Participants: Tim Riesenberger
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000389
00:08 beautiful music
00:30 Hello and welcome to Faith Chapel.
00:33 My name is Tim Riesenberger
00:35 and I am going to be sharing the only question God
00:39 asks you in the judgment. Let us pray...
00:43 Loving Father in heaven thank You so much that
00:47 You are our Judge at the end of time. We ask that you would
00:51 bless now as we share that question that You will ask
00:55 everyone of us. In Jesus name. Amen.
01:01 When I was on my way here I met
01:04 an airline steward named Charlie
01:08 and as he was walking by he asked me a question that
01:12 I enjoy hearing from people, he said, "Why are you so happy?"
01:19 Of course, that's a wide open door. So I shared with him that
01:22 I am a Christian. He said, "I knew that you were, I could
01:25 tell. " And then he began to ask me why I was a Christian?
01:31 How did I come to Know God?
01:35 And I shared with him that I was a junior in college,
01:38 I had studied with different denominations.
01:40 And many denominations will say, if you don't join their church
01:46 then you will be lost! They are the only ones that are saved...
01:52 and that everyone else is in error and is going to be failed
01:57 in the judgment.
01:59 I told him that there is one denomination that
02:03 that did not say that.
02:04 I was rather surprised in fact. This denomination told me
02:09 that the majority of the people that will be saved are not in
02:14 their denomination.
02:16 I was shocked! I said, "Really? Are you sure?"
02:20 Charlie asked me, "Well, what church did you join?"
02:24 I said, "I became a Seventh Day Adventist. "
02:26 And he said, "Really? Is that what they believe?"
02:29 I said, "Yes, that is what they told me. "
02:31 And I started to question it because I didn't believe it.
02:34 I said, "You're a Seventh Day Adventist, surely you think
02:38 that the people who aren't keeping the Sabbath are lost. "
02:41 And they said, "No. As a matter of fact we don't believe that. "
02:45 I said, "I can't understand. Isn't that the main issue
02:49 at the end of time?" They said, "Yes, we believe it will be. "
02:53 "But God looks at people for what they know...
02:57 not for what they don't know. "
03:00 In your Bibles we can read in James 4:17
03:14 So these people didn't know about the Sabbath
03:16 and therefore wouldn't be accountable for it.
03:19 When they did learn the truth then they would be.
03:23 I began to question them further I said, "Well wait a minute...
03:27 maybe the issue is if you know Jesus. "
03:31 They said, "Absolutely! It is very important that you
03:34 know Jesus. But that isn't even the question either. "
03:39 I said, "Are you kidding, that doesn't make any sense to me. "
03:42 And they said, "Well, if you look at Romans you can read
03:46 that the Gentiles who don't even know about God's law
03:51 will be saved because they have
03:52 the law written in their hearts. "
03:55 There are some people who don't know about Jesus
03:58 but they are following the light that they have. "
04:02 I began to think very carefully
04:06 as these arguments were presented to me
04:09 and then I realized what was the only question God would ask.
04:14 But before I reveal that, I want to share a passage in
04:17 the Bible that comes at the end of the Mount of Blessings.
04:22 When Jesus speaks to the multitude He ends with a verse
04:26 Matthew 5:48
04:38 What does it mean to be perfect though?
04:39 What is that text telling us?
04:42 We'll see at the end of this presentation.
04:46 I can tell you that I shared with Charlie on the airplane
04:51 why I became a Seventh Day Adventist.
04:53 Because it was so clear to me what the main issue was.
04:58 Not only from what these people were telling me
05:01 but the teaching from the Bible itself.
05:03 And I'm going to share that with you.
05:05 What is the only question that God will ask you?
05:09 Well, let's turn in our Bibles to Matthew 25:34-36, 40
06:01 In this passage from the Bible it is unbelievable...
06:05 God talks nothing of doctrine He talks nothing of creed...
06:08 He doesn't even list the Ten Commandments!
06:11 It didn't make sense until I began to realize
06:16 what the issue is.
06:18 I shared with Charlie on the plane the reason I became a
06:23 Seventh Day Adventist.
06:24 And I'm going to be sharing that with you today.
