Spring Camp Meeting 2014

The People He is Coming For

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Ty Gibson


Series Code: 14SCM

Program Code: 14SCM000015S

00:38 Wow! Well we're just so happy to invite you to join with us
00:41 as we begin the Sabbath here in West Frankfort, Illinois.
00:46 We're at the beautiful Worship Center 3ABN...
00:51 has been built by you: those of you that support this ministry.
00:57 And we've just been praising God here since Wednesday night.
01:01 It's been a tremendous time, hasn't it?
01:03 This is meeting #15, if you can believe it or not - Wow! -
01:06 and we still have a full day to go. And each sermon has
01:10 been powerful and pointed and very practical.
01:14 And the music has been really, really wonderful.
01:16 This has been a great Camp Meeting, and were we to stop
01:19 just now I think it would be one of our best.
01:22 But we've got one more full day to go
01:24 and a lot of blessings in store. Wow!
01:26 And we just are looking forward to this whole weekend.
01:30 And every single message has been anointed.
01:34 We have felt the power of the Holy Spirit here
01:37 when we've been in the back praying with the speakers.
01:41 It's just amazing.
01:43 I heard from Lonnie Melashenko today. He called me
01:47 back to tell me what a blessing it was
01:50 for him to be here with this congregation.
01:53 And he was at... picking out some flowers
01:57 for the service they will have for his father
02:01 when he called me. So keep the Melashenko family
02:05 in your prayers. You know, Jim, I met Colin and Judy.
02:10 They are from England - OK - and they came all the way over
02:14 just for this Camp Meeting. I don't know where they are seated
02:16 but Colin said - There they are right here. They are right down
02:19 front - that 3ABN was instrumental in his coming back
02:22 to the Lord - Amen - coming back to the church, and so he came
02:25 to be with us. So Colin and Judy, you've come a long way.
02:27 God bless you both. Right. And we're so happy that
02:31 you're here and we want to hear more about your story
02:35 some time because... I know you were able to share some of it
02:38 with Danny and he was real excited
02:40 when he heard about your story.
02:42 So God bless you and we're... again, welcome to Illinois.
02:47 Well listen, our brother John is going to sing.
02:49 Indeed! He's going to be singing Your Grace Amazes Me.
02:53 And then, of course, our speaker is Ty Gibson.
02:55 All right. And we know Ty. We all know that he's
02:59 the co-director along with James Rafferty
03:01 of a fantastic ministry. What's the title of that ministry?
03:07 Lightbearers Ministry. That's right... OK!
03:10 And it's so tremendous I forgot the title... but...
03:16 But he's also very active here on 3ABN.
03:21 And we enjoy so much being with James and Ty.
03:26 They were wonderful men. They love the Lord Jesus with
03:30 all of their hearts but they're real people. Um-hmm.
03:34 Real people who enjoy life, enjoy...
03:40 You heard this morning when Ty was telling a little bit about
03:45 how he got James involved with romance
03:48 and that's how much... These guys have a great relationship.
03:54 They really do. And I wish some more of us had better
03:57 relationships with each other.
04:00 But... What are you trying to say, Gilley?
04:07 As I tell people "We have the same father
04:11 just a different mother. " All right? Um-hmm.
04:14 John, are you ready? OK...
04:35 My faithful Father,
04:43 enduring Friend,
04:47 Your tender mercy's
04:51 like a river
04:55 with no end.
04:58 It overwhelms me,
05:05 covers my sin.
05:10 Each time I come into
05:14 Your presence I stand in wonder
05:20 once again.
05:26 Your grace
05:29 still amazes me.
05:33 Your love
05:36 is still a mystery.
05:41 Each day
05:44 I fall on my knees...
05:50 Your grace
05:52 still amazes me...
05:58 Your grace
06:00 still amazes me.
06:19 O patient Savior,
06:26 You make me whole.
06:31 You are the author
06:35 and the healer
06:39 of my soul.
06:42 What can I give You?
06:49 Lord, what can I say?
06:54 I know there's no way
06:57 to repay You...
07:01 only to offer You
07:05 my praise.
07:09 Your grace
07:13 still amazes me.
07:17 Your love
07:20 is still a mystery.
07:24 Each day
07:28 I fall on my knees...
07:33 Your grace
07:36 still amazes me...
07:41 Your grace
07:43 still amazes me.
07:47 It's deeper,
07:50 it's wider,
07:54 it's stronger,
07:57 it's higher,
08:01 it's deeper,
08:05 it's wider,
08:08 it's stronger
08:12 and it's higher than anything
08:18 my eyes can see.
08:22 Your grace
08:25 still amazes me.
08:29 Your love
08:32 is still a mystery.
08:36 Each day
08:39 I fall on my knees...
08:45 Your grace
08:48 still amazes me...
08:53 Your grace
08:55 still amazes
09:01 me.
