Thompsonville Worship Hour

Capernaum As Metaphor

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: C.A. Murray


Series Code: TWH

Program Code: TWH000021A

00:32 I invite you now to turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 11.
00:35 to Matthew chapter 11.
00:38 Matthew chapter 11, and we want to consider verses 20-24.
01:01 We're expanding it just a little bit.
01:07 Matthew 11:20-24. Gracious Father be
01:15 pleased to speak this day.
01:17 Teach us those things that You would have us to know.
01:20 Help us Lord to do them that in so doing we may be children
01:27 of the Most High God.
01:29 And we thank You, Father, in Jesus' name, Amen.
01:33 Matthew 11, I begin at verse 20.
02:50 The title of our message is, Capernaum As Metaphor.
02:55 Capernaum As Metaphor.
03:02 Every now and again my mind turns to...
03:05 And I was talking with Pastor Lomacang just the other
03:09 day on this subject.
03:10 ... the many around us that are lost.
03:17 It seemed more evident when I was in New York,
03:20 particularly on Sabbath morning.
03:22 We'd travel to church and you'd see the thousands,
03:25 upon thousands, upon thousands of people;
03:28 some coming in from their Friday night binges,
03:31 others wandering aimlessly.
03:33 And I was moved to ask myself, and ask the Lord, How are we
03:38 going to save all of these people?
03:40 How are we going to get all of these millions of people?
03:46 And you can repeat that in any large city
03:49 anywhere on Planet Earth.
03:51 How are they going to know?
03:52 How are they going to learn?
03:54 And how are they going to be saved?
03:58 And sometimes I wonder even about the people here at 3ABN.
04:05 Because everybody that works at 3ABN is not
04:09 Seventh-day Adventist.
04:11 And I wonder many times how, or what the Lord is going to do
04:18 to insert Himself into the lives of those who are
04:28 resistant to His moving's.
04:30 You see, because the truth is if you are around the things of
04:36 God, and remain unmoved by the call of God,
04:41 you have to resist that call.
04:44 If you're on camera in the presence of a sermon,
04:50 or if you're in the control room listening to a testimony,
04:57 to remain resistant to that testimony you've got to,
05:04 in a sense, harden your heart.
05:06 Are you listening to me?
05:08 You've got to. Because there is with the preaching of the word,
05:13 there is in the presence of the word, a call of God through the
05:18 power of the Holy Spirit, on everyone who is in the
05:21 presence of that word.
05:23 It's just part of the word.
05:26 And the power is not in the human instrument.
05:28 It doesn't matter who's preaching.
05:30 The power is in the word.
05:31 So if you're in the presence of the word, then that power is
05:36 exercising its self in your life.
05:39 It's trying to get in.
05:41 Now the only way to keep it out is for you to bar the door.
05:46 Now you can bar the door so subtly that you don't even
05:52 know you've got your foot against the door.
05:54 But the Holy Spirit knows, and sooner or later you will know.
05:58 So I worry about those who spend time at 3ABN and yet
06:03 show no real interest in the things of God, because they are
06:10 defecto hardening their hearts.
06:13 And Ellen White says every time you say no it becomes easier
06:19 to say no the next time.
06:21 You may not even know that you're resisting the power of
06:26 God, but in fact you are.
06:30 Now that's not the sermon.
06:34 That's just some preamble.
06:35 I needed to get that out, because that's a burden that
06:37 I have at this point in my life. So forgive me.
06:41 Let's define some terms.
06:45 First of metaphor.
06:46 A metaphor is a statement or a word that really stands
06:52 for something else.
06:53 So you use this word, but really you are
06:57 saying something else.
06:59 So Capernaum then is a metaphor for something else
07:04 that I believe the Lord is trying to show us.
07:10 This series of statements that we just read in Matthew 11,
07:14 this invective is recorded by Matthew and by Luke.
07:20 And you will find, interestingly enough, a lot of the things that
07:24 are written in the book of Matthew also find their way
07:27 into the book of Luke.
07:28 They parallel in many, many instances.
07:31 We will see a couple of them here today.
07:33 But in Matthew 11:21-24 that we read, we see Christ's
07:41 sentiments and feelings.
07:44 And they are strikingly similar to the words that
07:48 are found in Luke 10.
07:51 So I'm going to ask you to turn with me to Luke 10 very quickly.
07:54 Luke 10, and we will begin reading I believe at about 13.
07:59 Turn over to Luke 10 if you will, and we will see the
08:05 striking parallels between Matthews words and Luke's words.
08:10 Then, of course, they didn't confer.
08:11 They wrote in different places at different times.
08:13 But their terminology is strikingly similar.
08:18 Here we go, Luke chapter 10.
08:20 I'm picking it up at verse 13.
08:26 The term Bethsaida means house of fish.
08:29 Beth, house of, saida, fish.
08:55 This is a little something Luke adds that Matthew does not have.
09:12 These words uttered by Jesus are among the strongest
09:18 denunciations against a city and its people to be found
09:23 anywhere in the Bible.
09:24 Jesus here is comparing Jewish towns to Gentile towns.
09:32 And His audience fully recognized what
09:36 He was trying to say.
09:37 This was, to their fine Jewish sensibilities,
09:41 a slap in the face.
