Participants: Tim Riesenberger
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000388
00:31 Hello and welcome to Faith Chapel.
00:34 I'm Tim Riesenberger and I'm going to be
00:36 sharing with you the truth that
00:38 transforms the world. Let us pray.
00:42 Loving Father in heaven, thank you so
00:44 much for changing my life, I pray that
00:48 everyone who hears this would be forever
00:50 changed, that they would see you and
00:53 know you in Jesus name. Amen.
00:59 A simple question for you, does God love you?
01:04 Does God love the people in his Church?
01:08 Well does God love the people who don't go
01:10 to church? Does he love the lost?
01:14 Does he love the people who hate him?
01:18 Well does he love Satan and his angels?
01:22 And even more important question why does
01:25 he love you? Why does he love the lost?
01:29 Why would he love his enemies?
01:32 And why would he love Satan or his angels?
01:38 As I share this message I pray that you would
01:39 think about those questions. I got a message
01:43 from my boss and he said Dr. Riesenberger
01:46 I need to meet with you. Now normally
01:49 when your boss says something like this,
01:51 it's not just a chat, it's usually to share
01:54 something negative. So I had my friends pray.
01:58 And this truth came to me as a result of a
02:02 simple text message. I received a message
02:06 from a friend of mine who said I'm praying
02:08 for you that God will give you the right words
02:12 when you need them. Whatever happens I'm
02:16 proud of you. Simple enough but very disturbing
02:21 to me. I thought to myself whatever happens
02:26 I'm proud of you. Well, let's think about
02:28 whatever could happen. Could it be good
02:30 chore? My boss could say, Tim, we love you.
02:33 You're the best doctor we have here at the
02:35 hospital, we're doubling your salary and we're
02:38 cutting your hours in half. But it could be you
02:41 are the worst doctor I've ever seen.
02:44 We are just overflowing with complaints about
02:47 you and you are fired. I can tell you that if
02:52 I were fired I wouldn't be proud of me.
02:56 I would say what a horrible witness to people
02:58 at work. What a dishonor, what a disgrace,
03:01 I've never been fired in my life.
03:04 But not my friend, they wrote and said
03:07 whatever happens I'm proud of you,
03:11 that disturbed me until I began to
03:15 understand the truth that transforms the world.
03:19 God lead me to a passage in the Bible that's
03:21 very familiar to you. It's in the Old Testament;
03:25 it's about one of David's sons.
03:28 Turn with me in your Bibles to Second Samuel
03:31 chapter 14 and verse 25. Now in all Israel
03:37 there was no one who was praised as much
03:40 as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole
03:42 of his foot to the crown of this head
03:44 there was no blemish in him.
03:47 Absalom was flawless, he was what every
03:50 guy envied to be. All the women loved him.
03:55 But unfortunately the inside is not always
03:57 the same as the outside, because Absalom
04:00 began scheming. He noticed that his father
04:02 was getting older, his government was becoming
04:05 less efficient. Absalom took time to hang
04:09 out around the court house when the
04:12 people were in line waiting for their
04:13 judgment Absalom would talk to them.
04:16 He would sympathize with them.
04:17 He would say your cause is right but there
04:20 is no one that the King has appointed
04:23 to hear you. If only I were made a judge
04:26 then I would do you right. The Bible tells us
04:30 what happened as a result of this.
04:32 Second Samuel chapter 15 verse 6 tells
04:36 us, in this manner Absalom acted toward
04:40 all Israel who came to the King for judgment.
04:43 So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of
04:47 Israel. Absalom began doing even more.
04:52 He increased his plots to draw the people to
04:55 himself and he found some allies in the
04:59 court of the King. Second Samuel chapter 15
05:03 verses 10 and 12, Then Absalom sent spies
05:07 throughout all the tribes of Israel,
05:09 saying, As soon as you hear the sound of
05:11 the trumpet, then you shall say,
05:13 'Absalom reigns in Hebron!'.
05:15 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite,
05:18 David's counselor, from his city from Giloh
05:21 where he offered sacrifices. And the
05:23 conspiracy grew strong, for the people with
05:26 Absalom continually increased in number.
05:31 Who was Ahithophel? Well the verse tells
05:34 us it was David's counselor but it's
05:36 more than that. If you look at Second
05:39 Samuel 11:3 and 23:34 you will see that
05:43 he was actually Bathsheba's grandfather.
05:46 I can assure you he was waiting for a
05:49 moment to even the score between he
05:51 and David. For what David had done not
05:54 only to Bathsheba but to her husband and to
05:57 their family name. But just when you thought
06:01 it couldn't get worse, it does.
