Week of Prayer

Revival And Mission

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Bill Knott


Series Code: WOFP

Program Code: WOFP000008

00:24 Welcome to the final,
00:27 the eighth week of prayer service
00:29 that we've been having this week,
00:31 it started last Sabbath morning with our Pastor John Lomacang.
00:36 And then it proceeded through the week,
00:37 we had Shelley Quinn on Sunday night,
00:39 I spoke on Monday night.
00:41 John Dinzey on Tuesday night,
00:44 and then our pastor again on Wednesday evening,
00:47 Thursday evening was Pastor CA Murray
00:50 and last night our founder Danny Shelton.
00:53 And today the speaker is going to be
00:56 none other than the editor of the Adventist Review
01:00 Dr. Bill Knott,
01:02 and so this has been a really exciting weekend.
01:06 Danny, when we started talking about reviving
01:10 the week of prayer,
01:11 do you remember the week of prayer
01:12 when you were younger and...?
01:14 Oh, absolutely and I also remembered
01:15 in gathering too.
01:16 You don't hear much about that anymore.
01:18 No.
01:19 But we started way before Christmas
01:21 and I was out there, you know, in gathering,
01:22 but the week of prayer is a great thing
01:24 and the beauty of 3ABN with television and radio,
01:27 if you happen to miss,
01:29 I traveled a couple nights I was gone.
01:31 But I got to come back and I got to hear Shelley,
01:33 and then I was traveling down to Nashville
01:37 the other night when CA was preaching,
01:39 and I heard him on the radio, Jay...
01:40 All right. Heard him on...
01:41 You're doing all right now, I heard you, okay.
01:43 Jay is doing all right,
01:44 he's here in church today, great.
01:46 Praise the Lord for that good report.
01:47 And I heard CA preaching on the radio,
01:49 so as I was heading down,
01:51 so thank the Lord for 3ABN television
01:53 and 3ABN radio.
01:54 Amen.
01:56 Well, it is a remarkable
01:57 how the Lord has enabled us to reach around the world.
02:00 Radio now is on how about, how many stations, Jay?
02:04 About 225.
02:06 225 stations...
02:07 That's a two-hander.
02:09 That's right, it surely is. That's amazing.
02:11 Not only here but around the world...
02:12 Around the world.
02:14 We heard when we were in Australia for instance.
02:15 Well, we really did and I had someone tell me
02:17 the other day that they watch 3ABN
02:21 on a local channel
02:23 but they said we also listen in our car on 3ABN radio.
02:29 So you, if you have a downlink station
02:32 in your area,
02:33 even if you don't have a radio station,
02:36 you should be able to reach 3ABN radio
02:39 through that downlink station.
02:40 I have a couple guys that come out
02:42 and we'd play basketball Tuesday nights
02:44 and they'll come out invariably,
02:46 and want to talk about sermons they've heard on 3ABN radio.
02:49 They say, we don't watch, we don't have time
02:51 but when I travel back and forth to work,
02:53 I'm always keeping up with you guys,
02:55 and what's happening there at 3ABN.
02:56 We've even had some of the coal miners
02:59 who say that they record it
03:02 on their little digital recorders,
03:05 and then listen to it
03:06 when they're down 900 feet below the ground
03:09 working in the coal mines.
03:11 And they're listening to 3ABN radio
03:13 while they're going about their work.
03:15 So God is blessing, He really is.
03:18 Now, Danny, we've been having prayer request all week long
03:22 and today was no exception,
03:24 what are we praying about today?
03:26 Well, you know, today we have emphasis,
03:28 of course, on revival and reformation.
03:30 That's something, folks, as I mentioned last night,
03:33 you see the times in which we're living,
03:35 we need revival like we've never had it.
03:38 But we need to start personally, right?
03:40 Individually rededicating our lives to the Lord
03:43 and then as we're working together
03:44 as a family,
03:46 as Seventh-day Adventist Christians,
03:48 we know what our mission is
03:49 to take an undiluted three angels' messages
03:52 to all the world,
03:53 so we want to pray for that
03:54 and outpouring of the Holy Spirit
03:56 and revival on God's people today.
03:58 Amen.
04:00 And, you know, we have seen some remarkable answers
04:02 to prayer this week
04:04 and we believe with all of our heart
04:06 that God still answers prayer.
04:09 So if you have a special prayer request
04:12 and you're watching us today or you're listening by radio,
04:15 you can call our number which is...
04:19 618-627-4651. That's right.
04:22 618-627-4651.
04:25 And we have JD and some other folk I guess
04:27 that's answering the phones today, right?
04:29 And, well, we have some pastoral staff there,
04:31 if you just hit one,
04:33 when the phone answers just hit the number one,
04:37 it will take you to one of the pastoral staff
04:41 and you'll be able to record and receive actual prayer
04:46 for your request at that time.
04:48 And we just praise the Lord
04:50 that so many of you have been calling in
04:53 and have been responding.
04:56 And we also appreciate your, not only your prayers
04:59 but your financial support
05:00 because, Danny, without that we wouldn't exist.
05:03 Absolutely, what we're doing is it has to be a team effort,
05:07 and it has to be all of us who have the same goals
05:10 and then same mission of taking this gospel message
05:13 into all the world so Jesus can come back.
05:15 So we really, you pray and ask the Lord
05:17 what He would have you to do
05:19 for the ministry reaching hands together
05:22 for the ministry
05:23 of Three Angels Broadcasting Network.
05:25 And 'cause we really do not designate
05:28 the amount, do we?
05:29 I think you heard somebody on the television just recently
05:32 that had a specific amount,
05:34 was it $423 or something like that?
05:36 I had a guy who had something like that,
05:38 I just heard him, just recently he said, give $423
05:42 and he said, you need to give it.
05:44 He said, it's blessed me so much by your giving,
05:46 I had to go buy 240 acres of property
05:49 and I don't even have any reason for it,
05:50 I just didn't want to give it to the government.
