Series Code: PTL
Program Code: PTL000011A
00:49 The Paradise Valley Seventh-day Adventist Church
00:52 has the privilege of welcoming each and every one of you
00:56 in television land, whether you're watching on
00:59 Three Angels Broadcasting Network,
01:01 whether you're watching on YouTube,
01:03 whether you are watching streaming live,
01:07 or on Good News TV, welcome to Phoenix, Arizona
01:11 for meeting number eleven of fifteen in Pathways to Life.
01:17 This evening's broadcast is one that will be a joy
01:24 to anybody who has more past than we wish to speak about.
01:30 If you have a past you wish you could get rid of,
01:33 tonight is fantastic news.
01:35 You will want to stay with us for Pastor Lomacang's
01:39 message tonight.
01:41 Before he does that, one of Paradise Valley's own,
01:44 Jackie Battistone, will be singing for us
01:47 a song called, No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus.
01:51 She's accompanied at the piano by Phil Draper.
01:55 And when that message in song is completed,
02:00 Pastor Lomacang will be coming to talk to us about
02:03 washing away your past.
02:06 But before we invite them to come forward,
02:08 as is our custom here, let's begin with a word of prayer.
02:13 Gracious heavenly Father, we thank You
02:18 for the many blessings you have been giving us
02:21 meeting by meeting in this Pathways To Life series.
02:27 And we pray that again in this meeting Your Spirit would lead,
02:32 Your Spirit would bless, and that we would be drawn
02:35 to the Scriptures and find comfort for our souls.
02:40 Bless us now as we study.
02:42 And we Thank You, for we've asked it in Jesus' name.
03:01 I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus,
03:09 since I found in Him a friend so strong and true.
03:17 I would tell you how He's changed my life completely;
03:26 He did something that no other friend could do.
03:35 No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
03:44 there's no other friend so kind as He.
03:52 No one else could take the sin and darkness from me.
04:03 O how much He cares for me.
04:20 Every day He comes to me with new assurance,
04:28 more and more I understand His words of love.
04:36 But I'll never know just why He came to save me,
04:44 till some day I see His blessed face above.
04:53 No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
05:02 there's no other friend so kind as He.
05:10 No one else could take the sin and darkness from me.
05:21 O how much He cares, O how much He cares,
05:30 O how much He cares for me.
05:54 Thank you, Jackie.
05:55 - Can we say amen again? ~ Amen.
05:58 Wonderful song.
06:00 No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus.
06:03 And I know that's true about every one of us.
06:06 It's such a blessing to hear that song.
06:08 And we welcome those of you who are here locally
06:11 and those of you who are tuning in from around the world.
06:14 I'm amazed that from night to night whenever I stand up here
06:17 the Lord gives me the strength that I need.
06:19 But I never presume that I have the knowledge that I need.
06:23 I always need to pray and ask for the Lord to give me wisdom.
06:25 So bow your heads tonight with me as we go
06:29 to the Lord in prayer.
06:32 Loving Father in heaven, thank You.
06:34 Thank You for the privilege of sharing a message of
06:39 meeting and knowing Jesus.
06:43 Father, tonight as we talk about washing away the past,
06:48 we pray that we could inventory our lives and see there is
06:51 no better joy than to know that our past has been washed away
06:57 by the blood of the Lamb.
07:00 And thank You, Lord, for giving us the privilege and opportunity
07:02 for new beginnings.
07:04 Take this message tonight and find fertile soil.
07:07 We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.
07:13 Tonight I want to begin with a particular scripture that is
07:15 really, really important.
07:17 But before we go to that, I want to tell you a very short story.
07:21 I did not know my mother until I was almost 26 years old.
07:25 I did not know my father until I was almost 13 years old.
07:30 Did not know my natural parents.
07:32 And I had a struggle with my identity
07:35 growing up as a young boy.
07:36 And I remember listening to a radio program.
07:39 Maybe you have heard her name.
07:41 Dr. Laura Schlessinger
07:44 She used to be on the radio. Very significant counselor.
07:47 And a young lady called in, and Dr. Laura is listening
07:50 to this young lady as she was complaining about
07:52 what her mother didn't give to her.
07:53 She said, "My mother and dad didn't give me anything."
07:57 And she was very angry.
07:59 And Dr. Laura broke in and said,
08:01 "What did your parents give to you?"
08:04 And she said, "Nothing."
08:05 She said, "Young lady, what did your parents give to you?"
08:08 She said, "They didn't give me anything."
08:10 She said, "They did give you something.
08:12 What did they give to you?"
08:13 She said, "Young lady, your parents gave you life.
08:18 Take that life and do something with it,
08:21 and stop complaining about your past."
08:25 And you know, as a young boy, as a teenager,
08:28 that helped me begin to put into perspective,
08:30 as I was trying to find out who I am,
08:32 not knowing my natural parents, that helped me put into
08:35 perspective, we can spend so much time trying to sort out
08:40 our past or we can embrace the fact that we have life,
08:44 or that we have a new life in Jesus.
08:47 And as Dr. Laura says, we can take that life and
08:50 do something with it.
08:53 But that's not an easy question.
08:54 Because in one of the most famous chapters in the Bible,
08:58 John 3, where John 3:16 is,
09:02 the story of Nicodemus begins that chapter,
09:04 and many people don't know that when Jesus
09:07 repeated the words that now are John 3:16,
09:10 the most famous verse in the world,
09:13 that He was talking to an older man who was a Pharisee.
09:16 Notice the conversation.
09:18 He said to this man...