09:43 You're comparing three Jewish towns to two Gentile towns,
09:51 Tyre and Sidon, which were both Phoenician pagan cities that had
09:57 a relationship going back many years with Israel.
10:01 And so when Christ said to the people, It's going to be better
10:07 for Tyre and Sidon than it will be for you, they realized the
10:12 sting of those statements.
10:14 Because in the book of Ezekiel, not once but twice,
10:18 Tyre and Sidon are used as a metaphor for the Devil himself.
10:23 So Christ is saying some strong things here.
10:26 Ezekiel 28:12, I'll give you the reference, and Ezekiel 27:2.
10:32 Tyre and Sidon are used as a metaphor for Lucifer.
10:38 Capernaum was invade against by Christ for her impenitent
10:47 attitude and ingratitude, unfaithfulness in the face of
10:56 great blessings and goodness from God.
10:58 By the way, Ellen White says this over and over
11:00 again, many, many times.
11:02 One of the things that's going to keep some people...
11:04 If it doesn't keep you out of the kingdom, it certainly will
11:08 keep you from enjoying the greatest goodness that God has
11:11 to give is ingratitude.
11:14 Over and over again she talks about ingratitude.
11:18 The things that God does for you you ought to be grateful
11:24 for, and you ought to audibilize that gratitude.
11:29 You ought to say you're grateful for, not so much because God
11:35 doesn't know your heart, you need to hear yourself say
11:38 you're grateful for those things.
11:40 Because even when bad things happen to us, every bad thing
11:47 that happens to you on this side of the close of probation
11:53 is mingled with mercy. Amen!
11:58 So you break the car.
12:02 You don't break your neck. Amen!
12:09 So the house burns down, but you're not in it.
12:19 So you lose job A, but you get job B. Amen? Amen!
12:27 So there is no guarantee that bad stuff
12:31 will not happen to you.
12:33 You understand that?
12:35 Christians get cancer, and Christians get headaches,
12:38 and Christians get divorced, and Christians get fired,
12:43 and bad stuff happens to Christians.
12:47 The only difference between the Christian and the non-Christian
12:52 is when the bad stuff happens to you, you got Jesus. Amen!
12:58 You understand that?
13:00 So you got somebody to go to, you got somewhere to go,
13:04 and you are not hopeless, cause Christians die just
13:10 like non-Christians. Amen!
13:13 When the Bible says, If a man dies, shall he live again?
13:16 It's a rhetorical question.
13:18 Oh, yeah. So stuff is going to happen.
13:23 But you've got somebody to go to.
13:26 You've got somebody's head...
13:28 Ah, you've got somebody's bosom in which to lay your head,
13:32 and you're not alone. Amen!
13:36 So for those things you ought to be grateful. Amen!
13:43 Hello walls! Amen!
13:49 Bad stuff is going to happen, but you've got Jesus. Amen!
13:55 Amen? I said, Amen! Amen!
14:06 So Capernaum is, can I use the term called out by Christ,
14:13 because of an impenitent attitude, rank in gratitude,
14:20 unfaithfulness in the face of the blessings
14:24 and goodness of the Lord.
14:27 The Bible says, and Matthew makes it plain,
14:29 this is the region where Christ did most of His mighty miracles.
14:35 A lot of good stuff happened in Capernaum.
14:39 And then Matthew says it's going to be better for Sodom
14:44 in the day of judgment than Capernaum.
14:47 That's strong language.
14:52 I'm in the book, Gospel Workers. page 462.
14:55 You can write it down, Gospel Workers, 462.
14:57 Our Savior is more deeply afflicted by ingratitude
15:03 and disobedience than is a tender loving mother by the
15:08 misconduct of a wayward child.
15:10 Do you know anything about wayward children?
15:15 You know how it hurts your heart when you raise a child,
15:17 and put all you can into a child, and that child literally
15:22 spits in your face?
15:23 Do you know how it makes you feel?
15:25 I don't want your God.
15:27 I don't want your money.
15:28 I don't want your love.
15:29 I don't want your discipline.
15:31 I don't want anything to do with you.
15:35 If you have a wayward child, or a wayward
15:37 grand child, it's terrible.
15:44 You know, the first thing, the first thing that happens when
15:48 you come to the Lord, and you really bite down on religion,
15:53 the first thing that happens is a desire to share
15:56 it with other people. Amen?
15:57 Particularly your family. Amen!
16:01 You know, when you really understand how good God is,
16:05 and how God can help you, and how God blesses you,
16:08 the first thing you want to do is for everybody
16:11 else to pick that up.
16:12 And sometimes, and you've got to be forgiven for this,
16:15 sometimes you can make yourself a little bit of a pest.
16:19 But it's because you want so badly for them
16:22 to have what you have. Amen!
16:25 So if you've got a child who is knocking his head against the
16:29 sidewalk, you want that child to know you don't have to
16:32 live that way anymore.
16:33 I know somebody who can help you with that.
16:36 And to have a child reject that, and reject... That hurts!
16:43 Or to have a parent reject that, or a sister reject that,
16:47 or a brother reject that.
16:49 When I gave my heart to the Lord the first person I went
16:53 and dealt with was my sister.
16:55 And then the next person was my mother.
16:58 And I determined... I told the pastor, I want to come home
17:01 to my home church and do a week of prayer.