06:27 It wasn't merely that they were the only denomination that said
06:31 that other people are saved besides them.
06:34 But that they followed the Bible.
06:37 And this is what Jesus said in His Word.
06:40 That the question in the judgment
06:42 is not a matter of creed.
06:44 It is how you treat other people.
06:47 The people who are commended in the judgment
06:50 say to Jesus, "We never saw you hungry"
06:52 "we never saw you thirsty, we never saw you naked. "
06:55 "We don't understand. "
06:56 Jesus said, "When you did it to one of my children... "
07:01 "... you did it to Me. "
07:03 Now I think a more important question
07:06 is not only what God asks you in the judgment
07:10 ...but why. Why can He ask you those things?
07:14 Why is that the only question?, "How you treated other people?"
07:18 Well, I'm going to share some illustrations with you
07:22 of how we do treat people. Perhaps they'll be things that
07:26 you've never heard of. Perhaps they're things
07:28 that are very common.
07:29 But I can tell you that these are things
07:33 that we as Christians tend to forget
07:36 about how we treat others.
07:38 But they are vital to our salvation and the judgment.
07:45 Can you imagine working in a hospital?
07:48 That's what I do. I work in the emergency department.
07:51 And I can tell you, in the ER something that many of my
07:56 students and residents enjoy is something
07:59 that is life threatening!
08:00 Not because they are merely adrenaline junkies
08:03 but they like to save people.
08:05 They like to make a difference where it matters most.
08:08 There is something that is so deadly it is the
08:12 number one cause of death especially for young people.
08:16 But unfortunately it is very common too.
08:20 Ten percent of men will be afflicted by this disease...
08:23 twenty percent of women will have this
08:26 at some time in their life.
08:29 A woman came into the ER one day
08:35 and after I talked with her
08:37 after I examined her I realized she had this disease.
08:41 I was going to recommend not only treatment
08:45 but admitting her into the hospital.
08:48 Now unfortunately not everyone follows the doctor's advice.
08:52 Some patients ask for a second opinion.
08:56 And that is what she wanted.
08:58 She said she didn't want the treatment.
09:00 She said she was fine.
09:02 She said she didn't want to be in the hospital.
09:04 She wanted to go home.
09:07 Now in her country it was legal to do that.
09:11 But in the United States of America
09:14 this problem is so serious
09:15 that I as a physician have the legal right
09:19 to force this treatment on you against your will!
09:22 I can keep you in the hospital against your will.
09:25 What is it? I've had people ask me if it is tuberculosis.
09:30 Is it AIDS? No it is not.
09:33 It is something much more common than that.
09:37 I am going to share with you a note that a patient might write.
09:44 They might say, "Doctor, I am sorrowful"
09:50 "I am deeply distressed"
09:51 "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death"
09:56 "Stay here with me, stay near"
10:00 "I am afraid of being alone. "
10:02 I think you'd take that patient very seriously.
10:06 but you see I have just paraphrased from the Bible.
10:09 I have just paraphrased Matthew 26:37, 38.
10:15 These are the words of Jesus, Himself.
10:19 Jesus who committed no sin said that He
10:23 was sorrowful even unto death.
10:25 What is this medical condition
10:28 that I can force the treatment on you against your will?
10:31 It's depression and suicide.
10:34 They're so common in our society
10:36 Now this woman was actually from Japan
10:39 where it is legal to refuse treatment
10:42 for depression or suicidal thoughts.
10:45 But in the US I can admit you for 3 days against your will.
10:49 Amazingly enough most of us ignore this problem.
10:55 I'm sure that you've known a friend or a family member
10:58 who's been depressed. And what do we say? We say,
11:00 we say, "Well have you prayed about it?"
11:02 "Brother, did you have your devotions this morning?"
11:06 "I think you need to focus in on Jesus. "
11:08 I don't know if that is the right answer.
11:12 For Jesus Himself said that He was sorrowful unto death.
11:16 When you're going through hard times
11:20 when you see someone else who's depressed
11:23 perhaps the best thing is to do what Jesus asked for.
11:27 Stay with them, pray with them, encourage them.
11:32 Don't try to point the finger.
11:34 Do what you can to just support them.
