Revelation of Jesus Christ


Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Kenneth Cox


Series Code: RJC

Program Code: RJC000006

00:20 Welcome to this presentation
00:23 of Revelation of Jesus Christ.
00:27 And we are looking at the sixth presentation
00:32 that we've done so far
00:34 if you followed us each one of those.
00:36 We're to the fifth church
00:39 which is the church of Sardis.
00:43 And so that's what we'll be looking at today
00:47 as we look at the church of Sardis.
00:49 But we hope that as we've gone through each one of these
00:53 that they help you not only see what counsel
00:56 God has for you as an individual
00:59 but it also helps you to understand the church back then
01:02 and helps you understand the church age
01:06 and what is taking place there.
01:08 And so we hope this all fits together.
01:10 And to those of you who are watching by television
01:13 we thank you... glad to welcome you.
01:16 If you're listening on the radio,
01:18 glad that you're tuning in.
01:20 And those that are watching on the Internet
01:22 we hope that these presentations will be a blessing to you
01:26 as we continue to go through the book of Revelation.
01:29 This is a study. This is not entertainment.
01:35 This is a study...
01:38 a study of the book of Revelation chapter by chapter.
01:43 So that's what we're looking at.
01:45 And we hope that as we go through,
01:47 you have your Bibles with you.
01:50 Take your highlighter... highlight some of those texts.
01:53 Write down notes. Begin to put it together
01:56 so that when this series is finished
01:59 you ought to be able to read through
02:02 the seven churches of Asia Minor...
02:05 understand what God was talking about.
02:07 What He was having to say to that church.
02:09 When we're finished with the whole presentation,
02:13 you should be able to read the book of Revelation
02:16 and say: "Yeah, I know what the Lord's talking about here. "
02:19 That's the purpose of it.
02:21 And so we hope that you are following as we continue
02:24 to study the book of Revelation.
02:27 We're very happy each evening to have Chuck Allgaier
02:32 come out and to read the scripture to you.
02:35 And you can either follow in your Bible
02:37 or you can watch it on the screen...
02:39 whichever you want to do.
02:41 But we want you to get an overall picture
02:44 of what Christ is saying to that particular church
02:48 at that time and what counsel it may have to you
02:52 as an individual. So that's the reason we have it read to you
02:56 as he goes through it with you each evening.
02:59 Also, during this particular session
03:01 we've been very happy to have Joe Pearles with us.
03:05 Joe comes from a place called Greenbrier
03:09 which is just outside of Nashville, Tennessee,
03:13 where he raised his family and lived there
03:16 and conducts a music ministry traveling all over this country
03:21 and out of the country singing and praising the Lord.
03:26 And it's always wonderful to have Joe come and sing for us.
03:29 And today he's going to sing a song entitled
03:32 Something Good is Happening in Galilee.
03:36 But before he does,
03:37 Chuck Allgaier is going to come and read the Word of God to you.
03:47 If you have your Bible with you,
03:49 would you like to turn to the book of Revelation
03:52 chapter 3 verses 1 through 6.
03:56 That's Revelation chapter 3 verses 1 through 6.
04:00 Let us read:
05:34 When He was 12 He was found
05:38 in the temple
05:42 confounding
05:45 Jerusalem's wise men.
05:51 But from then till He was 30
05:55 and was baptized by John
05:59 we don't see Him in God's story
06:04 again.
06:08 What was Jesus doing
06:13 before His ministry began
06:17 but making plans to save
06:22 you and me
06:26 and growing in favor
06:30 with God and with man.
06:34 Something good was going on
06:38 in Galilee.
07:00 Was He often on the street
07:05 there in Nazareth
07:08 as He was in the town
07:13 synagogue?
07:17 Do you suppose He was happy
07:21 or was He mostly alone?
07:26 This young man whose real Father
07:31 was God.
07:34 What was Jesus doing
07:39 before His ministry began
07:43 but making plans to save
07:48 you and me
07:52 and growing in favor
07:56 with God and with man.
08:01 Something good was going on
08:05 in Galilee.
08:09 Something good
08:11 was going on
08:14 in Galilee.
08:36 Our gracious Lord,
08:39 we come to You today
08:43 praying, Lord, that we
08:46 might make sure, Lord,
08:50 that our lives are committed to You.
08:55 That they may be filled with Your Spirit.
08:59 That we might know Your presence.
09:02 Help us, Lord, to be alive.
09:06 To be active.
09:09 Carry forth their message and prepare our hearts and our souls
09:15 for Your soon return.
