Participants: Rowland Nwsou
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000321
00:31 Welcome to Faith Chapel. My name is Pastor
00:35 Rowland C. Nwosu, the pastor of the All Nations
00:38 African Seventh-day Adventist Church in
00:40 San Bernardino, California, and the President
00:42 of the Adventist Our International Ministries
00:45 in Loma Linda, California. Let us pray.
00:51 Father, we thank you today for your love
00:54 and for your blessings. Be with us as we study
00:58 your word, as we listen, speak to our hearts
01:03 and our minds, interpret what is read
01:07 and what is heard. And let your spirit
01:12 refresh us. In your name we pray, amen.
01:18 Seven ways to live as a Christian in this society,
01:22 in this age and generation that is filled
01:26 with criminality and crimes, bigotry, adultery,
01:32 and idolatry, favoritisms, and fundamentalisms and
01:36 terrorisms, hospitalities and festivities,
01:40 immoralities, and inequalities, how can the
01:44 Christian live? Apostle Paul describes our
01:48 generation in Second Timothy chapter 3
01:52 verses 1 through 5. Second Timothy
01:55 chapter 3 verses 1 through 5 and I read:
01:59 But know this, that in the last days perilous
02:05 times will come: For men will be lovers of the
02:09 themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud,
02:14 blasphemers, disobedient to parents,
02:17 unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving,
02:23 slanderers, without self-control, brutal,
02:27 despisers of good, traitors, headstrong,
02:30 haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers
02:34 of God, having a form of godliness but denying
02:38 its power, And from such people turn away!
02:46 In a nationwide, nationwide poll by the Barna Group,
02:51 they found out that out of every five adults
02:56 in the United States consider themselves to be
02:59 Christian, 72 percent said they had personal
03:04 communication or personal commitment to Jesus,
03:09 that was and still is important to them
03:11 they said. Now out of that 29 percent attended
03:16 church, church service and prayed to God and read
03:19 from the Bible during the past week.
03:23 Now, 16 percent of the entire people who
03:28 responded 16 percent of this said that the highest
03:32 priority in their life was their faith. In fact the
03:38 conclusion of the Barna Research Group was that
03:41 according to the research and I quote
03:46 "For most American's, being a Christian is about
03:49 an image than action." Wow, it's an about image
03:58 than a action, that is to say that there is a
04:03 form of godliness rather than the power
04:06 of Christianity, rather than the power of the
04:09 relationship, that is spoken about.
04:12 How can we live as Christians in such a
04:15 world today? Speaking about the day of
04:21 destruction, the day of the Lord, the day when
04:25 Jesus will come and when all will be subjected
04:29 to the judgment of God. In Second Peter
04:32 chapter 3 verses 11 through 13,
04:35 Apostle Peter speaks about that day and he warns
04:40 Christians about that day he says: Therefore,
04:43 since all these things will be dissolved,
04:47 what manner of persons ought you to be in holy
04:50 conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening
04:55 the coming of the day of God, because of which
04:58 the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire,
05:02 and the elements will melt with fervent heat.
05:07 Nevertheless we, according to His promise,
05:10 look for new heavens and a new earth in which
05:13 righteousness dwells. God's children all these
05:20 things will be burned up and it will be surprise,
05:24 it will be a surprise. Our possessions
05:28 we've accumulated for years, the jobs we
05:31 have kept, that have kept us from worshiping
05:36 God and serving God the way he wants us to serve.
05:39 The cash we've accumulated,
05:41 and hidden will be burned up.
05:45 All the things that have prevented us from serving
05:49 God will be burned up. Now Apostle Paul,
05:51 Apostle Peter ask in view of all these things,
05:55 what manner of persons ought we be.
06:02 And in Second Peter chapter 3 verses 14
06:06 through 17 he suggest seven ways that we as
06:12 Christians must live. In verse 14 Apostle Peter
06:16 says: Therefore, beloved, looking forward to
06:23 these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace,
06:30 without spot and blameless. Point number one,
06:38 principle number one as Christians;
06:40 if we must live the way God wants us to live.
06:45 We need to live as people who are looking
06:49 forward to the Day of Judgment.
06:51 You see when we look forward to something;
06:53 we tend to prepare for it because anticipation
06:57 precedes preparation. The day of the Lord
07:00 is degrades and blessed hope of all Christians
07:04 because on that day this body will be changed
07:09 and will take on the new body that Jesus had
07:12 made it to be. On that day we will be saved
07:17 and all the problems we have on this earth will be
07:20 abandoned, will be over. There will be no more pain,
07:23 no more tears, no more sorrows,
07:26 no more sickness, no more diseases,
07:29 no more cancers and those of us who have lost
07:32 our beloved brothers and sisters and mothers
07:37 and fathers if they were faithful we will see them
07:41 again now we will live with them eternally,
07:43 that is why that day is a blessed day.