11:38 Many times in our lives when we haven't gone through something
11:43 we don't understand how someone is feeling.
11:47 But I can tell you that there are many people
11:49 in our society that are depressed, that are sad.
11:52 Does Jesus understand how they feel? Yes He does.
11:56 Does Jesus condemn? No He does not.
11:59 Jesus is there to be with you, to pray with you.
12:03 Even though none of His disciples stayed up with Him.
12:07 Even though none of His disciples were able to stay
12:10 awake for an hour, Jesus stays awake all night with you.
12:14 And I pray that you would do the same for other people.
12:20 "Dr. Riesenberger you have a patient in room 9."
12:22 "Ooh, another patient... I'm so tired. "
12:27 I listen to one of the other doctors say,
12:29 "Why do they keep sending us these patients?
12:32 this is the third one this afternoon!"
12:34 The charge nurse comes over with the chart...
12:37 She said, "are you the lucky one who has the beached whale
12:40 in room 9? there you go. " Now the beached whale
12:45 she was referring to was a human being.
12:48 But the sad part of this was the gentleman was over 450 pounds!
12:53 He was complaining of severe pain in his abdomen.
12:56 And I determined he was going to need a CAT scan.
13:00 Unfortunately there was a weight limit on our scanner and he
13:04 exceeded it. And so I got on the phone to the local Zoo
13:09 to see if I could use their CAT scanner.
13:12 They unfortunately told me, "No. "
13:15 Now there are many people in our society who because of the way
13:19 they look are shunned by people. Now many of us come to them and
13:24 say, "Well, maybe you need to change your diet. Maybe you need
13:28 to exercise more. Do you think that's what I told this patient?
13:32 I didn't. He already knows!
13:36 I'm calling the Zoo to see if he can go on the CAT scanner
13:39 He knows there's a problem. There have been no
13:44 times during my training as a physician where I openly opposed
13:48 one of my attending physicians but this was one of them.
13:51 As one of the doctors was going on and on and on and saying,
13:55 "Ooh! this guy is so big! why do these people come here"...
13:59 I looked down in sadness, and I turned to him and I said,
14:05 "You know, what if this guy was your brother?"
14:08 And he said, "Well excuse me Father Riesenberger"
14:11 And I said under my breath, "you know what he is my brother. "
14:16 No matter what a person looks like God loves them the same,
14:20 and so should we.
14:21 You know I remember a friend of mine
14:23 who came to a clinic where I was working
14:25 He was a food service director for an Adventist hospital.
14:29 And I can tell you he was over- weight. He had diabetes and high
14:33 blood pressure. But I can tell you that instead of criticizing
14:37 him, when I finished my under- graduate work I went to that
14:40 hospital. I lived with him and I did my internship
14:43 in their department of Cardiac Rehabilitation.
14:46 As I stayed with he and his wife
14:48 he and I got up at 5 am every morning to walk.
14:53 When you look at that person who may not fit in to society,
14:56 maybe they're overweight, you don't see them getting up at 5.
15:00 But I did. I can tell you, instead of criticizing someone
15:04 why not help them. Why not be the one who lends a helping hand
15:07 to help them better their lives instead of criticizing them.
15:11 Something I enjoy very much is going to church.
15:16 and I can tell you that the things after church
15:19 are just enjoyable sometimes.
15:21 Something we had every Sabbath was a potluck.
15:25 And I as a poor starving student
15:27 didn't have a whole lot of money I didn't have things
15:30 in the refrigerator. But I always got invited home.
15:33 People were always warm, they were always welcoming to me.
15:36 Unfortunately, the problem was that many times I'd have a
15:41 parent following me in the potluck line
15:42 wanting to give me their daughters cell phone number!
15:45 A young student, A young single guy like myself
15:49 gets invited easily to people's homes.
15:52 But I had a friend who was never invited home.
15:56 She was a single mom. She had a child out of wedlock.
15:59 She was in her 40's, she was in her 50's
16:03 She never got invited home.
16:05 There would be excuses like, "Well I want to protect
16:09 my marriage. I don't want this woman in my home. "
16:11 But I can tell you that anyone who can understand
16:16 what it is to be a human being
16:18 knows that we all need companionship.