17:03 And I actually told Him, Lord this week my mother is leaving
17:07 the African Methodist Episcopal Church and becoming
17:10 Seventh-day Adventist.
17:11 I claimed her for Jesus.
17:13 I preached Monday, made an appeal.
17:14 She sat there. I preached Tuesday; made an appeal.
17:16 She sat there. I preached Wednesday; made an appeal.
17:18 She sat there. I preached Thursday; made an appeal.
17:19 She sat there. Friday night I said, Lord this is the night.
17:22 I preached fifteen minutes and I appealed for forty.
17:30 I said, That woman is getting out of that seat tonight!
17:37 So I did everything Ellen White says.
17:39 I took her to the cross.
17:40 I held her over the flames of hell.
17:44 I talked about the love of Jesus.
17:46 I talked about going to heaven and being left here by herself.
17:49 I did everything I could; I preached.
17:52 And she's rocking and crying.
17:53 Sitting in the bench rocking and crying, rocking and crying,
17:56 rocking and crying, rocking and crying.
17:58 And after forty solid minutes of appeal up she stood,
18:04 joined the Seventh-day Adventist church, and was the happiest
18:09 person on the planet till the day she died.
18:12 Loved being a Seventh-day Adventist!
18:16 Loved it! So when you come to the Lord the first thing you
18:20 want to do is bring others who need to come to the Lord.
18:23 That's, that's part of having that burning,
18:25 that fire shut up in your bone.
18:27 And when your child, or your parent, or your brother,
18:30 or your sister rejects that it hurts!
18:36 But it doesn't hurt as bad as it does when we reject Jesus.
18:40 And Ellen White says Christ is wounded deeply
18:48 when people reject Him, when they turn their backs on Him,
18:53 when they don't serve Him, when they are
18:57 ungrateful and disobedient.
19:03 I'm in the book, Messages to Young People.
19:07 Messages to Young People, page 365.
19:10 Here's a term that I never thought I'd
19:12 hear Ellen White use.
19:13 She uses the term stupid ingratitude.
19:17 That's why I give you the reference.
19:19 Messages to Young People, 365.
19:22 She says, We worship the blessings and beauty of the
19:28 Lord and forget about the God who gave them.
19:35 She says that is stupid ingratitude.
19:40 She's saying, don't get hung up on the good things of the Lord.
19:43 Don't get hung up on the cookies and milk, or the gifts.
19:47 Keep your focus on the God who gives you all
19:50 of those good things.
19:52 Don't get dissuaded or distracted by the blessing.
19:57 Focus on the God who gives the blessing.
20:02 Does that make sense?
20:03 She says, when you get hung up on the blessing
20:05 that's stupid ingratitude.
20:12 5th Volume of the Testimonies, 5th Volume of the Testimonies,
20:16 page 5. The great sin of the Jews was that of neglecting
20:24 and rejecting present opportunities...
20:27 We're going to come back to that in just a little bit.
20:29 ... Present opportunities as Jesus views the state of His
20:34 professed followers today He sees...
20:38 Here's the list: base ingratitude at the very top.
20:43 Hollow formalism. That's having the air of righteousness,
20:47 but not your share of righteousness.
20:49 Hypocritical insincerity, Pharisaical pride,
20:55 and latent apostasy.
20:59 And she says to those, heaven is lost to them.
21:05 So then Capernaum was a city that Jesus often visited.
21:14 It became His base of operations in Galilee.
21:20 Matthew even calls it His own city, His chosen city.
21:24 I visited Capernaum on at least five occasions,
21:28 and it is a popular tourist city to this very day.
21:35 The name means Nahum's village in Hebrew,
21:40 but it is not connected with the Prophet Nahum.
21:42 The town was about 1,500 to 2,000 people.
21:46 How big is West Frankfort?
21:48 7,000? Okay, it's much bigger.
21:52 Well, Capernaum with about 1,500 to 2,000.
21:54 It is mentioned in all four gospels.
21:58 The citify sits on the north western shores of
22:02 the Sea of Galilee.
22:04 It is noted for having two synagogues.
22:09 The second near the house of Peter.
22:14 You remember Shelley, you go there, you've got a synagogue
22:16 here, and just from here to the school is the house of Peter;
22:18 right close to the synagogue.
22:21 It's a beautiful city.
22:23 It sits right on the Sea of Galilee.
22:26 Now the Sea of Galilee is not, they call it a sea.
22:29 It is not really a city.
22:30 A sea, the Mediterranean is a sea.
22:32 The Sea of Galilee is a decent sized lake about 13 miles long,
22:38 about 8 miles across.
22:40 There's no place on the Sea of Galilee where you cannot
22:43 see the other shore.
22:44 So it's not really a sea, it's just a decent sized lake:
22:48 depth about 25 feet deep, but teaming with fish about the
22:53 size of Washington, D.C.
22:59 The city also lies on or near the plain of Genesaret,
23:04 or Genesaret depending on how you want to pronounce that.
23:07 Ellen White says in the days of Christ the climate was nice.
23:10 It was tempered by the sea itself.
23:13 In the time of Christ it flourished with palm
23:15 trees and olive trees.
23:18 And if you go there today, one of the interesting things about
23:20 Capernaum is the stones that they use for crushing the olives
23:24 are still lying around.