09:20 Amen.
09:25 Amen! I've said it before and I'll say it again:
09:29 I'd be willing to max out a credit card
09:32 and pay monthly payments with 15% interest
09:35 till the second coming to sing like that brother.
09:41 Well, good evening everybody! Good evening!
09:44 I'm so glad to be here at... wait a minute...
09:51 For the life of me I can't remember the
09:53 name of this ministry. Hold on just a minute...
09:56 Jim... what's the name of your ministry?
09:59 Hope Channel. The Hope Channel... that's right.
10:02 That's right... that's right.
10:13 That fact is I'm very happy to be here at 3ABN...
10:19 mostly because of you and secondarily because of Jim.
10:24 I've been given the privilege of speaking
10:28 on an amazing subject.
10:31 You saw the title, didn't you?
10:33 The People He's Coming For.
10:35 Now I want to clarify: I wish the title of this message
10:39 was: The People For Whom He's Coming.
10:43 But I'm not going to get into the grammar of the preposition
10:48 at the end of the sentence. What I'm going to do
10:52 is begin with a thesis statement
10:57 right after we offer a word of prayer.
11:00 Father in heaven, You are so incredible!
11:07 The closer we get to You the more our hearts race.
11:14 We are literally excited
11:19 by the prospect that soon and very soon we will have
11:23 the privilege of standing in Your immediate presence.
11:26 What grace, what love, what acceptance
11:32 we will see in Your eyes.
11:36 Thank you so much for the opportunity
11:40 to know You and to prepare for the soon coming of Your Son
11:45 who will usher us into Your presence.
11:49 Please, Father, right now give me clarity.
11:51 Help me to speak effectively on Your behalf.
11:53 May all my brothers and sisters here and those who are viewing
11:58 be blessed by the breaking of the Bread of Life.
12:03 In Jesus' name, Amen.
12:06 So my opening thesis statement is simply this:
12:09 listen very carefully... We're going to go in a direction
12:12 that might be a little bit unexpected
12:15 on a topic such as ours.
12:17 Thesis statement: the second coming of Jesus
12:21 is a matrimonial event.
12:26 The second coming of Jesus is a matrimonial event.
12:30 Now we have oftentimes specialized
12:35 in reducing the glorious Biblical truth of the second
12:39 advent to a negation argument
12:44 to proclaim what it's not.
12:48 In other words, we have often reduced the second coming
12:52 to simply a doctrinal argument regarding the fact that it's not
12:57 a secret rapture and amassing the arsenal of texts
13:02 from scripture to point by point demonstrate
13:07 that fact. Now... it's important
13:12 for us to understand the manner of the second coming of Jesus.
13:16 But listen very carefully now:
13:19 not at the expense
13:22 of understanding why He's coming.
13:27 The truth of the second advent of Christ is a positive
13:32 Biblical declaration. In order for us to construct
13:37 our argument against the secret rapture
13:41 we have to pool various Bible verses -
13:45 and it's a sound argument - in order to piece by piece,
13:49 line by line - prove our point against what we know to be
13:55 a false doctrine. But the fact is
14:00 if we focus on what it's not
14:03 to the exclusion of what it is,
14:06 our hearts are robbed of the anticipation
14:11 of a beautiful event that ought to have our hearts racing
14:17 and palpitating with excitement for the prospect of Jesus
14:22 coming back in our lifetime.
14:25 Now I've stated that the second coming is a matrimonial event.
14:29 Let me wrap additional language around it so you know
14:32 exactly where I'm coming from as we formulate the message
14:35 tonight. The second coming of Jesus is
14:39 the consummation of a great love story.
14:45 It's that climactic point - the crescendo point -
14:49 of the ages
14:53 when human hearts that have been knit together
14:57 in deep love for the Savior finally stand in His presence
15:03 and feel the affirmation
15:06 of a bride before her groom.
15:10 Jesus is looking to form a corporate bride
15:15 to be prepared for His coming.
15:18 So the short answer to the question regarding the people
15:22 for whom Jesus is coming is simply this:
15:25 He's coming for a bride. He's coming for a group of people -
15:30 a corporate body - who are head- over-heels in love with Him.
15:34 He's coming for a people whose hearts have been
15:39 growing and swelling with excitement for who He is
15:44 as the divine lover of our souls
15:46 to the point that when He comes He will look into our eyes
15:50 and there will be resonance. He will see our acceptance
15:55 of Him, our love for Him returning to His heart.
16:01 And what joy Jesus Himself will experience
16:07 to be in the presence of those who love Him like that.
16:11 Now in order to get into the meat of this message tonight
16:16 I want you to begin with me by allowing scripture to paint
16:21 for us a picture of God's matrimonial aspirations
16:27 beginning with the Song of Solomon.
16:29 No better place to begin.
