Focus on God's Word

The Secret Of Happiness

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Geoff Youlden


Series Code: FGW

Program Code: FGW000003

00:28 Well, everybody wants to be happy.
00:32 I've hardly met anybody
00:34 who doesn't want to be happy, rightly so.
00:37 You know, when we were children,
00:38 all the stories that we had read to us
00:40 always ended one way.
00:42 Remember what it was said,
00:44 "And they lived happily ever after."
00:48 Yes, because we all want to be happy.
00:51 So parents want their children to be happy
00:53 and as the parents get older,
00:55 the children as they get older
00:57 want their parents in old age to be happy.
01:01 And it seems everybody wants to be happy,
01:03 but very, very few people ever find happiness.
01:06 And if our divorce rights are any indication today,
01:11 a lot of unhappy people, because anybody who has been
01:13 so divorced knows the unhappiness
01:15 that's associated with the break up of the home.
01:18 Recently I heard a millionaire who was interviewed.
01:21 He said, I thought money would bring me happiness,
01:24 but I have been miserably disillusioned.
01:29 I don't know whether you can see this newspaper
01:31 and the picture that I am holding in my hands here.
01:35 Can you see whose picture it is?
01:38 Some of you might,
01:39 perhaps your eye sight is not too good.
01:41 But can you see who it is? Hugh Grant, all right.
01:46 And can you read he headlines?
01:48 You probably be able to do that.
01:50 "My miserable life" and it goes on to say here,
01:55 he has wealth, good looks.
01:58 Well, I don't know about that,
01:59 but at least it says that, he has wealth,
02:02 good looks, a beautiful new girlfriend
02:05 and the adoration of a legion of fans,
02:08 but Huge Grant is less than gratefully,
02:11 he can't even manage graciousness.
02:13 In fact, he is bored, frustrated, and miserable.
02:20 Now many people would think that,
02:22 Huge Grant had it all together.
02:24 They aspire to the very things
02:27 that they think that he has got
02:29 and they would feel very certain,
02:31 and that's what would bring happiness.
02:34 A famous film star broke down
02:36 while she was being interviewed.
02:37 She said, I have beauty, popularity, and glamour,
02:41 I should be the happiest women in the world,
02:43 I am miserable, what has gone wrong?
02:47 Well, a man went to see a psychiatrist,
02:49 he said, doctor can you help me,
02:51 and the psychiatrist suggested
02:53 that he go along to see a certain comedian in town
02:57 who was reputed to be able to make anybody laugh.
03:01 Well, you can imagine the psychiatrist shocked
03:04 when the man said, well, I am that comedian, see.
03:08 So just making people laugh
03:11 is not the secret of happiness either,
03:13 nothing wrong with laughing,
03:14 that's good, but that's not the secret of happiness.
03:19 I'm reminded of King Ludwig of Germany.
03:22 You may remember,
03:24 Ludwig built or lived around about the 1800s
03:27 and he built beautiful castles,
03:29 in fact, his castle is the inspiration of Disneyland.
03:34 And one of his castles right down
03:36 there on the borders of Austria and Germany, and Bavaria,
03:42 some of the most beautiful country in the world.
03:46 And there is that beautiful castle,
03:48 it took him 12 years to build, he lived in it for 11 days,
03:53 and he said, those are the most
03:55 miserable days of my life.
03:57 And when you go through it,
03:59 you can see the beautiful carpets
04:01 that have been handwoven in Belgium,
04:03 the beautiful chandeliers, it's just a beautiful castle.
04:08 But he was so miserable, he wanted to live there
04:10 on his own and he had constructed a little lift
04:14 from the kitchen down below up until the next floor
04:17 which he used to pump with his foot to bring up his meal
04:20 and then when his meal was finished
04:22 it would be lower down.
04:23 He didn't want to interact with anybody.
04:26 And it is believed that he finally
04:28 committed suicide in the lake that is behind the castle.
04:33 Well, we too build our castles.
04:36 Many a person today
04:37 thinks having that beautiful motor car,
04:39 or that beautiful two storey home,
04:43 or whatever might be is the secret of happiness.
04:47 Other thinks it's the bright lights of Hollywood,
04:51 laughter and song, the tinsel, alcohol, drugs.
04:55 All of these things,
04:56 many people think are the secret of happiness.
05:00 A French leader once said, give people enough to eat,
05:03 money to spend and security from the cradle to the grave,
05:08 and he said, everybody will be happy.
05:12 Do you agree with that? I don't.
05:15 Because if that was true, then all rich people
05:20 would be happy, but most of us know
05:23 enough rich people to know that, that is not true.
05:29 We all know too many rich people.
05:30 Some of them are the most miserable
05:33 as we saw about Huge Grant.
05:36 It's interesting as we read the Bible,
05:38 because you see the Bible is just the history of life.
05:41 And there is a whole book given
05:43 written by one man by the name of Solomon,
05:47 who describes his search for happiness in life.
05:50 It's the Book of Ecclesiastes,
05:52 not a book that is read very often,
05:54 but it's a very interesting book
05:55 and I would like you to invite or invite you to open
05:58 your Bibles to Ecclesiastes Chapter 1 and verse 13,
06:04 because this is Solomon's search for happiness.
06:08 And he records it, he writes it all down.
06:11 He records everything that he tried
06:13 in order to get happiness.
06:15 We will have a look at just
06:16 one or two of those things that he tried.
06:20 This is Ecclesiastes 1 and verse 13,
06:22 the top left hand corner of the page.
06:25 "And I set my heart to seek
06:27 and search out by wisdom
06:29 concerning all that is done under heaven,
06:32 this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man,
06:36 by which they may be exercised."
06:39 So that's the preface to the book.
06:41 He said these burdensome tasks are being given.
06:44 We'll try to search it out.
06:45 Verse 14, "I have seen all the works
06:48 that are done under the sun,
06:49 and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind."