06:04 Ahithophel gives a little piece of advice
06:07 to Absalom as he is taking over the kingdom.
06:11 Let's look at what he does in Second
06:13 Samuel chapter 16 verses 22, Second Samuel
06:19 chapter 16 verse 22, so they pitched a
06:23 tent for Absalom on the top of the house,
06:26 and Absalom went in to his father's
06:28 concubines in the sight of all Israel.
06:34 David had fled the city at this point.
06:36 He was so worried, he was so fearful that
06:41 his whole family would be slaughtered.
06:43 At one point he said that my son who came
06:48 out of my own body is seeking my life.
06:53 David prepares for the last stand between
06:57 he and his own son. Now Absalom has all
07:02 of Israel on his side, David has just a little
07:06 handful. David, as he is preparing his
07:09 armies to go out to war gives one final
07:12 piece of information to his generals.
07:16 Does he say take courage, does he say that
07:19 God will fight our battles for us.
07:22 What does he say? Let's take a look in
07:26 Second Samuel chapter 18 verse 5,
07:29 Now the king commanded Joab, Abishai,
07:32 and Ittai, saying, "Deal gently for my sake
07:37 with the young man Absalom." And all the
07:39 people heard when the king gave all the
07:42 captains orders concerning Absalom.
07:46 David repeats this command three times to
07:50 each general; take it easy on my son.
07:53 If it's any way possible save his life.
07:58 If as you're fighting you can avoid killing
08:01 him then do it. David's final command was
08:05 to save his son. I can tell you how the battle
08:10 goes. David's army by the grace of God
08:13 wins a categorical victory. Absalom's forces
08:18 are slaughtered and as Absalom is turning
08:20 to flee his hair catches in a tree and he's left
08:24 dangling between heaven and earth.
08:26 A soldier finds him, but the soldier
08:28 remembers David's explicit command and he
08:32 spares Absalom. However he tells Joab the
08:36 general of David's army. Joab comes and
08:39 takes not one, not two, but three spears
08:42 thrust them through the heart of Absalom
08:44 and thus ends the greatest rebellion Israel
08:48 has ever known. They send messengers to
08:51 return to the city to tell the good news.
08:55 Amazingly, the answer of the King is not
08:59 Praise the Lord, is not thank God for sparing
09:02 us and our family. David has only one
09:05 question for the messengers. In fact
09:08 there's two separate messengers in Second
09:11 Samuel chapter 18 verses 29 and 32,
09:17 the King said, is the young man Absalom safe?
09:21 When they tell him that Absalom is dead,
09:25 we read David's response, thus the King was
09:28 deeply moved and he went up to the
09:30 chamber over the gate, and he wept.
09:35 And as he went, he said thus: "O my son
09:39 Absalom my son, my son Absalom if only
09:43 I had died in your place! O Absalom my son,
09:48 my son!" Now I have a simple question for
09:51 you. Why did David love Absalom?
09:56 Did he love him, because he was a loyal
09:58 citizen? Did he perhaps love him because he
10:03 was an obedient son? Maybe he loved him
10:07 for his upright character. Well Absalom was
10:10 the worst trader in the history of Israel.
10:13 Absalom tried to kill his father.
10:16 Absalom committed adultery with his father's
10:20 wives. You don't get any worst than what
10:24 his son had done. So why in the world
10:28 would David love Absalom? The answer is
10:31 simple. Whether you are a Christian or whether
10:34 you are not. Whether you are Buddhist,
10:36 Shinto, Muslim it doesn't matter. No matter how
10:40 bad your son was. He still is your son.
10:48 David loved Absalom not for what he did
10:52 but for who he was. And what Absalom did
10:56 no matter how bad didn't change the simple
10:58 fact that he was the son of David. I can tell
11:03 you that this truth comes home to me,
11:08 to you and to everyone on this planet.
11:12 As I realized why David loved Absalom God
11:16 spoke to me three words. I can tell you,
11:20 it wasn't written on the ceiling in fire.
11:22 It wasn't like I opened the closet to see if
11:23 anyone was there. But God spoke it to my
11:26 mind, but I knew it wasn't me because it was
11:29 a new thought. God spoke to me three simple
11:33 words. He impressed me that I was not loved
11:39 because I was a doctor. Tim, I don't love
11:42 you because you help people. I don't love you
11:45 because you dedicate your time to go
11:47 oversees as a missionary. I don't love you
11:51 even because you're a Seventh-Day Adventist.