09:18 For this we ask in Christ's name, Amen.
09:26 Well, step by step
09:29 we are going through the different churches.
09:32 Started out with Ephesus
09:34 talking about this church that had a problem...
09:38 it had left its first love.
09:40 And then we looked at Smyrna which
09:43 went through a great amount of suffering...
09:46 and yet no rebuke.
09:49 Christ talked about what she had done.
09:52 Told her to be faithful.
09:54 But there was no rebuke to that church.
09:57 And then we looked at Pergamos,
09:59 this church that finds itself elevated.
10:04 And we find the inroads of the world and the state
10:08 coming into the church.
10:10 Then we took a look at Thyatira
10:14 and we found out that as the world moved into the church
10:18 much of what she held she lost.
10:22 What she faced at the beginning of the Reformation.
10:27 And now we're taking a look at Sardis here... the 5th one.
10:32 And He addresses the church and says:
10:38 To this particular church... writing and giving them counsel
10:43 as to what is happening.
10:45 This word Sardis means that which remains.
10:51 And that's very, very important
10:54 because of the situation of that church at that time:
10:58 that which remains.
11:00 As you can see on the map, we've come from Ephesus
11:06 up to Smyrna, Pergamos... all along the coast
11:09 of the Aegean Sea.
11:11 Then we moved to the east and a little south to Thyatira
11:15 and now we're moving a little farther east
11:18 and a little farther down to that of Sardis.
11:21 But when you come down here and you start over to
11:27 Sardis, all of a sudden you come to a large mountain.
11:33 Mount Tmolus rises 6,700 ft.
11:39 from the plain there. And as you get over close to the mountain
11:43 and approach it, up on the edge of the mountain
11:47 partly up on the side of the mountain about 1,500 ft.
11:51 you find the city of Sardis.
11:54 That's where it was built.
11:56 Behind there you can see... these are the ruins
11:59 and behind of it you can see the fog there...
12:01 but there's Mount Tmolus back behind it.
12:05 This is where Sardis was built.
12:08 This was a Lydian city
12:12 built about 1100 BC was when it started and all.
12:18 And it was... it became the capital of the Lydian Empire
12:23 and was an extremely wealthy city
12:26 and really governed the whole part of the world
12:30 at that time from Lydia.
12:33 And it was a very, very important part.
12:38 Went there... and there they carried on their activites
12:43 and operated the government and all from that.
12:47 Since it was built here on this
12:51 side of the mountain
12:53 the embankment that came up there was almost perpendicular.
12:59 I mean, and the only way you could get to Sardis
13:03 was through a narrow passage up that.
13:06 And it was easily guarded and was considered impregnable...
13:10 that you couldn't possibly get into it.
13:13 The only problem with that is
13:16 is when you have something like that
13:19 and you think something can't change or can't be overtaken
13:23 or it's impregnable or whatever,
13:25 you have a tendency to be over-confident.
13:29 You know. And when Cyrus of the Medes
13:33 came down to where that city was there in the valley
13:38 they saw him there but they didn't pay any attention.
13:41 They figured it was impregnable;
13:43 that nobody could get to them; that they were all right.
13:47 And one of Cyrus's soldiers
13:51 went over that night to the edge of the mountain
13:56 and was just studying it... trying to figure out
13:59 how they might could get into the city.
14:01 And while he was there, he noticed some soldiers -
14:06 Lydian soldiers up there in the city -
14:09 talking and laughing. And while they were, one of them
14:13 dropped his helmet, and his helmet fell over the embankment
14:18 down quite a little ways.
14:20 And he watched this soldier come down the embankment
14:26 through a pathway that they didn't know about...
14:30 came down and got his helmet and went back up.
14:34 And he went and got the soldiers and followed that same thing
14:38 back up into the city. And they overthrew the city
14:43 of Sardis.
14:44 Over-confident, see?
14:47 So often we can be over-confident.
14:52 I hear - and I'll say a little more about this -
14:56 but I hear church members say:
15:00 "Oh, we've got the truth. "
15:03 Be careful. You know, there's a great, great danger
15:08 in being so confident that I don't give study,
15:14 I don't give care of the truth that I should.
15:17 Very, very important.
15:19 Also, this was where most historians will tell you
15:23 that money was invented - coin money - was invented.
15:28 And you're looking at a coin that was minted at that time.
15:32 And this was where it came into use
15:35 and exchange was in this city of Sardis
15:38 where they began to use coin money.