06:54 So here we have the world wisest men saying,
06:57 this life is just futile,
06:59 it's like grasping for the wind an impossibility.
07:04 Just to give you some idea how brilliant was Solomon,
07:07 just come back to First Kings Chapter 4.
07:10 First Kings, the Fourth Chapter,
07:13 toward the beginning of the Bible,
07:14 First Kings Chapter 4,
07:17 page 323, and verse 33.
07:24 First Kings 4 and verse 33.
07:26 It says, "Also he spoke of trees,
07:29 from the cedar tree of Lebanon
07:31 even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall,
07:33 he spoke also of animals, of birds,
07:36 of creeping things, and of fish."
07:38 You know, when the Bible says he spoke of that means
07:41 he was an authority on.
07:44 He was an authority on all those disciplines,
07:47 ichthyology and herpetology, zoology, all those ologies.
07:52 He knew all that there was to know
07:54 in the ancient world about those things.
07:58 In fact, if you have a look at verse 32,
08:00 it goes on to say here,
08:02 "He spoke three thousand proverbs,"
08:06 you know what a proverb is that's a wise saying.
08:09 When someone makes a quick wise saying,
08:12 you sort of remember, it's a pithy saying.
08:15 Well, Solomon spoke three thousand of them.
08:19 And as well as that it also says,
08:21 "And his songs were one thousand and five."
08:25 He wrote over a thousand original scores of music.
08:29 That guy was a genius.
08:32 No wonder, the Bible calls him
08:33 the wisest man that ever lived.
08:35 He indeed was that.
08:38 And yet when he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes,
08:42 just come back to Ecclesiastes now Chapter 12 and verse 12,
08:46 Ecclesiastes 12 and verse 12.
08:50 He made this statement
08:51 and many people think that getting degrees
08:54 is what's going to bring happiness
08:55 if only I can get that PhD.
08:58 Well, notice what Solomon said about learning and books.
09:02 Ecclesiastes 12 and verse 12, "And further, my son,
09:06 be admonished by these of making
09:08 many books there is no end,
09:11 and much study is weariness to the flesh."
09:16 I wonder how many of us found that to be truth.
09:19 Study is weariness to the flesh.
09:21 Just come back to the first chapter of Ecclesiastes,
09:23 back a few pages,
09:25 and you will notice a very similar statement
09:27 here in verse 18, Ecclesiastes 1 and verse 18,
09:33 "For in much wisdom is much grief,
09:36 and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow."
09:43 He was a great builder and a successful one.
09:46 I mean, he tried everything
09:48 and he had the money to able to try everything.
09:50 He tried wine, women, and song.
09:53 In fact, he had so many women,
09:56 you know, the Bible said he had three hundred wives
09:58 and seven hundred girlfriends.
10:03 I tell you, it blows the mind just to think about it.
10:08 You think about it a thousand.
10:12 So he tried everything
10:15 and there are still many people
10:16 who think that, that's where happiness is,
10:18 if only I could have something on the side door,
10:21 that will bring me happiness.
10:24 Solomon had it to excess.
10:26 He found that, that was not the source of happiness.
10:31 In fact, if you come back to Proverbs
10:33 which is the back just a book back,
10:35 one book from Ecclesiastes Chapter 11 and verse 28.
10:41 Chapter 11 and verse 28. Solomon makes this statement.
10:48 Chapter 11 and verse 28, it says,
10:51 "He who trusts in his riches will fall,
10:57 but the righteous will flourish like foliage."
11:05 And then again over in Chapter 29 of Proverbs,
11:09 just a little bit further on.
11:11 You see Proverbs and Ecclesiastes
11:13 are his endeavors to try to find
11:17 meaning to life like every philosopher.
11:21 I guess like us all we try to find meaning to life
11:24 and that's what these two books are about.
11:27 Have a look at verse-- This is Chapter 29 and verse 18.
11:34 And finally he makes the statement, look,
11:37 "Where there is no revelation,
11:39 the people cast off restraint, but happy is he who," what?
11:44 "Keeps the law."
11:46 Now this the first time he talks about happiness
11:48 and it's rather interesting that happiness is associated
11:52 with something that probably most of us
11:54 would not have associated happiness with,
11:56 and that is keeping the law.
11:59 So Solomon is saying after all his journey through life
12:02 and trying to find meaning to life.
12:04 If you want to find happiness,
12:05 it's found in obedience to the law,
12:10 in fact he mentioned this again over in Ecclesiastes.
12:12 Come over to Ecclesiastes, the twelfth chapter this time,
12:16 647, Ecclesiastes 12 and verse 13 and 14.
12:23 This is the conclusion now
12:24 that he is coming to in the Book of Ecclesiastes,
12:28 and he says this in verse 13,
12:29 "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter,
12:33 fear God and keep His commandments,
12:36 for this is man's all."
12:41 Finally he sums that up.
12:44 If you want to find happiness Solomon says,
12:46 the wisest man that ever lived after journeying through life
12:49 and trying literally everything that everybody tries
12:52 and thinks is the source of happiness.
12:54 He said, look, let me tell you my conclusion,
12:58 it's found in serving God and keeping His commandments,
13:02 that's where true happiness is.
13:08 You see the reason why keeping the law
13:12 is the secret of happiness is simply this.
13:16 When I bright the law of life,
13:19 for example, if I don't look after my health,
13:23 inevitably my health will break,
13:27 isn't that right eventually?
13:28 I will pay for it, if I don't care for it.
13:31 The Bible says the same is true with the law of God
13:34 if you and I aren't obedient to God's Ten Commandments,
13:38 then we will pay with for that in the unhappiness,
13:42 because our life was supposed to be lived in harmony
13:45 with God's plan and purpose
13:47 and His will as summarized in the Ten Commandments.
13:53 Just come over to Romans,
13:54 the Third Chapter and verse 23 in the New Testament,
13:57 the Book of Romans Chapter 3 and verse 23.
14:02 Page 1097, here Paul makes a very interesting statement
14:07 when he says this, Chapter 3 and verse 23.
