Participants: Pr. John Lomacang
Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000009A
00:30 The message entitled two roads, how many roads?
00:34 Two roads.
00:36 If you have your Bibles with you
00:37 which I believe you do
00:38 and I know that also we are blessed
00:40 to have the scripture on the screen.
00:43 Go with me to Deuteronomy 30:19.
00:49 Deuteronomy 30:19.
00:54 The word of the Lord says,
00:55 "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you
01:01 that I have set before you..."
01:03 To what?
01:04 "Life and death, blessing and cursing,
01:09 therefore choose life,
01:12 that both you and your descendants may live."
01:18 Bow your heads with me as I go to the Lord in prayer.
01:21 Loving Father in heaven,
01:22 thank You that this directive
01:24 is not just one that begins with two choices,
01:28 but it ends with your direct guidance, choose life.
01:35 Heavenly Father, today
01:38 in a world that is so torn with choices,
01:41 help us to hear
01:42 above the cacophony of distractions,
01:45 the voice of God saying to us, choose life.
01:51 And so today, Lord, take this message
01:53 and bring it to the hearts of Your children
01:56 including my heart,
01:58 that we may hear
02:00 what Your Spirit has to say to us
02:03 this morning in Jesus' name.
02:07 Amen. Amen.
02:10 Number of years ago
02:11 when I was being raised in New York City,
02:13 I've told you the story a number of times
02:16 about my old 1976 Toyota Corona,
02:21 the car that I describe a number of times
02:23 as having cancer on the front fenders,
02:27 you remember that story?
02:28 If you've not heard the story in 1976 I was gifted,
02:34 actually in 1976 I was gifted with a car
02:38 that had already been old.
02:42 And I may get the details of the story,
02:44 it's been so long ago incorrect but the car was a 1976 car,
02:49 didn't get at that particular year,
02:53 but when I got the car I was excited to get it
02:56 because the dad who said he would never buy me a car
02:59 actually gave me money to get that car.
03:02 And I was so desirous of pleasing him that I said,
03:05 "Papa, I could take you anywhere
03:07 you want to go."
03:09 And so he decided one day to challenge me
03:12 and put that request into effect.
03:16 He decided, he wanted to go to camp meeting
03:18 upstate New York.
03:20 We had a camp meeting called the Victory Lake camp meeting
03:23 in Hyde Park, New York.
03:26 And I remember very well taken off that Sabbath morning
03:29 going to camp meeting,
03:30 I had been there a number of times before,
03:32 I'd either gone by church bus
03:35 or we had driven with other friends
03:36 or we had driven ourselves
03:38 and I was so familiar with the road,
03:41 I knew exactly where the camp meeting was.
03:44 Got up early that Sabbath morning
03:46 to get to camp meeting in time for church,
03:49 in time for Sabbath school,
03:50 it was more than just a camp meeting,
03:51 it was a social event.
03:53 All the young people went to camp meeting
03:56 just to hang out with each other.
03:59 And there I was, papa in the passenger seat,
04:01 I'm driving and I said,
04:05 "Papa, I'm so glad
04:06 you're going to camp meeting with me,
04:08 I know the way."
04:10 And on my way up from the major highways
04:12 to the smaller county roads,
04:14 then to the least travel roads,
04:17 then to the one lane road,
04:19 on my way to camp meeting
04:20 I saw all these cars whizzing by me.
04:25 And I could, I remember saying to papa,
04:28 they're on their way to camp meeting
04:29 but they're going the wrong way.
04:32 I saw them all turn off and I said,
04:34 "Papa, good thing you're with me,
04:36 we're going to get to camp meeting before they
04:38 because they're all going the wrong way."
04:41 Hold on.
04:44 So I ended up
04:48 in the main city of Hyde Park, New York,
04:54 and I thought to myself,
04:55 I had done this drive so many times,
05:00 how could I have taken the wrong turn?
05:03 So Papa said, "Did we arrive?"
05:06 I said, "Yes, we did but not where I thought we would be.
05:12 We are in Hyde Park,
05:13 but we are not at Victory Lake."
05:16 Humbled as I was at that very realization,
05:20 I turned around and began my trek back
05:23 and I realized that what point in the road
05:26 I made my wrong turn,
05:28 I made the turn five minutes to easy town
05:32 and I missed the road that I was supposed to take.
05:35 I was on the wrong road
05:37 and I got to Victory
05:41 after everybody else got there.
05:43 I got to Victory late because I made the wrong turn.
05:49 It was a humbling experience
05:51 and I remember from that never to boast again
05:53 that I know the way,
05:55 and so often in our own lives
05:57 we wake up on our day to day lives,
06:00 we wake up on Sabbath morning
06:01 and we believe in ourselves that we know the way,
06:05 only to come up with the reality
06:07 that for that particular day
06:10 we made the wrong turn.
06:16 But I'm so glad that when we make the wrong turn,
06:18 God allows U-turns, can you say amen to that?
06:22 And so this morning we are going to take a journey
06:25 down the road that some of us have been down,
06:28 only to find out and come to the realization
06:31 that in this life nothing matters more.
06:35 Let me say that again,
06:36 nothing matters more than knowing
06:39 that we are on the right road to eternal life.
06:43 I mean, nothing matters more, and as you get older,
06:46 young folk, hold on,
06:49 when you past a certain chronological point in life,
06:53 when the decades begin to add up,
06:57 and you realize that you have more time behind you
07:01 than ahead of you,
07:03 all of a sudden going in the right direction
07:05 makes a difference.
07:09 When you pause to look at your life
07:10 where it has been and where it could be.
07:14 When you begin to measure the world
07:17 against what Jesus has promised us,
07:19 all of a sudden you begin to realize
07:22 that there is nothing in this world
07:25 that we can trade for that eternal kingdom
07:29 that Jesus has gone to prepare for us.
07:32 There's nothing down here.
07:34 I've been to Broadway, I've been to Australia,
07:37 I've been to countries around the world,
07:38 there's not a country
07:40 that my wife and I have touch with our feet
07:42 that we would trade for the kingdom
07:43 that God is preparing for us.
07:47 But you never know that until somehow you find yourself
07:50 going down the wrong road.
07:53 When Jesus stood before the multitude,
07:55 today we're going to consider a 2,000 year appeal
08:00 that Jesus reverberated from His lips.