16:31 Song of Solomon is one of those books of the Bible -
16:34 one of a very few... one of three -
16:36 that were under debate during the period of time when
16:39 the canon of scripture was being composed
16:42 that gave us the 66 books.
16:45 We almost ended up with just 65
16:48 because there were many scholars who were arguing against
16:51 Song of Solomon being included in scripture.
16:54 They just couldn't understand why the Holy Spirit
16:59 would inspire a love song such as this.
17:03 And so scholars were arguing against
17:07 Song of Solomon being included in scripture.
17:10 Praise God that scholars who understood
17:15 the depth of God's love for the human soul won out
17:18 in that argument and now we have the privilege
17:21 of having this sacred text at our disposal
17:24 and we need to remember something about it.
17:28 Song of Solomon is a part of scripture.
17:31 Because of this we understand
17:35 that all scripture is given by inspiration of God
17:38 and is profitable. We understand according to Peter
17:42 that holy men of old spoke as they were moved upon
17:45 by the Holy Spirit. So yes, Solomon composed
17:50 his book, the book that bears his name.
17:52 Solomon composed it, but he composed it
17:55 like all the other prophets: under inspiration of the
17:57 Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit's fingerprints are all over
18:01 this love song.
18:03 When we come to Song of Solomon we see a basic
18:07 pattern that develops. This is a song about a love
18:13 relationship between Solomon and his girl.
18:16 She's called the Shulammite.
18:19 Solomon loves her and expresses through various poetic means
18:25 his love for her. She responds in the song
18:28 by expressing her love back to him.
18:31 And it's just this beautiful lyrical cadence back and forth.
18:35 "I love you. " "No... I love you more. "
18:37 "You're beautiful, beyond anything I've ever encountered
18:40 in this... " "No, you are altogether lovely. "
18:43 Back and forth, back and forth.
18:45 Some of the most beautiful lines not just in scripture
18:48 but in all of literature are found in the Song of Solomon...
18:53 the Song of Solomon. For example, at one point
18:57 the woman - the Shulammite - looks at Solomon
19:00 and she says: "Your eyes are pools of understanding. "
19:06 "You get me... you understand me, Solomon,
19:10 and I'm affirmed in the fact that when I look into your eyes
19:15 I feel understood. "
19:17 Another line that's incredible in Song of Solomon
19:21 is when the Shulammite - the woman - says to Solomon:
19:26 "You are my lover and my friend. "
19:32 In other words, Solomon, under the inspiration of the
19:36 Holy Spirit understood that the pinnacle of love
19:40 is friendship, mutuality, reciprocation.
19:46 The pinnacle of love is when the person
19:50 your heart is reaching out to
19:53 you sense is reaching back into your heart.
19:56 It's the most amazing thing in the world to fall in love
19:59 with someone. It's incredible on a whole new level
20:03 to realize they love you back.
20:06 That's the beauty of the Song of Solomon.
20:10 Now this is incredible because as we move through
20:13 this beautiful love song going back and forth
20:16 we come to the point in the song
20:20 where God Himself is introduced to us in chapter 8.
20:25 Chapter 8 of Song of Solomon, coming to the last chapter,
20:30 don't miss this... this is the part you're probably heard
20:32 in weddings: verse 6. Notice that I'm going to read it
20:37 in the New King James version
20:39 and I'm going to call your attention to a poor translation
20:43 in most versions and give you something here that I think
20:48 will be a blessing from the text. "Set me as a seal... "
20:51 verse 6... "upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm. "
20:56 Pause right there. What is she basically saying?
20:59 My heart... my arm. The interior of my being,
21:05 my thinking and feeling process and my deeds.
21:08 This is an early-developed mention of what we have later on
21:13 in the book of Revelation of the seal of God
21:17 in the forehead. The seal of God taking captive
21:23 the hearts and minds of God's people.
21:25 This is love that is being described here.
21:29 Not slavery; not servitude.
21:32 This is: "Solomon, you're in my heart,
21:36 you're in my deeds. I live for you from the inside out.
21:40 Set me as a seal... fix me in your love.
21:45 Solidify me. Bring me into a relationship with you
21:49 that's immovable... that cannot be changed.
21:53 Seal me in this relationship that we have. "
21:57 "For love... " the text continues...
22:00 "is as strong as death. " That's simply a poetic way of saying
22:05 "I love you and you love me with a love that can't even be
22:10 thwarted by death itself. I would rather die
22:16 than stop loving you. "
22:18 That's what she's saying. "There is no self-interest
22:22 that could in any way compromise my love for you. "
22:26 And then: "Jealousy is as cruel as the grave. "
22:30 That doesn't sound real nice, but literally what it means
22:34 is that jealousy, that this quality of love
22:37 that is exclusive, that jealousy is as tenacious
22:42 not cruel in the sense that we understand the word cruelty
22:45 today but as tenacious as the grave.