07:47 So, looking forward to that great day is something
07:51 that is so precious for every Christian.
07:55 Let us live in anticipation, let us live like people
08:00 looking forward, you see when we look forward
08:03 to the future. When we look forward to the
08:06 coming of the Lord, we won't look back
08:08 to the things that have happened,
08:10 to the mistakes we have made in the past,
08:11 to the sins that we had committed in the past,
08:16 for the troubles we've had and we will also look
08:19 forward. We wouldn't look back to people who
08:22 have hurt us and who have offended us,
08:25 because we're moving forward we forgive them,
08:28 we know that we have hurt our Lord.
08:32 We know that our God has so even forgiven us
08:35 more than we need to forgive those who have
08:39 offended us. We live in anticipation.
08:41 We live looking forward. We ought to live a holy live.
08:48 Apostle Peter says as we look forward to the
08:51 Day of Judgment, the Day of the Lord.
08:55 Point number two is that we need to live as one
08:58 diligent to be found by Him in peace,
09:02 without spot and blameless.
09:06 In the verse that we read Second Peter
09:09 chapter 3 verse 14, we were also remind that,
09:13 as we look forward to be diligent to be found
09:19 by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
09:23 diligent to be found by Him in peace.
09:29 Does this mean salvation by works? Certainly not;
09:33 no one can make himself holy. Only God can make
09:37 someone holy. God's presence in anything and
09:41 in anyone makes someone or anything holy.
09:45 His presence in our lives makes us holy,
09:49 because he is present in our lives, our choices and
09:54 our decisions become decisions that are made
09:58 according to his will. So, the idea is for Christians
10:03 to be found holy, when Jesus makes his
10:09 second coming, his surprise entry into our lives.
10:13 He says, we ought to make to be diligent to be
10:17 found in Him in peace, to be found by Him when
10:21 he comes, because he is going to be coming
10:24 as a thief in the night, as a surprise to us,
10:28 when he comes in surprise as a surprise may he
10:32 find us blameless, may he find us tuned our hearts
10:38 and our lives in a way that is in harmony with his
10:42 requirements for us. We must live by setting
10:45 our goals and priorities based on the kingdom
10:48 requirements. When we live as one diligent
10:51 to be found by Him in peace, without spot or
10:54 wrinkle, we shall not be deceived by false teachers
10:59 because we are studying the word.
11:01 We will not be surprised because we are in tune
11:07 with him. When we live as one diligent and to be
11:13 found by Him in peace, without spot or wrinkle,
11:16 shall we then be deceived by what false teachers
11:21 teach now, shall we then when they say to us
11:24 that he's in the inner room, shall we be deceived,
11:27 no, because he we have heard his word,
11:31 we have studied his word, we have prepared.
11:33 When people come to us and say behold
11:35 he's in the desert shall we be deceived, no.
11:39 And of course we will be watching being careful,
11:44 knowing that the day of the Lord will come and
11:48 not find us, not faithful. Point number three
11:54 that Peter suggests to us is that we live our lives
11:58 bearing in mind that God's patience means salvation.
12:02 We need to live our faith and exercise our faith
12:06 and practice our beliefs. We need to bear in mind
12:11 that the God's coming, his longsuffering,
12:15 his patience with us because he's now reacting
12:19 and sending thunder and lightning whenever we
12:22 make mistakes that his longsuffering is his desire
12:29 for us to be saved, is his longsuffering is
12:32 our salvation. In Second Peter chapter verse 9,
12:36 we're told we read that: The Lord is not slack
12:41 concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
12:46 but is longsuffering toward us, not willing
12:49 that any should perish but that all should
12:53 come to repentance. Point number four,
13:00 Apostle Peter encourages Christians to be on
13:04 guard against false teachers and false
13:06 teachings that lead us stray. Peter warns
13:09 the early Christians against miscoding and
13:12 misinterpreting Apostle Paul's writings.
13:16 According to Peter in Second Peter chapter 3
13:19 verses 16 and 17 Peter, Peter, Peter warns that
13:23 we Christians in reading or listening to Apostle Paul
13:29 that we understand him, he says.
13:34 In Second Peter 3 verses 16 and 17: as also
13:38 in all his epistles, speaking in them
13:44 of these things, in which are some things hard
13:49 to understand, which untaught and unstable
13:52 people twist to their own destruction,
13:55 as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
13:59 You therefore, beloved, since you know
14:02 this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from
14:07 your own steadfastness, being led away with
14:10 the error of the wicked. Peter warns Christians,
14:19 be careful what you read and what you interpret
14:22 you read Apostle Paul's writings.