09:19 And by the way, the Bible says that when Nicodemus
09:22 came to Jesus, he came to Jesus by night.
09:27 And I say it's better to come to Jesus by night
09:29 than not to come to Him at all.
09:33 When your life is dark and hope is dark,
09:35 and hope seems to be slipping away,
09:37 and your understanding is dark, and the future
09:39 doesn't seem to make sense,
09:41 a good time to come to Jesus is when your life is dark.
09:46 Very religious man, He came to Jesus.
09:49 And Jesus said that he needed a new beginning.
09:53 We'll talk about that in just a moment.
09:55 But here's the question that is very significant
09:58 for the entire presentation tonight.
10:01 "Nicodemus said to Him," that is to Jesus...
10:14 Now Nicodemus was very well educated.
10:17 He was a Pharisee.
10:19 He was not intellectually ignorant.
10:21 He may have understood biology, but he was spiritually inept.
10:26 And he knew that Jesus was saying, and here's the point...
10:29 Oh, thank You, Lord, for this point.
10:31 We are never too old to be born again.
10:38 And you'll discover that one of the greatest barriers
10:40 in Christianity today is that like Nicodemus
10:44 people have been doing religious things for so long
10:49 that they become accustomed to the religion in their lives,
10:53 but they never meet Jesus.
10:55 They are never born again.
10:58 Think about it for a moment.
10:59 Nicodemus was a Jewish Pharisee.
11:01 He kept the Sabbath, but he did not know Jesus.
11:04 He had the right diet, but he did not know Jesus.
11:08 He understood all the ceremonial and moral laws,
11:11 but he did not know Jesus.
11:14 And here he is, advanced in years, and Jesus says to him,
11:19 "You need a new beginning."
11:21 And he says, "Can it happen when I'm old?"
11:25 Well let me say to you tonight, and those of you that may be
11:27 listening and watching the program,
11:29 we are never too old to come to Jesus.
11:33 As I told you a few nights ago, that couple that
11:35 came to our church, one was 78 and one was 79,
11:39 came from the Presbyterian church.
11:41 Just walked into our church at 3ABN, and the question that this
11:46 elder of 40 years, he was an elder in the Presbyterian church
11:49 for 40 years, he says to me,
11:53 "How old is too old to be baptized?"
11:57 And I said, "As long as you're breathing,
11:59 you can be baptized."
12:00 And he and his wife got baptized.
12:02 And their son and their daughter-in-law thought
12:04 they had lost their mind.
12:07 They said, "Dad, you have lost your mind."
12:09 Well we studied with them and baptized them two months later.
12:13 When the truth of Jesus Christ comes to us,
12:15 it's never too late to begin again.
12:18 It is never too late to wash away our past.
12:22 I like the way that David the psalmist
12:23 says it in Psalm 103:12.
12:25 He says, "As far as the east is from the west,
12:30 so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
12:35 And I think it's in Micah 11:7 where the Bible says
12:39 He will cast our sins into the depths of the sea
12:43 and put out a, "No fishing," sign.
12:46 You didn't get that.
12:48 I added the last part.
12:51 I am so glad that there are certain parts of the ocean
12:53 where man cannot go.
12:55 That's where my sins are found.
12:57 What about yours?
12:59 The Lord removes our sins, throws them into the
13:02 Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean,
13:04 and says, "You better not go down there."
13:09 Praise the Lord for that.
13:10 But as we dive into this very important topic of
13:13 beginning again, one of the things that we have to
13:15 keep in mind, which was the battle in Nicodemus' life,
13:18 is that Nicodemus was intellectually stimulated.
13:22 He was very well educated.
13:24 He knew what religion was all about,
13:26 but he did not know Jesus.
13:28 And one of the dangers of modern religion today is this:
13:32 So many people are comfortable with
13:35 what religion gives to them.
13:36 And so people go church shopping.
13:38 Some people say, "I like the choir in that church.
13:41 I like the music program."
13:43 Other people say, "I like the community program
13:45 that church has."
13:47 Some people say, "You know, it's really nice.
13:49 This church is so connected to the college, the universities."
13:52 "I like the pastor's sermons."
13:54 He talks about, you know, maybe like Pastor Joel Osteen,
13:56 he talks about how your ship is coming in,
13:58 how your future is going to be bright.
14:00 And we have all these reasons to sometimes
14:03 choose to design our own religion.
14:07 But one of the dangers in modern religion is this:
14:11 Many Christians, quote unquote, have been busy in things
14:17 of Christianity but have not had a connection with Jesus.
14:22 And the danger in the last days is to do religious things
14:25 but never have a connection with Jesus.
14:27 That's the reason why Jesus wrote these words as He did
14:30 in Matthew 7:21-23.
14:33 This is a very significant caution
14:37 to the Christians of the last days.
14:38 Notice what He said.
14:50 This is a sad verse.
15:08 And then the saddest of all verses, verse 23.
15:23 Christianity is far more important than religion.
15:29 Because in these last days we are told we are living in the
15:32 last church of the seven churches of Revelation.
15:35 We're living just before the coming of Jesus.
15:37 And the words of Jesus were, "Take heed that
15:39 no one deceives you."
15:41 Which means religion today can be, in many respects,
15:45 deceptive, giving us the things we like
15:49 by leaving out a relationship with Jesus.
15:52 And let me make a point that I did a few nights ago.
15:54 It is not possible to have a relationship with Jesus
15:57 and have truth deleted from that relationship.
16:02 If you have a relationship with Jesus,
16:04 it has to be based on His Holy Spirit
16:06 and the truth of His Word.
16:10 But the Bible is clear about the conditions of the last days.