11:53 I don't love you even because you do what's
11:56 right. I love you and here's the three words,
12:01 because you're mine. And when I understood
12:04 that I cried until I couldn't cry anymore.
12:08 I ran out of tears as I realized the whole
12:12 great controversy, as I realized the whole
12:15 message of the Bible. It's just my dad trying
12:18 to get me back. It's that simple, every
12:22 warning you read, every promise that you
12:24 claim is just your dad, trying to get you back
12:28 home. That's the whole great controversy.
12:32 That's the truth that transforms the world.
12:35 That God is your father and he wants his
12:37 child home. I can tell you that everyone of
12:40 us understands this truth because we go
12:44 back to the original question, why does God
12:48 love you? Well I can give you an example.
12:52 I've a friend of mine who, you ask her and
12:55 you say do you have any enemies and she
12:57 will say well, no, I love everybody,
13:00 I'm everyone's friend. And many times we
13:02 think that God loves us for that reason,
13:05 because as the Bible says God is love and
13:08 this is true. There are certain people that love
13:12 everyone not because the people around
13:14 them are bad but because their nature is
13:16 so good. God is the same. Truly, he's going
13:20 to love no matter what, but that's not
13:22 the main reason that he loves you. He loves you,
13:25 yes because he's God. He loves you,
13:28 yes because he's the creator. But you are his,
13:32 he made you. You are his child and he is
13:36 your father. I remember working in the
13:39 emergency department. There was a bad
13:42 motor vehicle accident. A young teenage boy
13:46 was not breathing; his heart was not beating,
13:48 no blood pressure. I put the breathing tube
13:51 down his throat I put him on the ventilator,
13:53 put a line in his chest. We continued doing CPR
13:58 on this boy. I can tell you a grieving father
14:03 was behind me just sobbing saying Dr. Riesenberger
14:06 if only it was me in the passenger side.
14:10 I remember a girl who was just 8 vomiting
14:14 uncontrollably; we couldn't stop it with any
14:16 medications. She had lost all her hair because
14:19 she had cancer and she was getting chemotherapy.
14:23 The mother looked down and wished saying if
14:28 only I had the cancer Dr. Riesenberger.
14:31 Couldn't I take the chemotherapy for my
14:33 little daughter? Every parent feels the same.
14:38 I can tell you that no matter what that child
14:40 has done, no matter what they've gone
14:42 through. The parent will change places and
14:45 take their place. They would willingly take
14:49 any punishment take any amount of suffering
14:52 to spare their child. I can tell you that
14:56 perhaps you may think, well I've committed
14:59 the unpardonable sin, I'm too bad to save.
15:02 Look at Absalom, Absalom was about as bad
15:06 as you can get. But David loved him still.
15:09 And we all understand that because he
15:11 was his son. Don't you see that's how God
15:15 sees you and I. No matter how bad we get,
15:18 no matter how dark the situation is.
15:20 What doesn't change is that we're still
15:23 children of our heavenly Father.
15:26 And when does he give upon us?
15:28 Well, let's go back to the ER. I can tell you
15:32 I had a 2 year old one time come in,
15:34 very sad story. Little child wasn't breathing.
15:38 We did our best to help the child breath;
15:42 we shocked the child's heart many times.
15:44 We gave him strong drugs to see if we
15:47 could bring him back. Ten minutes went by,
15:50 twenty minutes, thirty minutes and I can tell
15:53 you something happened then that always
15:55 happens after about 30 minutes. I feel little
15:57 touch on my shoulder and I turned around and
16:02 it's one of the parents. And they say
16:04 Dr. Riesenberger, it's been a long time since
16:07 my boy has breathe or if he's even moved.
16:11 I need to know if there is any hope.
16:15 And I can tell you that if tell the parents
16:17 there is a little chance we saw the heart beat
16:20 flutter a little bit. I saw some movement actually
16:23 of his eyelids that parent will say keep going.
16:27 But if I respond to the parent and I say,
16:30 ma'am I'm sorry your son has not moved,
16:33 breathed, or had any signs of life for the last
16:36 half hour. There is no hope and the parent
16:41 will look down. And what will they tell me to
16:44 do? Well, what would you say to do?
16:47 Would you tell me keep shocking him
16:48 anyway? Keep put more lines in him?
16:51 Keep forcing air into his lungs. No. You'd say
16:55 it's time to let go. Let my son go to rest.
17:01 That's when God gives up on you.