15:42 So Sardis had a lot of things that was very interesting,
15:46 very helpful, and gave impetus
15:51 to the world's wealth and direction.
15:54 Now He comes to His identification.
15:56 Christ is identifying Himself to them, and He says:
16:07 You see, it's the Holy Spirit -
16:10 the seven Spirits, the Spirit of God -
16:12 and that word star, folks, refers to messenger -
16:18 it refers to minister. And I can tell you
16:22 it's only when the Spirit of God
16:25 fills a person that he shines.
16:30 Put it down. It doesn't work any other way.
16:33 Without the Spirit of God it's dead.
16:36 It's the Spirit of God that comes in
16:38 and makes the difference, lights up the person's life.
16:42 That's what it does. He - Christ - is the One
16:45 that has the seven Spirits and the seven stars.
16:48 And so what is the condition of the church at Sardis?
16:54 What do we find?
17:06 All of the churches...
17:09 all four of the churches that we have looked at...
17:14 when we come to this part here where He talks about
17:17 the condition of the church He has commended them,
17:21 but this one He condemns.
17:26 He says: "You have a name that you are alive
17:29 but you are dead. "
17:32 Something very, very drastically has happened.
17:36 They have lost their spiritual experience.
17:39 They have lost their experience with Christ.
17:42 They are spiritually no longer alive.
17:46 Now... church age. Uh, again I must emphasize
17:51 this is talking about an age.
17:54 Really when we say beginning about 1700 AD
17:57 that really laps back into the other age
18:02 because there's several things that happened back then
18:04 that brought about the condition of the church here.
18:07 And there's some things in 1800 that take place
18:10 that lap into the next one. So don't try to tie it down
18:14 to an exact date... but it represents an age.
18:18 The dates that I give you there are just to kind of give you
18:21 an idea of the time slot that it fits in.
18:26 But this was the period of time that several things happened -
18:30 that take place - that typify the church of Sardis
18:34 and what happened as far as the church age is concerned,
18:38 and we will talk about that.
18:40 You see, as you read
18:43 about the church of Sardis
18:47 God doesn't say a word about there being a Jezebel.
18:51 He doesn't say anything about there being a Balaam.
18:55 He doesn't say anything about there being the Nicolatians.
18:59 You don't read any of that about that in the church of
19:03 Sardis. Why not?
19:06 I mean, this church is existing.
19:09 Why... why doesn't He talk about this and say
19:12 "these are problems with this church? "
19:15 He doesn't. And the reason He doesn't, folks,
19:19 as far as the church age is concerned
19:22 the Reformation has cleared all that out.
19:25 I mean, those men have got up and they have preached
19:29 and they've cleared all that kind of stuff out.
19:31 And so through the preaching of Luther
19:34 got up and told the people that they found faith
19:39 in Jesus Christ and it was in their commitment to Him
19:42 their acceptance of Him... and he preached
19:44 the gospel to those people and he cleared out all those
19:47 teachings of Gnosticism and all that... got rid of them.
19:52 Along came Calvin, along came Knox
19:55 and Zwingli and all that
19:57 and they cleared that out in the Reformation.
20:00 These people had the truth; they knew what it was.
20:03 It was clear,
20:06 and that had all been done.
20:09 So this is... this is why you don't read anything about
20:14 Jezebel or Balaam or Nicolatians.
20:18 Those are all things that they had taken care of;
20:21 the Reformation had cleared all that out of the churches.
20:26 But the Reformation
20:30 was tremendously hard
20:34 on the Catholic church.
20:39 The reason it was is, of course,
20:43 Luther and Knox and Zwingli
20:48 and all those men preached righteousness by faith.
20:53 They taught the people that Jesus Christ was their Redeemer.
20:58 That He was the Mediator.
21:00 That He was their Savior.
21:02 That the church did not save them.
21:03 And they taught them all those truths.
21:06 And secondly they did something else:
21:08 they preached the prophecies of God's Word.
21:12 They stood up and preached about the prophecies.
21:15 They preached Revelation!
21:16 And Luther got up and he said:
21:19 "That beast there in Revelation 13...
21:21 that's the papal power. "
21:23 And preached it and talked about it.
21:25 And those... preaching of those things
21:29 pulled the people out of Catholicism
21:33 and they came out of Catholicism by the thousands.
21:38 Folks, just through the preaching of John Calvin
21:43 500,000 Frenchmen accepted the Reformation.
21:49 So to give you an idea of what was happening,
21:52 these people were leaving and these were...