22:49 A person dies. They go into the grave
22:50 and nothing but the voice of God at the resurrection
22:53 is bringing that person back to life.
22:55 "Death is tenacious in its grip on those who have
23:01 fallen to it. I love you and you love me
23:04 like that, Solomon.
23:06 With that kind of love... with that strength of love.
23:10 With a love that is stronger than death and more tenacious
23:14 than the grave. " Then notice the language of passion:
23:18 "Its flames are flames of fire. "
23:22 The flames of fire. What's being described here?
23:26 This love between us.
23:29 "There's a fire in my heart for you.
23:33 There's passion for you, Solomon... " and Solomon
23:36 to the Shulammite: "There's a living, thriving
23:40 energy-emitting kind of love
23:44 in my heart for you and in yours for me. "
23:47 Notice this now... here's the point:
23:48 Its flames are flames of fire. My version
23:52 "A most vehement flame. "
23:55 Now it's there that the trans- lators have gone all wrong
23:59 because they didn't know what to do with this
24:01 in the original language.
24:03 So they said: "Huh... we're just going to go ahead and
24:06 and translate this vehement because we think it's simply
24:10 conveying the idea of strength. " But here's what it
24:13 literally says in the Hebrew:
24:16 "It's flames... " That is, the flames of love...
24:20 "are flames of fire... the very fire
24:24 of Yahweh Himself. "
24:28 And there for the one and only time in the song
24:32 God is brought into the picture.
24:36 Essentially what Solomon has ingeniously crafted for us
24:40 is a love song in which he has created
24:43 a sense of how powerful and beautiful the love is that can
24:49 exist in its ideal form between a man and a woman
24:53 in marriage. Not love as we've experienced it necessarily
24:57 if we've had broken love relationships.
25:00 When God speaks in matrimonial terms to you and me
25:04 don't do an immediate crossover into whatever pain you may have
25:08 experienced. But you know if you've ever been married
25:12 if you said "Yes" to marriage vows
25:16 you know that whatever brokenness may have befallen you
25:19 afterwards that you married because of what you knew in your
25:22 heart marriage ought to be.
25:25 The ideal of marriage, right?
25:28 And because you know in your heart what it ought to be
25:31 you can resonate with what's being described here.
25:35 Regardless of whatever pain or brokenness we've experienced
25:38 the fact is that matrimonial love at its zenith,
25:42 at its pinnacle, in all its beauty, is the most incredible
25:46 thing two human beings can ever experience in this life.
25:50 And here we are told by Solomon that this love
25:56 is like the very love of Yahweh Himself.
26:02 Then, verse 7: "Many waters cannot quench
26:07 love nor can the floods drown it. If a man were to give all
26:12 the wealth of his house for love it would be utterly
26:15 despised. " You hear what's being said here?
26:19 Love is, according to this text,
26:21 the absolute most precious, most valuable
26:25 thing that any human being can ever experience.
26:28 And in its purest form
26:31 that love that we know we were made for
26:34 exists in the heart of God.
26:37 As Solomon comes to the conclusion he does something
26:40 ingenious that is lost upon us unless we look at the text
26:44 very carefully, and that is this:
26:46 Solomon is the male lover in the song.
26:51 Shulammite is the female.
26:54 Amazingly, Solomon is the male name
26:59 that is Shalom. Peace... wellbeing.
27:04 An overall sense of composure and happiness
27:08 and joy all bundled up into one.
27:11 Peace, Shalom. That's the name of the man in the love story.
27:16 Shulammite is the female pronoun.
27:20 It's the female name for peace.
27:23 Shalom and Shalom have fallen in love, and we come
27:29 to the point in verse 10 where the Shulammite says:
27:34 "I am a wall and my breasts are like towers.
27:38 Then I became in his eyes
27:42 as one who found Shalom... peace. "
27:48 This is the point of resolve.
27:51 This is what it was all moving toward.
27:53 The whole trajectory of this relationship
27:56 was that the man and the woman - Solomon and Shulammite -
28:00 Shalom and Shalom - would together in their love
28:03 find Shalom. They would find complete satisfaction
28:08 in one another's love.
28:10 When we look at the Biblical narrative as it unfolds
28:15 over and over again God introduces Himself
28:21 in matrimonial terms.
28:23 He wants us to view Him as a lover in pursuit
28:27 of His beloved. Turn now in your Bible to Ezekiel 16.
28:32 Anybody who has any familiarity with me at all
28:36 is familiar with my love for this passage.
28:41 If you've encountered it before
28:44 in my preaching, so what.
28:50 That's OK... you're about to see it again.
28:52 All right. Ezekiel chapter 16
28:56 in verses 4 through 8 we have a microcosm
28:59 of the plan of salvation in the form of a story.
29:03 The whole plan of salvation is encapsulated
29:07 in verses 4 through 8.
29:10 And God here - Yahweh - the Almighty Creator of heaven and
29:14 earth... He is telling a story to you and me.