17:03 When he knows that there is no more hope
17:07 but I can tell you that just as David did.
17:11 He was sending his armies out to defeat
17:13 Absalom and his forces but even as he did
17:15 that, what did he say? Spare my son Absalom
17:20 and I can tell you no matter how bad you
17:22 are. You may think that God is sending the
17:23 angels after you to end your life, to bring
17:27 judgment upon you. And that may be true
17:30 but I can tell you what he tells his angels.
17:33 He says spare if you can. Do what you can
17:36 to bring my son or my daughter home.
17:43 Let's imagine, if this family goes through the
17:47 tragedy of losing their child. They've just
17:50 finished telling me okay, let him go.
17:55 And I come over to the grieving parents and
17:58 I decide to put my arm around them and I
17:59 say Mr and Mrs. Smith I'm so sorry that you've
18:03 lost your 2 year old son. But I see you
18:05 have several small children here.
18:07 You still have others or you're a young
18:10 family you can have more kids or perhaps I
18:14 could even say this child looks like it was a
18:17 twin. You still have the other twin, so that's
18:20 alright. I can tell you the hospital administrator
18:24 would on me the next day, I would be fired.
18:28 Because having other children doesn't erase,
18:32 doesn't replace the one that is gone.
18:36 I can tell you any parent on the face of this
18:39 planet would say that having other children
18:43 doesn't replace the one that's gone.
18:46 But why don't we think it's that way with
18:47 God. God could create more children but
18:51 they would never be another you.
18:53 Even if you were a twin that twin is not the
18:57 same as you. All the same genetic material,
19:01 even the same name doesn't make you,
19:05 and doesn't replace you in the heart of your
19:08 parents or the heart of God. I can tell you
19:14 that I understand this now, because if you
19:16 ask any parent how many of your children
19:18 do you want to save 90 percent, 95 percent,
19:22 99 percent. They would say what do you mean?
19:25 It's clearly 100 and it makes sense to me
19:29 now why God leaves the 99 in the wilderness and
19:32 he goes after one that's lost. We're told
19:36 in Second Peter that God is long suffering
19:40 toward us. He is not willing that any should
19:44 perish but that all should come to repentance.
19:48 Do you realize that God, His will is to save
19:52 every last one of us? Why is God so particular?
19:56 Why would you want to save your kids?
19:58 There is no question in my mind, I can tell
20:02 you that if you've ever known a parent
20:04 whose lost a child they're never the same again.
20:07 No matter how much counseling they go
20:09 through, no matter how many years have
20:11 passed since the death of the child.
20:13 There is a hole that's left and I can tell you
20:16 that some day when we go to heaven it may
20:19 be that you are missing a child, you may look
20:22 around and say well, where is my son?
20:25 Where is my daughter? You may see that
20:27 one of your children is missing and you will
20:29 be sad. You will cry and you will mourn.
20:33 You see because God does not wipe away all
20:35 tears until after the second resurrection.
20:39 There will be many tears shed during that
20:41 thousand years but I can tell you there is
20:43 one person who is gonna cry more than
20:45 anyone else. God himself is going to look
20:49 around at the mansions that he has prepared
20:51 for you and I and he is going to see some empty
20:55 ones. He will say why, why did you die?
21:02 You didn't have to? I prepared these places
21:06 for you so you could be with me.
21:09 But you see that's the way it is with God,
21:13 just like is with us. You see David in the last
21:16 verse he said O Absalom my son.
21:19 Would to God that I had died instead of you.
21:23 You see David wished that he could have died
21:26 for Absalom. But you see that's where the
21:29 story falls short. God did die for you and I.
21:34 I can tell you if I've had parents on the gurney
21:36 saying Dr. Riesenberger, do you need blood?
21:39 Have some of mine. When I've told them look
21:42 your daughter's kidneys are failing from
21:43 shock they'll say take one of my kidneys.
21:46 But you see you have two kidneys,
21:49 but can you imagine if a child needed a heart
21:52 transplant. Because that's what you and I
21:54 need. Our hearts are lost. We are bad and
21:59 there is no turning back for us. God gives up
22:03 his heart that we might live. That's where it
22:07 falls short. Turn to Isaiah, chapter 49 verse
22:13 14-16, Isaiah 49, but Zion said,
22:19 "The Lord has forsaken me, And my Lord
22:21 has forgotten me. Can a woman forget her
22:23 nursing child, And not have compassion on
22:26 the son of her womb? Surely they may
22:28 forget, Yet will I not forget you. See I have
22:31 inscribed you on the palms of My hands:
22:35 Your walls are continually before Me."