16:12 Notice Isaiah the prophet.
16:14 Very striking comparison to religion today.
16:20 Speaking of the last days.
16:25 Look at this.
16:27 "We will eat our own food..."
16:29 That is, our own doctrines.
16:31 "...our own..."
16:33 "...and wear our own apparel..."
16:36 Our own righteousness.
16:39 But what do I want from you?
16:45 "...to take away our reproach."
16:47 And today people are being called, Christians,
16:50 but they have their own righteousness,
16:53 their own brand of religion, they have their own doctrines.
16:56 They pick from the Word of God.
16:58 That's why, if you think about it today, you have phrases like,
17:01 "New Testament church."
17:03 Which means you don't read the Old Testament.
17:05 Which means you don't understand seven-eighths of the Bible.
17:11 Then you have churches that say, "We are non-denominational."
17:14 Which means, "We don't talk about doctrines."
17:16 Well in fact, I told you, when you go to a bank
17:18 and ask for change for a hundred dollar bill,
17:20 it's going to be some denomination.
17:22 Am I right?
17:24 So there's no way to be a religion and not be
17:26 connected to some denomination.
17:28 Many years ago when we were in the Heritage Singers,
17:30 my wife and I, we did a concert there at the
17:33 Crystal Cathedral in southern California.
17:36 And Robert Schuller said his church was a
17:37 non-denominational church.
17:39 But in the bulletin in the foyer it said,
17:41 "We are non-denominational.
17:42 However, we teach the doctrines of the
17:45 holy mother church, the Roman Catholic Church."
17:48 So every church is connected to some denomination
17:50 by their beliefs.
17:52 But the Bible says in the last days people will say,
17:55 "I want my own doctrines."
17:56 And there are those that say, "I want the Sabbath.
17:59 I don't want the Sabbath."
18:00 "I believe in the state of the dead, but I do believe,
18:02 no, I don't believe in that.
18:04 I believe that people die and go to heaven."
18:06 "I don't believe in the fact that you can eat anything."
18:08 But some people say, "Well you can eat anything."
18:10 Designer religion is a deception of the last days.
18:14 Nothing to me is more important than knowing
18:17 that what I follow and what I believe
18:20 and who I follow will end up with me being saved eternally.
18:27 That's all I want to be.
18:28 That's why the Lord made it clear.
18:29 Notice His words.
18:31 These appeal to Christians of the last days.
18:41 "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord'?"
18:42 And there are many Christians today, that's why there's
18:44 so much religious controversy.
18:47 Because, "I'll call you, 'Lord,'
18:49 but don't tell me to do anything.
18:52 I'll do what I want to do."
18:53 There are people that have been in the church many, many years.
18:55 They do what they want to do.
18:57 And the sad reality is this:
19:00 Like Cain, they bring a sacrifice of their own desire
19:05 to God, and they say, "Accept it."
19:07 And He says, "No, I will not."
19:11 And from the days of Cain and Abel, there have always been
19:14 two groups of worshipers.
19:16 Those that give God what He asks for,
19:19 and those that give God what He wants.
19:22 What He does not want.
19:25 And we've got to make sure, by God's grace,
19:27 that we are in the proper category.
19:28 Amen, somebody.
19:30 That's why when the Spirit of God comes into our lives,
19:32 notice what the Bible says He will do.
19:34 When you pray for the Holy Spirit's leading.
19:42 Whenever truth is revealed to you and you reject it,
19:44 you cannot be saying you are led by the Spirit of God.
19:49 Because He will not guide you into some, but how much?
20:02 That's why we have to follow Jesus.
20:05 Because when you follow Jesus, the journey is clear.
20:08 When Jesus went out selecting disciples,
20:10 when He came to Peter and Andrew his brother...
20:15 This is very important.
20:17 And I want to make a point before I read the scripture.
20:19 When He came to Peter and Andrew,
20:21 He said to them what He's going to say to every one of us.
20:25 And you know, the greatest danger in our lives
20:29 is when Jesus invites us to follow Him,
20:31 and we say, "Not now."
20:36 If the woman who was bleeding for twelve years
20:38 had chosen not to follow Jesus when He passed through town,
20:41 that was His last journey through that town.
20:44 If the ten blind men who, out of ten of them,
20:49 one came back and thanked the Lord,
20:51 that was the last journey Jesus took through that town.
20:58 And you never know when your last invitation
21:00 is going to be extended.
21:02 So that's why when Jesus invited Peter and Andrew,
21:05 notice what the Bible says.
21:10 Now we like fishers of men,
21:11 but here's the point I want to emphasize.
21:13 That's why I highlighted that.
21:14 "Follow Me and I will make you..."
21:16 Here's my point.
21:17 Until you follow Jesus, you will never be made
21:22 after the character of Jesus.
21:24 You will maintain your own way of life.
21:32 What did they do?
21:38 The woman at the well, the very same thing.
21:41 When she met Jesus, He wasn't going back to that
21:44 well every again.
21:45 The city of Sychar outside the region of Capernaum,
21:51 that was the only time Jesus went to Sychar.
21:54 And He met the woman at the well.
21:55 And when she accepted Him, on that one visit,
21:59 the lives of the entire village were changed
22:02 because she accepted Jesus the moment
22:04 He extended the invitation, "Give Me some water to drink."
22:07 That's why I've been speaking from night to night
22:09 using the Word of God.
22:11 Amen, somebody.
22:12 Using the Word of God.
22:13 We cannot be a people that wants to design
22:16 our way of worshiping God.
22:19 We've got to put down our way and accept His way.