16:21 We all need people around us.
16:23 She never got invited because of the problems in her life.
16:27 It's amazing in our society that some sins are so severe.
16:32 Some sins cause people to be avoided like the plague.
16:36 But there are others that are just glossed over.
16:38 Many sexual sins, perhaps divorce, perhaps adultery
16:43 homosexuality, people are shunned,
16:47 people are viewed as outcasts.
16:49 But I can tell you that Jesus doesn't treat them that way.
16:52 Jesus hates the sin but he loves the sinner and so should we.
16:58 Back to the question...
17:01 what is that question
17:04 in the judgment?
17:05 It's going to be how you treat other people.
17:09 I can tell you that there is no question in my mind
17:12 how Jesus treats people. He treats them
17:15 as they want to be treated. And we should too.
17:20 I can tell you that as we go back to that verse
17:23 in Matthew 5:48, it says, "Be ye perfect as your Father
17:30 in heaven is perfect. " Think about it this way
17:34 look at Luke 6:36
17:52 You see the Bible interprets itself.
17:54 What does it mean to be perfect? It means to be merciful...
17:59 just as God is merciful. The same words in the passage
18:03 ..."Be ye perfect" are used in the passage in Luke.
18:07 The same Sermon on the Mount comes just before that verse
18:11 in Luke just as well as Matthew.
18:13 I can tell you that I don't think those words
18:16 were used by chance.
18:18 What it means to be perfect, is it means to love people
18:22 the way God does.
18:24 Why does God get away with only one question in the judgment?
18:29 Well, I'll tell you why. If you look at 1 John 4:7
18:37 1 John 4:7
18:54 That's a pretty simple statement if someone loves, they know God!
18:58 they're born of God, no doctrines, no creeds
19:02 very simple. God understands what's in your heart
19:07 by the way you treat other people.
19:10 I can tell you everyone under- stands this whether or not you
19:14 understand about a doctrine or a creed.
19:18 Whether or not you under- stand about prophecy.
19:20 We can all understand what it means to treat people well.
19:24 Or not.
19:26 Even a child knows what it is to be nice
19:31 and what it is to be mean.
19:33 Whether or not we can even speak we understand this concept.
19:39 It is familiar to young and old, educated and ignorant.
19:45 And why can God do this? It's very simple.
19:49 1 John 4:20
20:17 God knows that we will treat Him
20:21 just like we treat the people around us.
20:24 It's so simple to Him. Perhaps someone doesn't know
20:29 about tithing, about giving ten percent of their income.
20:33 But God knows how you are going to respond.
20:36 When you learn about that truth
20:38 He already has an indicator of your response to Him.
20:42 We will treat God in the same way
20:46 we treat the person right next to us!
20:48 Perhaps you don't know about the Sabbath...
20:51 but God knows what your response will be
20:55 depending on how you treat other people.
20:57 You see, someone who is truly loving
21:00 someone who treats others well
21:02 knows more about God than someone
21:05 who has memorized the whole Bible.
21:07 God knows that the treatment vertically to Him
21:12 is dependent on the horizontal
21:14 relationship we share with others.
21:17 I'm going to share with you a very moving passage
21:22 from a book, "The Desire of Ages. "
21:24 It's on page 640 and it talks about this very thing
21:28 that we're discussing.
21:29 Desire of Ages tells us, "Love to man is the earthward
21:37 manifestation of the love of God. It was to implant this love
21:42 to make us children of one family that the
21:45 King of Glory became one with us and when His parting words are
21:51 fulfilled, "Love one another even as I have loved you. "
21:56 When we love the world as He has loved it
22:00 then for us His mission is accomplished
22:03 we are fitted for heaven for we have heaven in our hearts. "
22:08 I can tell you the airline steward was very impressed.
22:15 with what I shared with him. But it is so simple.
22:18 It's something directly from the Bible.
22:21 Whether you are white or black, red or yellow, male or female
22:26 ignorant or not. Whatever culture or race you are from,
22:30 no matter what you understand about the Bible.
22:33 Whether you know it all or whether you know nothing
22:36 this concept never changes.
22:39 How you treat other people, that is what matters more
22:43 than anything else.