14:12 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
14:19 Now how many did the Bible say have sinned.
14:22 How many? All, everyone of us.
14:24 And I think all of us would recognized
14:28 that even perhaps today,
14:29 we have thought things, maybe we have said things,
14:34 we have done things
14:36 that if we had the day over again,
14:38 we wouldn't have said, or thought, or done.
14:43 Now those things the Bible says are sin.
14:47 And it is sin that causes the disorientation in our life,
14:51 you know, I've often thought if a man says
14:54 that he is perfect just go and ask his wife.
14:57 She will say and put you straight.
14:58 Isn't that right? Yes.
15:00 I think all of us would be honest enough to admit
15:03 that our lives aren't always perfect.
15:08 We don't always say the right thing.
15:11 We don't always think the right thing.
15:13 We don't always do the right thing.
15:16 And it's because we don't do things perfectly
15:21 that this is the source of our unhappiness
15:25 in our personal relationships and so forth.
15:28 We've all experienced that.
15:29 And the Bible says, all have sinned
15:32 and we continue to fall short of the glory of God.
15:36 You know, one day a young man came to Jesus
15:38 and he asked the most important question
15:40 that can ever be asked.
15:42 He said to Jesus, "How do you get eternal life?"
15:46 And I want you to notice what Jesus said.
15:48 Come over to Matthew
15:49 the 19th Chapter in the New Testament.
15:51 Matthew Chapter 19 and verse 16.
15:59 This young man was a very earnest young man,
16:01 because I read in the Book of Mark
16:04 where it says, he came running to Jesus,
16:06 he just didn't stroll up to Jesus,
16:08 he came running to Jesus.
16:10 And this is the question in verse 16,
16:12 "Now behold, one came and said to Him,
16:14 'Good Teacher,' what good thing shall I do that
16:18 I may have eternal life?
16:21 So He said to Him, 'Why do you call Me good?
16:25 No one is good but One, that is, God.
16:29 But if you want to enter into life"
16:33 What did Jesus say? "Keep the commandments."
16:37 You know, obviously this young man
16:40 hadn't been to Banbury,
16:44 because when I go up to speak to someone,
16:46 I'll say, well, how are you today?
16:50 Do you know what they say to me? I am good.
16:54 Well, I am the bit like the old Scotsmen,
16:55 I have many doubts about that, because Jesus said,
16:59 how many people are there that are good.
17:02 None! Only God is good.
17:05 But of course, I understand
17:06 what people mean when they say that.
17:08 But Jesus is saying here,
17:10 that if we want to enter into life,
17:12 we need to keep the commandments.
17:15 Now if I was the person
17:18 who reply when someone ask me that question,
17:20 I guess many people would say
17:21 that I was a legalist in saying that.
17:25 But I like to remind them
17:26 that the greatest authority on religious matters,
17:31 when ask the question
17:32 what shall I do to have eternal life,
17:35 Jesus said, keep the commandments.
17:39 And those are big discussion
17:40 among the Jews is to which ones,
17:43 whether it was the laws of the Jews or the Ten Commandments,
17:46 and Jesus made it very clearly in verse 18.
17:49 He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said,
17:51 "'You shall do no murder,'
17:52 'You shall not commit adultery',
17:54 'You shall not steal',
17:55 'You shall not bear false witness',
17:56 'Honor your father and mother',
17:57 and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
18:00 Obviously Jesus was quoting from the Ten Commandments
18:03 and He is saying that if you and I want to enter into life,
18:06 the Ten Commandments are important for us to understand.
18:13 You may remember seeing that film the Titanic.
18:18 I saw it when I was flying over to London
18:20 from Sydney few years ago
18:21 before it was released in the theatre,
18:23 they had it on the plane.
18:24 And I've always been interested in the Titanic.
18:28 And when I saw the film was advertised,
18:30 I was very interested in watching it.
18:32 There was a man on board
18:34 that Titanic by name of John Astor.
18:38 Now John Astor,
18:39 he is mentioned in the film by the way.
18:41 He was a multimillionaire
18:43 when it was to be a millionaire,
18:46 he was really a millionaire
18:47 back in the days of the early 1900s.
18:51 He could sign his name
18:52 to a check worth over a million dollars
18:54 and it would have been on it.
18:56 And when he was gasping his last
18:57 in the icy depths of the Atlantic Ocean,
19:00 I believe John Astor would have given every cent
19:03 he owned to be back in his apartment in New York.
19:06 And I've often thought about that,
19:07 if you and I would be willing to do that
19:09 for life on this earth,
19:10 what all we to be willing to do for eternal life.
19:13 And Jesus said, if you want to enter into life,
19:16 keep the commandments, now why is it necessary?
19:19 Come over to Revelation Chapter 21 and verse 27.
19:22 Revelation Chapter 21,
19:24 it's the last page of scripture and verse 27,
19:28 "But there shall by no means enter it"
19:32 that's talking about heaven, "Anything that defiles,
19:36 or causes an abomination or a lie,
19:40 but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life."
19:44 Now we've got a problem, because here the Bible says
19:46 anybody who tells the lie, anything that defiles,
19:49 anything that's less than perfect,
19:51 anyone has got any of those things in their life
19:54 is not entering into heaven.
19:57 Now we've got a problem,
19:58 because we all admit that our lives are not perfect
20:03 and yet God says,
20:06 nothing that's going into heaven
20:07 that will bring imperfection.
20:11 So we have a major, major problem in our lives.
20:17 No imperfection is going into heaven
20:18 and yet we are not perfect, this is a problem.
20:24 Well, God has a program to get rid of it.
20:26 Come over to John the Third Chapter
20:28 and let me read you something here that's very interesting.
20:31 John Chapter 3 regarding Jesus was meeting
20:34 one of the religious leaders of the day
20:36 by the name of Nicodemus.