22:23 My wife and I went to the airport once,
22:24 we were on our way to North Dakota.
22:26 I was speaking at the college there.
22:28 And about a month earlier they invited Spike Lee.
22:31 You may have heard about him.
22:33 If you have, great.
22:34 If not, I don't have time to qualify that.
22:36 But a very well-known young man from New York City.
22:40 And they gave him $25,000 to speak for 45 minutes.
22:45 They invited me there and just paid my expenses for an hour.
22:50 But here's the point.
22:51 I was invited to speak to the very same group of people
22:54 that he was invited to speak to.
22:55 And they invited me to this public university to speak to
22:58 a class of social workers to come.
23:00 About 130 students.
23:02 They said they could ask me any question I wanted.
23:06 And in that public forum, they allowed me to tell
23:09 about the truths and the beliefs that I had.
23:12 And the students afterward said to me,
23:15 "Spike Lee was here last week.
23:17 But you were far better than he was."
23:20 And I had to ask, "How much did they pay him?"
23:22 They said $25,000.
23:25 I said, "Did they forget my address?"
23:26 No I didn't say that.
23:28 But here's my point.
23:30 I went there and told them the truth.
23:35 And I took materials with me knowing I'd never go back
23:38 to North Dakota, the University of North Dakota.
23:40 I took, Steps to Christ. I took some booklets.
23:43 I gave out to every student, and my business cards.
23:46 Because when you plant those seeds, the Lord will bless them.
23:51 And now to this very day I am a soldier of the cross.
23:54 Thank the Lord He's mellowed me as I've gotten older.
23:59 I use to be a bulldozer in religion.
24:00 God has mellowed me now.
24:02 I talk more about the love of Jesus,
24:03 but I still tell the truth.
24:06 Here's the reason why.
24:08 John 17:17
24:15 It's so important to know that the truth of God's Word
24:19 must be in the practice of our Christianity.
24:23 And I'm speaking to those
24:24 that may be of different denominations,
24:26 or I may be talking just to Seventh-day Adventists.
24:30 But the reason I'm broadening the spectrum tonight
24:32 is because I know very well, because I was one of them.
24:36 I use to come to church and sit down and listen to the sermons
24:39 from Sabbath to Sabbath, and I was so far from Jesus
24:42 I couldn't see Him with a telescope.
24:46 I'd come to church Sabbath after Sabbath
24:48 out of obligation, because I was told from a child,
24:51 "Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy."
24:52 So there I trotted every Sabbath into church.
24:55 Didn't eat this, didn't wear that.
24:57 Didn't do this, didn't do that.
24:59 And I was as lost as a man that had just
25:02 killed an entire village of people.
25:06 But I got involved in prison ministry.
25:08 And I found that prisoners were sometimes more free
25:11 than the people in my church.
25:16 So that's why I preach Jesus the way that I do.
25:18 But I don't leave the truth out.
25:19 Because you know what?
25:21 I want to be able to know that I can see.
25:24 One of the greatest dangers is that we cannot
25:26 see what God is trying to show us.
25:28 The Bible makes it clear in John 9:39.
25:42 And now why would He do that?
25:45 Because there are those that rely on their natural sight.
25:48 I've met a lot of them.
25:50 You know what they say?
25:52 You show them the Sabbath, they say, "Well I can't see that."
25:57 You show them what the Bible teaches about how to dress,
26:01 and how to live, and what not to wear and what to wear,
26:04 and they say, "I can't see that."
26:07 You show them how to eat and how not to eat,
26:10 "I can't see that."
26:12 Well that's no surprise to me.
26:15 Because it's no surprise to Jesus.
26:17 Because you can't see it doesn't make it not truth.
26:22 Notice the words of Jesus.
26:23 The same thing He said to Nicodemus.
26:25 Until you're born again, there are certain things
26:27 you'll never be able to see.
26:41 Let's not go too fast.
26:43 He cannot see.
26:44 You will never see certain things unless you're born again.
26:50 Because natural things are naturally discerned,
26:52 but spiritual things are spiritually discerned.
26:55 You'll never understand the deep things of God.
26:59 I think it's Amos 3:6.
27:00 The Bible says, "Surely the Lord God does nothing
27:04 except He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets."
27:08 He doesn't reveal secrets to people that are
27:10 not a part of His family.
27:15 But when you align yourself with Jesus,
27:18 then things that you will never see will become clear.
27:23 We have people in our church in Thompsonville
27:27 that when they accepted the Sabbath,
27:29 from week to week more things become clear.
27:34 When they stop fighting the truth that God revealed,
27:36 all of a sudden, it's like an artichoke.
27:38 The leaves are being moved out of the way,
27:41 and they keep getting deeper and deeper
27:43 into the artichoke of God's Word.
27:45 But if you don't take that artichoke of truth
27:47 into your hands and begin to peel it back,
27:50 one truth after the other, you'll never get to the heart
27:54 of what God has in store for you.
27:57 But some people say...
27:58 The Lord says, "Here's the artichoke of truth,"
28:00 you say, "I don't want it."
28:01 You'll never get to the artichoke heart until you
28:04 peel back all the truths on the way there.
28:08 Am I right?
28:09 Notice what Jesus said.
28:11 John 9:40-41
28:21 Religious people asking that question.
28:32 You know what that means?
28:34 They were saying to Jesus, they were saying to Jesus,
28:38 "You can't show us something that we don't already know."
28:43 So He said, "Well, then you'll never see it.
28:45 Because you say you see.
28:47 If you say you didn't understand it,
28:49 then I could show it to you."