21:55 many, many of these people were the intelligenci of the country.
21:58 They were teachers and professor and businessmen.
22:01 This is what was coming out and accepting Christ
22:04 and the Reformation and taking their stand.
22:07 And so what had happened had shaken the Catholic church
22:12 clear to the very foundation.
22:16 And because of that, they called what was known as the
22:22 Council of Trent.
22:24 The Council of Trent was to get the church back
22:30 on a solid foundation
22:33 and to meet the problem of the Reformation.
22:38 This was what the purpose of it was.
22:40 And there was a whole group of cardinals
22:43 and archbishops and bishops, deacons -
22:48 these people that were leaders in the Catholic church -
22:51 that said: "Listen, if the Catholic church
22:54 is going to get on a solid foundation,
22:58 it must come back to the Word of God
23:01 and take a stand solidly on the Word of God. "
23:04 This is where it must stand.
23:07 But there was a group of cardinals
23:12 and archbishops and bishops
23:16 that said: "No. " They said: "If the church
23:21 is going to be on a solid foundation
23:23 then it has to build it on the scripture and tradition.
23:27 They have to be equal streams of truth. "
23:35 Well, the Council of Trent
23:38 lasted for 17 years,
23:43 and this was talked about, argued,
23:48 debated, written about... back and forth,
23:51 back and forth for 17 years.
23:57 Finally at the end of 17 years
24:01 the Archbishop of Reggio
24:04 stood up and gave a presentation.
24:09 And in that presentation he argued and he said:
24:15 "If the church is going to stand on scripture
24:19 and scripture alone,
24:22 then she will have to go back to keeping the Biblical Sabbath
24:28 because the keeping of Sunday is based on tradition
24:34 not on the Biblical teaching of God's Word. "
24:40 And the Council of Trent voted
24:45 that it would take a stand on scripture AND tradition.
24:50 And that's where she stood.
24:53 So she took that stand, and since the Reformers -
24:58 Luther and Knox and Zwingli and those men -
25:01 were preaching and were preaching the prophecies
25:05 and saying "this is the antichrist, "
25:09 the folk called in two men... two priests
25:13 by the name of Ribera and Alcazar...
25:16 and he said: "I don't care what you do,
25:19 but get the finger off of us. "
25:22 Those two priests developed two different concepts
25:28 of prophecy. Now the Reformers...
25:31 if you go back and if you want to read about this
25:34 and you want to study it, then I would recommend
25:36 to you a set of books entitled
25:38 The Prophetic Faith of our Fathers by Froom.
25:41 And He will trace that for you
25:43 step by step so that you can see.
25:45 But the Reformers... they were preaching what is known
25:48 as the historical view of prophecy.
25:51 That's what they were standing for.
25:53 But these two priests developed a view called the Predister view
25:57 and the other was called the Futurist view.
26:00 The Predister view just takes the prophecies
26:03 and sticks them all in the past
26:06 and says they've already been fulfilled.
26:09 They don't have reference to us today.
26:12 And there's still some of that around today, folks,
26:15 that teach that. That that's all been fulfilled;
26:17 it doesn't apply to us today.
26:19 But it didn't really catch on very strong.
26:22 But the other one developed what was known
26:25 as the Futurist view.
26:27 But what he said - and you need to follow me carefully -
26:31 because what he said is:
26:34 "Everything after the 4th chapter of Revelation
26:40 is future. "
26:43 Now when we finish this session on the chuches
26:47 we're going to be starting with the 4th chapter of Revelation.
26:50 And you need to see that and understand it
26:52 because he's saying: "everything from that point on
26:55 is future and the church is going to be raptured out of here
26:59 and it doesn't have any reference to you and I...
27:02 we don't have to be concerned about it
27:04 because we're not going to be here. "
27:06 That idea caught on, and it moved across Europe
27:12 and brought about what was known in history
27:15 as the counter-Reformation.
27:18 And it stopped the growth of the Reformation.
27:24 I'll assure you, it was never God's intention
27:28 that the Reformation would stop in the 1700s.
27:34 It was God's intention that that Reformation
27:37 was to continue on. And it makes reference to that
27:40 here in the church of Sardis.
27:42 I'm giving you this background because you need to understand
27:45 what killed it... what says "you're dead. "
27:49 Because all of a sudden these things begin to be preached
27:53 and people begin to have doubts about what they believed.
27:57 And they began to accept it, and it began to change things.
28:00 Two churches that received no praise:
28:06 Sardis and Laodicea.