20:39 And in John 3 and verse 3, it says here,
20:43 "Jesus answered and said to Him,
20:46 'Most assuredly, I say to you,
20:49 unless one is born again,
20:52 he cannot see the kingdom of God."
20:57 Verse 4, "Nicodemus said to Him,
20:59 'And how can a man be born when he is old?
21:02 Can he enter a second time into his
21:04 mother's womb and be born?'
21:06 Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you,
21:09 unless one is born of water and the spirit,
21:12 he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'"
21:15 Now look, if we have to be born again,
21:19 what is that imply about birth number one?
21:23 We were all born, otherwise we wouldn't be here.
21:26 But there is something wrong with birth number one,
21:30 because nobody is going into heaven
21:32 unless we are born again.
21:36 We've got be born the second time.
21:37 So that implies that there is a major problem
21:40 with birth number one, isn't that right?
21:43 And there is.
21:46 You see the Bible teaches that we are born
21:48 with the nature that grovels in the evil.
21:53 That's why you have never had to teach
21:55 your children to be naughty.
21:58 Is that right? Why?
22:00 Because they do that by nature,
22:04 and all of us gravitate to the wrong,
22:07 that's why the news, you look a television news,
22:11 it majors in bad things, why is that?
22:15 Because people like bad stories.
22:18 As long as it's not happening to them.
22:22 Because our natures have a biased,
22:26 a bend toward that which is evil.
22:28 And the Bible says, we have to be born again,
22:31 but there is something else that we have to experience.
22:33 Come over to First John
22:35 right at the back of the Bible, near the Book of Revelation.
22:38 First John Chapter 1 and verse 9,
22:44 where John writes "If we confess our sins,
22:48 He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
22:53 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
22:59 You see, if I go down to the police station
23:01 and I will make a confession of my mistake,
23:04 they will either give me a fine or put me in jail
23:07 depending upon how serious it is.
23:09 But the wonderful good news is this,
23:12 that if I make a clean confession
23:14 of my mistake to Jesus, He gives me a new sheet
23:17 and I start again
23:19 as though I have never done it in the first place.
23:23 That's what the Bible means when it refers to grace.
23:26 We don't deserve it,
23:28 but we also desperately need it.
23:30 Trouble is people say to me,
23:31 well, Geoff, look I just don't feel as if God has forgiven.
23:35 I can understand what you are saying,
23:37 but my problem is I don't feel that God has forgiven me.
23:42 You know, it's interesting as you read through the Bible,
23:44 you will find that the Bible says
23:46 very, very little about feelings,
23:49 because feelings are a very fickle thing, you all know.
23:52 You know, our feelings sometimes are up
23:55 and sometimes they are down like the kids yoyos.
23:58 And it can depend upon how much sleep
24:00 we had or didn't have.
24:02 What we had for tea the night before.
24:04 News that can come through,
24:07 physically the time of the month,
24:08 all sorts of things can affect our feelings.
24:12 That's why the Bible does not associate
24:15 our feelings with our salvation.
24:17 Let me illustrate.
24:19 Let's say I have been working up
24:21 the North of Western Australia,
24:22 and I have been working in the mines.
24:26 And I come down to South
24:28 and I decide that I am going to set up
24:31 a bit of business down here.
24:32 And I have got a lot of money owing to me,
24:34 I've been earning big money out there in the mines.
24:36 And but, when I leave the mind tells me
24:40 that they will send me through my--
24:43 that which they owe me will be put into my bank account
24:45 and that's fair enough, so I come down here.
24:47 When I get down here
24:49 and I go to the bank to check my banks statement,
24:51 lo and behold the money is still not there.
24:57 And I've got to leave,
24:58 I am highly embarrassed about this.
25:02 What am I going to do?
25:03 So I go to the supermarket manager and I said,
25:05 look, I explained my situation,
25:07 I say, could you give me a credit for a week or two
25:09 since till this money comes through.
25:10 Well, the man is quite impressed
25:12 with my story and he said, all right.
25:15 So I go and I get my supplies
25:19 and everything is happy for a week
25:20 but the money still hasn't come through
25:22 after two and three weeks.
25:24 And the manager of the supermarket
25:26 brings me up and says, Geoff, you either pay up,
25:30 or they're going to sell you up,
25:31 because we cannot carry your credit any longer.
25:34 You told me a week or so, it's gone beyond that.
25:38 Well, I just can't sleep now.
25:40 I am so disturbed about these,
25:42 I am highly embarrassed about the whole thing,
25:44 because I never intended to be like this
25:46 and what I am going to do.
25:49 Well, I can't sleep, I toss and I turn.
25:52 But the next day you hear about my predicament
25:55 and you go down to the supermarket manger
25:56 and you say, well, I hear that Geoff Youlden
25:58 has got an account here.
25:59 Oh, he says, an account, have a look at this.
26:02 And he takes you around and he shows you the book.
26:06 Uh, it's pretty big,
26:07 but being the type of person you are,
26:09 you go into your pocket
26:10 and you pull out your check book and you write out
26:14 the check for the exact amount that I owe.
26:16 Well, the supermarket manager is delighted.
26:19 And he writes out a receipt
26:21 and gives it to you and then you come
26:22 round to my place and say,
26:23 Geoff, look, I don't want you to stress any more about it.
26:26 I've paid it.
26:27 When you get your money, you fix me up. No more stress.
26:31 Well, last night I couldn't sleep,
26:33 because I was the most disturbed person
26:35 here in West Australia.
26:37 Tonight I can't sleep because I am the happiest.
26:40 Burden has rolled away,
26:42 but finally in the wee hours in the morning,
26:44 I dropped off to sleep,
26:46 but the kids get up bright and early,
26:49 thumping around the house and making a noise and oh,
26:52 they wake me up and when I get up, you know,
26:54 what it's like when you haven't had much sleep.
26:56 You got a thick head and oh, you just feel miserable.
26:59 And you get up and when you get up--
27:00 it's one of those cold days like today blowing.