08:02 He infatuatedly appeal to the hearts
08:04 of those listening to Him
08:06 and He appealed to them
08:09 to not to be deceived by going down the road
08:11 that looks better.
08:14 Everything that looks better is not better.
08:20 Look at Matthew 7:13, the words of Jesus.
08:25 "Going down the road
08:26 that sometimes is designed to look better,
08:29 but really it is not better."
08:33 The Word of God says, Matthew 7:13,
08:36 "Enter by the..."
08:38 What kind of gate?
08:40 "The narrow gate, for wide is the gate
08:44 and broad is the way that leads to destruction,
08:49 and there are many who go in by it."
08:55 Serving the Lord says that
08:57 these two roads mention lead in opposite directions,
09:00 one is narrow and rugged,
09:02 the other is wider and smoother but its end is destruction.
09:07 The smooth road is not always the best road.
09:13 Those that climb mountains know that,
09:14 you can't climb a smooth mountain.
09:17 You cannot, you cannot climb a mountain
09:20 that has nothing rugged about it.
09:22 The roads that are ahead of us,
09:24 in the world Satan has so artistically
09:27 made the world look like, it is a smoother road.
09:31 That's why major cities have
09:32 all adopted the phrase Broadway,
09:35 Main Street.
09:36 When you go to these major cities,
09:38 the lights are bright,
09:39 the entertainment is all around you,
09:42 it's calling to your attention,
09:44 it's giving you the impression that if you go down this road,
09:47 it's the road of fun, and joy, and pleasure,
09:51 but I've been around long enough to know
09:53 that the road that we go down
09:55 and Jesus is not down that road,
09:57 let me tell you brethren, you don't find lasting joy.
10:00 Can you say amen to that?
10:02 You find joy, but it's not lasting joy.
10:04 You find pleasure, but it's like a spike
10:07 and then it just dips as quickly as it took you up.
10:11 I think of the days
10:12 that I spent in my partying life,
10:15 in my night life, in my clubbing life
10:17 and as I walked down my road,
10:19 some of you in your own minds begin to walk down your road.
10:23 I remember being there
10:26 so inoculated by the noise of the club
10:29 that I can actually sit down in front of a speaker
10:32 that is thumping and just go to sleep.
10:37 Sit down in front of a speaker that's thumping,
10:39 that's shaking the wall of the club
10:42 and I could sit down there so benumbed to it.
10:45 Just fall asleep,
10:47 because my body had become
10:49 so inoculated by the things of the world
10:51 that it really didn't have any impact on me any longer,
10:54 but I remember the call of it and, you know, sin has a call.
10:59 Sin has a call, it has a voice.
11:01 It gets you to do things
11:02 that you never thought you would.
11:04 You find yourself going down the road
11:05 you never anticipated you'll be on.
11:09 I can see myself in New York City
11:10 in the freezing winter sitting on the train,
11:13 there's ice on the platform,
11:15 the doors of the train are open, it's freezing
11:18 and there I am sitting shaking,
11:20 shivering on my way to a party or club somewhere.
11:25 Sin holds us and does to us what God never intends.
11:30 But this morning we're going to find
11:31 that there is no road with greater blessings
11:34 than the road that God puts us on.
11:38 These two roads, the travelers on these roads
11:41 are opposite in character, opposite in destination.
11:44 And when you look at the Bible from Genesis to Revelation,
11:47 you'll find that from God's perspective,
11:50 now stay with me,
11:51 you all stayed up during the offering,
11:53 the children story,
11:54 don't let the devil put you to sleep now.
11:57 I have to start getting my water gun,
12:00 wake some of you folk up.
12:02 You'll wake up as soon as I say amen at the end.
12:05 Right now the devil is going to make some of you sleep,
12:08 stay awake.
12:09 Amen, somebody. Amen.
12:11 From God's point of view, there has always,
12:14 there have always been only two classes.
12:19 How many classes?
12:21 From the very beginning Cain offered to God what he pleased.
12:25 Able offered to God what he required.
12:29 From the very beginning,
12:31 there have always been only two classes,
12:34 there is no third class.
12:37 There are saints and sinners.
12:39 The wicked and the righteous.
12:41 The unbeliever, the believer.
12:42 The tares, the wheat.
12:44 The enemies of God, the friends of God.
12:47 The foolish, the wise.
12:49 The ungodly, the godly.
12:51 The wicked and once again the righteous.
12:55 The children of this world
12:57 and the children of the kingdom.
12:59 Those who live according to the flesh
13:01 and those who are led by the Spirit.
13:05 Let me tell you,
13:06 I want to be in the right category,
13:08 what about you?
13:09 This category is the category, let me say it emphatically,
13:13 this is the category that's getting ready
13:16 as Ivor was saying for Jesus to come.
13:20 And I want to tell you the reason
13:22 why the Lord hasn't come yet...
13:25 is because sometimes waiting
13:28 really tests whether or not you're waiting.
13:33 Let me say that again.
13:34 Sometimes you can wait so long that you get tired of waiting.
13:39 Let me encourage you this morning.
13:40 The Lord doesn't want us to just wait,
13:42 He wants us to work while we wait
13:45 for the coming of the Lord.
13:47 If you're busy doing something,
13:49 getting people ready for the coming of the Lord,
13:51 you don't get tired.
13:53 That's why He says in His word,
13:55 "Blessed is the servant
13:57 whom the Lord finds doing when He comes."
14:01 Whereas the Negro spiritual
14:03 keeps so busy working for my Jesus,
14:04 ain't got time to die.
14:07 If you're working for the coming of the Lord,
14:08 if you're getting people ready for the coming of the Lord,
14:11 you are so excited about what you're doing
14:13 that you don't have time
14:16 to rush Jesus to return.
14:23 As every day you wake up,
14:26 there's somebody else that needs to know Christ.
14:30 There's somebody else that needs to know
14:32 that what you have in the relationship
14:33 you have with the Lord is what they need.
14:36 In the parable of the two roads,
14:40 Jackson, they asked the question,
14:41 why is the wider road not the best road?
14:46 The wider road is not always the best road
14:48 because the wider road gives room for man's opinions,
14:52 for false doctrines, for man's preferences.