14:27 On steadfast men and women,
14:29 people who are not stable in their understanding
14:34 of scripture, misinterpret, misapply the writings
14:39 of Apostle Paul for their own advantages,
14:43 to their advantages to the disadvantage of the
14:46 souls of Christians who listen to them.
14:50 What did Paul teach? Paul taught about the role
14:53 of the law in the life of the Christian.
14:56 Paul taught that the keeping of the law cannot
14:58 save anyone but anyone who is saved keeps the law.
15:04 Paul talked about the fact that circumcision
15:06 cannot save anyone, that circumcision was
15:10 more significant if it was done from the heart
15:14 rather then on the body. Apostle Paul talked
15:17 that the life we live in Christ was more important
15:23 than the form itself, obedience to the law
15:26 cannot save anybody. Apostle Paul talk,
15:30 but when one is saved they keep the law,
15:33 they observe God's requirement because they
15:36 have been saved. Apostle Paul talked about the
15:39 grace of God, being the agency, being in means
15:46 by which we're saved by grace, by the grace
15:51 of God. Saved because God send Jesus Christ
15:56 his son because Jesus died for us, paid our price.
16:01 It is not about what we do that saves us.
16:05 It's not about who we are, but it's about who he is.
16:09 It is about because of the grace that he has
16:11 dispensed, because of his love for us.
16:15 But when we love him, then we will obey him
16:18 because we've been saved then we obey him.
16:22 We don't obey him in order to be saved this was
16:25 what Apostle Paul taught. And people misinterpreted
16:31 and still do today misinterpreting Apostle
16:34 Paul speaking that the law is no longer necessary
16:38 to be kept by Christians, it's no longer,
16:41 it doesn't matter what I do, going to Church
16:43 is not necessary. Obeying God does not pay,
16:47 it does not pay, it does not reward us.
16:51 There is no need to obey God's law.
16:53 But Apostle Paul does not teach that and
16:56 Peter warns us if you want to believe that you are
17:00 doing so, anyone who wants to believe that,
17:03 is doing that to the damnation and destruction
17:07 of their soul. God against the avenues of the soul
17:16 protect those things that affect your soul.
17:22 In First Peter chapter 5 verse 8, 1 Peter chapter
17:27 5 verse 8 Apostle Paul, Apostle Peter warns
17:31 us to be sober, to be diligent;
17:34 because our adversary the devil walks about like
17:38 a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
17:42 All around us, the enemy is all around us,
17:46 seeking who he may devour. Throwing
17:49 all kinds of curved balls against unto us,
17:54 trying to find a way to interrupt and to
18:00 entice us. He does that through our friends,
18:02 he does that through those who work with us.
18:06 He does that through those who even walk
18:09 and talk and eat and fellowship with us.
18:14 My dear brothers watch and be careful.
18:20 Point number 5, Apostle Peter wants us to live
18:26 while growing in grace and in the kingdom of God,
18:33 live while growing grace. Second Peter chapter 3
18:41 verse 18, Second Peter chapter 3 verse 18
18:43 Apostle Peter says: Grow in the grace and
18:46 knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
18:51 To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
18:58 If we must live a life here on earth that will be
19:03 pleasing to God and that will lead us in that faith
19:08 relationship with Jesus and we must continue
19:11 to grow in grace, and that relationship,
19:14 that loving relationship with God and in our
19:16 knowledge of Him. And we cannot grow
19:20 without knowing and hearing from God,
19:24 it's like we cannot keep a relationship going
19:31 if you do not hear or hear from somebody
19:32 that you love from to one that you love.
19:35 You call them on the telephone or you write
19:37 letters or you exchange gifts. God has written
19:41 letters to us, his love letters to us,
19:45 the Bible the word of God. Let us grow in the
19:50 knowledge of the word of God to not just
19:55 personally knowing in our head, but to personally
19:58 experience to know God, to read his words,
20:04 to communicate with him in prayer, in meditation.
20:08 Live while growing and by the way growth,
20:13 growth in the spirit is not just reading the Bible
20:21 that is part of it. It's not just praying,
20:25 also that is part of it, but the daily walk
20:30 we have when we fall, we learn from it,
20:34 the experience, the challenges of faith,
20:39 when our faith, when our belief,
20:41 beliefs encounter the daily challenges that we
20:45 face in life today. When we overcome,
20:48 when we are victorious in the name of God
20:53 with the power and the strength that God gives
20:56 us that helps us to grow, is like a baby who
21:01 is learning to walk. They don't just walk straight
21:05 and start running to his first time,
21:06 when they stop they get up, they start to walk,
21:12 they start to walk, they start to walk sometimes
21:15 they flup, they fall down and some of us adults,
21:19 some of us adults we watch the kids fall
21:21 and when they fall we wonder oh!