27:05 Oh, boy, the wind just goes right through you,
27:07 and I began to think, look, if that account down
27:10 there in the supermarket was paid,
27:12 I would feel good, I feel rotten,
27:16 therefore, the bill must not be paid.
27:18 Does the way I feel, in anyway affect
27:20 whether the bill is being paid or not, doesn't?
27:23 It does not.
27:24 Because you've already given me the receipt
27:26 and whether I feel up here or down
27:28 here makes no difference,
27:29 because the bill has been paid.
27:32 And the same is with our relationship with Jesus,
27:35 whether we feel up or down, and all of us are going
27:39 to feel up and down in our feelings.
27:41 Nobody lives on a plateau
27:43 that they never have emotions
27:45 that are bad sometimes or negative, nobody.
27:52 But our emotions are not that,
27:54 which are going to determine
27:56 whether we're accepted by God just as I have the receipt,
27:59 so God says if you confess your sins,
28:02 I will forgive your sins.
28:07 Regardless of the way you feel.
28:10 When people say to me, well, Geoff,
28:11 I've stared all right, but I've made a mistake.
28:15 Well, look, let me illustrate.
28:18 Let say that Johnny here, he is about 12 months old,
28:21 I am not an expert on babies
28:23 but it's the age when they begin to walk
28:26 and mother comes to Johnny one day
28:28 and she says, now listen, Johnny,
28:29 you've been crawling around the kitchen,
28:31 pulling my pots and pans out now
28:33 for the last few months, I am tired of it.
28:35 I want you to start to walk.
28:38 But if you can't do the thing properly,
28:40 don't bother starting at all.
28:42 Does the mother talk like that? Of course, not.
28:47 You parents remember the process,
28:49 you know, one day, mother is there,
28:51 she senses that he wants to stand up,
28:52 because he has been trying to grab the cupboard
28:55 and stand up but he is down, tries again, down.
28:59 And so the mother picks him up one day
29:00 and puts him against the cupboard
29:01 and takes that half step back with the hands out,
29:05 coaxing him to make that first step toward her.
29:09 And you know what it's like his little legs
29:11 wobble and wobble and down he goes.
29:14 And mother stand there with her hands on hips,
29:15 says, well, look, you can't do it properly, just sit there.
29:20 No, mother talks like that,
29:21 she lifts the little tot up again
29:23 and she struggles and he goes on
29:25 and this goes on for quite sometime until one day
29:29 those little muscles get to the stage
29:31 where he just feels game enough to let the cupboard go
29:34 and he takes that step towards mother's hands and what happens?
29:37 Down he goes again.
29:38 She lifts him up and this process goes on
29:40 until finally one day, he actually takes
29:43 that step wobbling and all, but finally takes that step
29:47 into her arms and she writes it upon the book.
29:50 Johnny made his first step today.
29:54 And gradually what happens is that those little muscles
29:57 start to get stronger and stronger, isn't that right?
30:00 And while he wobble and so forth for a little while,
30:03 but gradually as he is learning to stand,
30:07 those muscles are getting stronger and stronger
30:09 until he is able to walk one or two steps before he falls.
30:15 Then he walks a few more until finally he grows up
30:20 and he walks and falls less and less, isn't that right?
30:25 And I notice tonight, I was particularly interested
30:27 as you were coming in to the hall.
30:30 Tonight how many of you were falling over as you came in.
30:34 And I notice that none of you fell over,
30:37 because why we've all learned to walk now, haven't we?
30:40 And our muscles have become strong enough
30:42 to be able to hold us up.
30:45 Now that's the way it is in the Christian life.
30:48 When we first start to live the Christian life,
30:51 we are down more than we are up,
30:54 because our faith muscles aren't very strong.
30:58 They've never been exercised.
31:01 But gradually as we endeavor to study God's word
31:05 and as we associate in times like this
31:07 and meetings like this,
31:09 gradually that increases our faith muscles.
31:14 And so we are able to walk and fall
31:18 less and less as time goes by, get the thought?
31:24 And God doesn't want us to keep
31:26 making the same mistakes over and over again.
31:29 In fact, let me read it to you.
31:30 Come over to First John at the back of the Bible.
31:33 First John Chapter 2 and verse 1.
31:39 First John Chapter 2 and verse 1,
31:43 where John writes "My little children,
31:45 these things I write to you, so that you may not sin."
31:51 God doesn't want us to sin,
31:53 but I am very glad that the next part of the verse says,
31:56 "And or but if anyone does sin,
31:58 we have an advocate with the Father,
32:00 Jesus Christ the righteous."
32:02 We have someone an advocate that's our lawyer, a solicitor.
32:06 Someone on our side in heaven
32:08 who is there to take up our cause.
32:12 Just like when you get into the trouble with the law,
32:14 you employ someone a lawyer or someone to plead your case,
32:18 to take up your case.
32:20 That's what Jesus is doing in heaven.
32:24 He is on our side because when we become--
32:29 and start to read the Bible,
32:31 we find that sin is lawlessness
32:34 or it's the breaking of the commandments
32:37 according to First John Chapter 3 and verse 4.
32:40 And God doesn't want us to continually
32:43 to do the wrong thing.
32:44 He wants us to learn, to walk through faith,
32:50 to walk in obedience to what God wants us to do.
32:55 That's why the Bible says in another place,
32:58 a righteous man falls seven times and he rises again.
33:07 So we don't aim at sinning.
33:09 Now why is it necessary for us to be born again
33:14 before we go to heaven?
33:15 Let me read it to you, come back to Ezekiel
33:18 in the middle of the Bible, the Book of Ezekiel
33:22 and it's Chapter 36 and verse 26.
33:28 Ezekiel 36 and verse 26.
33:32 Notice as we read this verse,
33:34 the reason why it is so necessary
33:36 for us to be born again.
33:37 See if you can pick this up.
33:39 Verse 26, "I will give you a new heart
33:42 and put a new spirit within you,"
33:46 that's the new birth,
33:48 even in the Old Testament this was taught,
33:49 "I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh
33:54 and give you a heart of flesh."