28:10 We read about Sardis,
28:14 but as far as the church age is concerned
28:18 we live today in Laodicea.
28:22 If the church in Laodicea doesn't have any praise,
28:28 then you and I better take a good, close look at ourselves
28:36 and ask ourselves some very very pointed questions
28:39 about our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ
28:43 and where we stand... because He has no praise.
28:46 In fact, to be honest about it, He says the church of Laodicea
28:50 "makes Me sick" is what He says.
28:53 So you and I need to look at that.
28:55 Well let's see what He says the problem is.
29:08 "Be watchful, strengthen the things that remain...
29:16 they're ready to die. "
29:18 You see, as time passed on
29:22 and as these Reformers died and fell off
29:25 the others that came on didn't carry the same burden;
29:28 they didn't carry on.
29:29 Just as you are sitting here tonight or watching on
29:32 television or listening on the radio
29:35 forefathers believed and taught and all, and they
29:39 stood for it and it was precious in their sight.
29:41 Do you feel the same way about it?
29:46 That's the question you need to ask yourself:
29:48 do you feel the same way?
29:50 Is it a burning power and passion in your life
29:54 or is it just something you do?
29:57 Because it needs to be there.
29:59 This is what they believed, this is what they taught...
30:01 and these people didn't. And therefore He said:
30:04 "It's ready to die for I have not found your works
30:07 perfect before God. "
30:10 You know, it's one thing to be
30:15 religious...
30:18 The Pharisees, the scribes:
30:23 they were religious.
30:47 You see, exterior religion
30:51 isn't worth anything, folks.
30:54 Exterior religion isn't worth anything.
30:58 If it doesn't touch your heart,
31:01 if it doesn't speak to you in your soul,
31:07 then it's strictly on the outside.
31:10 It's like whitewashing a tomb.
31:14 That has to be real.
31:17 It has to count; it has to work in our lives in a special way.
31:33 You know, I... summer before last
31:37 I spent some time in Europe.
31:40 I can still remember going to Wittenberg
31:45 and going into Martin Luther's church.
31:50 And as I walked into the church the organist was playing
31:55 A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.
32:00 And I can remember the chills that it sent up my spine
32:05 as I listened to that and stood in that church
32:08 and the mightiness of it all.
32:12 But after it was over and I walked through that church
32:18 I realized it wasn't anything but a museum.
32:23 That's all it was.
32:25 All the fervor, all the belief,
32:29 all the things that they hoped for,
32:32 all the things that they stood for... was dead.
32:36 No more! It had died!
32:42 As you go throughout Europe
32:45 and you visit these mighty cathedrals
32:48 all they are, folks, is just museums.
32:51 And some of them are graveyards.
32:54 All there... it's all dead. "Having a form of godliness
32:59 but denying the power thereof. "
33:02 No longer do they stand up and say:
33:04 "This is what the Word of God says. This is where we stand.
33:08 We won't be moved. We're not going to compromise.
33:11 We're not going to give up on the Word of God. "
33:14 They don't stand there anymore.
33:16 In fact, most of them are afraid to say anything.
33:23 God says this isn't what He wants.
33:28 You and I need to come back. Says:
33:35 If we aren't, He's going to come upon you and upon me
33:41 as a thief.
33:50 Now I... I just want to say here
33:56 if it happened back then, I can assure you it can happen today.
34:05 And if these people who stood for... so staunchly
34:11 for the truth in the days of Luther and Knox and Zwingli
34:15 and Calvin and those men
34:18 and today are willing to compromise what they believe
34:24 or even willing to go contrary to what a clear
34:27 "thus saith the Lord" says
34:29 then I ask you:
34:35 Can we be in the same position
34:38 that we are willing to compromise our belief
34:41 and say: "it's not that important? "
34:47 Are you watching?
34:49 Are you strengthening the things that remain?
35:04 "Watch out! Make sure that nobody deceives you. "
35:12 I can remember
35:14 being in the church... preaching in a church
35:19 and preaching on the second coming of Christ
35:25 and about the soon return of our Lord.
35:30 And when it was over the pastor told me... he said:
35:33 "Don't you ever preach a sermon like that in this church.
35:39 I don't want my people thinking that Jesus is coming. "
35:48 Dear friend, let me tell you something:
35:51 you can give up the belief, but He says:
35:58 "Take heed that nobody deceives you. "
36:00 Are you spending time in the Word of God?
36:07 Are you too busy today to have worship?