14:55 The wider road is a road
14:57 that does not have self-denial in mind.
15:01 As you notice about it...
15:06 The wide road does not scrutinize.
15:10 The life of the individual on the wide road,
15:12 we can do whatever we want on the wide road,
15:15 but when we get on the road that leads to eternal life,
15:19 there is a peering down, there is a decluttering.
15:22 Just a few weeks ago,
15:24 my wife and I started a project.
15:25 We've been now working diligently
15:28 to declutter our homes.
15:30 Some of you may have remember the sermon,
15:31 "A Clutter".
15:33 Remember that sermon, "Clutter".
15:35 We've been decluttering our lives,
15:38 and we are surprised to see that there are,
15:42 there were things in our house
15:44 that we didn't even know were still there.
15:47 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
15:49 But there is stuff in your house
15:50 that you don't even know is there,
15:52 you haven't touched it for at least two years
15:56 and what makes it even so,
15:57 what makes it even worse for us
16:01 is we have a shed
16:02 that's just about as big as our house.
16:06 Now it's not our house, it's not our shed,
16:10 but it would have helped if the shed was a lot smaller.
16:14 You notice the more space you have,
16:15 what happens?
16:17 The more clutter you have.
16:19 And so we have this new commitment,
16:20 we said, Lord, as soon as spring is official,
16:26 we're going to get one of those big green dumpsters
16:30 and I go from about here...
16:38 to here.
16:40 And we're going to get our gas masks or dust masks.
16:46 Get a rag to cover our heads 'cause I want to tell you,
16:51 if you spend any time in a shed
16:53 that all you do is collect junk, you know,
16:55 there is anything and everything in there.
16:59 That's the road that is broad.
17:01 It gives you room to take anything
17:03 and everything with you.
17:05 We can't... Let me say that.
17:07 We cannot take anything we have on this earth to heaven
17:11 but our character and secondly,
17:14 those that we have touched for Jesus.
17:20 So when you consider the contrast
17:21 between the sinner and the saint,
17:24 the wicked and the righteous,
17:25 consider also that in the midst of all of this unauthorized,
17:32 there is a longing in the heart of Jesus
17:35 that's expressed by a man who knows
17:38 what it's like to be redeemed.
17:40 2 Peter 3:9, notice what He says,
17:43 when God looks at the broad picture of the world
17:46 in which we live.
17:47 Listen to the heart of Jesus.
17:49 Here's what he said,
17:51 Peter the redeemed fisherman says,
17:53 "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,
17:59 as some count slackness, but..." He is what?
18:03 "Longsuffering toward us, not willing that..."
18:08 "Any should perish
18:10 but that all should come to repentance."
18:12 That all should come to repentance.
18:16 How many?
18:18 You know, what I love about the Lord?
18:19 He's not willing to give up any of us to the enemy.
18:26 I think sometimes,
18:28 we're more willing to give ourselves to the enemy
18:30 than Jesus is to forfeit us to the enemy.
18:33 Because we're the ones going down that road,
18:36 but the goodness of God allows us time
18:40 and opportunity to examine ourselves,
18:43 and I don't want to tell you how old I am,
18:46 you probably already figured it out.
18:50 I'm past 40...
18:58 But the longer, the longer I live,
19:04 I got to say this, this is, the longer I live,
19:07 we've got, my wife and I have a new saying,
19:09 we are living with eternity in view,
19:14 not just heaven in view,
19:18 but eternity in view.
19:21 Come on, somebody.
19:23 You know, why?
19:24 Because you got to look,
19:26 when I was taking driver's head,
19:28 they always say look ahead of you.
19:31 Look as far ahead of you as your eyes can see.
19:34 They said don't look at the things
19:35 that are near to you.
19:36 In this world everything that's near to me
19:40 loses its hold on me
19:42 the longer God gives me the privilege
19:45 to travel this road called Christianity.
19:48 You know, you buy things, you get excited when you buy,
19:50 given a few days or few weeks,
19:52 all of a sudden it loses its hold,
19:53 and then the new thing come out and they send these magazines,
19:56 and I know why they do it.
19:58 If you love electronics,
19:59 all the electronic companies send you magazines.
20:01 Anybody know that?
20:03 If you like shoes, the Macy's catalog shows up.
20:06 Whatever you like,
20:07 they send catalogs to your house.
20:09 They gauge what you buy in Walmart.
20:11 When you go to Kroger, "Can I get your phone number?"
20:13 They track you,
20:15 they market to keep you inoculated
20:17 and connected to the world,
20:19 but the more you look in the distance,
20:21 the more you realize,
20:23 that what's on this side of the road
20:25 and what's on that side of the road
20:27 loses its appeal
20:29 when you keep your mind fixed on the eternal road.
20:34 Living with eternity in view.
20:36 One of the reasons why the road is broad.
20:40 In Signs of the Times, July 22, 1904,
20:43 Ellen White says,
20:45 "There is no need to search for the path
20:48 that leads to destruction."
20:49 You don't have to search for it because the path is wide,
20:52 the way is broad, and then she says,
20:55 "And the feet turn naturally into the path
20:58 that ends in death."
21:01 One preacher once said,
21:03 "All you've got to do to be lost is do nothing."
21:10 Don't have to try to be lost,
21:12 you just don't have to try to be saved.
21:15 All you've got to do to be lost is do nothing.
21:20 You don't have to do anything wrong to be lost,
21:24 just do nothing to be saved
21:27 'cause whether we know it or not,
21:28 we are all born on this broad road
21:32 that says to us do whatever, live however,
21:37 eat however, dress however, think however,
21:42 watch whatever, speak however, listen to whatever,
21:46 do whatever and just enjoy your life.
21:50 And even our country,
21:51 life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
21:56 And people today, I'm not happy.
21:59 What if the aim of God was not to make you happy
22:02 but to make you holy?
22:10 Happiness comes as a result of a holy life
22:16 and that kind of happiness is not caffeine supported,
22:20 it's God's holy blood supported.
22:24 Let me tell you why I said caffeine
22:26 because you get the spikes, you know,
22:27 the world give you spike happiness.
22:30 You get happy and all of a sudden the movie ends,
22:33 you take the video back, sorry, you take the DVD back.
22:39 And like you say, "Well..."
22:42 And then next thing you hear part 2 is coming out next May.