33:57 And that is the reason.
33:58 Verse 27, "I will put My Spirit within you
34:02 and cause you to walk in My Statutes,
34:06 and you will keep My judgments and do them."
34:11 Why is it necessary for God
34:12 to take out the stony heart out of my life
34:15 and give me the new birth, a heart of flesh?
34:18 Why is it necessary?
34:21 According to this verse, I will put My Spirit within you
34:25 and cause you to walk in My Statutes.
34:28 What does that mean?
34:32 You see, when God puts the new birth into my heart
34:36 and takes away this rebellious heart
34:39 and puts His heart of flesh into my life,
34:43 that's the desire to want to do what God wants me to do.
34:46 Immediately I want to do what God wants me to do.
34:49 Get the thought? Because by nature,
34:53 I do not want to do
34:54 what God wants me to do and neither do you.
34:58 That's why we don't have to teach our children
35:00 to be disobedient, because they have that by nature.
35:04 All of us are born with that bias.
35:07 But when God puts the new birth within us,
35:11 we get a new desire, a capacity to want to do the right thing.
35:17 It's not natural, it's supernatural.
35:21 And you see if God didn't change our hearts,
35:24 can you imagine what would happen
35:25 when we go home to heaven?
35:28 And we find when we get up into heaven.
35:31 God takes us all up into heaven
35:32 and He hasn't changed our nature
35:34 and the first thing we see
35:35 as we get into heaven is the golden streets.
35:40 What do you think people would do
35:42 when they saw the gold on the streets?
35:45 They would want to get down to the hardware shop
35:47 and buy a hammer and a chisel,
35:50 and start to pull, isn't that right?
35:53 That's what would happen,
35:56 because by nature that's what we all want to do.
36:02 And can you imagine when they heard
36:03 the Angelique choir singing.
36:07 They would just shut their ears,
36:09 I can't stand this music.
36:11 Where is this heavy metal music?
36:13 Can't stand this music.
36:15 Can you see that unless God changed our hearts,
36:19 we would never be happy there,
36:21 because the environment of heaven is so different
36:25 to the environment that by nature we all want?
36:31 That's why, before we go there,
36:33 God has to change our natures,
36:35 and He has to give us the new birth.
36:38 And when He puts the new birth in our hearts,
36:41 we now have a capacity to want
36:44 to do what God wants us to do.
36:46 It's no longer a struggle to want to do
36:48 what God wants us to do,
36:50 when God puts a new spirit within us.
36:54 The struggle is because often we want to live in two worlds.
36:59 We know what's right
37:00 and yet we don't want to surrender
37:02 and leave off what we know is wrong
37:04 and so we try to live in two worlds.
37:07 That's why people aren't happy.
37:09 But when God gives us they new birth,
37:12 He gives us not only a desire to do what is right,
37:15 but also the strength and the capacity to be able to do it.
37:20 Let me read it to you.
37:22 Come over to John in the New Testament,
37:24 Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Chapter 1.
37:28 John Chapter 1 and verse 11.
37:34 Notice this, it says here,
37:36 "He came to His own,
37:39 and His own did not receive Him" Who is that?
37:42 The Jews. Verse 12, "But as many as received Him,
37:47 to them He gave the right to become the children of God,
37:51 to those who believe in His name,
37:54 who were born, not of blood,
37:57 nor of the will of the flesh,
37:59 not of the will of man, but of God."
38:03 So these people are born not by any human design or desire.
38:09 They are born as-- from God.
38:13 He give us the new birth.
38:14 It's a gift from God, in fact.
38:18 That's what so exciting about the Christian life,
38:20 is not something that I have to earn
38:22 or I say I have to do myself.
38:24 God gives it to me as a gift.
38:27 And the amazing thing is this,
38:29 and I don't know how it works,
38:30 all I know is that it works.
38:32 When a man or a woman gives their life to Jesus,
38:36 a miracle takes place and a change
38:39 in that life begins immediately.
38:42 And a person can be living for themselves,
38:44 going in this direction, only caring about themselves
38:47 and pleasing themselves, when they come face to face
38:50 with God and the Bible, and suddenly their life
38:54 is completely change and turn around.
38:57 And now instead of living for themselves,
39:00 they have a tremendous interest in doing
39:02 what God wants them to do,
39:04 and serving God, and reading
39:07 and understanding the Bible, because by nature friend,
39:10 let me tell you that people don't want
39:12 to study the Bible themselves.
39:14 That's why some of your friends would think
39:16 that you've just gone around the bent.
39:18 He wanted to come out to study the Bible,
39:20 I can't understand that.
39:22 Because by nature, nobody who is not born again
39:26 can never have an interest
39:28 or capacity to really study this book.
39:33 But when a man or woman
39:34 gives their life unreservedly to God,
39:36 a miracle takes place, and that life is changed.
39:39 As I said, I can't explain it,
39:41 all I know is that it works,
39:43 because I have seen it in the lives of thousands of people
39:46 who have given their life to Jesus,
39:48 and the change takes place,
39:50 and they have a new capacity,
39:52 not only a new desire, but a power in themselves
39:55 to do what God wants them to do.
39:58 Let me read it to you.
39:59 Come over to Second Corinthians, just a bit further on.
40:02 Second Corinthians Chapter 5 and verse 17.
40:06 Second Corinthians Chapter 5 and verse 17.
40:12 And Paul writes here in verse 17,
40:15 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
40:20 he is a new creation, old things have passed away
40:27 behold, all things have become new."
40:31 You see just as back in the beginning
40:33 when God created us, the power that God had to make,
40:37 Adam and Eve, in the first place,
40:39 that same power God uses
40:41 to change your heart and to change mind.
40:44 We become a new creation.
40:48 And the old things have passed away,
40:49 the things that we once lived for,
40:51 no longer do we have desire for,
40:54 and the things that we thought were useless
40:56 and we have no interest in the past
40:58 suddenly become very interesting,
41:01 and very vital, and very important in our life,
41:05 because we become a new creation.