29:17 "As for your nativity and the day of your birth
29:22 on the day that You were born... " I'm in verse 4...
29:25 Your navel cord was not cut nor were you washed in water
29:30 or no one cleansed you. You were not rubbed with salt
29:34 nor were you wrapped in swaddling clothes. "
29:38 Look at verse 5.
29:40 "No eye pitied you. " Another version says
29:42 "No one loved you on the day of your birth. "
29:46 "No one loved you to do any of these things for you,
29:50 to have compassion on you, but you were thrown
29:54 into an open field. " This is God telling you and me a story.
29:58 And He says: "On the day that you were born... "
30:01 Of course, locally historically this is God telling a story
30:04 about Israel. On the larger scale
30:08 the microcosm in its macro manifestation
30:12 is a story about all of humanity.
30:14 You and I from birth are as it were abandoned
30:20 babies that nobody loves.
30:23 That is to say no matter what mother, father,
30:26 brothers, sisters you happen to have,
30:29 whether they be good familial relationships or negative ones,
30:33 the fact is that in this broken world nobody
30:37 can love you in the way - to the degree -
30:41 with the quality of love with which you heart longs to be
30:44 loved. God alone has that gift of love
30:49 to bestow upon you. And God says that your condition
30:53 as a sinner is characterized by the fact
30:57 that you are born into abandonment.
31:00 You are born into abandonment and He says: "No one
31:04 loved you. " This is amazing.
31:07 "No one loved you. You were thrown... " verse 5... "into
31:09 an open field. " Look at this... verse 6:
31:13 "And when I passed you by I saw you struggling
31:18 in your blood... in your own blood. "
31:20 Can you picture it?
31:23 An abandoned baby torn from the womb
31:28 the umbilical cord not properly, caringly cut.
31:32 The blood of birth still on the flesh of this infant.
31:36 Yanked from the womb and thrown off the side of the road
31:42 into an open field.
31:45 And God says: "I was passing by
31:48 and I saw you struggling in your blood. "
31:54 "I saw you dying. "
31:57 And He says: "I said to you in your blood
32:01 live! Yes, I said to you
32:05 in your blood live. " That's verse 6.
32:10 God is speaking into our broken, damaged,
32:15 wounded, fallen condition of lovelessness
32:19 and He says to you and me: "I want you to survive this.
32:24 I want you to live. I don't want you to be overcome
32:30 and succumb to death.
32:33 I want to give you the gift of eternal life and salvation. "
32:37 And so how's He going to do it?
32:39 Verse 7: "So I made you to thrive
32:44 like a plant in the field. And you grew and you matured. "
32:48 Hold onto that. "You grew and you matured
32:51 and you became very beautiful. "
32:56 This is God speaking to you and me.
33:00 This finds parallel in Paul where Paul describes
33:04 that God is in the process of forming a bride without spot
33:10 or wrinkle or any such thing.
33:12 The plan of salvation isn't merely about getting you and me
33:16 out of hell into heaven.
33:18 Out of trouble into the good place.
33:20 The plan of salvation is about something more than that.
33:23 According to scripture the plan of salvation...
33:26 Right here in this incredible text the plan of salvation
33:30 is a beautification process.
33:33 God is looking into your brokenness and mine
33:38 and He says: "I'm going to give you beauty for ashes. "
33:41 "I'm going to restore to you the beauty of character
33:46 and personality that I created you for.
33:49 You're going to grow up and mature, " He said,
33:52 "into a very beautiful woman. "
33:57 In the corporate sense. Men, don't take it personal.
34:00 "You're going to grow up and mature into a beautiful woman. "
34:03 God wants you and me to be beautiful.
34:05 I want to tell you something in passing here.
34:07 Yes, God loves you... He loves me...
34:11 with agape love in the New Testament
34:13 which is unilateral love. It's one-way love.
34:17 It's "I love you regardless of what's going on with you
34:19 because I am love.
34:22 And you can't alter the fact that I love you. "
34:25 That's agape love. It's one way; it's unilateral
34:27 but it looks for reciprocation.
34:31 God loves you and me unconditionally
34:34 but that unconditional unilateral agape love
34:37 God lavishes upon our heart for the purpose of stimulating
34:43 a response. He wants us to look back into His eyes
34:47 and say something like "I love You, too. "
34:52 I John 4:19 says "We love Him because He
34:55 first loved us. " That's the circuit of beneficence
34:59 to use the words of the book Desire of Ages.
35:01 That's the circle. That's the love of God going out and down
35:06 and then He smiles because it comes out and up
35:10 to Him from our hearts.
35:13 This scripture says God is in the process of beautifying us.
35:18 "You became beautiful. " Then look at this, verse 8,
35:21 this is amazing: "When I passed you by again... "
35:25 You've been going through a maturation process.