28:51 That's the same thing some of the Jews said
28:53 when Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am."
28:56 And they said, "How old are you?"
28:58 He could have said, "You really want to know how old I am?"
29:03 Now that's what we would have done. Right?
29:06 "You really want to know how old I am?
29:07 I'm 79,654 millions years old.
29:11 How old are you?"
29:14 But that's the challenge.
29:16 People that think they see it all will not see it all.
29:21 Because they see it without being born again.
29:25 And what happens? Their sin remains.
29:28 What does Jesus want from us, brothers and sisters?
29:30 Here's what He wants. 2 Corinthians 8:12
29:44 If you can be willing...
29:46 If you can be what? Willing.
29:48 The Lord is not looking for perfect people.
29:50 He's not looking for everybody that's got it all together.
29:52 Let me say it slowly like you can understand it.
29:54 He's not looking for everybody that has it all together.
29:59 He's looking for somebody who wants to follow somebody
30:02 who has it all together.
30:04 But you've got to be willing.
30:06 You've got to be what? Willing.
30:08 Being born again only happens if you're willing.
30:12 Willing to do what?
30:13 Notice. Willing to do what?
30:15 You've got be willing to follow...
30:17 Say it together.
30:18 You have to be willing to do what?
30:20 Follow God's Word.
30:22 Here's the reason.
30:23 Here is the reason.
30:27 1 John 1:7
30:47 Let me make that even clearer.
30:49 If you walk in the light, you're not in the dark.
30:53 And you have something that's deeper than friendship.
30:56 You have fellowship.
30:59 Let me make my point even clearer.
31:01 We talk about friendship evangelism.
31:03 What we should have is fellowship evangelism.
31:07 Because friendships are conditional.
31:12 I'm your friend because you like me.
31:14 I'm not your friend because you don't like me.
31:17 Fellowship is way higher than friendship.
31:21 Because fellowship happens when you're in the light
31:24 and the other person is in the light.
31:26 The Lord shines His light on both of you
31:28 and you are both following Jesus, who is the light.
31:34 And when you're both in the light, you're not looking at
31:38 who he's following.
31:39 You're looking at who you're following,
31:41 and he's looking at who he's following.
31:43 You're not looking at each other.
31:45 You're looking at Him.
31:47 We need to look less at each other.
31:48 Because you know what? Every one of us is in process.
31:53 Did you hear what I said?
31:54 The Lord is working on every one of us.
31:58 Not a one of you tonight is perfect.
32:01 This is not a message about perfection.
32:03 This is a message about, do you want to have the walk
32:05 that Jesus knows that you can experience.
32:10 And it will only happen if you put you down
32:12 and allow Jesus to enter your life.
32:15 That's why religion can give you only certain views,
32:18 but Christianity will give you the understanding
32:21 which alone can allow you to see the message of the kingdom.
32:25 The second thing is not only willing to follow God's Word,
32:29 but you have to be willing to do what?
32:32 You have to be willing to be born again.
32:37 Not only does not being born again affect your sight,
32:43 but it affects your entrance.
32:47 They tell me that heaven has twelve gates.
32:49 You know what?
32:50 I really don't care which gate I go into.
32:54 As long as I go in one of them.
32:57 Am I right?
32:58 And when you study the twelve gates in heaven,
33:00 you'll discover that every one of those gates
33:02 identify a particular weakness in our lives.
33:06 For example, Asher, the Bible says, "His bread shall be fat
33:10 and his table will yield royal dainties."
33:12 Asher is the one with the problem with appetite.
33:15 But Asher overcame. Amen.
33:18 God gave Asher dandelions in the time of trouble to eat
33:23 so he could fit in his gate.
33:29 Simeon and Levi loved to fight.
33:35 But they're mentioned in Revelation.
33:36 They overcame their temper.
33:38 And God's got them walking in the gate in harmony.
33:42 Zebulun was business minded.
33:44 He's the guy, if he made $24.95, he'll give God $2.49 tithe.
33:51 Couldn't even give Him a penny more.
33:54 The business-minded one.
33:55 Always trying to keep things for himself.
33:57 Reuben, unstable as water.
34:00 You cannot get him to do anything.
34:01 One moment he's over here, the next moment he's over there.
34:04 But he's mentioned in Revelation.
34:05 You know who's not mentioned in Revelation?
34:07 I don't have the time to go through all twelve sons.
34:09 But the one that's not mentioned in Revelation
34:11 that's in Genesis 49 is the man called Dan.
34:15 The Bible says Dan will be a serpent by the way,
34:18 a viper in the past.
34:19 He bites the horses heal so the rider falls back.
34:23 Dan is that man that concentrates on your sin,
34:26 not his own sin.
34:28 And when he sees your progressing,
34:30 he bites the heal of your horse so you can fall off of it
34:33 and you'll never get to where God is sending you.
34:35 So watch out when you're critical about other people
34:37 because that's the Dan spirit.
34:40 I'd rather have an issue with appetite
34:42 than an issue with criticism.
34:43 But here's what the Bible says happens when you're born again.
34:57 When you're born in baptism, baptism, water baptism,
35:03 is not separate from Holy Spirit baptism.
35:07 There's churches today that say,
35:09 "Just baptize in the name of Jesus."
35:11 No, the Lord Jesus Himself said baptize in the name of
35:15 the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
35:17 When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended
35:20 in the form of a dove and lighted upon Him.
35:23 And the Bible says His Father said, "This is My beloved Son
35:26 in whom I am well pleased."
35:27 All I want is for the Lord to be well pleased with me.
35:31 What about you?