05:52 So I'm being blessed so much
05:54 that if you give me the money, you'll be blessed
05:56 and you can, things like that will happen to you, he said.
05:59 And he also said, the guy said,
06:01 what do you tell people to pray?
06:02 And he said, get this, he said, I tell them one thing,
06:06 just pray Lord, make me the biggest giver.
06:08 So I said, well, okay,
06:09 we don't do that here at 3ABN...
06:11 No we don't, we don't. We don't do that.
06:12 We let you pray and say, Lord, what would you have me to do?
06:15 And that's the reason sometimes
06:17 we could ask for a specific amount,
06:18 we might ask people to send 50,
06:20 but the Lord may want them to send 100.
06:21 That's right.
06:22 So we don't interfere with what the Lord is impressing
06:24 you to do in your giving,
06:25 not only to us but to your local church.
06:27 That's right.
06:28 And also your tithes and your offerings,
06:30 we encourage people
06:31 God will bless you for giving your tithes and offerings,
06:33 and believe it or not,
06:35 3ABN is not the only place that we think it should come,
06:37 we know God has a great work around the world.
06:40 And the Holy Spirit will impress you
06:42 not only how much to give but who to give to.
06:45 Well, He will and...
06:47 Did I go too far at that time?
06:48 No, you did exactly. Okay, all right.
06:50 We were discussing this just before we came out,
06:53 and we honestly could not believe
06:56 some of the appeals that you will hear
06:58 if you're watching some religious television today.
07:02 But we just want to be as honest
07:04 and as straightforward as we can be,
07:08 you know, the great needs of this ministry
07:11 and no manipulation,
07:13 just allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart.
07:17 Our speaker today,
07:19 Dr. Bill Knott is a New Englander really.
07:23 Okay.
07:24 He went to Atlantic Union College,
07:26 he began his ministry in New England
07:29 in Taunton, Massachusetts,
07:31 went on to Syracuse, New York where he was a pastor.
07:35 And then to Berrien Springs, Michigan,
07:38 you remember Berrien Springs,
07:40 and then to Walla Walla, Washington
07:42 where he was a college church pastor.
07:45 Along the way, he also received his MDiv,
07:48 Master of Divinity
07:50 from Andrews University seminary.
07:52 And then later went to George Washington University
07:56 in Washington DC
07:58 and received his doctorate of history,
08:02 American Religious History.
08:05 So he is, he is well equipped,
08:07 he loves the Lord, he's been a pastor,
08:10 you're not talking about somebody
08:11 that spent all their life just studying,
08:14 this has been a man that for 18 years
08:17 pastored churches working with people.
08:20 Wow.
08:21 And he's an editor, a writer,
08:22 he was for nine years the associate editor
08:25 of the Review and Herald, before he became the editor.
08:30 He has two sons, Evan and Brady.
08:32 In fact, I think we were talking a minute ago
08:35 and Evan is right now
08:37 preaching at a little church in Michigan,
08:39 he is a ministerial student at Andrews University,
08:42 a senior ministerial student
08:44 and he's preaching in a little church
08:46 out in southwestern Michigan
08:48 right at this very time
08:50 that his father will be speaking to us here today.
08:54 And his son Brady is also there,
08:56 Evan and Brady, his wife Debby works
08:59 at the General Conference
09:01 and these are people that love the Lord.
09:04 What we appreciate about him
09:05 is that he has, he's very open to supporting ministries,
09:10 he's very close to many of the ASI ministries
09:15 including 3ABN and we appreciate his support.
09:18 Amen.
09:20 I'm glad you came out to tell about all the degrees
09:23 and education he has
09:24 'cause I not only couldn't remember that,
09:26 I can't even say some of his degrees,
09:28 I can't even call him by name, there's so up there.
09:31 But no, he's a great guy,
09:33 besides all of that he loves the Lord...
09:34 Amen.
09:36 He's gonna bring us a great message,
09:37 why don't we just have a little prayer
09:38 and then we're gonna have Pastor John Lomacang,
09:40 he's gonna come out
09:41 and this week we've been actually showing
09:44 some of the Pillars songs, music on video
09:47 but he's going to sing to us live today.
09:49 So we're happy for Pastor John
09:51 and thankful for what God is doing in him
09:53 and through him.
09:54 You know, he's gonna sing
09:56 one of my favorite historical songs,
09:58 "Don't You See My Jesus Coming".
10:02 And this is a wonderful
10:04 inspiring song of the second coming.
10:07 Amen.
10:08 Jim, would you lead us in prayer?
10:09 Our Father and our God, we thank You today
10:11 that we can come to You in prayer.
10:14 Father, we thank You that we have the assurance
10:17 that Jesus loves us,
10:19 that He came to die for us,
10:23 that He rose again and that He's coming back.
10:27 Father, help us to continue
10:29 to proclaim that message around the world,
10:32 through the power of Your Holy Spirit,
10:35 I pray that You will bring revival
10:37 not only to our church,
10:38 not only to our ministry but to us individually.
10:43 Bring us that spiritual revival,
10:46 we pray, thank You, Father.
10:48 Pray that You will anoint.
10:50 The music we're going to hear in a moment from Pastor John
10:53 and anoint the lips of Pastor Bill Knott,
10:56 in Jesus' name we ask it, amen.
11:21 Don't you see my Jesus coming?
11:27 Don't you see, in yonder cloud?
11:34 With ten thousand angels round Him
11:40 See how they my Jesus crowd?
11:46 I am bound for the kingdom
11:52 Will you go to glory with me?
11:58 Hallelujah! O praise ye the Lord!
12:08 Don't you see the saints ascending
12:13 Hear them shouting thro' the air
12:20 Jesus smiling, trumpets sounding
12:25 Now His glory they will share
12:30 I am bound for the kingdom
12:36 Will you go to glory with me?
12:42 Hallelujah! O praise ye the Lord!
12:48 Hallelujah!
12:51 Hallelujah!