35:28 "When I passed you by again and I looked upon you
35:34 indeed... " My version says:
35:37 "your time was the time of love. "
35:42 Another version: "I passed you by again
35:45 and I saw that it was time for you to fall in love. "
35:50 She's grown up in verse 7.
35:53 She's thriving... she's gone through puberty.
35:55 Spiritually the church has got to grow up.
35:58 And as the church grows and matures in this beauty
36:03 that God has planned for us the bride of Christ is
36:06 becoming ready for His second coming.
36:11 "I passed you by again and I saw that it was time
36:14 for you to fall in love, so I spread My wings
36:17 over you and I covered you... " And watch this:
36:20 "Yes, I swore an oath to you. "
36:24 In the Hebrew: "I entered into covenant with you. "
36:28 I made a covenant promise.
36:30 "I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you
36:34 and... " Notice this tender language from God in heaven...
36:40 "and you became Mine. "
36:44 There is a natural and godly possessiveness to love.
36:48 There is an exclusiveness to love.
36:51 There is a forsaking all others for the one.
36:55 And God is here delighting in the fact that His people
36:59 grow up and mature to the point where He can look upon them
37:03 and see beauty and say to them
37:07 "You became Mine. "
37:10 Now when He says "Your time was the time of love;
37:13 I saw that it was time for you to fall in love, "
37:15 God is describing here preparation for marriage.
37:21 She's finally ready... it's time for you to fall in love.
37:26 I want to say to you... From the bottom of my heart
37:29 I want to say to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ,
37:33 I want to say to us as Seventh-day Adventists,
37:36 it is time for us to fall in love with Jesus.
37:41 It is time for us to grow up and mature
37:44 beyond mere negation arguments
37:48 and comparing ourselves among ourselves
37:51 and assessing one another with downward gaze
37:56 with condemnation. It is time for us as a people
38:01 to grow up spiritually,
38:05 to become beautiful in God's eyes.
38:08 It is time for you and me to fall in love with Jesus.
38:14 Now quickly rush over to Hosea chapter 2.
38:19 Hosea chapter 2, and you'll see additional matrimonial
38:22 language that is introduced to us to describe
38:28 God's aspiration for you and me
38:30 preparatory to the consummation of the ages:
38:34 the second coming of Jesus Christ.
38:36 In chapter 2 again the sin problem is described.
38:40 Here the sin problem is described as the people
38:44 forgetting God. God says in Hosea: "I loved you.
38:49 I gave Myself to you.
38:51 We entered in to marriage relationship with one another
38:55 but you forgot Me
38:57 and you pursued other loves, you pursued other lovers.
39:02 And as you pursued other loves
39:06 I realized that something needed to be done. "
39:09 So He says in verse 14 of chapter 2 of Hosea:
39:13 "Therefore behold I will allure her.
39:17 I will bring her into the wilderness and I will speak
39:21 comfort to her. " That is: "I will speak words of love
39:25 to her" in the Hebrew... in some versions as well.
39:29 God is saying here that He is going to save
39:32 you and me by alluring us to Him.
39:37 By putting on display before us the beauty,
39:40 the irresistible beauty of His love for us.
39:45 "I'm going to allure you to Me. "
39:47 "I'm going to take you into a quiet place alone
39:49 and I'm going to speak words of love to you. "
39:52 Now watch what happens. This is the ultimate paradigm shift
39:56 in verse 16.
39:58 "And it shall be in that day... "
40:02 Pause... what day? In the day when I allure My people
40:06 to Myself. When I capture their attention and pull them away
40:11 from the idols of this world, from the other lovers
40:14 that they have been pursuing.
40:16 When I finally arrest the attention of My people
40:20 and allure them to Me, verse 16: "And it shall be in that day
40:24 says the Lord that you will call Me
40:28 my husband and you will no longer call me my master. "
40:36 Here God is drawing a contrast
40:39 between two kinds or qualities of relationships.
40:43 There is on the one hand the servant/master relationship.
40:48 And God looks upon that kind of dynamic
40:51 and He pushes back on it.
40:53 He essentially says: "I don't want that between you and I. "
40:56 "I don't want you to be My servant in the slave sense. "
41:01 There's another sense in which scripture does use the word
41:04 servant in a positive sense. Paul talks about being
41:08 a willing captive to the heart of God.
41:12 But that's very similar to a man and a woman falling in love
41:15 and entering into an exclusive relationship
41:18 in which I give myself to you voluntarily.
41:20 It's still not coercion or manipulation.
41:24 But here the servant/master dynamic
41:29 is negated in favor of a husband/wife...
41:33 a bridegroom dynamic.
41:36 God says that when you finally see me for who I am,
41:40 when your attention is drawn to Me and you are
41:44 allured to Me, you see My love for you,
41:47 in that day you will stop relating to Me as a servant
41:52 to a master and you will begin relating to Me
41:55 on a whole new premise.