23:25 You can really see how olive oil was made in the first cold
23:30 pressing, and all that kind of stuff.
23:31 All of those stones are lying around, and you really get a
23:33 beautiful idea it was a fishing capital but it's also a
23:37 capital of olive oil, orchards, vineyards,
23:42 orchards, vineyards, fields, beautiful flowers.
23:46 Ellen White says in the days of Christ water gushed
23:49 from the mountainsides.
23:50 It came right out of the rocks of the mountain.
23:52 So it was obviously a beautiful place.
23:55 Capernaum would have reminded you of a resort town.
24:00 You had the lake on one side, the hills and mountains on the
24:04 other, and then off in the distance up north you've got
24:06 Mount Hermon, the headwaters of the Jordan River.
24:09 Now when you look at the topography of Galilee,
24:14 the Jordan River starts up north.
24:18 Mount Hermon goes underground, comes out of the ground
24:21 at Caesarea Philippi.
24:24 There's a spring there.
24:25 There used to be a temple there.
24:27 It comes down and then the Sea of Galilee is a big bulge
24:31 in the Jordan River.
24:32 It's just this big bulge.
24:34 Then at the bottom of the Sea of Galilee the Jordan River
24:36 continues south all the way down to the Dead Sea.
24:39 So you're up north in Galilee.
24:41 Many times you'll hear the Bible talk about
24:43 going up to Jerusalem.
24:45 Jerusalem is actually south of Galilee,
24:47 but its elevation is higher.
24:50 So it can be cold and snowing in Jerusalem,
24:53 and you've got on a winter coat.
24:54 By the time you get down to the Dead Sea you're stripped down,
24:58 because it's blistering hot down there.
24:59 It's just that Jerusalem is so much higher in elevation
25:03 than the surrounding towns.
25:05 So it is north; Galilee is north of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is
25:09 higher in elevation.
25:11 Ellen White talks about the fishing boats bobbing in the
25:14 water, and she says, Everywhere there was this stir of activity.
25:18 It was a busy little town.
25:20 A town where they fished and a very, very important town
25:24 because of where it was.
25:26 Now we're talking about Capernaum as metaphor.
25:29 As such, it was the perfect place to be the headquarters
25:35 for the Savior's work.
25:37 Because not of its size, but because of its strategic location,
25:45 as well as its beauty and commodious atmosphere.
25:50 Now stick with me. We're told that it was on the highway from
25:55 Damascus to Jerusalem, and on the highway from Damascus
26:01 to Egypt, and on the highway from Jerusalem
26:05 to the Mediterranean.
26:07 So because of where it was, it was the perfect place to be
26:14 the headquarters for the ministry of Jesus.
26:17 It was on a great thorofare.
26:20 People from many walks of life, and many countries lived there
26:26 stopped there, shopped there, rested there, worked there,
26:33 traded there, vacationed there, worshipped there, fished there,
26:40 sold fish there, or simply passed through Capernaum
26:45 on their way to someplace else.
26:48 So the importance of Capernaum was not its size,
26:53 it was its mission.
26:56 It was a center of commerce, and as such it
27:02 was a center of news.
27:04 That's how news traveled then.
27:05 People would come in and talk, and tell stories, and then pass
27:09 on and take those stories other places.
27:11 So whatever happened in Capernaum was carried to other
27:14 cities, other countries, other towns, other households,
27:18 other villages, by the travelers and merchants who
27:22 passed through Capernaum.
27:24 So even though Capernaum was not a huge city population wise,
27:30 it was an important city because of what it was, where it was,
27:36 and what happened there.
27:38 Not unlike when I was thinking of Capernaum,
27:41 I was thinking of Thompsonville.
27:42 It ain't a big town.
27:44 And the truth is, if 3ABN was not here
27:51 I probably wouldn't be here.
27:54 Now how many are here because of 3ABN?
27:57 Raise your hand. Uh huh, yeah.
28:02 I'm a New Yorker. Well, I used to be a New Yorker.
28:04 I really can't take New York anymore.
28:05 But I'm here because 3ABN is here.
28:10 And a whole lot of other people are here because 3ABN is here.
28:14 So 3ABN, or Thompsonville is important not because of what it
28:23 is inheritantly, but because something big is going on here.
28:27 Does that make sense? Amen!
28:29 Well, that's what Capernaum was.
28:31 Capernaum was a big-time town although it didn't have big-time
28:36 population, or big-time numbers, because Christ chose to make
28:41 that His headquarters for ministry. Amen?
28:44 And it was what went through Capernaum, what went out of
28:48 Capernaum that made Capernaum important, and the work that
28:55 Christ had given Capernaum to do.
28:59 So Capernaum then stands as a metaphor for every humble soul
29:05 who uses his or her God given gifts to advance
29:10 the work of God. Amen?
29:12 In Volume 9 of the Testimonies, page 255,
29:16 Ellen White states this: It is God's design that His gifts
29:22 may flow through human channels.
29:30 God's gifts to humans flow through humans to other humans.
29:37 That's God's design.
29:39 God could give directly to those He wanted to bless.
29:44 But God has made it so that His gifts come to humans, to flow
29:51 through humans, so that other humans can be blessed.