12:53 Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
12:56 Hallelujah!
13:02 Don't you see the heavens open?
13:07 And the saints in glory there
13:14 Shouts of triumph bursting round them
13:20 Glory, glory, glory here
13:25 Where
13:30 I am bound for the kingdom
13:35 Will you go to glory with me?
13:41 Hallelujah! O praise ye the Lord!
13:47 Hallelujah!
13:49 O praise ye the Lord!
14:05 Amen.
14:14 Good morning and happy Sabbath.
14:15 Happy Sabbath.
14:17 This morning the Word of God for us
14:19 is found in the Gospel of Luke 7:11,
14:25 Luke 7:11.
14:32 "Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain,
14:37 and his disciples and a large crowd
14:39 went with him.
14:40 As he approached the gate of the town,
14:42 a man who was died was being carried out,
14:45 he was his mother's only son, and she was a widow.
14:49 And with her was a large crowd from the town."
14:57 After school
15:00 and certainly on every school holiday,
15:05 the four of us kids used to play at healing
15:10 out under a clear blue Texas sky.
15:14 I'm not quite sure which of us first invented the game
15:18 or if any of us would care to claim credit for it today.
15:23 Maybe it came about because of all those stories
15:26 we heard at Sabbath school about missionary doctors
15:29 and nurses toiling over broken bodies
15:32 in far off jungle places.
15:36 Maybe it came from the fevered imaginations of children
15:41 who had been watching too many medical dramas
15:44 on television.
15:45 In any event, by halfway through
15:47 the first grade the game was firmly established.
15:52 Keith would bring with him an old stethoscope
15:55 that he somehow managed to smuggle out of the house
15:57 every afternoon.
15:59 Kathy would bring an array of cooking utensils
16:03 that had been magically transformed
16:05 into surgical instruments.
16:08 I would bring along my trusty red
16:10 and silver etch-a-sketch machine.
16:14 And Tina, well, as I remember it,
16:18 Tina didn't have to bring anything along.
16:21 Tina had the sweetest smile
16:22 a first grade boy ever fell in love with.
16:26 Children's games as we all remember
16:29 have very definite roles and rules to them,
16:34 things have to be done decently and in order
16:38 or else the game dissolves.
16:40 And in our particular version
16:42 of the age old game of medicine,
16:44 the patient for the day would have to lie down
16:47 on an open bench out there in the stone garden,
16:50 a bench that had been magically transformed
16:52 into a surgical operating table.
16:55 With knowing looks, the doctor of the hour
17:00 would lean over murmur wise observations
17:05 to the attending nurse, who of course was Tina.
17:10 The cardiogram machine, the electrocardiogram machine
17:13 would be called for
17:15 better known as the etch-a-sketch machine.
17:18 And it would be laid down on the patient's heart,
17:21 and by turning the white dials
17:23 of that red and silver etch-a-sketch machine,
17:25 you could create the wildest arrhythmias
17:27 you ever did see.
17:32 Truth is, the supposed heart beats
17:34 on that etch-a-sketch machine
17:37 look more like the gyrations of my 401(k) fund recently.
17:42 If you wanted to show
17:43 that the patient was desperately ill,
17:46 you just crank the dials down until he appeared to flat line.
17:51 It was the patient's role
17:53 of course to patiently endure all of this
17:56 and to moan and groan
17:58 at all the appropriate intervals.
18:01 Sometimes if you felt particularly daring,
18:05 you would even feign unconsciousness,
18:09 where only the administrations
18:11 of Nurse Tina could wake you up.
18:14 You would awake from your comatose condition
18:17 to discover Dr. Keith leaning over you
18:19 with that curious half smile on his face,
18:22 while Tina looked on adoringly.
18:25 Well, children are incurable optimists,
18:28 we know that.
18:29 No one ever died
18:31 during our little game of medicine,
18:33 that very worst the patient would only appear to be dead.
18:39 The whole point of the game,
18:42 the whole point of the game
18:43 was the exercise of superior skill
18:46 by the medical staff
18:47 that had saved yet another difficult case.
18:52 Oh, the games the children play.
18:57 What a strange prophetic forecast they give
19:02 of what we may end up doing with our lives.
19:06 Today, Keith is a successful psychiatrist
19:11 practicing in Denver.
19:14 Kathy went on to earn a doctorate in nursing.
19:17 Tina well, Tina broke them all
19:21 but then again Tina always broke them all.
19:24 And I make so boldest to stand behind pulpits
19:28 week after week in places around the world
19:31 and talk about healing.
19:35 That game that we played in the stone garden
19:38 on weekday afternoons
19:39 has become the real stuff of our grown up lives.
19:45 We never allowed for death
19:46 in those backyard games as children,
19:49 every sick patient was eventually gonna recover,
19:54 every wounded cowboy or Indian
19:57 was gonna get up and play the game the next day.
20:01 Our little world was built on that unsubstantiated belief
20:04 that life always goes on,
20:07 recovery always happens,
20:10 as long as there is life there is hope.
20:13 Hope and life in play were all inextricably connected
20:18 for us as children.
20:21 But the story that Luke tells us about in his gospel
20:24 this morning shows us a time
20:26 when no one felt at all like playing,
20:31 because no one had any hope left.
20:34 Hope had disappeared.
20:38 Hope had disappeared as quickly as had the last breaths
20:42 of that sturdy young man
20:44 who lay there on the funeral stretcher.
20:48 His curly black hair was still damp
20:51 from the fever of his last moments,
20:55 his teeth were clenched in a last spasm of pain.
21:02 There is something,
21:04 there is something about the death of children
21:08 to which we humans will never be reconciled.
21:14 We can sometimes in the course of things
21:18 accept and understand the death of an elderly person
21:23 who has lived a long fruitful life
21:25 in our own quiet way,
21:29 we have been getting ready for that moment.
21:32 We can sometimes even accept
21:34 the loss of a middle-aged person
21:36 who by accident or illness
21:39 leaves a family alone, leaderless.