41:58 You won't say any more: "My Master. "
42:00 You'll say: "Ah, my Husband. "
42:04 There are two different dynamics described here.
42:09 This is where God is leading His people.
42:12 And then He drops to His knees in verse 19.
42:18 "I will betroth you to Me forever. Yes I will betroth you
42:23 to Me in righteousness and in justice,
42:26 in loving-kindness and in mercy. I will betroth you to Me
42:32 in faithfulness, and you will know the Lord. "
42:36 This is so incredible that God would speak to you and me
42:39 like this. This tells us that He is aiming for something
42:44 beautiful and high and glorious and wonderful
42:47 in the relationship between ourselves and Him.
42:51 And I want you to notice that the weight of the focus
42:55 is on His love and mercy
43:01 and righteousness and faithfulness to us.
43:06 That's the nature of the Biblical covenant between
43:11 God and His people.
43:13 Salvation is premised upon God's promises to us...
43:17 not ours to Him.
43:19 God's love for you and me... not our ratcheted-up
43:25 disciplined love for Him.
43:27 It is impossible for the human heart if left to itself
43:33 to bring about the kind of love that is described
43:38 in scripture. We need a Savior.
43:42 We need One who is unswervingly faithful to us
43:47 in the face of our rebellion and unfaithfulness
43:53 to finally get our attention so that as we run from Him
43:58 into the arms of other lovers finally our hearts are broken
44:03 by the fact that He has never stopped loving us.
44:07 And so covenantal love in scripture is God's promise
44:13 of faithfulness to you and to me.
44:17 And that love reaching into our hearts
44:20 produces a returning current of love
44:24 to complete the circle of beneficence.
44:27 We don't initiate the circle with our faithfulness.
44:32 You will continue, I will continue to be weak
44:36 and impotent and crippled in our spiritual experience
44:40 precisely to the degree that we emphasize the human part
44:44 of the equation.
44:47 To the degree that we focus on, preach about, and communicate
44:52 what we ought to do, must do, ought not to do,
44:55 ought not to do... should not do,
44:57 to the degree that we focus on the human part of the
45:02 equation. Not that there isn't a human part...
45:04 there is. But the human part is utterly and completely
45:08 dependent on the divine part.
45:12 You've seen these pictures, haven't you?
45:15 of massive icebergs jutting up out of the ocean
45:21 larger than any building in any skyscraper city.
45:27 And then you eyes drop down in the photo to see
45:30 that what you thought was massive was just the tip of the
45:32 iceberg and there is this massive ice structure
45:38 that is beneath the surface of what we see.
45:43 The objective love of God for you and me,
45:48 His faithfulness, is that massive structure
45:53 beneath the surface that gives rise to this tip of the iceberg
45:59 that we tend to want to focus on and specialize in.
46:02 To the degree that we focus on what we had better do,
46:06 ought to do, should do we will be spiritually weak
46:10 and impotent. BUT, the more you focus on the heart of Jesus
46:14 toward you the more you'll find yourself experiencing
46:18 a kind and quality of love for Him that you never thought
46:20 was possible. Your experience will begin to be built upon
46:24 His promises not yours... which Ellen White in Steps to Christ
46:27 says of those promises that they are like ropes of sand...
46:30 the promises of human beings to God.
46:35 But God's faithfulness is the point of the covenant.
46:39 He drops to one knee here and is proposing to you and me.
46:43 He says: "I will betroth you to Me forever. " Amen!
46:47 "I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice
46:51 and loving-kindness and mercy. That's how I'll relate to you. "
46:54 "And I'll relate to you, " He says, "with faithfulness
46:57 and you shall know the Lord.
47:00 You'll know Me when you get a glimpse of My faithfulness
47:04 toward you. Then you'll begin to know Me as a husband
47:10 rather than a master, and the whole tenor and quality
47:14 of your spiritual experience will be radically changed. "
47:18 You will find yourself loving the things that God loves
47:21 and hating the things that God hates.
47:24 You'll find yourself saying things like:
47:26 "I do always those things that please Him. "
47:29 "Oh how I love Your law. It is my meditation
47:31 day and night. " "I delight to do Your will
47:34 O my God because Your law is in my heart. "
47:37 "Give me understanding and I shall keep Your law. "
47:40 "Yes, I will observe it with my whole heart.
47:43 As the deer pants for the water brook so pants my heart
47:47 for You, O God... for the Living God.
47:50 When will You come to me? "
47:53 You'll begin to identify with the language
47:57 of love that is pervasive in scripture.
48:01 Language that at one point in your experience
48:04 was foreign to you. You just passed over it.
48:07 You didn't even know what to do with it. You didn't relate
48:09 to that language. You're like: "What does that mean?