29:54 And in blessing them you yourself are blessed.
29:58 Counsels on Stewardship, page 71, God requires no less of us
30:05 than He required of His people anciently.
30:08 His gifts... Now she's talking about money,
30:11 but don't limit this to money.
30:13 She's talking about those talents that you have. Amen?
30:16 God's gifts to us are no less than they were anciently.
30:22 In fact, they are greater to us than they were to Israel of old.
30:27 Let me explain. God is pleased to give us more.
30:35 Amen! Amen! I said Amen. Amen!
30:42 You're scaring me there a little bit.
30:43 If you think you don't have anything,
30:48 get on a plane and go to India.
30:55 You don't have to go that far.
30:56 Get on a plane and go to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
31:03 Get on a plane and go to Granada, Nicaragua.
31:08 Go to El Salvador.
31:10 Go to Mexico. Go to Tijuana.
31:17 God has given us more.
31:22 He's not given you more so you can have more.
31:28 He's given you more so you can do more.
31:32 Amen, or ouch! Amen!
31:38 He's given you more so that you have more to do with.
31:43 We've got more. Now, I'm not saying you've got
31:47 everything you want.
31:49 Most people don't. I'd like a little more.
31:55 Amen! But the truth is I've got more.
32:02 I wonder why John, Pastor Lomacang says, Amen.
32:05 Sometimes you folks scare people up here.
32:07 Amen! Amen! Anybody here who doesn't have anything?
32:14 You've got more. Amen! Amen.
32:19 So God has given us more.
32:21 Now stay with me. Stay with me.
32:23 He's given us more means, more ways, more media.
32:31 Here it comes again, more opportunities.
32:35 And His service requires, and ever will require more.
32:44 Did you hear that list of projects that
32:48 Dee Casper read this morning?
32:50 You've got young people going to school; need help.
32:56 You've got young people going on mission trips; need help.
32:59 You've got young people who want to better themselves; need help.
33:03 Amen! So if your ear is mistuned, you came away from
33:11 that... Every time I come to church they're
33:14 asking for my money.
33:19 Or you heard, you know, I got a little chance to do a little
33:25 something to help somebody's child.
33:30 And the Bible doesn't say you have to bankrupt yourself.
33:33 Amen. Just do a little more.
33:42 And the calls for sacrifice are not going to be less as we get
33:50 closer to the end of this earth's history.
33:52 They are going to be more.
33:58 They are going to be more. Amen.
34:01 You know, I think the worst thing in the world is to die
34:03 and leave a fortune for your kids to fight over.
34:08 Ah, bless her heart, Mae Chung, she said, I'm not leaving no
34:11 fortune for my kids to fight over.
34:13 Everybody's a doctor.
34:15 They've got plenty of money.
34:17 I'm giving it to Jesus.
34:20 Nothing wrong with that.
34:21 So the calls are going to be more because
34:25 God has given us more.
34:27 His service requires more.
34:30 We've got to be prepared to give more.
34:32 And we're not just talking about more money.
34:34 Don't limit it to money.
34:35 God's talking about more of you. Amen!
34:40 More of your heart, more of your time, more of your love,
34:46 more prayer, more praise, more of your sacrifice.
34:54 Now, I'm going to walk through some stuff real quick.
34:57 And I need to preamble this by saying, What I'm going to say
35:02 is not any attempt to deify, or lionize myself or Irma.
35:07 But Danny always says, Your best testimony is your own
35:11 personal testimony.
35:12 So I'm going to give you ours, and do with it what you will.
35:19 When we got here at 3ABN I took a pay cut.
35:25 Now that's not unusual because most people came here
35:27 and took a pay cut, so Hallelujah, Amen!
35:30 But I decided, and Irma agreed with me, that we would give
35:33 a little of our money back to 3ABN every month.
35:38 Now this has nothing to do with Blessings on the Go.
35:41 This was previous to Blessings on the Go.
35:42 We've always done this.
35:44 So we get the little receipt...
35:45 I grabbed one here.
35:47 ...from 3ABN. It says that you, you know,
35:51 you give a little something every month.
35:52 I put my finger over the amount here so you can't see that.
35:54 Ah, we give a little every month.
35:55 Now what we do... This has nothing to do with 3ABN.
36:00 We give it to 3ABN, but it has nothing to do with 3ABN.
36:04 This is a covenant that we made with God.
36:07 So it's us and God; nothing to do with 3ABN.
36:11 This says, this little bit that Irma and I give, both of our
36:16 names are on it, says, We don't make enough money,
36:21 but somehow we have enough money.
36:25 Do I need to unwrap that, or do you understand that?
36:27 Are you getting that?
36:29 I'd like to make more. Amen!
36:36 So I don't make enough, but I have enough. Amen!
36:44 And so some months we have to triage.
36:48 This bill will get paid.
36:51 You gotta wait. Cause I don't make enough.
36:59 But I have enough.
37:01 Nobody's starving. Amen.
37:05 Nobody going to jail.
37:09 I said, Amen. Amen!
37:10 We eat okay. We've got to dance with the bills every now
37:16 and again, but that's alright.
37:17 Helps your faith. And I'll tell you something else.
37:23 A few years ago I wanted to open up a savings account
37:26 at SIU Credit Union.