35:32 Not only should we desire to be born again,
35:35 but unless we're born again we cannot enter.
35:39 And the point is, you may live that life you have
35:41 become comfortable with,
35:43 you may even be like a Nicodemus,
35:44 you've been doing this for a long time,
35:47 but unless you are born again you will not enter heaven.
35:50 You'll have religion, and you might have a good life,
35:52 but you will not enter the kingdom.
35:54 Tonight our message is about getting ready to enter.
35:57 As Elder Brooks said, we preach an evacuation message.
36:02 Praise the Lord.
36:03 Not only being willing to be born again,
36:04 but you have to be willing to trust God.
36:07 Say that with me. Willing to do what?
36:09 You've got to be willing to trust God.
36:11 So many of us only trust our intellect.
36:17 A highly educated person without Jesus is a dangerous person.
36:23 If you worship intellect, the only one that's
36:27 more intellectual than Satan is God.
36:32 Satan is second in intellect only to the Almighty God.
36:38 I don't want second. I want first.
36:42 That's why if you lack wisdom,
36:43 ask of God and He'll give it to you.
36:45 But we've got to trust God.
36:46 Let me tell you why this is important.
36:48 When the Lord says, "Give Me your life,
36:50 and I want to give you a new beginning,"
36:52 you know what people ask?
36:54 "Well, how am I going to live?"
36:57 "What about my job?"
36:59 "What about my friends?"
37:02 "What do I have to give up?"
37:06 Let me tell you something.
37:08 What you give up is nothing compared to what you get back.
37:17 You live on a tiny little grain of sand called planet earth,
37:21 almost impossibly distinguishable
37:24 when you get to the moon.
37:27 And we're fighting over this little dusty planet
37:29 that's laden with sin.
37:30 And God wants to give us illimitable space.
37:34 And things that our eyes have never seen,
37:36 our ears have never heard of,
37:38 and our minds have never even conceived,
37:40 and we ask, "Well, do I have to give up my alcohol
37:43 to follow You?"
37:44 Well let's see now. Wait.
37:46 I'm going to give you eternal life, and you want a drink.
37:52 "Do I have to give up my cigarettes?"
37:54 No. You and your cigarettes, you both have
37:58 something in common later on.
38:01 Let me make a point.
38:02 At the end of this journey there are only two seats.
38:06 Smoking and non-smoking.
38:10 You'll get in on tomorrow.
38:13 I want to be in the non-smoking seat.
38:15 What about you?
38:16 You want to smoke? There will be a smoking seat.
38:20 That's the point.
38:22 Going to hell for a stick of tobacco
38:26 that does nothing but send your lungs into a tizzy.
38:30 And that's not a medical term either.
38:33 Willing to trust God.
38:35 God will give you a future.
38:37 God will give you a job.
38:39 He'll give you a job better than you could ever have.
38:42 You know why? I'm telling you my story.
38:44 I worked at banks and law firms and insurance companies
38:46 in the Wall Street area.
38:48 That's what I use to do.
38:50 And I went nowhere but Brooklyn to Manhattan,
38:53 Manhattan to Brooklyn.
38:54 When I gave my life to Jesus, sixty-one countries later,
38:58 on His dime for His glory.
39:03 That's why I preach the way I do.
39:05 I'm experiencing just a glimpse of what God
39:09 has for my wife and me.
39:12 And I refuse to preach a diluted message
39:16 when I know that on the side of Jesus there's
39:18 abundant life forever more.
39:22 I can't tell you how the cake tastes.
39:25 I'm saying, bite it with me.
39:28 I can't tell you about the life I'm living.
39:30 I can say, just get in the ocean and you'll understand
39:32 what it means to float in the blessings of God.
39:37 But so many of us are so inoculated, I mean, intoxicated
39:41 by our way of life that we can't give it up for eternity.
39:45 Lord, have mercy.
39:48 Proverbs 3:5-6
39:56 You don't have to sort out your future.
39:57 Let me tell you something.
39:59 The Lord says, "'I know the thoughts I think towards you,'
40:01 says the Lord.
40:03 'Thoughts of peace and not of evil,
40:05 to give you a future and a...'" What?
40:07 "...and a hope." Who would not want a future.
40:09 And who can work out your future better than God?
40:14 What rich man do you know that counts his cattle by the hills?
40:21 People bragging about the real estate they own.
40:24 God says, "Oh, you own real estate?
40:26 I own galaxies.
40:30 And I took a vacation to come down here and save you guys,
40:33 and you've spurned My invitation
40:35 to show you what else I can give to you."
40:39 You can have this world.
40:41 I'm leaving it sooner or later.
40:43 If you want to go with me, get on board.
40:47 "In all your ways acknowledge Him."
40:49 In your life, in the way you live, and how you eat,
40:52 what you wear, what you don't wear,
40:54 how you love other people, in your employment,
40:57 in the way you use your entertainment.
41:06 You've got to be willing to be baptized.
41:08 You've also got to be willing to be baptized.
41:10 This is just recently.
41:11 My wife and I were over in the Bible lands.
41:14 And that's me on the right there with my glasses on
41:16 in the freezing Jordan River.
41:20 I even got re-baptized that day.
41:22 Just to say I was in the water with Jesus.
41:26 I couldn't care how bad the weather was,
41:28 I was going to go down in the river with Jesus.
41:32 And people are afraid to go down in the water with Jesus.
41:36 Let me tell you something.
41:37 You'll never know what life is like until you
41:38 leave your past in the water with Jesus.
41:41 You've got to be willing to be baptized.
41:44 Notice what the Bible says.