21:45 But nothing,
21:47 nothing in our bones disposes us
21:50 to understand the death of children,
21:54 our children or anybody's children.
21:58 There's something profoundly unnatural about children
22:02 preceding their parents to the grave,
22:04 it scares us and it scars us
22:07 more than any other fear we have.
22:10 With the death of children, comes the death of hope.
22:16 The future instead of looking bright and rosy,
22:19 it just becomes a long gray corridor of time.
22:24 And on that day in the village of Nain,
22:26 I suspect that people
22:27 who otherwise never went to funerals
22:29 came out to that funeral that day
22:31 to walk behind that unnamed widow
22:34 as she walked behind
22:36 the funeral stretcher of her son.
22:40 Her loss,
22:42 oh, it was a lot more than her loss,
22:44 the entire town felt it keenly.
22:48 Not only had death dealt them a blow by taking the life
22:51 of a young man they loved,
22:53 but death had, had blasted their hopes as well,
22:56 how could they go on
22:59 when this kind of thing could happen?
23:01 If young men like this could be cut down in the prime of life,
23:07 how would life ever again be sweet or fun?
23:14 How could the children ever play again
23:17 in the dusty streets
23:19 late afternoon their funny little games of doctor,
23:25 rabbi, carpenter?
23:30 It's very likely that the entire town
23:32 had turned out for this funeral
23:34 in that hilltop village called Nain.
23:37 And just now as Luke shows us the scene,
23:39 the funeral procession
23:40 is making its way out of the gate of the village
23:43 and down the steep road to the cemeteries,
23:46 which even to this day lined the road to Nain.
23:52 It really was the worst
23:53 of all possible days for a funeral.
23:57 Bright cheerful sun hanging in mid-heaven,
24:02 song birds twittering
24:03 in the olive trees along the route,
24:07 fields of ripe grain blowing in a gentle breeze
24:11 down in the valley,
24:13 the snow capped heights of Mount Hermon
24:15 outlined against a blue sky,
24:18 oh, it was the worst of all possible days for a funeral.
24:22 Everything in the natural world
24:24 had conspired on that day to sing a song of hope
24:27 and on that day the human world had no hope.
24:33 They were going to a funeral.
24:36 An entire village was going down,
24:40 it was going down the steep rocky road
24:43 that led to the cemeteries,
24:45 down from the companionship of the houses
24:48 that clustered up there on the hill,
24:50 down to the lonely graves where they buried their dead.
24:56 Mourners were weeping that morning,
24:58 some of them professional hired to mourn,
25:01 others weeping
25:02 because their heart really was ready to break into.
25:08 The stretcher was undoubtedly carried
25:10 by the young men of the village,
25:14 each one of them feeling the solemn weight
25:19 of carrying someone they had loved
25:22 on their shoulders.
25:26 Do you know that weight?
25:29 I do, I do.
25:35 And just at that moment as providence would have it,
25:38 just at that moment,
25:39 Jesus and His followers were going up,
25:41 up that same steep rocky path
25:44 that led to the village of Nain.
25:46 It was a place that Jesus undoubtedly knew very well,
25:49 Nain was a mere six miles,
25:52 a 90 minute walk from his hometown of Nazareth.
25:54 He had undoubtedly been there many times in the 28 years
25:58 he lived in Nazareth.
26:00 And chances are Jesus had many friends
26:02 up there in that hilltop town.
26:05 He knew every turn in that twisting road
26:07 that led up from the plain of Esdraelon
26:10 where Deborah and Barak had defeated crafty Cicero.
26:14 Up past the town of Endora, where discouraged Saul
26:17 had gone to seek the spirit of dead Samuel,
26:20 up past the olive trees and the vineyards,
26:23 up past the cemeteries, up to the gate of the village,
26:26 two great crowds of people were on the move that morning.
26:31 One of them sat discouraged,
26:34 almost frantic with grief.
26:38 And the other one buoyant and cheerful and hopeful,
26:41 because they had among them, the one who called himself
26:44 the resurrection and the life.
26:47 It was as if a wedding party
26:51 had confronted a funeral procession
26:52 at an intersection.
26:55 And no one knew what to do.
26:58 What did etiquette call for anyway?
27:01 Should you blow the horns and let the tin cans rattle?
27:05 Or should you turn on the headlights
27:08 and be somber, dress in black?
27:14 Jesus' eyes quickly sized up the situation,
27:17 He realized that He and His disciples
27:19 were on a collision course
27:21 with a grieving widow and her dead son,
27:23 unless He told His followers to step aside,
27:25 those two groups of people would soon be so intermixed
27:29 that no one would know who was going up
27:31 and who was going down.
27:35 Disciples with Thanksgiving on their lips
27:37 would soon find themselves
27:39 surrounded by a sea of wailing people.
27:43 And mourners clinging to their grief
27:46 would soon be surrounded by disciples
27:48 still bubbling with the news of Jesus' latest miracle.
27:53 But you know, Jesus didn't care a lot
27:55 about etiquette that morning.
27:58 Jesus didn't care a lot about etiquette that morning,
28:01 because He had both the will and the power
28:04 to bring that mourning to an end.
28:07 The scripture tells us that when Jesus saw this widow,
28:11 His heart went out to her, His heart went out to her.
28:15 What a beautiful expression
28:17 that sums up how Jesus response to any hurting person,
28:21 His heart goes out to them.
28:25 He saw her grief for what it was.
28:28 Her grief was the broken hearted lament of a woman,
28:35 who was now without hope
28:37 just as surely as she was without resources.
28:41 With no husband to support her,
28:44 with no son to care for her in her old age,
28:46 she would now very likely be reduced
28:49 to living off the generosity of friends,
28:53 worse yet, she might end up begging for bread.
28:59 There would never be any little grandsons
29:02 to bounce on her knee.
29:06 There never be any playful little granddaughters
29:08 to tug at her skirts and say, grandma, tell us
29:12 what it was like in the olden days?