22:50 I remember growing up,
22:52 some of you might remember this,
22:54 you know, we used to be sinners.
23:01 Every now and then we go peruse YouTube
23:03 and see Die Hard, Bruce Willis.
23:07 Die Hard with a vengeance.
23:10 Then Die Hard with a vengeance on steroids.
23:13 Then Die Hard with a vengeance in Africa.
23:16 I mean, they did part 1, part 2, part 3
23:19 that the movie makers know how to keep us drugged,
23:22 come on somebody.
23:24 They know how to get us and, you know,
23:25 I found out,
23:27 I found out as somebody had revealed to me,
23:31 young man I did an interview with,
23:33 he said the movie makers today,
23:36 they literally experiment on people's minds.
23:42 They invite people into their,
23:46 what I might refer to as their laboratories
23:49 where they measure your mental responses
23:53 to what you see on the screen
23:56 and they measure certain portions of your brain to see,
23:59 if this portion gets more red,
24:02 they know that they are really scaring you.
24:05 But if they don't see as much impact
24:07 on that portion of your brain,
24:08 I'm not a doctor so I'm calling this portion.
24:12 If that portion is not as red as they like,
24:15 they know they have to amp up the frightfulness of it
24:18 until they get you to a point of almost terrified
24:21 and that's why kids nowadays,
24:23 I've heard some young people say,
24:24 I asked some young people they said,
24:25 do you watch scary movies?
24:27 They said,
24:28 "Oh, we like them really scary."
24:31 And you know what happens?
24:33 You cannot enjoy the outdoors like here in Thompsonville
24:35 because your greatest enemy is not what's outside
24:38 but what's inside.
24:39 We have people that visited us from New York City,
24:42 came to our house,
24:44 you've been to our house before.
24:45 The driveway and the doorway is not that far away
24:49 and they asked us to walk them to their car.
24:53 I said, "Walk you to your car, you are from New York?"
24:56 They say, "Yes, we can't see out here."
25:00 I was like that's all the more reason
25:01 why you don't have to worry about anything.
25:03 What you can't see won't hurt you.
25:06 They said, "Now, come on, walk me to the car."
25:07 And they were serious.
25:10 I said you're from New York and you're afraid out here.
25:15 You know what it is?
25:17 It's what's in here that messes with us.
25:19 The devil wants to control this.
25:21 If he can control this,
25:23 he can keep you on that broad path.
25:28 And that broad path contains every distraction
25:32 that keeps us from thinking about eternity
25:36 on that broad road.
25:38 Notice, look at Hebrews 12:1,
25:42 "Therefore we also, since we are..."
25:47 "Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses..."
25:51 Look at this instruction, "Let us lay aside..."
25:57 "Every weight, and the sin
26:00 which so easily ensnares us..."
26:02 Where as the King James Version says,
26:04 "The sin that so easily besets us,
26:08 and let us run with..."
26:11 "Endurance, the race that has set before us."
26:14 In other words, let's break that down.
26:16 We've got to lay aside the sin that makes us fall so easily.
26:27 Got to lay aside our ways,
26:30 our will, our wrong habits.
26:35 We've got to lay aside our un-Christ like traits.
26:40 I think one of the reasons that
26:42 we don't see this is clearly as God intends for us to see it is
26:45 because the thing that is
26:46 in the way of God's will is our will.
26:50 The thing that keeps us going the wrong way
26:53 or that keeps us going from the right way is our way.
26:57 We'd rather hit this way.
26:58 You've heard the phrase
27:00 we've never done it this way before.
27:03 That's what the human nature does.
27:04 It wants to insist on its own way.
27:07 And if the Bible study
27:09 is not done at a particular time
27:12 or if it's not done at a convenient time,
27:14 then I don't want to be there 'cause it's not my way.
27:17 If you do it my way
27:19 and I almost fell into that trap one day, Bob.
27:21 I almost fell into that trap.
27:23 Lord said, "Don't fall into that trap."
27:24 I actually wanted to do a survey
27:27 that asked people write down
27:30 what's the best time for us to have Bible study
27:33 so that you can show up?
27:35 You know what the Lord said?
27:36 Nobody's going to agree on the same time.
27:40 And I said,
27:41 "But, Lord, how we're going to get people
27:43 to come to Bible studies?"
27:48 He said you can't do anything
27:50 to get them to come to Bible study.
27:53 If they can't come to me first,
27:55 they ain't coming to Bible study.
27:58 If they don't have a relationship with Me first,
28:00 there is no desire to study My word.
28:04 If you're not having Bible study
28:06 in your own house,
28:08 you ain't leaving your house on 32 degrees
28:09 to come and have Bible study in the church.
28:12 So I said, "Okay, Lord, well, spring is coming,
28:15 maybe they'll come out when it gets warmer."
28:16 We've been here spring, summer, winter, fall
28:19 and some of the same saints show up.
28:21 And somebody once said to me,
28:23 "Oh, I watched the program on television
28:25 and I saw some of the same people
28:27 that were there last week, that were there this week."
28:29 You know what I asked them?
28:30 "How come you weren't there?"
28:34 So I'm not asking you to come to Bible studies
28:36 because the issue is not the Bible studies,
28:39 is if you are not connected to Christ,
28:42 then there is no burning desire.
28:44 Bible says,
28:46 "Forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.
28:48 And all the more so,
28:50 seeing that day is approaching."
28:53 When you know that the plane is about to arrive,
28:56 I've seen it at the terminals, you know,
28:58 we go back sometimes we get to whatever the airport,
29:01 the layover is, we get there like three and a half hours
29:03 before the plane is going to leave
29:04 and you go to the gate, ain't nobody there.
29:07 You can sit in any seats you want.
29:10 Ain't nobody there,
29:12 but 20 minutes before the plane is leaving,
29:15 everybody is there, 'cause they know what time,
29:18 half hour, we get on the plane half hour before,
29:21 when we know that it's about time to get on,
29:23 my wife and I know this, we get on, you know,
29:24 we got status with American Airlines,
29:26 we get on 30 minutes before the plane leaves.
29:28 They say our status, we get on and, you know,
29:30 everybody still standing there, we get on,
29:32 we're excited about that, praise God for some privileges.