22:45 Because God knows your response to Him is dependant
22:49 on your response to others.
22:51 I'm going to share and close with a testimony
22:55 from my own life.
22:56 I love my family
23:01 more than anything
23:02 else on this earth.
23:03 But sometimes families
23:05 have problems. I can tell you that my sister
23:10 is probably the most precious member of my family to me.
23:14 She's the youngest. She's the only girl.
23:18 When she was just 19, she had a massive bleed in her brain
23:23 from something called an AVM.
23:26 They called me from school
23:29 They asked me are you Tim Riesenberger? I said, "Yes. "
23:33 "Is your sister Diana Riesenberger?"
23:35 I said, "yes... " "I have some bad news for you. "
23:40 "She has had a massive bleed in her brain...
23:43 "she is in critical condition. Can you come be with her?"
23:48 I was on the other side of the country.
23:49 She was in the northwest. I was on the east coast.
23:53 I shot out there as soon as I could.
23:57 My sister was so serious that at one point she could not move
24:02 The right side of her body. She was paralyzed.
24:07 Can you imagine as a teenager not being able to move?
24:11 She went to one of the best places to be treated.
24:17 They did all that they could to try to shrink
24:20 this malformation in her head.
24:22 And then finally to take it out.
24:25 But they failed. They were not able to get it out of her head.
24:28 So they had to resort to a radiation called Gamma Knife.
24:33 The problem with this is that it takes 2 to 5 years to work.
24:40 And I said, "What's going to happen during that time?"
24:43 They said unfortunately she has a 10 percent chance
24:47 of bleeding again, and that chance will multiply
24:51 every single year.
24:54 I of course was very worried. And I immediately moved
24:58 to the Pacific Northwest.
24:59 I lived with my sister. I stayed with her.
25:03 I did everything I could to support her.
25:06 Because I didn't know if tomorrow was going to be
25:11 her last day. Well thank God she ended up being cured.
25:16 She ended up being healed.
25:18 But unfortunately some very hard times came upon her
25:22 during this moment.
25:24 You see because when she had this bleeding in her brain
25:28 she got into some arguments with my parents.
25:32 My parents loving though as they were did not understand
25:36 the seriousness of her condition.
25:39 And at one point they got into such a bad argument
25:43 that my parents said, "Look, you are on your own. "
25:46 And I reasoned with them. I said, "Look, she is 19
25:50 she's 20 she's a college student.
25:53 She cannot get a job to support an insurance payment.
25:58 And if she loses that insurance no one will touch
26:01 her with a 10 foot pole. " We calculated the amount of money
26:06 that would have been paid for my sisters treatment
26:09 if it was all out of pocket. It was over $1 million!
26:12 I wasn't making very much money I had just graduated from school
26:17 and so I did the best I could to try to help my sister.
26:22 I told her, "Look, sis. We're going to get you through college
26:26 we're going to get you through this thing in your head
26:28 and you're gonna be alright. "
26:29 I paid for her insurance, I paid for her tuition.
26:33 I paid for her housing, I did what I could.
26:36 to keep her alive because I didn't know how much longer
26:40 I would have her.
26:41 My sister was not a Christian at that time.
26:48 She was an atheist.
26:49 Whenever I would even pray over my meals
26:52 I would invite her to pray and she'd say,
26:53 "Well Tim, that's ok for you, but not for me. "
26:57 But something changed during those years.
27:01 And eventually my sister called me seemingly out of the blue.
27:06 She said, "Tim, can you teach me to study the Bible and to pray?"
27:13 I said, "Of course! Sure I will. I'll be right over. "
27:16 And I went over and we prayed.
27:19 I taught her how to give her heart to Jesus and she did.
27:23 All of her depression, all of her anxiety
27:27 all of her problems seemed to melt away
27:30 when she gave her heart to Jesus
27:31 But the thing that was important to me was, 'Why. '
27:34 I said, "Diana what turned you around?"
27:37 I don't understand and she said, "Tim don't you see
27:40 I saw God, I knew about Him through you.
27:45 The way you treated me
27:47 was how I saw God would love me as well. "
27:50 That is the most important question in our lives
27:54 and in the judgment.