36:13 Are you taking time in the morning and in the evening
36:18 to have worship?
36:21 Or are you so busy you just don't have time to do that?
36:26 Those of you that have children
36:29 are you making sure that child
36:33 understands that to you that is the most important thing
36:40 is to have worship with them?
36:42 That that should be ahead of any other thing
36:47 that you worship God together.
36:52 Are you spending time in prayer?
36:58 Oh, I'm not talking about saying grace at the meal.
37:05 And I believe in that... don't misunderstand me.
37:08 But I'm asking you: do you take time to pray?
37:12 Are you conversing with your Lord?
37:17 Are you talking to Him?
37:19 Are you visiting with Him?
37:23 Are you inviting Him into your life
37:26 to change you and to make you different?
37:30 Are you taking time just to praise Him?
37:36 This we are to be doing.
37:40 I put down just some things that I feel that the church
37:45 of Sardis did that you and I need to be very careful
37:49 of today. And one is self-righteous.
37:56 Be careful, friend, be careful.
38:00 I'll assure you, if your relationship is right
38:05 with Jesus Christ then you won't feel
38:10 self-righteous. I'll assure you.
38:13 That relationship just doesn't promote that.
38:17 It changes that, and there's no such thing
38:21 as being and feeling self-righteous
38:23 if your relationship's right with the Lord.
38:26 Self-importance.
38:29 Like I said, you know: "Oh we've got the truth. "
38:33 You know?
38:36 I have a sister-in-law who's not a Seventh-day Adventist.
38:42 And I can remember talking about
38:48 being in one of our churches, and she had been there visiting.
38:53 And one of the dear saints asked her, said:
38:56 "Are you one of us? "
38:59 You know? You know, in other words
39:04 we place self-importance on ourselves.
39:08 We need to be careful and realize
39:11 that you're not here, that you don't have anything
39:16 if it wasn't for Jesus Christ.
39:18 You and I have nothing to offer.
39:21 It's only through Him that we do.
39:23 Pride in the possesion of a knowledge of truth,
39:27 which they fail to practice.
39:30 I have a knowledge of the truth,
39:33 but I don't practice it.
39:36 No. If you're not walking the talk
39:42 then dear friend, let me tell you something:
39:45 your witness is considered nothing.
39:50 Absolutely nothing!
39:54 You and I must practice what we believe.
39:59 I cannot say: "This is what I believe
40:02 and this is how I act. "
40:06 That won't work.
40:08 You've got to put both of them together.
40:11 And only when you put them together...
40:14 only then will people believe you.
40:17 They won't believe you otherwise.
40:20 You can say all you want to
40:21 about "this is what I believe, "
40:22 but if they see your actions are over here
40:24 they're going to believe your actions.
40:26 That's what they're going to believe.
40:28 So I need to be careful about the truth... what I possess.
40:33 Well, let's see what counsel He gives to the church of Sardis.
40:56 You see, if you and I don't watch,
41:00 we're not going to be ready.
41:04 I will never forget when I was at the Seminary
41:09 in Washington, D.C.,
41:11 the teacher gave us an assignment.
41:14 The assignment was that we were to visit five churches
41:17 in the D.C. area and out of that five
41:22 pick one and to write a paper about that one.
41:27 We were to write when the church started.
41:29 We were to write about what their mission was.
41:31 What kind of missionary activities there had been,
41:34 what they had done, and all about their past.
41:37 And so I visited five different churches,
41:40 and I found one that I particularly liked -
41:43 very, very beautiful church -
41:45 and I decided that's the one I'd write the paper on.
41:51 I went to their church library.
41:56 I looked up everything I could find about the church
41:59 and studied the whole history of that church...
42:03 and wrote my paper about it.
42:05 But I just wasn't really satisfied.
42:10 Particularly for the last ten years of the church
42:13 I just didn't feel like I had enough information.
42:17 So I decided to go back and visit the church. Now folks,
42:21 this is a beautiful, beautiful church in Washington, D.C.
42:25 I mean, it's a beautiful structure.
42:30 It looks like a church.
42:32 And when you get there, I can still remember
42:36 when you walk in the front door
42:39 you're met by the deacons.
42:41 A deacon dressed in a tuxedo -
42:44 I mean they are dressed - he will take you
42:49 and usher you to your seat and give you a church bulletin.
42:55 I went in and had a seat.
42:57 The stained-glass windows in that church are just fabulous.
43:02 And it's one of these churches
43:05 when you walk into it even gives you a feeling
43:08 of sacredness and all, you know.