29:16 No, there would be no one else to talk to
29:20 on those long evenings,
29:21 when the other village women retreated into their houses
29:24 with their husbands and their children.
29:27 All her hopes lay dead and pulled on that stretcher
29:30 that she walked behind,
29:32 she was burying a lot more than her son that day
29:35 and she knew it disheartened,
29:37 discouraged people don't last very long.
29:44 Chances were that failing health,
29:48 advancing age, few resources
29:53 would take her to an early grave of her own.
29:57 And at just the moment
29:59 when we would have expected Jesus
30:00 to put an arm around her shoulder
30:02 and stand there beside the body
30:05 as He had once stood at the tomb of Lazarus,
30:08 Jesus says a very surprising thing,
30:12 don't cry, He tells the widow.
30:15 Or as some of the better translations have it,
30:17 you can stop crying now.
30:20 Friends, that is a curious thing
30:22 to be saying at a funeral.
30:24 In 32 years
30:26 of conducting Adventist and Christian funerals,
30:28 I have never even once
30:29 thought of saying something like that.
30:33 Right at the moment when we would have expected
30:35 Jesus to be validating her feelings
30:38 and telling her that her tears would do her good,
30:41 and giving her His shoulder to cry on.
30:45 Jesus tells her to stop crying,
30:49 He seems to suggest
30:50 that there's no reason to go on shedding tears.
30:54 Well, my friends,
30:55 in case you have not picked this up,
30:57 Jesus is always doing surprising things.
31:02 At just the moment when we think
31:04 He will act in some predictable manner
31:06 and do the thing we've always expected,
31:08 He does something we never have thought of.
31:12 At some moment when we have just accomplished something,
31:16 that brings us the praise of our peers
31:18 and our hearts are swelling with pride,
31:21 Jesus says to us,
31:22 humble yourself in the sight of the Lord.
31:25 It is not what we expected.
31:29 And when we're feeling
31:31 so wretched and low about ourselves
31:34 that we think that no one so holy
31:37 and pure as Jesus,
31:38 whatever want to have anything to do with slime like us,
31:42 Jesus says, whoever comes to me I will never cast out.
31:45 Do you believe it?
31:47 Whoever comes to me, I will never cast out.
31:51 When we're planning some revenge,
31:55 yes, I know you, I know me.
31:58 When we're planning some revenge on someone
32:00 who has injured us,
32:02 Jesus says, turn the other cheek.
32:07 Love those who persecute you
32:11 and when we're sure,
32:12 when we're certain that we've blown it big,
32:16 we've ruined all our chances for eternal life,
32:19 Jesus says,
32:21 the Son of Man came not into the world
32:23 to condemn the world
32:24 but that the world through Him might be saved.
32:28 If you want to worship a predictable Lord,
32:31 my friends, it will not be Jesus.
32:34 If you want a safe,
32:36 stable discipleship with no surprises,
32:40 you will not be following Jesus.
32:42 It is Jesus who delights in what we call dilemmas.
32:46 It's Jesus who thrives on surprise.
32:50 It's Jesus who revels in resurrections.
32:53 It's Jesus who gets righteous about revival.
32:57 And on that morning,
32:59 Jesus took grief and He turned it on its head,
33:04 and He brought it up dancing,
33:08 because He had declared
33:09 that it was the essence of His mission
33:12 to reverse the pain in human life,
33:15 to preach good news to the poor,
33:17 to proclaim freedom for the prisoners,
33:20 cause the blind to see,
33:22 set at liberty all who were oppressed,
33:24 you know, He could afford to do some surprising things,
33:29 even on days like that,
33:32 even at a funeral.
33:34 Scripture doesn't tell us
33:36 how this widow reacted to His strange command
33:39 that she should stop crying.
33:41 It doesn't tell us
33:42 if the tears somehow freeze dried on her cheeks
33:45 when she realized it was Jesus speaking to her.
33:49 We don't know
33:51 if she might have been a lifelong friend of Jesus
33:53 whose heart sprang up with joy
33:54 when she saw Him standing in the path.
33:57 On the other hand
33:59 she might have looked at Him as a stranger
34:01 and wondered how a stranger could say something so uncaring
34:07 in her moment of bitterness.
34:09 But whatever feelings
34:11 His words may have provoked in her,
34:12 He didn't leave her guessing very long, did He?
34:16 Luke tells us that He immediately
34:18 stepped over to the funeral stretcher
34:21 and He did something that no rabbi and no priest
34:24 and no Pharisee in all the land
34:25 would have done in a similar situation,
34:27 He reached out and He touched the funeral stretcher.
34:32 Now that seems unusual to us,
34:35 we are used to attending funerals
34:37 and seeing mourners touch the casket
34:41 in a gesture of affection or saying goodbye.
34:46 It's hard for us to understand
34:48 how the people of Jesus' time
34:50 thought about the presence of death.
34:52 But according to the Law of Moses,
34:54 anyone who even touched a dead body
34:56 or the bed on which a dead body lay
34:59 was for a period of time excluded
35:03 from the presence of the Lord,
35:04 in the ominous language of that day,
35:06 they were ceremonially unclean.
35:11 Jesus risked defilement
35:14 because He unnecessarily came in contact
35:18 with a dead body.
35:20 Jesus risk the probability that He would be excluded
35:23 from the synagogue service the next Sabbath
35:26 by some unctuous elder who told Him,
35:28 you are ceremonially unclean.
35:33 But you know, as He did on so many other occasions,
35:36 Jesus showed no fear of the censure of His enemies.
35:41 He knew what He was about,
35:42 and He was about doing good and making people whole,
35:45 He risked defilement with virtually every person
35:48 that He healed with every diseased person,
35:51 with every blind person, with every paralyzed person,
35:56 with every demoniac.
35:57 And you know, I like to think that He did it all with the,
36:00 a look in His eye and a laugh
36:02 that said, oh, come now, be serious.