21:26 He will break his bone or her bone,
21:28 or when they' run, or they're riding their
21:30 bicycles they fall over. But have you notice
21:34 that God protects those little children.
21:37 You try it and fall like that you break your bone,
21:40 but when these kids fall and we will shout
21:42 and wow! These are growing pains,
21:49 they learn that way how to resist the pressures
21:55 and the pressures, the elements of this world,
22:00 the things that this world tend to give us.
22:03 We need to accept our experiences and our
22:09 encounters that challenge our faith and build
22:13 on them and let them be stepping stone rather
22:15 then a crushing stone. Let them be a stepping
22:18 stone, because God has promised that in each
22:21 of those circumstances he will not let anything
22:23 that will overcome us come upon us.
22:26 So, anything that comes to us, God has allowed
22:30 and he has allowed that so we can build up
22:33 on it and grow from it. Number six,
22:42 I want to share with you seven ways to live
22:46 as a Christian. The sixth is to live while denying
22:50 yourself and take up your cross,
22:56 live while denying yourself.
23:00 In Matthew chapter 16 verses I think verse 4,
23:04 verse 24 Jesus said to his disciples,
23:09 it says "If anyone desires to come after Me,
23:15 let him deny himself, and take up his cross,
23:20 and follow Me." If anyone wants to follow Jesus,
23:28 deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow.
23:35 Deny yourself, let me deny myself,
23:41 deny myself means that I count myself as nothing,
23:44 is no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me.
23:48 Whatever I do is done by the power that God
23:53 has given me by in the spirit of God.
23:56 I no longer exist, deny myself,
23:59 my accomplishments, my abilities are God given.
24:03 They are gifts from God. Deny myself means
24:08 that I do not take credit for what God has
24:12 accomplished. Deny myself means
24:16 I need to take on, I need to let God and
24:21 let go myself. I need to allow God to use me,
24:27 I need to follow him. Deny myself means
24:30 following him. Jesus says deny yourself now
24:33 take up your cross. Whatever the cross is,
24:36 whatever the situation is, whatever the pains are,
24:39 whatever these issues are, take them all and follow
24:45 Jesus Christ. And then grace by the way is
24:48 free but it's not cheap, genuine grace leads
24:52 to self denial and loving sacrifice.
24:56 You see we deny ourselves by saying no
25:00 to ungodliness and worldly passions,
25:06 Titus chapter 2 verses 11 through 13
25:10 the Bible says: "For the grace of God that brings
25:14 salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that,
25:17 denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
25:20 we should live soberly, righteously,
25:23 and godly in the present age,
25:26 looking for the blessed hope and glorious
25:30 appearing of our great God and Savior
25:33 Jesus Christ. I encourage you to take up
25:37 your cross; take up your cross it's an invitation
25:41 to come as you are. Whatever your cross is,
25:44 the cross of loneliness, the cross of bitterness,
25:47 the cross of hatred, the cross of prejudice,
25:50 the cross of poverty, take up your cross and
25:54 follow Me, Jesus says is invitation come and see:
26:00 O ye that have burdens and have been laden
26:03 with sorrows and pain and hardship and suffering
26:06 and trials and difficulties come,
26:09 I will give you rest Jesus says.
26:12 In Matthew chapter 11 verse 28 and 29
26:15 says here, that we have to just come,
26:18 as we: Come to Me, come to Me Jesus says,
26:21 all you who labor and are heavy laden,
26:24 and I will give you rest. And if you take your
26:29 yoke, take Christ yoke, take the offer that
26:35 Christ has offered and hook it up to you.
26:39 Follow him, then Jesus says I will give you rest,
26:42 I will give you peace, I will give you love.
26:44 You will say, come yoke up with me I will walk
26:47 with you, I will stand with you,
26:49 I will be with you through the trials that you
26:52 go through. And that leads me to my
26:55 seventh point. If we must live as Christians
26:59 in this world, stay in the narrow way,
27:02 stay in the narrow way and refuse to be
27:04 destructed, stay in the narrow way and refuse
27:07 to be destructed. Jesus spoke about those
27:09 two distinct roles in Matthew chapter 3
27:13 verses 13 and 14 the Bible says, that Jesus says,
27:17 enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate
27:21 and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
27:24 and there are many who go in by it.
27:29 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the
27:31 way which leads to life, and there are few
27:34 who find it. My dear friends as you follow
27:37 Jesus on the narrow traffic lane of this life,
27:40 there will be many destructions,
27:41 there will many disturbances,
27:43 refuse to be destructed, there will be many troubles
27:47 and many trials. Hold on to the faith you
27:51 have in Jesus, hold on to Jesus for he
27:55 himself is your strength and your guide.