43:11 And went in and had a seat
43:14 and looking at all the beauty of that gorgeous church
43:18 and pretty soon the organist came in and began to play.
43:21 And man, I mean, from the moment he touched the keys
43:27 you could... knew that he was extremely accomplished,
43:32 and the music was beautiful as it came out of that huge
43:36 pipe organ. And after he had played a little while
43:39 the choir began to file in.
43:42 They all filed in and took their place,
43:47 and the moment they sang you could tell this was not
43:52 a choir that practiced once a week.
43:54 I mean, they... their music was fabulous.
43:59 It was just gorgeous, and I sat there... enjoyed it immensely.
44:03 And after that then the minister came out
44:05 and had a wonderful sermon.
44:07 I enjoyed sitting there and listening to it.
44:10 It was a great sermon and all.
44:12 And when the service was all over
44:14 and the deacons ushered us out
44:17 and I was out in the foyer of the church,
44:19 I just stepped over to the side and let people pass by.
44:23 And after a little bit, one of the deacons came over to me
44:26 and said: "Can I help you? "
44:27 And I said: "I hope so. "
44:30 And I told him I was a Seminary student.
44:32 I had been writing a paper on their church,
44:34 and shared some of the things that I had learned
44:36 about their church with him. And I said:
44:38 "What I need to know is I need to know some history
44:41 about the church for the last ten years.
44:43 Can you help me? "
44:44 I said: "For instance, how many people have been brought
44:47 to Christ by this church in the last ten years? "
44:51 And I can remember he hung his head
44:55 and he said: "Not one... not one. "
44:59 You see, it had a name that it was living
45:03 but it was dead.
45:06 You and I can have a name that we're living
45:10 but dear friend, if you're not witnessing,
45:13 if you're not telling other people about Jesus Christ,
45:16 I'm sorry... you're dead.
45:19 Just simply what you and I must do
45:23 if Christ is all and everything to you,
45:28 we need to be telling about Him.
45:30 We need to be preparing our hearts.
45:32 Dear friend, don't let Christ come upon you
45:36 as a thief in the night.
45:38 Because if He comes upon you as a thief,
45:42 you're lost.
45:44 That's what the scripture says.
45:56 Now He doesn't say that everything in Sardis is lost.
45:59 He said: "There's a few names who have walked with Me
46:03 in white... " OK? "They are worthy. "
46:09 These are people that stood for what God's Word said.
46:16 They said: "No, we're going to follow the Word of God.
46:19 We're going to stand here.
46:22 Not going to let teachings that are contrary to scripture
46:27 take us away from God's Word. "
46:29 You need to make sure that you're reading it...
46:33 that you're understanding what the scripture says.
46:36 Spend time in the Word of God, friends.
46:39 And as you read it, God will open it up before you.
46:43 One of the main things is you have to keep your heart open.
46:47 You have to be willing to let the Spirit of God
46:50 guide and lead you, and be willing to walk as He leads you.
46:54 You cannot say: "Well, I understand what that says
47:00 but it's so hard for me to change. "
47:02 It may be hard, but you and I need to surrender
47:07 and let the Holy Spirit do its work in our lives.
47:16 This is how you received; this is how you heard.
47:20 In other words, He's telling you:
47:22 "Get back into the scripture. "
47:25 Believe it; understand it; follow it.
47:36 And I would like to say to those who are watching by television
47:42 or listening on the radio or following on the Internet,
47:45 dear friend, if you have believed
47:49 and have left the Word of God
47:52 and gone off and accepted something different
47:55 than what the Book says,
47:58 then dear friend... come back to what it says!
48:02 Repent and come back and stand on the Word of God.
48:07 God is calling people to do that today.
48:10 And then the promise that He gives:
48:25 Ah, marvelous promise.
48:27 To him who what? Overcomes.
48:31 Dear friend, you and I by the surrendering of our life
48:37 to the Holy Spirit, we must day by day be overcoming.
48:43 That is absolutely important.
48:46 Clothed in white garments,
48:48 and "I'll not blot his name out of the Book of Life. "
48:52 Will be clothed in white garments.
48:59 What a marvelous privilege. Think about that.
49:04 To have Jesus Christ say:
49:08 "Father, John is My servant.
49:14 He follows Me; he obeys Me.
49:17 He's given his life to Me. "
49:20 What a marvelous privilege to have Christ confess your name
49:22 before His Father.
49:25 And it says that if He confesses our name
49:28 then our name is what?