36:05 How can making someone else whole
36:08 make me unclean?
36:11 Then Jesus said something to that lifeless form
36:14 on the funeral stretcher,
36:15 which no rabbi and no priest
36:17 and no Pharisee in all the land would have ever dared to say,
36:20 because it would have been blasphemously impossible
36:23 for them to carry it out.
36:25 Jesus said, young man, I say to you get up.
36:30 A little advice this morning,
36:33 if you're going to make it a habit to go to funerals
36:38 and tell the dead to get up,
36:42 you'd better have the power to make it happen.
36:45 Amen.
36:48 Or else there are gonna be a lot of angry mourners
36:50 wanting to tear you limb from limb,
36:52 but you know, my friends,
36:54 Jesus wasn't in any danger that day.
36:56 He wasn't in any danger from disappointed people.
37:00 Now Jesus, Jesus held then and Jesus holds now uncreated,
37:07 unimaginable power in His hands,
37:10 He wakes the dead to life
37:11 more easily then I wake up my son
37:13 from an afternoon nap.
37:16 And on that strange morning so long ago,
37:19 His creative word reached into the ears
37:22 of that dead young man and recreated in him
37:25 the ability to both hear and understand.
37:28 And Luke,
37:30 the doctor ever interested in the medical details
37:33 of the case he says that the dead man sat up
37:37 and began to speak, I bet he did.
37:42 Can you imagine, friends, what it would be a like,
37:44 what it would be like to lose consciousness
37:48 and go under in your own house
37:51 surrounded by dozens of grieving friends
37:53 and families,
37:54 knowing that this was probably your last moment of life,
37:58 and then wake up in the middle of a funeral procession
38:01 half a mile away five feet off the ground.
38:06 I'd love to know what he said.
38:09 Did he pick up in mid-sentence where he had left off,
38:14 telling his mother not to grieve?
38:18 Did He continue with a long list of things
38:20 he was confessing?
38:22 Because he thought this was his last moment.
38:26 Was he in the middle of distributing
38:28 all of his prized possessions to his friends,
38:31 who would now have to give them back?
38:35 How bewildering to be the last person in the scene
38:38 to know what was truly going on,
38:40 but you know, my friends,
38:42 I'm sure that if that young man experienced
38:44 any embarrassment that morning it quickly went away
38:48 when he opened his eyes
38:49 and looked straight into the face of Jesus.
38:52 At the height he was being carried
38:54 about five feet off the ground,
38:56 it is literally true, friends,
38:58 that the first thing that young man saw,
39:00 when he opened his eyes from the sleep of death
39:03 was nothing else than the face of Jesus.
39:07 That young man resurrected outside
39:09 the gate of his hometown,
39:11 he was the first one to know the consolation
39:14 with which so many Christians
39:16 have laid down in the sleep of death,
39:18 they have known with utter certainty
39:21 that the next thing they see
39:22 on that great getting up morning
39:24 is gonna be nothing other than the face of Jesus.
39:28 Like Him, the righteous dead
39:32 are gonna sit up and begin to talk.
39:36 But rather than continuing their confessions
39:38 or handing out their estates,
39:40 I have this idea
39:41 that what every resurrected tongue
39:43 is gonna be saying that morning
39:45 is something like worthy, worthy is the lamb
39:48 that was slain to receive power,
39:51 and wealth, and wisdom, and strength,
39:53 and honor, and glory, and blessing,
39:55 oh, praise to the Lord Jesus.
40:00 Friends, I want you to follow me this morning,
40:03 I want you to use those rusty sacred imaginations
40:08 of yours for a moment.
40:10 I want you to think of what it must have been like
40:13 to be outside the village gate of Nain
40:16 on that morning.
40:18 On that morning, when Jesus simply spoke
40:20 the word that brought a widow's dead son
40:23 back to life and gave a town back its hope,
40:26 when He proved conclusively
40:28 that He is the Lord over sin and death.
40:30 Think for me, think with me,
40:33 what it was like to be there.
40:36 Do you think, friends, that the people in the crowd
40:40 just quietly turned around
40:43 and went back to their individual homes?
40:48 Do you think my, friends,
40:49 that all those who had just witnessed
40:51 the foretaste of the final defeat of Satan
40:54 just looked at each other and said,
40:55 well, that was nice, wonder, what we're having for lunch.
41:01 Do you think that these people,
41:02 all of these ecstatic ex-mourners,
41:06 all of these deliriously delighted people
41:08 just turned around, and picked up their dust claws
41:11 and their shovels and went back to work?
41:15 Friends, I don't know about your sacred imaginations
41:17 but let me tell you what I see in mine.
41:20 I see a crowd of people almost leaping into the air
41:24 in delight for what Jesus has done.
41:26 I hear a thunder of voices outside the walls of Nain
41:30 lifting up the cry of the psalmist
41:32 and throwing it to the heavens,
41:33 Lord, you have turned our mourning into dancing,
41:37 our feet are filled with Your praise.
41:41 I hear others with their arms around me
41:46 lifting up their voices as we give our praise to Jesus.
41:51 You see, friends, this morning and every morning,
41:57 this morning and every morning I can draw faith
42:02 from reading the lessons of scripture,
42:05 about what Jesus is able to do in reviving
42:08 not only individuals but whole movements.
42:12 I draw strength this morning from the knowledge
42:17 that 2,000 years ago, a gentle healer named Jesus
42:23 simply spoke the word
42:26 that brought a young man back to life,
42:28 gave a town its hope again.
42:31 Because, I believe that one day soon
42:33 that same gentle healer is gonna call me
42:36 and all those I love on to life eternal.
42:42 But I have to admit,
42:45 I've been having an argument with the Lord recently,
42:50 I've been having an argument with the Lord
42:53 about where I'm gonna be on resurrection morning.
42:59 I want to be
43:02 in a little hilltop cemetery in western Massachusetts,
43:08 where three weeks ago tomorrow,
43:12 we laid my father to rest.