29:37 But everybody is there,
29:39 and I notice people are ready to get on
29:41 before they even get called.
29:46 I wish people would be that way
29:48 when it comes to coming to church,
29:51 Bible studies.
29:52 See this is tradition right here.
29:54 You just show up on Sabbath, that is tradition.
29:56 It doesn't require very much.
29:59 But to come on the day that's not traditional,
30:02 you got to really want to do that.
30:05 You've got to really want to do that...
30:09 Because there is no third road.
30:12 Matthew 12:30, look at, there is no third road.
30:16 He says, "He who is not..." What?
30:19 "With Me is..." What?
30:20 "Against Me, and he who does not gather with Me
30:25 scatters abroad."
30:30 At least one Bible study in ten years would be great.
30:41 That's why the road to eternal life is so narrow,
30:43 you cannot carry your duffle bag
30:45 of worldly possessions
30:47 or your garbage bag of self-centered ambitions.
30:50 It's a narrow road, it requires us to unload,
30:53 it requires us and just in case,
30:56 I may make it sound like the Christian life is hard,
31:00 don't forget the words of the wise man.
31:02 He said, "The way of the transgressor is hard."
31:06 It's not hard to be a Christian, you know why?
31:08 Because when you give your life to the Lord,
31:09 He moves in and begins to work out His will in us.
31:14 It's effortless,
31:16 because He is the one putting forth the effort.
31:18 All He wants is our participation.
31:20 He says, "Come to me as you ought, come,
31:22 I will not cast you away,
31:24 but then I would come into your life."
31:25 And it is God who begins to work in you both to will
31:30 and to do of His good pleasure.
31:31 God does that, but you'll never know that
31:35 unless you put yourself in the place
31:39 where the Lord can make a difference in your life.
31:41 You know, when you begin to look at the left road,
31:45 the way of death, and the right road,
31:48 the way of life, there is a stark contrast.
31:52 Turn with me the Psalms 1, go there in your Bibles.
31:55 Look at this, Psalms 1 is dedicated
32:00 to letting us know
32:01 that the entire theme of the Book of Psalms is
32:03 just simply two roads, two choices, two destinations,
32:07 two kind of individuals.
32:09 Look at the blessing that comes here.
32:11 The blessing, it's a beautiful passage,
32:13 Psalms 1.
32:16 The Bible begins and by the way,
32:18 the word blessed means happy.
32:21 And I'm reading this in the King James Version
32:24 'cause that's the version that's locked into my mind.
32:29 The Bible says, "Blessed is the man
32:30 that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
32:34 nor standeth in the way of sinners,
32:37 nor sitteth in the seat of a scornful.
32:41 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
32:44 and in his law doth he meditate..."
32:48 How often?
32:49 "Day and night." Now look at the blessing.
32:53 Look at the blessing.
32:55 And I'll be honest before I read this,
32:57 there's not a one of us in here
32:58 that don't need God's blessings in our lives.
33:04 For a little dedication,
33:07 God will pour into your life a ton of blessings.
33:10 Look at the blessing.
33:12 Verse 3, "And he shall be like a..."
33:15 "Tree planted by the rivers of water,
33:18 that bringeth forth his fruit in his season."
33:20 In other words, what you plant is going to happen
33:23 as you plant it because God is going to bless it.
33:27 "His leaf also shall not wither..."
33:29 And look at this,
33:31 "And whatever he doeth shall..."
33:32 What? Prosper.
33:34 Whatever he does that is in harmony with God's will.
33:36 Whatever he does is going to prosper.
33:38 But now look at the contrast, verse 4,
33:42 "The ungodly are not so,
33:45 but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
33:49 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
33:53 nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
33:56 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous
33:58 but the way of the ungodly shall..."
34:01 "Shall perish."
34:04 Let's go down the road of blessings.
34:05 Go to Deuteronomy 28, let's go quickly now.
34:08 Deuteronomy 28, we are reading through the Bible together.
34:12 Deuteronomy 28 has 68 verses,
34:17 14 of those verses are describing
34:22 God's willingness to bless us...
34:32 But 53 verses are describing how God would curse you
34:38 if you don't want His blessings.
34:41 Now I want to tell you this,
34:43 God is not the kind of God that wants to curse you,
34:45 but when you step on, when you step from
34:48 under the umbrella of God's blessings,
34:51 you're gonna get wet.
34:56 You cannot step out from
34:57 under the canopy of God's blessings
34:59 and expect to stay dry.
35:01 So when you read, as you gonna do at home,
35:04 you're gonna go home and read from verse 15 to 68
35:06 and you're going to stop along the way and say,
35:08 "Lord, have mercy.
35:09 Please give me the heart to do right."
35:13 Look at the first blessing.
35:15 Boy, I mean, it's all highlighted, see that,
35:19 it's highlighted.
35:21 You know what? I didn't highlight one curse.
35:26 I didn't highlight one curse
35:28 'cause I ain't planning on getting cursed by God,
35:31 come on somebody.
35:32 I highlighted the blessings,
35:34 I don't need to remember the curses are.
35:40 I read that and I said,
35:41 how did they come up with stuff?
35:45 So I'm happy about the blessings.
35:47 I want the blessings.
35:49 I ain't planning for hell. Amen somebody.
35:53 I'm calibrated, locked in and by God's grace,
35:56 I'm going to make my steps to the kingdom a step at a time
36:00 during the day,
36:01 a day at a time during the week,
36:03 a week at a time by God's grace during the month,
36:06 a month at a time by God's grace during the year
36:08 and before you know it, as the song says,
36:10 we put one foot in front of the other,
36:13 that's all God wants you to do by His grace,
36:15 you can't do it on your own.
36:17 Look at this blessing.
36:19 Look at this blessing, Deuteronomy 28:1-2,
36:22 "Now, it shall come to pass..."
36:24 And when God said, it's going to come to pass, believe me,
36:27 "If you..." What?
36:31 That means meticulously, conscientiously, persistently,
36:37 "If you diligently
36:38 obey the voice of the Lord your God..."
36:43 I got a wake up call from God.
36:45 He said, "John, I mean meticulously.
36:48 I mean conscientiously, I mean persistently,
36:51 I mean thoroughly."
36:54 We keep the commandments but do we do it meticulously
36:57 or conscientiously or persistently?