37:29 So I told Dave Carson, Take X amount of dollars out
37:34 and put it in the account.
37:35 Somehow he took X amount of dollars out
37:40 and put it back into 3ABN.
37:44 And I didn't recognized that for about eight months.
37:46 So when I went to SIU to ask them what my balance
37:49 was they said zero.
37:56 What? So I went to Dave and at the same time somehow Brian
38:03 realized the mistake.
38:04 So as I'm coming down the hall, Brian's coming towards me.
38:06 He said, C. A. we have your money.
38:09 I said, I know! And then I heard myself say, Keep it.
38:21 Shelley. I heard myself, J. D., say, Keep it.
38:27 And as the words left my mouth, my other self said,
38:31 Are you crazy? You need that money!
38:39 But I said, Keep it.
38:44 And then later that year we went to a camp meeting in
38:51 Lawson Creek, was that Oregon or California, Boo?
38:56 Oregon? California?
39:02 A town about as big as the inside of this church.
39:07 And someone came to me after the sermon and said,
39:09 The Lord impressed me to give you a little something.
39:12 It wasn't the exact same amount, but it was close enough
39:16 that I know it came from God.
39:18 Now I don't guarantee, could not, would not guarantee
39:23 that every time you do something good for the Lord
39:25 the Lord's going to give you something back.
39:27 That's not why you do good.
39:29 You do good because good is what good people do,
39:32 whether you get it back or not.
39:35 And if you don't get it back now, you're going to get
39:39 it back one day. Amen. Amen!
39:42 So give it to the Lord.
39:44 Now, forgive me. That's not sermon,
39:47 that's a little rabbit trail I went down.
39:49 That's ecclesiological obiter dictum.
39:51 I took five minutes of your time and I apologize.
39:57 But I do need to say this.
40:00 The most miserable person in the world...
40:06 Well, let me back it up and say it this way.
40:08 My wife has dual citizenship.
40:12 She is a Panamanian citizen and she is an American citizen.
40:19 And it's funny because when she goes to Panama...
40:22 In fact she went back this last time.
40:24 She went to the doctor and, of course she switched to Spanish.
40:28 The doctor said, You're not from here are you?
40:32 And when she comes here people say,
40:36 You're not from here are you?
40:40 So she speaks her English with a Spanish accent,
40:43 and her Spanish with an English accent.
40:50 And she's content. But if you try to hold dual citizenship
40:57 in the kingdom of light, and the kingdom of darkness,
41:02 you will be a miserable individual. Amen! Amen.
41:10 You can't be happy in Jesus unless you give Him all.
41:18 It's miserable trying to serve Lord with half your heart.
41:24 Anybody know what I'm talking about? Amen!
41:27 Sabbath you're sitting there waiting for the sun to go down
41:34 so you can do your thing.
41:40 Gotta go in my pocket and give them my money.
41:43 Pastor begging me to come to prayer meeting
41:45 on Wednesday night.
41:46 Gotta stay in church.
41:48 Gotta cook food for potluck.
41:49 You know, trying to serve the Lord is miserable
41:52 if you're not all in. You know that?
41:55 The only happy Christian is a thoroughly committed Christian.
42:02 If you're half stepping you are miserable.
42:08 You're going to become apathetic, and sooner or later
42:11 you will filter your way out.
42:14 Because you can't stay in Christ with half a heart.
42:20 James says, what was it? James 1:8.
42:26 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
42:28 This thing doesn't make you happy unless you're all in.
42:33 If you're half in you're half baked, and pretty soon
42:39 you'll find your way out.
42:40 And if you stay physically, you will leave mentally. Amen?
42:45 You've got to give it all to Him.
42:48 And any less does you no good.
42:51 It surely does not... Does the kingdom of God no good.
42:54 Now, you may be thinking that I'm going to say, So you might
42:59 as well just stay home.
43:00 I ain't going to say that.
43:03 Come anyway. Huh? Even if you've got to drag; come on.
43:10 The Bible says the Lord loveth a cheerful giver.
43:12 Even if you hate giving money to the Lord, give it anyhow. Amen.
43:18 Because in giving, in coming just maybe God may get through.
43:25 But if you're at home in your bed; can't get through that.
43:28 You've gotta be here.
43:30 Perhaps He can get you in your bed, but it's a better chance
43:34 He gets you when you come here. Amen? Amen.
43:36 So you've got to give Him all.
43:37 He deserves all, and it's best for you when you give Him all.
43:42 Let's look at His ministry very quickly.
43:45 Desire of Ages, page 353.
43:48 Ellen White says, Christ was never rude, never needlessly
43:52 spoke a severe word, never gave needless pain
43:55 to a sensitive soul.
43:56 He did not censure human weakness.
43:59 He fearlessly denounced hypocrisy.
44:05 He uttered, she says, His most scathing rebukes
44:12 with tears in His eyes.
44:14 You see, Christ did not mince words when it came to sin.
44:19 If you look at the word scathing, scathing means harsh,
44:23 devastating, blistering, scorching ferocious, cutting,
44:27 sharp, vitriolic, severe.
44:28 So Christ said what needed to be said as respects sin,
44:34 but He was always kind and loving to sinners. Amen?
44:39 So there were times when stuff needed to be said.