41:45 What is baptism all about? Romans 6:4
41:52 Baptism is a symbol of death.
41:54 Putting that old wicked man to death.
41:57 Let me tell you something.
41:59 Your nature will never give you peace.
42:01 If you think that you can control your human nature,
42:03 you cannot control it.
42:05 As I told you a few nights ago, when you make a choice
42:07 to go in the wrong direction, you become a slave.
42:10 And sin makes you do things that will make you into a fool.
42:15 But Jesus will make you do things, through His power,
42:17 that will make you shine for the glory of eternity.
42:22 We're living in the last days.
42:24 And I don't know when the last call is going to go up,
42:26 but I, to some degree, know what Noah felt like.
42:30 Building an ark, flood is coming,
42:32 world is about to be destroyed.
42:34 "That man has got issues."
42:36 And when the ark's doors closed, the most successful evangelist
42:40 that I've ever known was Noah, when the doors were closed
42:42 his family was on the inside with him.
42:45 But let me tell you something. God has given me hope this time.
42:48 Because there's a number that no man can number
42:49 that's going to be saved.
42:51 I'm going to be in one of those numbers.
42:52 What about you?
42:54 There's room for one more.
42:56 Doesn't make sense to be lost.
43:04 Look at His plan for you.
43:11 What does that mean? Here's what it means.
43:21 What prisoner would not want to be set free?
43:26 But here's the problem.
43:27 Some of us don't think we're prisoners.
43:29 Because we call it, "My way of life."
43:32 "This is the religion I like."
43:37 It's about being free,
43:40 unbound, only tied to Jesus.
43:46 In other words, the life you use to live,
43:47 you no longer identify with that.
43:49 The sin that use to bind you no longer holds you.
43:54 The nature that controls you cannot even find you.
43:58 And the death penalty that condemned you
44:00 is no longer hanging over your head.
44:02 - Can somebody say amen? ~ Amen.
44:04 That's why David the psalmist says it this way.
44:08 Psalm 51:1-2
44:21 He didn't finish there.
44:28 Who wouldn't want that?
44:33 I'd like to tell you more stories,
44:34 but I want to keep preaching.
44:36 Who would not want their past to be completely, thoroughly...
44:41 If everything you ever did was immediately deleted from
44:46 everybody's mind, how good would you feel?
44:51 You'd come to church without reservation.
44:54 Wouldn't you?
44:55 You'd be able to look people in the eyes and say,
44:57 "You don't even remember what I did to you, do you?"
44:59 They'd say, "Who are you?"
45:02 I want anonymity in Jesus.
45:04 Anybody else want that same thing?
45:06 That's why the Lord says these words in 2 Corinthians 5:17.
45:12 Do I have any anyone's here tonight?
45:20 Old attitudes, old lustful practices,
45:24 old cursing, old inebriation.
45:26 The cigarettes are gone, the way you lived is gone,
45:29 the way you hated folk is gone.
45:31 You're a loving person now. Why?
45:33 Because Jesus moved in and transformed your life.
45:43 To be new in Jesus. To be new in Jesus.
45:48 The prerequisite to being in the kingdom is being new in Jesus.
45:53 That's why the Bible says in John 3:6...
46:00 The world is a fleshy place.
46:03 And it's getting corrupter... That's a new word.
46:07 ...corrupter by the moment.
46:12 It's getting dark.
46:14 Just drive down the freeway.
46:15 Smut all over the place.
46:18 On television, people glorifying the next person
46:21 that won the next Oscar.
46:22 I don't want an Oscar, I want a crown of gold.
46:27 I don't want a star on the Hollywood walk of fame
46:29 where a dog will come along and defecate on it.
46:32 That's not fame.
46:34 That's flesh.
46:36 I don't need somebody to glorify me.
46:37 We need to glorify Jesus.
46:40 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh..."
46:42 And you know what? The world gets so excited
46:44 about these temporary things.
46:45 But I want to get excited about the eternal.
46:47 What about you?
46:49 "That which is born of the flesh is flesh,
46:50 and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
46:53 And the flesh cannot understand the Spirit,
46:55 and the Spirit don't want to understand the flesh.
46:57 Because the Spirit knows about the flesh.
46:59 It doesn't want to go there.
47:01 It doesn't want to go there.
47:03 That's why I love the words of Jesus.
47:05 When you accept Jesus, notice what happens.
47:07 John 1:12
47:15 A power that you cannot buy.
47:24 When you get that power, the new life begins with new power.
47:31 You can't find it any place else.
47:34 When the Holy Spirit comes into your life,
47:36 there's something else you can't do.
47:37 You know, when people don't talk about Jesus,
47:39 when people are afraid to talk about Jesus,
47:41 I understand the problem.
47:42 The diagnosis is, you're not born again.
47:47 When you can't tell people about Jesus,
47:48 you are not born again.
47:50 I've got evidence to that.
47:52 Acts 1:8
47:59 And what happens when the Spirit of God
48:02 comes into your life?
48:12 Which means, there is no place that you will be afraid of
48:16 telling people about Jesus.
48:19 Whether you do it verbally or by the life you live.
48:23 There's no place that you would not be afraid
48:27 to talk about Jesus.
48:29 That's why what we need is to be baptized.
48:32 That's the only way that our old man is put to death.
48:34 Romans 6:3
48:46 Into His death.
48:47 But I'm going to put a question out there tonight.
48:49 The questions is, why did Jesus die?
48:53 If He just died to pay for our sins,
48:56 He could have done that from a distance.
48:58 Why did Jesus die?