36:59 He said, "If you diligently
37:01 obey the voice of the Lord your God
37:02 and observe how?
37:06 That means cautiously, wisely, vigilantly, sensibly,
37:10 if you observe carefully, obey diligently,
37:13 look at what He will do.
37:18 "That the Lord your God will set you high
37:21 above all nations on the earth.
37:24 And all the blessings shall come upon you
37:27 and overtake you,
37:29 because you obey the voice of the Lord your God."
37:32 I don't know if you caught that.
37:34 He didn't just say the blessings
37:36 will come upon you,
37:37 He said the blessings will overtake you.
37:39 Your blessings will move faster than you can.
37:42 Come on, somebody.
37:44 How many need a blessing like that?
37:46 The blessings are coming so fast,
37:48 you can't catch them.
37:52 This is not just words,
37:56 this is God's promise.
37:58 He said, I'll bless you so rapidly
38:01 that you won't even be able to catch the blessings
38:03 that are going to come so fast.
38:04 They're going to overtake you. You want an illustration.
38:06 Go down to the beach and try to outrun the waves.
38:19 And He says in verse 3,
38:22 boy, He gets specific.
38:25 This is some good stuff.
38:28 No amen required.
38:33 "Blessed shall you be in the city,
38:36 and blessed shall you be in the country."
38:40 When you go to New York, you gonna find blessings,
38:42 when you go to Thompsonville, you're gonna find blessings.
38:46 No matter where you go, Jim,
38:48 the blessings going to be there waiting for you.
38:53 But then He didn't just say it's going to be there
38:56 just waiting for you,
38:57 He's going to do something with the blessing.
38:59 Verse 4 and 5, look at what He's going to do.
39:03 He says, "Blessed shall be the fruit of your body,
39:06 the produce of your ground,
39:09 you herds, the increase of your cattle
39:12 and the offspring of your flock.
39:14 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl."
39:19 Well, God is in essence saying,
39:21 He says everything you have, everything you have,
39:25 I'm going to bless it.
39:28 Everything you have,
39:30 and when I read that, the reason why...
39:33 And, you know,
39:34 my sister-in-law made this observation,
39:36 praise the Lord for that.
39:39 My sister-in-law made this observation.
39:40 She said, you guys don't just read your Bible,
39:43 you read your Bible.
39:45 I mean, you slowly study it.
39:48 The Bible is like
39:49 a cold drink of water on a hot...
40:00 The Bible is like the best strawberry milkshake
40:03 you can ever have.
40:05 Sorry you vegans, hold on.
40:09 Lacto-ovo. Yeah.
40:12 It's the most refreshing experience you can have
40:15 and when you begin to read the Bible
40:17 and you're looking for God,
40:19 all of a sudden you start noticing things
40:21 that happened in your life.
40:22 You start noticing answers to prayers.
40:25 They come so rapidly that you start saying,
40:27 "Wait a minute, God's got... now..."
40:37 you say, "God's got to be real."
40:41 There's no way that,
40:43 that prayer could have been answered the way it was prayed
40:46 but God did it.
40:51 And I'm beginning to get to the place,
40:53 let me rephrase that.
40:54 We are at the place
40:56 where reading the Bible is exciting.
41:00 You know, why?
41:01 'Cause you want to hear what next God is going to say.
41:05 Now we did read all the curses,
41:07 but I didn't highlight one of them
41:11 'cause I don't need to remember any of them,
41:13 'cause I'm not stepping into the left lane anymore.
41:18 And I'm asking God to keep me out off the left lane,
41:22 we all want to be in the right lane.
41:24 What do you say?
41:26 He says, I'm going to bless every possession you have,
41:28 but that's not, He didn't stop yet.
41:30 He didn't stop there, He says,
41:32 "I'm going to bless even the way you walk."
41:34 Look at verse 6.
41:37 He says, "Blessed shall you be when..."
41:41 What happens?
41:43 "When you come in,
41:46 and blessed shall you be, when..."
41:49 What happens?
41:50 "When you go out."
41:51 You're going to be blessed coming home,
41:53 you're going to be blessed leaving home.
41:55 When you go out, blessings are waiting for you.
41:56 When you come home, blessings are waiting for you
41:59 unless you have never been to the place
42:02 where you have wanted to be blessed,
42:04 you cannot understand the power
42:06 and the promise that are contained in these verses.
42:10 When you live the life that God asks you to live
42:12 and you put this before the Lord.
42:14 Have you ever heard the phrase claiming the promises?
42:19 Say, Lord, you said.
42:22 You said, "Blessed shall I be when I come in,
42:25 and blessed shall I be when I go out."
42:27 Lord, you said, and by Your grace and strength
42:31 I've done my part to Your glory and honor.
42:33 I'm not saying You owe me anything,
42:35 but, Lord, I've done what You asked me to do,
42:38 can You show me Yourself?
42:40 And I tell you, God does it in such a way
42:42 that only if you've been there can you know
42:46 that the blessings are really from God?
42:48 I don't know how you can read these things,
42:51 pray the prayer, ask God by His Spirit
42:53 to lead you in that direction,
42:55 experience this and still wonder
42:58 whether or not God is real.
43:01 There's no way.
43:09 But God didn't stop talking yet.
43:12 Verse 7,
43:14 "The Lord will cause your enemies
43:16 who rise against you to be defeated
43:19 before your face,
43:22 they shall come out against you one way
43:25 and flee before you seven ways."
43:31 I never forgot reading
43:32 what Ellen White talks about in prayer,
43:34 when we did our prayer here.
43:36 Ellen White says that the weakest saint,
43:39 the weakest saint,
43:42 when they call upon God in prayer,
43:44 the weakest saint is more than a match
43:51 of all the evil angels,
43:53 all the evil angels of hell
43:55 can't do anything to the weakest saint
43:59 that calls upon God in time of need.
44:04 You don't have to be able to fight,
44:07 you just got to pray.
44:09 You've got to order your steps and pray.
44:17 That's why I like Proverbs 16:7.
44:21 Solomon ought to know that, he said,
44:23 "When a man's ways please the Lord,
44:27 He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him."
44:33 I remember years ago
44:38 being in the place where God had to fight battles for us.