41:09 And as I say, I can't explain it,
41:11 but all I know is that it works.
41:15 And any person who will take the Bible,
41:17 because the Bible says itself
41:19 that we're born again as we study the Bible,
41:21 that's why we've given you the Bibles,
41:22 why I want you to study the Bible,
41:25 because by the word of God,
41:27 we are changed, there is a power in that book.
41:32 Because it's written by God. It's God's book.
41:38 And that the power of God is in the book.
41:42 It's not just ordinary words,
41:43 but as we read God's word,
41:45 His power comes into our life.
41:47 You see, if God only forgave me for my sins
41:49 it wouldn't help too much.
41:51 Let me illustrate it.
41:52 A friend of mine used to go into the prison,
41:55 and he would preach each weekend for the prisoners
41:58 and the chaplain explained to him one day.
42:01 He said, you know those three fellows
42:02 that sit down on the front sit each week when you come.
42:05 He said, they won't be here next week.
42:07 And my friend was glad that they were going to be released,
42:10 but the chaplain said, they will be back.
42:14 My friend was horrified, he said,
42:15 what do you mean they will be back.
42:17 Well, he said these fellows were trained
42:19 from little children to steal.
42:22 Their father used to give them a thrashing
42:24 if they didn't come home with the sack full of goods.
42:28 And he said, as soon as something
42:30 goes missing in the community,
42:32 the police will be knocking on their door first.
42:38 You see if God only forgave me for my sins,
42:42 it wouldn't help me because those three inmates
42:46 had paid their debt to society as far as being forgiven
42:50 by the law was concerned. Get the thought?
42:52 They paid their dues, their time.
42:57 But what did they lack?
43:00 They lacked a power to stop them
43:02 from doing it again in future. Get the thought?
43:07 And if God only forgave me for my sins,
43:11 wonderful that is that wouldn't help me too much,
43:14 because what would I do tomorrow
43:16 and the next day and the next day and the next.
43:20 I would continue to do the same things.
43:22 That's why the grace of God
43:24 is much more than forgiveness, much more.
43:29 It includes forgiveness, but it's also enabling grace
43:33 and power to stop me doing the same thing
43:37 again and again and again.
43:42 God's grace is power and it enables me
43:46 to live in harmony with what God wants me to do,
43:51 otherwise the whole thing is a mockery.
43:55 And I meet some Christians who think that,
43:57 that grace only includes forgiveness.
43:58 I want to tell you it includes vastly more than that,
44:01 and thank God it does.
44:05 And when I come to Jesus,
44:06 He not only forgives me for my sins,
44:08 wonderful and glorious, and I thank God everyday
44:11 for His forgiveness but He goes further
44:14 and He says I will change your life,
44:16 so that you don't have a capacity
44:18 or a desire to want to do the things
44:20 that you've wanted to do in the past.
44:24 And you will have now a capacity
44:25 to want to do the things that are in harmony
44:29 with the commandments and the will of God.
44:34 Let me read you a verse over here in First John
44:36 toward the back of the Bible.
44:38 First John Chapter 2 and verse 29.
44:42 First John Chapter 2 and verse 29.
44:47 And here is a good verse,
44:49 and it gives us an insight
44:53 into the commandments and the new birth.
44:55 It says, verse 29, "If you know that He is righteous,
44:59 you know that everyone who practices
45:02 righteousness is" What? "Born of Him."
45:06 So the person who does what God wants them to do
45:09 that is the evidence of the new birth,
45:11 not some happy feeling in your heart.
45:15 That's not the evidence of the new birth.
45:17 The evidence is that our life will be changed
45:21 and that I will want to do
45:23 what God wants me to do, that's the evidence.
45:29 That's why the Bible says,
45:30 that the commandments are so important.
45:32 We are not saved by keeping the Commandments,
45:34 the Bible never teaches that.
45:36 But the Commandments tell us what God wants us to do,
45:40 and the new birth gives me the capacity
45:42 to be able to do what God wants me to do,
45:45 because by nature I can't do what God says
45:47 I have got to do.
45:49 My heart is in rebellion against that,
45:52 but when I have the new birth experience
45:54 now I have a desire and furthermore a power
45:57 to be able to do what God wants me to do.
46:01 Let me read you again.
46:02 You've got First John open there.
46:04 Have a look at Chapter 3 now,
46:05 just the next chapter and verse 4.
46:08 It says, "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness,
46:13 and sin is lawlessness."
46:15 You see if I breached the law of the country, that's a crime.
46:19 The Bible says, if I breached the law of God
46:23 that is sin, it's simple as that.
46:29 Have a look at Chapter 2 of First John, and verse 3,
46:35 "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we" What?
46:42 "Keep His commandments" That's how I know
46:46 that I know God, If I am willing to do
46:49 what He wants me to do, verse 4,
46:51 "He who says, 'I know Him,'
46:53 and does not keep His commandments, is a liar,
46:58 and the truth is not in him."
47:01 You know, that's pretty strong talk,
47:02 isn't it to call someone a liar.
47:05 I tell you, you call someone a liar
47:06 and see their reaction you get.
47:10 Won't used, they be very positive, will it?
47:12 Because that's a loaded word to say someone a liar.
47:16 And yet God calls the person
47:18 who makes a profession of following Christ
47:22 and it's not willing to keep His commandments,
47:24 God says that person is a liar.
47:27 And how many liars are going into heaven
47:29 that we read in Revelation 21:27.
47:32 None, not a single one.
47:38 The Bible here makes it very, very clear
47:42 that keeping the commandments
47:44 is an evidence of our love for Jesus.
47:49 In fact, let me read you Revelation Chapter 22.
47:53 Here is a wonderful, wonderful statement.
47:55 Almost the last verse in the Bible,
47:57 not quite but nearly.