49:32 Entered in the Book of Life.
49:36 Written down in the Book of Life.
49:39 I have a name written down in glory. Amen!
49:44 Marvelous. My name written down in glory.
49:48 Don't have to be in doubt about that, dear friend.
49:51 Just tell you right now...
49:53 if today you've accepted Jesus Christ,
49:55 you've given your heart to Him,
49:57 your name is written down in glory in the Book of Life.
50:01 And because your name is there
50:04 He will confess you before His Father which is in heaven.
50:23 Yes, they're written down in heaven.
50:36 You see your name can be taken from the Book of Life.
50:42 About to be moved out.
50:45 And let me tell you, what makes it taken out of there
50:48 is if you're dead.
50:51 Spiritually you're dead?
50:54 Your name's going to be taken out of the Book of Life.
50:57 So dear friend, don't... don't die spiritually.
51:03 You don't have to.
51:04 Christ will give you life.
51:12 No, doesn't have to happen.
51:22 Marvelous.
51:23 Going to be clothed in white garments.
51:49 White robes given to you and to me.
51:55 White represents purity.
51:59 But let me tell you something:
52:03 it's not your righteousness.
52:07 It's His.
52:19 He has clothed me.
52:21 This is not something that you and I have of our own.
52:25 It's a garment that Jesus Christ gives us.
52:35 He puts that robe on you and covers you
52:40 and your sins are seen no more!
52:44 That Jesus Christ does for us.
52:53 He will confess us before His Father and His angels.
53:03 You see, it's His righteousness friend.
53:09 Not yours.
53:11 It's His righteousness that counts.
53:15 It's His worth.
53:19 Our righteousness is as "filthy rags. "
53:24 It's... He is the One who is worthy.
53:30 And you and I are counted worthy because of Him...
53:36 not because of us.
53:39 It's His integrity that counts.
53:43 He is the One that can stand before His Father and say:
53:47 "Father, I plead My blood in behalf of this person. "
53:54 Now this is talking about you and me...
53:57 and what our part is:
54:10 Dear friend, when it comes to salvation
54:13 that is totally and completely of God.
54:16 You and I can't add one thing to it
54:20 in any way, shape, form, or fashion.
54:23 That is God's.
54:26 When it comes to our responsibility,
54:29 very simple: obey.
54:32 That's it.
54:34 You and I are to obey... to follow.
54:37 He is my righteousness; He is my salvation.
54:43 And thus He says:
54:51 So, God's Word to the church of Sardis:
54:56 those that had a name that they were living but were dead.
55:00 In our next presentation we'll be covering
55:03 the church of Philadelphia:
55:05 the church of brotherly love.
55:09 May God bless you.
55:10 May you have a great, great day.
55:14 Hello, folks.
55:16 One of my favorite things to do in the springtime
55:18 is to take a walk and look at all the new growth.
55:22 The earth seems so fresh,
55:24 and each tree bursts forth with buds and flowers.
55:27 That reminds me of a parable that Jesus told His followers
55:31 in Luke 21.
55:33 You see, He had just described the events which will happen
55:36 immediately before His second coming.
55:53 But in verse 29 Jesus turns their attention
55:57 to the fig tree.
55:58 And ever since then, budding trees have served as a permanent
56:02 reminder that our time here is very short
56:05 and the second coming is very near.
56:23 Folks, many of these signs are already upon us.
56:27 The earth groans from the greed of those who have
56:30 exploited her resources, ravaged her land
56:34 and destroyed plants and animals and atmosphere alike
56:37 in a selfish pursuit of wealth.
56:40 Have you seen the signs?
56:41 Have you seen men's hearts failing with fear?
56:44 If you haven't, then I'm afraid you're not watching
56:47 very closely. However, the Holy Spirit is hard at work
56:51 and so are many Christians who long for an end to sin
56:55 and look forward to their soon-coming Savior.
56:58 That's why we continue to preach the gospel
57:01 to as many as we can through any means that we can
57:05 as often as we can.
57:08 Our ministry team is supported solely
57:10 by your contributions... and we thank you for your
57:13 faithful prayers and financial support.
57:17 May God richly bless you.
57:19 Please consider what you can do for those who still don't know
57:23 about Jesus. As the Holy Spirit impresses,
57:26 please send your tax-deductible gifts to:
57:40 Thank you for helping us spread the light of God's Word
57:43 through television and radio.
57:44 Your gifts help bring the blessed hope of salvation
57:47 to millions around the world.


Revised 2014-12-17