43:16 Then where a year ago come Tuesday,
43:19 we laid my mother to rest.
43:22 I want to be there
43:23 on resurrection morning to see all that precious dust,
43:27 mother, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles
43:31 rise to walk in newness of life.
43:35 But I also want to be in Syracuse, New York
43:38 out on a windswept hill on the east side of town,
43:41 I want to be there to watch my Italian grandparents,
43:44 who embraced the truth of God's remnant church,
43:46 I want to see them come back to life
43:48 that morning too.
43:51 But I also want to be in a little cemetery
43:55 behind a church in Bedford, Michigan,
43:59 where my best friend sleeps.
44:02 We had gone all the way
44:03 through high school and college together,
44:06 friends, prayer partners,
44:09 had started seminary together one morning,
44:11 Jeff, went one way to class and I went there,
44:17 and he never got there.
44:20 And every time I drive near Battle Creek,
44:23 I stop and go out
44:24 to that little cemetery in Bedford
44:27 and I say, Lord,
44:28 I want to be here on resurrection morning.
44:31 I don't know how the Lord is gonna sort all this out,
44:34 I know He's gonna sort me out.
44:37 I know that He will make me deliriously happy on that day
44:41 when He calls those I love back to life eternal.
44:46 Friends, not only do I believe this morning
44:48 that Jesus can bring a dead disciple back to life,
44:54 but I've come to believe in recent months
44:56 that Jesus can bring comatose congregations
45:00 and quiescent conferences back to life as well.
45:05 Thank God that in His goodness this movement has never died.
45:08 Thank God that in His goodness for 150 years
45:12 there have been believers
45:13 in this advent message on this continent,
45:15 but, friends, let's be candid, let's be candid.
45:19 The body has been going through some rough times recently.
45:24 Parts of the body have become entirely inactive.
45:31 Hands and fingers that should have been doing
45:34 the work of caring and sharing,
45:38 they've gotten paralyzed with disuse.
45:42 Legs and feet that should have been like
45:44 Jesus going on errands of mercy,
45:46 they've spent way too much time
45:48 propped up in front of television sets
45:50 and video games.
45:53 Throughout the body of this church
45:54 there has often been a pervasive sense
45:56 of illness and disease
45:59 and the woundedness of individuals
46:01 has now often become
46:02 the woundedness of whole congregations,
46:06 whole regions.
46:08 Now as ever before
46:11 we stand in need of the touch of a gentle leader.
46:16 I want you to hear the words
46:19 that Ellen White wrote,
46:20 the words that come from today's reading
46:23 in the week of prayer,
46:25 words that fit this moment
46:28 in our church's history so well.
46:32 Listen to what the servant of inspiration wrote.
46:35 "Idleness and religion do not go hand in hand,
46:40 and the cause of our great deficiency
46:42 in the Christian life and experience
46:44 is inactivity in the work of God.
46:47 The muscles of your body will become weak and useless
46:51 if they are not kept in exercise,
46:53 and it is so with the spiritual nature.
46:55 If you would be strong, you must exercise your powers.
46:59 Exercise faith in God by proving his promises
47:02 as you take up your cross and lift your burden.
47:05 Put on the yoke of Christ,
47:07 and prove his words to the test,
47:08 you will find rest for your souls.
47:11 Open the Scriptures
47:13 to some one that is in darkness,
47:14 and you will not complain of your weariness
47:17 or lack of interest in the truth."
47:20 The cause and the cure are equally matched,
47:24 the church that has grown tired and weak
47:27 and apathetic can be revived
47:29 by focusing on the creative and re-creative power of God
47:33 and by watching Him do miracles again
47:36 in our midst.
47:39 I told you a few moments ago
47:42 that I do have a sacred imagination.
47:46 And I'm here this morning to tell you
47:49 it still works real well.
47:51 Amen.
47:53 I'm here because Jesus is here
47:58 to tell you about a future for this movement
48:03 in which healing and revival abound.
48:09 I'm here today to talk about a time in this movement
48:14 when shattered broken lives are made whole again.
48:18 I'm here to talk about a moment,
48:21 when discouraged sinful people
48:24 discover a community of God's people
48:27 ready to wrap their arms around them.
48:30 I see this movement as a place
48:34 that gathers in and doesn't exclude,
48:38 I see this movement as a place where those
48:40 who are already feeling self condemned
48:42 by their behaviors and their addictions
48:45 have God's people love them into the truth.
48:49 I see this movement as a place
48:52 where those who've had the self esteem
48:54 are almost crushed out of them,
48:56 have your arms
48:57 and my arms wrapped around them.
49:01 I want to be part of that movement,
49:03 I want to be part of that revival,
49:05 it's a revival of primitive godliness,
49:08 it sounds a whole lot
49:09 like the church of the Book of Acts,
49:11 because it is again
49:13 a revival of the same spirit of activity and faith.
49:17 I want to be part of a community
49:20 that has its arms open wide
49:21 as Jesus has His arms open wide.
49:24 If that's the church you want to be part of,
49:28 raise your hand today.
49:30 If that's the church you want to belong to,
49:34 make a commitment today to giving this day,
49:38 to being part of that revival moment
49:42 that He has for us.
49:45 Ellen White says in that same reading,
49:48 "If you would go to work as Christ designed
49:52 that his disciples should,
49:54 and win souls to the truth,
49:56 you would feel the need of a deeper experience
49:59 and greater knowledge in divine things,
50:02 you would hunger and thirst after righteousness.
50:06 You would plead with God,
50:07 and your faith would be strengthened,
50:09 and your soul would drink deeper draughts
50:11 at the well of salvation.
50:13 Encountering opposition and trials would drive you
50:16 to the Bible and prayer,
50:17 and then you would go forth as laborers together with God,
50:20 to open the Scriptures to the people.
50:22 You would grow in grace, and in knowledge of the truth,
50:25 and your experience would be rich and fragrant."