22:41 Amazingly a mother and her child touching
22:44 as though it may be can fail. There are
22:48 mothers that we read in the paper that have
22:49 left their children in the dumpster,
22:52 they have murdered them. God understands
22:54 that the story isn't perfect and just like with
22:58 David. He wished that he could die for Absalom
23:01 but he didn't, but you see God did die for
23:05 you and I. He did die for his children.
23:08 His love goes so much farther than human
23:12 love. But I can tell you that it goes even
23:16 further than that. Remember the question
23:19 that I asked you, does God love Satan?
23:22 Well let's think about it. Go back to Absalom.
23:27 Absalom was perfect from head to toe;
23:31 there was no blemish, who else was created
23:34 perfect? Absalom rebelled and took the
23:37 loyalties of his father's kingdom. Was there
23:41 someone else who took the loyalty of his
23:43 father's subjects? Absalom committed
23:47 adultery with his father's wives. There was
23:50 someone else who committed spiritual
23:52 adultery with his father's wife. And finally
23:55 Absalom tried to kill his father, there was
23:58 another who tried to kill his father.
24:01 There was no missing the illustration Lucifer
24:05 was the one who did all these things to God.
24:07 He lied about God's government,
24:09 stole the affections of the angles,
24:11 stole affections of us on earth. He committed
24:14 spiritual adultery with God's bride the church.
24:18 There is no question in mind that this story
24:20 illustrates the great controversy and so
24:22 I know that God does love Satan, because
24:27 he created him, he is his father. But you see
24:31 there is a difference between Satan and you
24:34 and I. In the Bible it tells us in the final
24:38 judgment Matthew 25:34 tells us that God
24:43 will say to those on his right hand, come ye
24:45 blessed of my father inherit the kingdom
24:47 prepared for you from the foundation of the
24:49 world. And he says to the people on the other
24:52 side depart from me you cursed into the
24:55 everlasting fire prepared for. No, it doesn't
24:58 say you; it was prepared for the devil
25:01 and his angels. Do you realize not one human
25:03 being was designed to be lost?
25:06 Remember we read that, that God is not
25:08 willing that any should perish but that all
25:11 should come to repentance. But the
25:13 difference between the devil and you and
25:15 I is fundamental. Romans 2:4 tells us there
25:18 is only thing that brings us to repentance and
25:21 that is the goodness of God. How much of
25:24 God's goodness did Satan understand?
25:27 What was his job? He was the covering cherub,
25:30 he's right here God's over here.
25:33 How much of God's goodness did he know?
25:36 He saw it all and he walked away.
25:39 There is nothing more God is gonna show him
25:41 to bring him back. But you see it was
25:44 different for me. God knew Tim doesn't
25:48 understand me he doesn't see me as I am.
25:52 But now God has shown me that he is just
25:54 my dad trying to get me back. Have you
25:57 ever woken up in the middle of the night,
25:59 it's pitch black, you don't know where you
26:01 are, you don't know which side of the bed
26:03 your head is on, you don't know where the
26:04 door is or the window is, but when someone
26:06 opens that door just a crack and lets some
26:09 light in, you see it last. You know where
26:12 everything is in the room. That's what it's
26:14 like for me. I see God at last. God knows
26:19 that I'm not like Satan; I was deceived into
26:21 sin just as you were. And when God reveals
26:24 to us who he is, we can turn back.
26:29 So how does this effect you? I'll share with
26:32 you. When you understand the three
26:34 most powerful words in the Bible it changes
26:37 you. Turn with me in Isaiah chapter 43 verse 1,
26:44 But now, thus says the Lord who created you,
26:47 O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel:
26:50 " Fear not, for I have redeemed you: I have
26:53 called you by your name: here are the
26:55 three words, You are Mine.
27:00 Let us consider that God calls us by our name,
27:04 because we are his that is why he loves us
27:07 and what does that do for our lives well read
27:10 the next verse. When you pass through the
27:13 waters, I will be with you: And through the
27:16 rivers, they shall not overflow you.
27:18 When you walk through the fire,
27:20 you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame
27:24 scorch you. Don't you see what this does
27:27 when we understand this truth that we are
27:31 God's and that's why he loves us,
27:33 we are invincible. We can face anything
27:36 because there is one thing that doesn't
27:38 change. What doesn't change is how God feels
27:42 about you. He loves you, yes because he is God,
27:46 yes because he is the creator,
27:47 but he loves you most because you're mine.