49:02 Notice the answer found in God's Word.
49:15 That's the first part.
49:17 He stepped into my shoes...
49:20 ...so I could step into His shoes.
49:31 He stepped into my shoes so that one day I could
49:34 step into His shoes.
49:36 He stepped into my sinful nature so that one day I could be
49:39 clothed by His righteous nature.
49:41 Isn't that good news?
49:44 This is a message you can't find at a ten cent store.
49:47 And you don't hear this on television either.
49:50 Joel Osteen ain't telling his congregation this.
49:53 And neither is T. D. Jakes.
49:56 They're trying to get you ready for the next ship that comes in.
49:58 I want to get you ready for Jesus that's soon to come.
50:03 Something else has to happen.
50:05 Romans 6:5
50:08 Look at this blessed assurance.
50:18 Can anybody else say, "certainly," and make it happen
50:21 other than Jesus?
50:27 If you put down that old man, you will be like Jesus.
50:31 And that is for certain.
50:33 A guarantee in the Word of God.
50:36 But there's something else.
50:38 Look at the steps to baptism.
50:40 The first one is what?
50:45 So many people join the church, but they never repent.
50:49 I've got to move quickly tonight.
50:51 Acts 3:19
51:02 When you repent, your sins are blotted out.
51:05 Acts 2:38
51:17 You've got to be willing.
51:19 Secondly, you've got to believe.
51:20 Accept Jesus both as Lord and Savior.
51:23 The Bible says in Mark 16:16...
51:34 That is a guarantee.
51:36 One or the other will be your destiny.
51:39 The third point...
51:44 You've got to make the Word of God
51:45 a part of your everyday life.
51:48 Here's the reason. Matthew 28:20
52:03 Hallelujah to that.
52:05 You've got to learn. But one last thing.
52:08 After you've learned...
52:10 After you've repented, you believed, you've learned,
52:13 the next thing that's left,
52:14 you have to be willing to be baptized.
52:21 Not your idea of righteousness,
52:24 but the righteousness that comes only through Christ Jesus.
52:27 And here it is tonight.
52:29 Let's read this together. Matthew 28:19
52:43 You know what that means when it says,
52:45 "name of," "name of," "name of,"?
52:46 It means, the authority of.
52:48 There is no other authority to change your life
52:51 other than the authority found in the Father,
52:54 the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
52:59 But why do we really need to be born again, ultimately?
53:05 Here's the reason.
53:07 Romans 6:7
53:16 Sin no longer binds you.
53:19 Sin no longer controls you.
53:21 Sin no longer condemns you.
53:23 Phil, can you come to the piano?
53:25 Jackie, can you come?
53:27 Tonight I believe there's somebody here that's
53:28 waiting to accept that invitation of Jesus.
53:32 I've come tonight and I hope I've preached with
53:35 pathos and love and conviction
53:38 to let you know, somebody, if you're watching,
53:41 and you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior,
53:44 the Savior is waiting.
53:46 As Jackie sings this song I want you tonight
53:48 to be in an attitude of prayer.
53:50 The Savior is waiting.
53:52 But He's not going to wait forever.
53:54 Noah had a certain amount of time left.
53:57 We all have a certain amount of time left.
54:00 As the Savior is waiting, why don't you let Him come in?
54:05 Let pray as Jackie sings this song.
54:08 The Savior is waiting to enter your heart,
54:17 why won't you let Him come in?
54:24 There's nothing in this world to keep you apart;
54:32 what is your answer to Him?
54:39 Time after time He has waited before,
54:47 and now He is waiting again,
54:53 to see if you're willing to open the door.
55:03 O how He wants to come in.
55:10 Friends, as you think about those words tonight,
55:12 you may be watching, you may be listening to the program,
55:15 I believe there's somebody here tonight that wants that
55:18 life that Jesus wants to give to you.
55:21 And I'm going to open the doors of the church,
55:23 if there's somebody here tonight that wants what you don't have;
55:28 an abundant promise, a new life...
55:30 You may have been doing religion for a long time,
55:35 but you want to put down the way that you have been doing
55:37 religion and you want Christ to come into your life tonight,
55:41 why don't you just come down here and join me?
55:43 I want to pray for you tonight.
55:45 Wherever you are, don't ask about anybody,
55:46 don't look for anybody else.
55:48 The doors of the church are open tonight
55:52 if there's somebody here that wants that walk in Jesus Christ.
55:57 You might say as Nicodemus,
55:59 "I've been religious a long time.
56:01 I've been keeping the Sabbath a long time."
56:04 But I'm saying to you tonight,
56:06 your brand, the way you have been living
56:09 that only you and God knows,
56:11 tonight you want that new beginning in Christ.
56:16 I'm praying that the Lord will speak to your heart tonight.
56:20 Not anybody else?
56:21 Don't worry about all the thing that you don't yet understand.
56:23 The Lord will make that clear to you.
56:26 But if tonight you want a new beginning in Christ,
56:28 as Jackie sings this song again, please just come down front.
56:32 Prayer with me. Just come on down.
56:33 Wherever you are, young person, older person,
56:35 God is opening the doors of the church to you tonight.
56:39 If you'll take one step toward the Savior, my friend...
56:46 ~ Just come wherever you are.
56:47 ...you'll find His arms open wide.
56:54 Receive Him, and all of your darkness will end;
57:01 within your heart He'll abide.
57:08 Time after time He has waited before,
57:15 and now He is waiting again,
57:22 to see if you're willing to open the door.
57:32 Oh, how He wants to, oh, how He wants to,
57:41 oh, how He wants to come in.