50:28 That sounds like a revived people, doesn't it?
50:32 That sounds like a people who got the order straight,
50:35 revival begins with the activity of God,
50:39 He can raise the dead.
50:42 Revival continues as we are individually
50:45 and corporately renewed by a focus on His word
50:49 and a prayer life that's rich and deep.
50:51 Revival continues as we take
50:53 that experience of new joy and new hope
50:57 and begin moving out into the community
50:59 and we discover that
51:01 for every Bible study we give, we gain.
51:04 For every lesson that we teach, we learn.
51:08 For every sermon that we preach,
51:10 we are preached to ourselves by the Holy Spirit of God.
51:15 That, my friends,
51:16 is the reciprocity of the gospel,
51:19 it brings back to us that which we give away.
51:22 Revival continues not just by wishing it so
51:25 and hoping it so,
51:27 but by moving out in faith and letting God make it so.
51:31 Revival and mission, oh, they're inextricably connected.
51:34 When you've seen the dead raised to life,
51:38 you've got something to say.
51:40 When you've seen the spiritually dead
51:43 raised to life, you've got something to say.
51:46 If you're one of those who's been raised
51:48 from a death of sin
51:50 to everlasting life in Jesus Christ,
51:52 you've got something to say,
51:54 no one can keep you silent.
51:57 Trust me as long as I breathe
51:59 the rocks are not gonna cry out.
52:02 As long as I breathe
52:04 no singing, no shouting from rocks,
52:09 I will give Him praise as long as I have my being.
52:14 That's what the Psalmist says,
52:17 that's what I say this morning as well.
52:20 Friends, time has come in our life as a movement,
52:24 the time has come for us to move off
52:27 just spectator existence
52:30 watching other people do mission.
52:34 Friends, if you don't get involved in it,
52:37 you will get bored with watching others do it.
52:41 If you don't ever find the opportunity to pick up
52:44 the tools of the gospel and go out into your community,
52:47 you're gonna have no reason to stay with this movement.
52:52 And the vast number of those who leave, leave
52:56 because they have never found that renewing revival mission
53:01 that comes forward
53:02 from a born again experience with Jesus.
53:06 How many of you know that born again experience?
53:09 How many of you know that Jesus is in fact
53:12 renewing and reviving you this day
53:15 as you invite Him into your life?
53:17 Friends, Jesus calls us today to look at His word,
53:23 to remember His power, to find His renewing, reviving,
53:27 resurrecting strength in our own lives
53:29 and then to go out
53:30 and keep that cycle of renewal and revival going forward.
53:36 If today that's what you want,
53:39 would you get on your feet with me?
53:41 We want to offer ourselves in dedication
53:43 to the Lord today,
53:46 making ourselves available for a great plan
53:50 that only He knows in all of its detail,
53:54 and only we can live as His disciples.
53:58 Pray with me now.
54:01 Lord Jesus,
54:03 this day our hearts have been reminded again
54:09 of Your great power.
54:11 We've seen again, Lord Jesus,
54:13 that You can do what we call the impossible,
54:17 You can create life again, and spiritual life again.
54:21 There are many of us here today, Lord,
54:23 who are testimonies, living witnesses to that fact,
54:26 now let us be more than living,
54:28 let us be speaking, and preaching, and testifying,
54:31 and sharing witnesses of that fact,
54:34 so that the renewal and the revival
54:36 You plan for Your people will keep moving forward.
54:39 May it ever be grounded in Your word, Lord Jesus.
54:43 May it ever be grounded
54:45 in a knowledge of what You do first
54:47 and then we do.
54:49 May the sequence of the gospel be clear to us.
54:51 It is not us running on ahead of You
54:53 and asking You to follow,
54:55 it is You doing great things and us giving You our praise.
55:00 Lord Jesus, this day take our hearts,
55:04 we can't give them to You unless Your Spirit prompts us.
55:09 Take our minds often distant
55:12 and traveling in far directions,
55:14 center them, focus them on the goodness of Jesus.
55:19 Take our lives, Lord,
55:21 we bring them in obedience to You,
55:23 knowing that in You, and through You,
55:25 and for You, and to You, are all things
55:28 may we be part of that movement, Lord Jesus.
55:31 Lord, this morning there is someone here
55:33 who wants to respond,
55:35 someone watching on television
55:36 who wants to reach out and give You their heart.
55:39 Lord Jesus, I invite You to work
55:41 with that person this day,
55:43 show them that new life and resurrection
55:45 and revival are possible for them.
55:48 May they have confidence, Lord,
55:50 the confidence that comes
55:52 from a certainty only You can give,
55:54 that they too can claim this new life.
55:57 And, Lord Jesus,
55:58 even now as we conclude this time of worship,
56:02 we raise our hearts in thanks giving
56:04 as those people in Nain must have once graced them.
56:07 We thank You, and praise You worthy,
56:10 worthy is the lamb
56:11 for giving us all that we need
56:15 that will carry us to Your kingdom.
56:16 Until that day, Lord Jesus, hold us in Your grasp,
56:20 inspire us with Your love,
56:23 give us the spirit to speak clearly,
56:26 confidently, and winningly of your good news.
56:31 I ask this and I pray this in the name
56:33 that is above all names,
56:34 even that of Jesus Christ the resurrected one,
56:40 amen.
56:53 As we slip into putting into practice
56:55 what we've heard this week in this week of revival.
56:58 Our prayer for you on behalf of 3ABN
57:00 and the Thompsonville Seventh-day Adventist Church
57:02 is that, you not just become content
57:06 with hearing about revival, but that you begin to pray
57:08 for the Lord to revive your life.
57:11 As we've discovered this morning
57:12 our Lord delights in dilemmas, revels in the resurrection,
57:17 and rejoices in revival.
57:20 We pray that the Lord will activate your prayer life
57:23 and your life of service, so that when Jesus comes,
57:26 He will come for a revived people.
57:29 May God bless you.


Revised 2017-05-11