44:45 And I want to tell you the same Lord that brought us
44:47 through difficulties in our lives is the same God
44:50 that wants to bring every one of us
44:53 through the difficulties in our lives.
44:57 But He can't do it.
44:59 The promise here is when your way,
45:02 when the way you live pleases the Lord,
45:06 He quells the battles around you.
45:09 Remember, you read in the book I think it's 2 Kings where Asa,
45:12 the Bible says, Asa had peace in all the days of his reign
45:16 because he did what pleased the Lord.
45:21 Asa had a change of heart
45:23 and God quelled all of the surrounding nations,
45:26 the Amalekites, the Hittites, the Jebusites, the Hivites,
45:30 the Perizzites, they all tried to come up against Israel
45:33 but God changed their mind
45:35 and their attitude about Israel,
45:37 and they wouldn't even attack Israel
45:39 because God made them not even consider Israel
45:43 that way anymore.
45:45 God changes the mind
45:47 those that will come up against you.
45:49 But God is not done yet.
45:52 Look at verse 8.
45:53 Look at verse 8.
45:55 If you've been wondering
45:56 why many of your problems are unresolved,
45:59 the issues may be your life.
46:02 The divine observation is
46:03 if you live a life pleasing to God,
46:05 He will fight your battles for you.
46:09 Deuteronomy 28:8,
46:12 "The Lord will command the blessing on you
46:14 in your storehouse
46:17 and in all to which you set your hand,
46:19 He will bless you in the land
46:22 which the Lord your God is giving you."
46:24 Who's going to bless you?
46:26 God is.
46:27 God's going to bless you.
46:30 David said it, "I've been young,
46:32 now I'm old, I've never seen the righteous forsaken
46:34 nor their seed begging bread."
46:36 Can I tell you a story?
46:38 Thank you.
46:44 I remember telling you a story years ago
46:46 when I was a young pastor in a church
46:47 up in the mountains of Weaverville, California.
46:49 By the way, they're inviting us to come
46:51 and be the speaker for their 50th anniversary
46:53 and in April, we're going to be
46:55 in the mountains of Northern California,
46:57 way up there in the attic, way up there, way up there.
47:02 Way up there where you can drive off the road
47:03 if you don't stay awake.
47:05 No guardrails.
47:06 Make your stomach hurt driving up there.
47:10 I remember saying that one Sabbath morning
47:14 and I had a $75 charge for insurance
47:17 and God's tithe and offering was $75 and I said,
47:23 "Okay, Lord, I'll pay my insurance
47:24 and I'll give you Your tithes and offerings later."
47:32 When my elder prayed
47:35 and it was about my turn,
47:37 two more stages in the bulletin,
47:39 I said, "Okay Lord, I got it."
47:41 I heard him say,
47:42 "You can't speak for me if you can't trust me."
47:47 And I return to God what belonged to Him
47:49 and God tripled it before the day ended
47:53 with a check that came in the mail
47:54 from somebody I never knew.
47:55 Let me tell you something, that was then
47:57 but throughout our lives, every now and then
47:59 and some of you know what I'm talking about,
48:01 throughout your life, difficulty,
48:02 economic challenges come and God will every now and then
48:05 revisit you with an economic challenge
48:07 to see if you still have the same attitude
48:09 you had 25 years ago.
48:11 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
48:14 So funny it is, I preach this financial sermon,
48:17 preaches financial sermon.
48:18 Remember that, financial sermon few weeks ago,
48:20 making sense?
48:21 Right after that, this unexpected financial,
48:26 I said, "Wait a minute, where did that come from?"
48:30 And I dug down in my finances and made sure
48:36 and it left me skinny on the other side financially.
48:42 I thought, wow, gonna be tight this month, Lord,
48:48 we're going to slide by paper thin.
48:52 And the Lord said, "Remember 1988."
48:57 I said, "I remember 1988."
48:59 He said, "I am the same God, just go ahead and give Me
49:01 what belongs to Me, you'll be just fine."
49:04 And, you know what? That encouraged my heart.
49:06 God tapped me on the back of my head and said,
49:08 "Remember 1988?"
49:09 I remember 1988.
49:11 Go ahead and do what you're supposed to do
49:12 and it'll be all just fine.
49:14 And I would tell you, I could stand here this morning
49:19 God is faithful all the time. Can somebody say amen?
49:22 Verse 9 and 10, let's get this thing done.
49:24 You guys are slowing me down.
49:28 "The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself,
49:31 just as He has sworn to you,
49:33 if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God
49:35 and walk in His ways,
49:37 then all the peoples of the earth shall see
49:39 that you are called by the name of the Lord,
49:42 and they shall be afraid of you."
49:44 Who else can do that but God?
49:47 Verse 11 and 12,
49:49 "And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods,
49:52 in the fruit of your body,
49:53 in the increase of your livestock,
49:55 in the produce of your ground,
49:57 in the land of which the Lord
49:58 swore to your fathers to give you.
50:00 The Lord will open to you His good treasure,
50:06 and to bless all the work of your hand.
50:08 You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow."
50:15 Sometimes God allows adversity to distract us,
50:18 but remember through much tribulation,
50:19 we will enter the kingdom of heaven,
50:21 that's just gonna happen.
50:23 But verse 13 and 14,
50:30 you shall be above only, and not beneath,
50:34 if you heed..."
50:35 Look, "If you heed commandments of the Lord your God,
50:39 which I command you today,
50:41 and be careful to observe them.
50:43 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words
50:47 which I command you this day, to the right or to the left,
50:50 to go after other gods and to serve them."
50:53 God wants to bless us. Who wants to be blessed?
50:56 I am gonna end with the story.
50:59 Story was most tragic story.
51:02 Thanksgiving weekend, 2006,
51:06 husband Jamie, his wife Katie and their daughters,
51:09 7-month-old Sabina and 4-year-old Penelope,
51:15 they were traveling, going to visit family,
51:18 they had had Thanksgiving in Seattle, Washington.
51:20 Jenny, you can come up.
51:22 Right after this we're going to have our closing song.
51:26 They were traveling
51:32 and their plan after that was
51:33 to go down to Gold Beach along the Oregon Coast
51:37 about 140 miles away.