48:01 Revelation 22 and verse 14 where it says here
48:07 "Blessed are those who do His commandments
48:16 that they may have the right to the tree of life,
48:19 and may enter through the gates into the city."
48:24 You see when God invites us into His kingdom,
48:28 what He is looking for in my heart is obedience,
48:34 because obedience shows that I have been born again,
48:41 that's why the Bible emphasizes here,
48:44 blessed are those that do his commandments.
48:48 That's not the bases by which we get to heaven
48:50 it's by grace and grace alone that we go to heaven.
48:54 But that grace and that new birth
48:57 will lead me to be obedient,
48:59 and so the outward evidence that I have been born again
49:03 is the desire to want to be obedient
49:07 and to do what God wants me to do.
49:09 That's the evidence. It's the footage.
49:13 You know, I could tell my wife that I love her,
49:18 but if I never did anything that pleased her,
49:21 do you think that she would have questions
49:24 after a while in her mind as to whether
49:27 I really loved her or not.
49:29 You know, sometimes she has said to me,
49:31 Geoff, talk is cheap.
49:35 We, all understand that, don't we?
49:37 Talk is cheap, yes, because our actions reveal
49:44 what's in here, isn't that right?
49:47 Because love in itself must be demonstrated.
49:51 You cannot love somebody without doing
49:53 something for them, isn't that right?
49:56 Impossible to love without action.
50:00 The same is in the Christian life.
50:01 You cannot love God without action.
50:06 And the action is being willing to be obedient.
50:10 I remember some years ago, I was invited to meet
50:13 the Queen and the Duke, up in Darwin.
50:19 And I remember the invitation
50:20 that we received gold edge and so forth,
50:23 it even said the clothes that we were to wear.
50:27 And they said, you've got to bring this invitation along.
50:29 You won't be allowed in without this invitation.
50:33 Well, I could have rocked up there
50:35 and claimed that I was the president of this
50:38 or the prime minister of this.
50:40 It wouldn't have made any difference,
50:41 because I had to have that invitation,
50:44 and when we're planning,
50:46 those are also are planning to go to heaven
50:48 and be part of God's kingdom.
50:49 God is looking for the evidence.
50:53 That's why He says,
50:54 "Blessed are those that do His commandments"
50:58 because the only people that can do God's commandments
51:00 are those who have been born again.
51:02 Nobody can ever do God's commandments,
51:04 if they are not born again, is that right?
51:07 Absolutely. And that's what God is looking for.
51:10 And in these days, friends, God is calling for us
51:13 to be obedient and to follow what God has asked us to do.
51:18 Not as a means of our salvation
51:19 but because we love Jesus.
51:21 We cannot help but want to do what God wants us to do.
51:24 That's why Jesus said, "If you love me,
51:26 you will keep My commandments."
51:32 And I believe that we all demonstrate to God tonight.
51:37 You know there are times in our relationships with God
51:40 when it is a wonderful thing to tell God
51:43 that we want to serve Him and that we love Him.
51:46 I'll tell you what I've got tonight,
51:47 I've got a little card that I'm going to ask
51:50 the ushers to give everybody.
51:52 If you wouldn't mind just handing
51:53 that card out now please ushers.
51:55 And we will give it to everybody,
51:57 because we've got enough for everybody
52:00 and we want young people, old people, those in between.
52:06 And we would like you to accept this decision card.
52:13 The first point of the card says this,
52:17 "I need a closer relationship with Jesus.
52:20 Please pray for me."
52:23 Now I would hope that everybody would tick number one.
52:25 I am ticking number one right now,
52:27 because I need a closer relationship with Jesus.
52:29 I hope you'll tick number one, because we all need that.
52:35 Number two, "I want to accept Jesus
52:38 as my personal Savior."
52:41 I hope all of us would want to tick number two,
52:43 because that's very important
52:45 that we accept Jesus as our personal Savior.
52:47 We may not understand all about it yet,
52:51 but that's the purpose of the meetings to help us
52:53 to understand what it means to accept Jesus,
52:55 but we are making a decision just like when you start
52:59 to go out with a girl or a guy.
53:01 You don't know all of there is about that person,
53:03 that's what you are going to learn about.
53:06 The same with Jesus.
53:08 We accept Him first and we will learn as we along,
53:12 and God will reveal Himself to us.
53:14 So tick number two, I want to accept Jesus
53:17 as my personal Savior.
53:19 Please do not let this moment go,
53:21 because this is important.
53:23 Every person that Jesus call, He call publicly,
53:26 and there is something about our decision
53:28 when we fill in the card.
53:30 When we make a decision publicly,
53:31 that's settles that question.
53:32 That's why I am encouraging you
53:34 who are watching too also fill in these cards
53:37 as we are here tonight.
53:39 So if you wouldn't mind just filling those cards in
53:42 and then folding them over and then we will collect them.
53:47 There is still some more cards,
53:48 yes, just collecting those one by one. Thank you.
53:51 Because God will wonderfully blesses,
53:54 and He will be with us.
53:58 All right, is there any card that we've missed?
54:02 Any pencils? Well, God bless you.
54:04 Let's just bow our heads for a moment in prayer.
54:07 Our wonderful Father in Heaven,
54:08 I want to thank you tonight for Jesus
54:10 and I want to thank you that Your Spirit
54:13 wants to place in our hearts a new birth.
54:15 Not only forgive us of our sins,
54:17 Lord, but provide us power to change our dispositions
54:21 from selfishness to a life that is in harmony
54:24 with Your will and Your purpose.
54:26 I pray Lord that You will bless every person,
54:28 everyone has made the decision
54:29 that You will encourage them and strengthen them,
54:31 bless any that who are still struggling in their heart,
54:33 so perhaps haven't made a decision yet.
54:36 I ask Lord that You will give them no rest
54:37 until they make their decision to follow You all the way.
54:40 Blesses now, as we go home and bring us back
54:42 in our future meetings, I pray for Christ's say, amen.


Revised 2014-12-17