,
18:22 is if you give yourself totally and without reserved to me."
18:27 There is no alternative proposition
18:30 that He has to offer.
18:34 You know, a few years ago
18:35 it was my privilege to visit Glastonbury in England.
18:40 Now Glastonbury is the earliest Christian site,
18:45 in the British Isles, very close after it was Iona,
18:49 but it is reputed that it was Nicodemus,
18:54 who first took the gospel to the British Isles.
18:59 It dates back to as early as that,
19:03 but what threw me as I spent my time
19:06 walking around the ruins of the building
19:09 that they constructed there was this.
19:12 Christian men and women would send their young people
19:17 there to be trained as missionaries.
19:20 And such was the hostility to missionaries
19:24 and such was the danger
19:26 of international travel in those days
19:29 that they knew that the chances of those young people
19:31 ever coming back home
19:33 and the young people knew that their chances
19:35 of ever coming back home were hardly worth talking about,
19:39 but such was their commitment to Christ
19:42 and their parents commitment to Christ,
19:44 that they rejoiced at the privilege
19:47 of being able to go in those tiny little boats
19:50 at the risk of life and limb,
19:52 knowing that those who hated the cause of Christ
19:55 will destroy them if they could.
19:58 And thousands of them never did come back.
20:02 But I want to tell you something,
20:04 their names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life,
20:08 and when the Lord comes back to this world again,
20:12 you know what?
20:13 They are going to be among the ones
20:15 who are called from their graves and He says
20:18 "Come ye blessed of my Father,
20:20 inherit the Kingdom prepared for you."
20:24 I want to hear Him say those words to me some day,
20:27 don't you?
20:29 I want to be sure that I'm on right side,
20:34 Christianity was founded upon sacrifice.
20:38 Oh, its true, Jesus said that "My yoke is easy,
20:40 and my burden is light."
20:42 And many people think that that means
20:44 you can just go on a merry-old-easy way.
20:47 That's not what He was meaning.
20:48 What He was meaning is this;
20:51 the road that the non-Christians
20:54 hose is a hard road, and it ends in death.
21:00 The Lord doesn't want that for us.
21:03 He wants us to take a road
21:05 that's going to lead to eternal life.
21:08 And the only way that Christianity
21:10 is going to be finished,
21:12 is in the same way that it started.
21:16 And that is that those who give their lives to Christ,
21:20 counted a privilege to surrender to Him totally,
21:23 knowing that they are far safer in His hands
21:26 than in their own hands.
21:30 And that He will allow or bring nothing,
21:32 which when seen from the end.
21:36 They would not choose for themselves,
21:38 because our God makes no mistakes.
21:42 He is a tender and a loving God,
21:45 he cares for every one of His children,
21:48 with a love beyond our comprehension.
21:51 And He wants you to enter into that love,
21:54 into that joy and into that peace.
21:59 For 2000 year the Christian church
22:03 has awaited and yet delayed the second coming of Christ.
22:09 How much longer is He going have to wait
22:11 for His church to be ready?
22:15 He can only come for those who are totally committed.
22:20 And if you my friend are not totally committed,
22:24 then He cannot yet come for you.
22:27 And He doesn't want to leave you out.
22:30 Have you wondered why hasn't come yet?
22:34 It's out of impart at least, tender regard for you,
22:39 because He wants you in His kingdom.
22:45 So I ask you my friend, does that describe you,
22:51 and unwillingness to make the full commitment,
22:55 or are you determined that nothing
22:58 is going to get in you way?
23:00 I'll tell you one thing,
23:02 if you'll spend real time with Jesus,
23:06 it'll reach the point,
23:08 where that will not seem to be a terrible
23:10 and dangerous decision to make.
23:13 It will be the only one that's worth while.
23:16 You know, it reminds of a little story,
23:18 I believe it happened on the river
23:22 a little above Niagara falls.
23:25 It'd been a cold winter,
23:26 and the river was frozen over solid,
23:29 and a lot of people were skating
23:31 and doing all kinds of things on the river,
23:34 and having a great time but then something happened,
23:37 and some of the ice broke.
23:42 And one young couple were on one of these
23:47 separated pieces of ice, above Niagara falls.
23:53 And the flow of the river started taking them away.
23:57 The young man grabbed his wife by the arm
24:00 and took her to the edge of the ice, and said "Jump."
24:02 It was easy for them to, at this point
24:05 jump across onto the solid ice.
24:10 But she was terrified,
24:12 and she began to sank to her knees in fear.
24:16 And you could see for a movement
24:18 that he was hesitating,
24:19 he could have jump to safety, but he choose not to,
24:25 instead he knelt down beside his wife
24:28 and put his arms around in total commitment,
24:33 then slowly and yet surely they floated to water falls.
24:41 Somehow or other a rope was got across
24:43 and dangled where he could reach it,
24:46 and he could have saved himself again.
24:50 But he knew there is no way
24:51 that he could get her attached to it
24:53 before it was too late.
24:55 And he will not leave her alone.
24:59 So instead, they went over the falls together.
25:04 That my friend, is total commitment,
25:07 that's the kind of commitment
25:09 that Jesus Christ had when 2000 years ago.
25:13 He left the security of Heaven, with His peace and joy
25:17 and adoration of the heavenly hosts,
25:20 and came down here to this sin cursed world
25:23 where the most implacable enemy the universe ever seen,
25:27 Satan was in control.
25:32 It was total commitment for you and me.
25:38 Somehow suggested that it would have been possible--
25:41 impossible, sorry-- for Christ to have failed,
25:44 after all He was both, God and Man.
25:48 I would like to state categorically,
25:50 that if that was the case then God would have been play-acting
25:53 and not real,
25:55 and I don't believe that God does that.
25:58 It would have been possible for Christ to fail,
26:01 but He did not fail,
26:03 because not only was His commitment to us total,
26:08 but His commitment to His Father was total.
26:12 And so His arms were stretched out both ways,
26:15 keeping a firm hold upon His Father,
26:18 and a firm hold upon human race that would accept Him.
26:25 And today, 2000 years later
26:31 He comes to you,
26:33 as He did to the disciples and invites them,
26:38 and invite you as He did to them to follow Him.
26:44 But remember, there's only one way of follow Him,
26:49 and that is with all our hearts.
26:53 Lets us Pray.
26:55 Oh, God, our Father, You know the hearts of those
26:59 who've been listening to this massage today,
27:01 You know my heart.
27:03 Remove anything that stands between us and You,
27:06 oh, God, that You may have total control
27:10 and we may rejoice
27:13 in that beautiful relationship with You to only those
27:17 who are totally committed can have.
27:20 That we can have the fullness of joy and perfect peace
27:26 and something worth living for
27:29 that's better than anything else
27:31 this world can offer.
27:36 So speak to each heart,
27:39 and may each one make that decision.
27:40 I pray for Christ sake.
27:44 Amen.
27:47 Don't let the devil persuade you to delay;
27:53 procrastination is the thief of souls
27:55 as well as thief of time.
27:57 Say yes to Jesus.


Revised 2015-05-11