44:43 And Christ did not bite His tongue but He spoke sharply
44:48 against sin, and kindly to sinners.
44:52 Because He was trying to root out sin, not destroy sinners.
44:56 The Bible says that Christ always had a kind word for those
45:07 who He was addressing.
45:12 And then we find out that even the demons are subject to
45:17 the will of God at Capernaum.
45:23 We're in the temple and a demon possessed man comes in
45:28 and people are scattering.
45:31 Christ stands and rebukes the demon.
45:35 And where did that happen?
45:37 In the synagogue at Capernaum.
45:40 And so it was at Capernaum that it was first said,
45:43 Even the demons are subject to Jesus.
45:46 So now as the people are dumbfounded Christ slips out
45:50 and goes right next door to Peter's house.
45:52 Peter's mother is sick with a fever that the Bible gives
45:56 indication, and so does the Spirit of Prophecy, is caused by
45:59 oppression from a demon.
46:01 Peter rebukes the fever, which means he rebukes,
46:06 or causes the fever, which is a demon.
46:08 She arises and serves them all.
46:12 Where did that happen? Capernaum.
46:13 And I've got to move real fast.
46:15 It's Saturday night.
46:17 The people have been waiting all day to go and see Jesus.
46:19 But Ellen White says they are afraid to see Jesus because
46:22 they are afraid of the Scribes and Pharisees.
46:24 So they lay in their homes during the day,
46:27 and no sooner does the sun go down than the line formed.
46:30 And people begin to come to Christ for healing.
46:34 And Ellen White says it was at Capernaum that Christ healed
46:38 every single one of them.
46:39 Nobody was left. Late into the night He's healing, and healing,
46:43 and healing, and healing.
46:45 And then He goes and spends the rest of the night in
46:49 prayer with His Father.
46:51 She says they came on couches, they came on crutches,
46:54 they came on canes, they crawled.
46:56 Some carried their friends.
46:58 Some camped out. You know the story of the men who let,
47:01 the man who was let down through the roof for Christ's healing?
47:04 Where did that happen? Capernaum.
47:07 Some of Christ's greatest miracles happened at Capernaum.
47:11 Ellen White says, After two solid days of healing the people
47:15 said, Capernaum never witnessed a day like this.
47:19 The air was filled with the voices of praise
47:23 and the voices of deliverance.
47:26 Matthew 7-11, all of those miracles,
47:35 all of that information took place in Galilee,
47:43 in or near Capernaum.
47:48 I'm time conscious, and I'm trying to cut and paste
47:50 as I go along here.
47:54 Christ not only healed in Galilee, but He also broke
47:59 Spiritual convention in Galilee.
48:02 When I say that... Jack Nicholson once said, If you want
48:05 to make an omelet you've got to break some eggs.
48:06 Christ also in His healing, broke politically correct eggs.
48:14 Not only did He heal, He tore down and disassembled mistakes.
48:21 I'll tell you one more healing, then I've got to jump over,
48:23 and we've got to end this.
48:25 You've got a Roman soldier.
48:27 Oh, by the way, the woman with the issue of blood; Capernaum.
48:32 While He is healing... No, Jairus comes to Christ and says,
48:42 My daughter is about to die.
48:44 You need to come to my house.
48:45 Okay. So Christ is going to Jairus' house.
48:49 Meanwhile the woman with the issue of blood stops Him.
48:53 You know the story.
48:54 He's supposed to be healing Jairus' daughter.
48:56 And Jairus is waiting while Christ is doing this whole
48:59 thing with this woman who is less than nothing to Jairus.
49:02 He's a big time ruler, but he's got to wait in line while Christ
49:06 deals with this woman.
49:08 Then the servants of Jairus say, Don't bother.
49:13 The child's dead, so don't even bother with the Messiah.
49:17 Long story short: child lives, woman healed.
49:21 Where did that take place? Capernaum.
49:24 So the Bible says that some of Christ's greatest miracles
49:31 took place in Capernaum.
49:32 One last one. The disciples get in a boat.
49:37 Headed across the sea.
49:40 Storm comes down off the mountain.
49:42 Boat's pitching, flipping.
49:45 Christ comes walking to them on the water.
49:50 You know the story.
49:51 Peter says, If it's You...
49:53 You never start a sermon with the Lord
49:55 with the word if anyway.
49:57 But it is, If it's You, bid me walk to You on the water.
50:03 Where's the boat heading? Capernaum.
50:05 So you've got a list of miracles in Capernaum
50:10 that are without equal.
50:12 That are without equal in any place in the world.
50:18 So then, it is mind blowingly sad that after all that Christ
50:29 had done the people of Capernaum,
50:33 leaders in general, rejected Jesus.
50:36 That is why you've got this invective in Matthew
50:43 and in Luke, Christ's denunciation of Capernaum.
50:50 So I've got to flip over a lot of pages and say this:
50:55 When you look at your life you ought to be able to see a
51:00 pattern of what I call providential interposition.
51:05 In other words, you ought to be able to see where Jesus has
51:09 stuck His hand in your life and done you good. Amen.
51:14 And for that you ought to be grateful to Him.
51:19 And the fact that you have a knowledge that God has taken
51:24 care of you ought to be enough incentive for you
51:30 to surrender your life to Him.