51:39 Never having traveled that way before,
51:42 they left San Francisco on Friday November 17th
51:45 and they did this long drive, they made it to their family,
51:47 they had a wonderful time,
51:49 according to the reports
51:50 after spending the holiday with their family,
51:52 they began this 140 mile trek down
51:55 on their way to Gold Beach,
51:58 off the coast of Oregon.
52:01 Well, the husband Jamie never having traveled
52:03 that way before.
52:06 According to reports,
52:10 Jamie took a wrong turn.
52:13 He was in the unfamiliar back roads of Oregon
52:18 and he took a wrong turn
52:21 and he went on a logging road.
52:24 Well, rather than coming back out of that logging road
52:27 that he had gone down when he realized
52:29 he had gone down the road,
52:31 reports said
52:33 he decided to keep going down that road
52:34 and make another turn
52:37 only to have his wife, himself
52:41 and their two young children stuck on a road
52:45 that was packed with snow
52:47 that does not get plowed until the spring season.
52:52 And there he was
52:54 according to reports
52:56 they were there for a number of days.
52:58 They began to ration their fuel.
53:00 The temperatures began to drop.
53:01 They couldn't find their way out.
53:04 They would run the fuel at night
53:06 when the temperatures drop to keep the car warm.
53:08 They had some pies with them
53:11 that they hail from the family outing
53:13 that they had together at Thanksgiving.
53:15 They had some goodies, some chips,
53:16 some little things for the children
53:18 that they rationed off as they ate
53:21 and the rain and the snow came down in buckets.
53:32 It got so bad, after they ran out of fuel,
53:34 that Jamie said to his wife,
53:37 I got it, Jack, let's take the tires off,
53:39 let's burn the tires for heat.
53:44 They went through one tire,
53:46 a second tire, a third tire, a fourth tire,
53:50 they burned all their tires,
53:51 the car was now flat to the ground.
53:54 And finally, the weather led up.
53:59 And Jamie with just a light jacket
54:01 and his tennis shoes,
54:03 he remembered he said about four miles away,
54:04 there's got to be a town.
54:06 So let me go ahead and take the time,
54:08 It's only four miles away, the weather's pretty nice,
54:10 it's cold but I think I can make it.
54:12 I'll be back tonight.
54:22 Two days later, now after 16.2 miles,
54:28 Jamie's lifeless body was found on a creek.
54:35 A pilot that had his own private helicopter,
54:38 he wasn't a part of a rescue,
54:39 they didn't even know they were missing,
54:41 he was not even part of the rescue team,
54:43 he was just flying around.
54:44 He said, he enjoyed flying,
54:45 he loved to see the wilderness life
54:48 and he saw the mother and her two daughters
54:51 walking on a deserted country road
54:55 and he radioed the local police department
54:59 and they found the mother,
55:02 Katie and the two daughters,
55:04 Penelope and Sabina and they rescued them.
55:09 And they said, what happened to Jamie?
55:10 They said he left two days ago.
55:13 The sad part of the story is,
55:16 when Jamie was found 16.2 miles later,
55:21 he was found one mile short of a winter lodge,
55:26 although it was closed,
55:28 they said they never locked the doors
55:30 because it was so isolated
55:32 It was packed with food,
55:34 clothing and all the supplies he would have needed
55:38 for his family to survive.
55:40 It made the San Francisco newspaper,
55:43 and the tragic part of that story
55:45 is best described by the wise man Solomon.
55:49 There is a way that seems right to a man
55:53 but in the end, it's the way of death.
55:58 Jesus is soon to come.
56:01 Jesus is soon to come.
56:05 As your pastor,
56:08 God has challenged me
56:09 to make sure I'm on the right road.
56:13 And I'm challenging you to go home
56:14 and take inventory of the road you're on.
56:18 It may look like the right road,
56:19 it may be smooth, it maybe the delightful
56:21 and may promise you all the attractions
56:23 that the world can throw your way,
56:27 but as you walk on this unfamiliar road,
56:30 you will not understand until your last step
56:34 that you've been on the wrong road.
56:36 Jesus is soon to come.
56:39 And my appeal to you this morning,
56:41 is there anybody here today
56:42 that wants to make this declaration before God?
56:45 It's not to me, this is to the Lord,
56:47 say Heavenly Father,
56:50 this morning I'm going to take my stand
56:55 because I want to be on that road to eternal life.
56:57 I don't want to chance it anymore
56:59 that maybe I'll get there eventually,
57:02 but I want to be on that road to eternal life.
57:07 If that's a desire that God may bring
57:09 to your heart this morning,
57:10 He may be speaking to you, He may be saying to you,
57:14 you've been on the wrong road for too long,
57:18 it's time to follow Me on the right road.
57:23 If there's somebody here this morning
57:24 that wants to make that dedicated stand,
57:26 want to make that commitment,
57:27 you want to stay on the right road.
57:28 And if you've been on the right road this morning,
57:31 you're standing say, Heavenly Father,
57:33 please keep me on the right road.
57:37 I want my savior to lead me all the way.
57:41 I don't want to be left to wonder
57:43 whether or not my journey is going to be safe,
57:45 I want the savior to lead me all the way.
57:51 And you can do that if you study His word.
57:54 He can do that if you confess your sin.
57:57 He can do that
58:00 if you're tired of the road that brings no satisfaction.
58:02 He can do that.
58:05 And He will do it.
58:06 And the blessings we read, the blessings we read about,
58:09 oh, my brothers and sisters, it's just the beginning.
58:14 He's more willing to bless us than we are willing to live
58:17 that life of blessing.
58:19 Father, lead Your people to live the life of blessing.
58:25 Not just because we look for things,
58:28 but because we're looking for Jesus.
58:31 We thank You for Your forgiveness,
58:33 for Your grace, for Your mercy.
58:35 In the wrong turns that we have taken,
58:36 we thank You that You have come after us,
58:39 Adam, where are you?
58:41 John, where are you?
58:44 When may we hear that longing voice
58:46 that calls us back to the right road
58:49 and may we respond to that voice,
58:51 Heavenly Father, before it is ever too late.
58:58 There are two roads,
58:59 life and blessings, death and cursings.
59:04 And, Father, today we hear You say choose life.
59:09 Lord, lead us all the way.
59:11 And when this journey is done,
59:14 we will meet You in peace.
59:18 We will meet You face to face
59:22 and we pray in Jesus' holy name.