51:33 Because the truth is if you've been in Jesus
51:37 life simply ain't that bad. Amen.
51:44 You'll forgive my pejorative English.
51:45 Now I'll take myself.
51:47 We were in Sabbath school.
51:49 Jeff... A couple of weeks ago we were talking about...
51:51 And I think Jill was teaching.
51:52 We were talking about looking at your life and realizing that
51:57 even though it may sound kind of bad,
52:00 with Christ it ain't so bad?
52:03 I have been blind twice; blind.
52:06 I went to blind school from...
52:08 I went to first grade in public school.
52:10 Had to repeat first grade in blind school.
52:13 I was blind till sixth grade.
52:17 Just as unexplained as my eyes went out, they came back.
52:22 Back in public school with glasses about as thick as,
52:26 as the edge of this desk.
52:30 Beat up, fought all the time, but I could see!
52:38 I've had a dozen eye operations; at least a dozen.
52:44 They poked and prodded.
52:45 I'm functioning basically on one eye.
52:49 But you know what? You can function on one eye.
52:55 Amen. Amen! At age three, trying to be cute, my cousin
53:03 pulled down a pot of boiling hot soup on my chest.
53:09 Peeled the skin off.
53:11 So now I've got this scar on my chest.
53:13 It looks like the island of Barbados.
53:19 So when I go to the beach I tend to keep my shirt on.
53:24 Because I'm trying to hide my muscles? No.
53:30 Open heart surgery; not one, not two, not three, not four,
53:35 not five, six bypasses.
53:40 Prostate cancer. And as I said to Jeff that day,
53:47 when I look back at my life, I don't think
53:50 I've had it that tough. Amen?
53:55 And I'm grateful to God for what I do have.
54:05 Sometimes we look at our bank account; broker than glass.
54:15 We're praising the Lord! Amen?
54:18 We don't drive the latest car.
54:20 We don't drive last year's model, or last years, last years
54:25 model, or last years, last years, last year's model,
54:27 or last years, last years, last years model.
54:31 But we drive! And see, Route 57 goes to Chicago.
54:36 It doesn't go to Heaven.
54:39 So it doesn't really matter what kind of car you're driving.
54:43 Because we have friends that have new cars,
54:45 and we can ride with them.
54:46 Ha, ha, ha! That's right.
54:51 Amen? Amen! So see, you've got to be
54:55 grateful for what you have. Amen?
54:59 And with all of that you've got Jesus!
55:03 And one day you will have eternity.
55:08 So the message from Capernaum is look at what
55:13 God has done for you.
55:15 Look at the mighty miracles He has done in your life.
55:19 And if your eyes are open, and your brain is working,
55:22 you know God has been good for you.
55:24 Now I know there are people in here who are suffering.
55:26 Because every night when Irma and I pray,
55:27 we run down the list.
55:29 I'm looking at people who are going through stuff. Amen!
55:35 But they've got Jesus!
55:38 And when you've got Jesus you've got all you need.
55:42 And you never know that Jesus is all you need
55:44 until Jesus is all you've got. Amen!
55:47 So when you reflect, which is why Ellen White says,
55:51 every day we ought to spend a few quiet peaceful moments,
55:54 not with your wife, not with your husband, just you and God.
55:57 And reflect on how good God has been to you.
55:59 And it will make you grateful.
56:05 And gratitude, by the way, is the pin number that allows God
56:10 to give you more. Uh huh.
56:15 If you're not grateful for what you've got, you've got an
56:19 account, but you ain't got no pin number. Uh huh.
56:25 So gratitude is the pin number that gives you access to more.
56:34 And if you're faithful with what you have, God will be pleased
56:38 to give you more, because He can trust you with it.
56:43 And so the great sin of Capernaum, and she says it
56:48 in the reading I have.
56:50 But I don't want to go back to it.
56:52 I would take too much of your time.
56:53 She says the great sin of Capernaum is the sin of these
56:55 last days: ingratitude and unthankfulness.
57:00 We need to be thankful for what God has given us.
57:05 Because He's given us the promise of eternal life.
57:10 That's the greatest gift He can give you.
57:13 And He's given you the ability to change from what you are
57:24 to what He wants you to be.
57:27 That may be the greatest gift in the world.
57:35 And Capernaum is metaphor for realizing what
57:41 God has done for you.
57:43 He has given you all, and He deserves no less than your all.
57:52 Amen, and Amen. I want you to stand.
57:55 We're just going to have prayer, and then we're
57:57 going to go over to...
57:58 And forgive me. I know I took a lot of time.
58:00 Announcements J. D.?
58:01 After prayer. After prayer. Okay, okay.
58:07 Bible study is a fantastic thing.
58:09 And you get into the word, and this stuff kind of just,
58:14 begins to percolate.
58:16 And it's easy to take an hour.
58:19 I was an hour preaching!
58:21 But once you get in there it surrounds you,
58:25 and there's so much in there.
58:27 So I apologize, almost, for keeping you so long.
58:33 Shall we pray? Father God, please help us to reflect
58:38 on Your goodness, and in gratitude give our all to You.
58:45 For there is no other way to be happy in Jesus,
58:49 but to trust You, and obey You, and surrender our lives to You.
58:55 And we thank You dear Father, in Jesus' name, Amen.


Revised 2017-10-23