48:11 I don't get that; I don't feel that; I don't experience that. "
48:14 You will. You will when you shift
48:19 the weight of your focus and dependence
48:22 upon the covenant faithfulness of God
48:26 in the plan of salvation through which He gave His Son
48:30 at Calvary to die for you and me. And the vision of that
48:34 love will radically change the quality of your experience
48:39 with God. Now the Old Testament
48:41 is pervasive with this kind of matrimonial language.
48:45 God is a pursuing lover.
48:48 It's not surprising then that when we come to the
48:51 New Testament to the gospel of John in chapter 3
48:55 and verse 29. Does this give you a hint of where we're going?
48:58 You should be turning there now.
48:59 John chapter 3 and verse 29. It shouldn't be surprising
49:04 to us then that when Jesus comes into the world,
49:09 when He steps out of eternity into time,
49:12 when Jesus comes up close and personal into our world
49:17 John the Baptist sees Him and points to Him
49:21 and he says: "He's... " And then he tells us who He is.
49:26 John's followers were saying: "Wait a minute. Who is this guy
49:29 who has come out of nowhere here?
49:31 We're followers of you, John the baptizer. "
49:34 And John says: "Ah, wait a minute.
49:37 Let me clarify something here. "
49:39 Verse 29 of John 3: "He who has the bride
49:43 or He to whom the bride belongs
49:45 is the bridegroom. But the friend... " That is,
49:50 in our culture the best man...
49:52 "the friend of the bridegroom who stands and hears Him
49:57 rejoices because of the bridegroom's voice.
50:00 Therefore this joy of mine is complete. "
50:03 John essentially says: "Ladies and gentlemen,
50:06 may I introduce you to your groom. "
50:11 He essentially says: "Jesus has now come to this world
50:16 to claim His bride. "
50:19 The gospel of John then unfolds with a kind of wooing process.
50:25 It unfolds like a tryst.
50:27 Like a beautiful interaction between Jesus and one person
50:32 after another. From every angle possible
50:36 people are getting a glimpse of His goodness and His love.
50:39 And then we come to chapter 14
50:42 the great second coming passage of the New Testament.
50:48 And there Jesus says to His disciples:
50:51 Verse 1: "Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God
50:56 believe also in Me. "
50:57 Notice this: "In My Father's house are many mansions. "
51:01 More accurate translation: "In My Father's house are many
51:04 rooms. " "If it were not so, I would have told you.
51:08 I go... yes, I'm leaving... I go to prepare a place
51:13 for you. But if I go to prepare a place for you
51:16 I WILL COME AGAIN to receive you to Myself
51:22 that where I am there you may be also. "
51:27 Jesus, who was introduced by the baptizer
51:30 as the groom who has come for His bride,
51:33 is now invoking the local cultural language of the time
51:37 regarding matrimony.
51:40 In that culture a man would see a woman
51:43 over the vegetable stand or at the well, and he would say:
51:48 "She's the one. I hope she feels the same way. "
51:52 And he will go through a wooing process getting to know her.
51:55 And if that love begins to reciprocate
52:00 and they begin to understand that "Hey, this is mutual!
52:03 Not only do I love you but you love me! "
52:06 Then at that point the man in that culture
52:11 would say: "OK... it's settled. "
52:15 The proposal is made; the date is set.
52:18 "I'm going away. I'm going to go to my father's house
52:22 and I'm going to prepare the matrimonial room...
52:26 our new home. I'm going to prepare the place
52:29 for you, my bride. But be sure of this:
52:33 I'm coming back to get you as soon as the room is ready. "
52:38 And then he would go back and he would get his bride.
52:42 The marriage would take place and he would take her
52:46 to live forever for the rest of their lives
52:49 with him in his father's house.
52:53 Jesus is telling the story of His second advent
52:57 in the exact narrative trajectory
53:02 of the Old Testament here.
53:04 When you come to chapter 17 He pulls that language up again.
53:09 Chapter 17... you're going there quickly.
53:11 Chapter 17 verse 3. And Jesus in verse 3
53:15 defines eternal life in the same terms that Hosea used
53:18 in chapter 2 of Hosea.
53:20 "And this is eternal life, " Jesus says,
53:23 "that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus
53:26 Christ whom You have sent. "
53:28 "That they might know You. " Down in verse 20
53:31 notice the language: "I do not pray for these alone
53:34 but also for those who believe in Me
53:39 through their words. That they all may be one... "
53:43 Watch this... "as You, Father, are in Me and I in You
53:46 that they also may be one in Us
53:50 that the world may believe that You sent Me.
53:52 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them
53:56 that they may be one just as We are One. "
54:00 Verse 23: "I in them and You in Me. "
54:04 This is the language of the closest intimacy.
54:07 "That they may be made perfect in one
54:11 and that the world may know that You have sent Me
54:13 and... " Watch this: "have loved them as You have loved Me.
54:18 Father, I desire also that those whom You have given Me
54:23 may be with Me where I am. "
54:29 Jesus closes His public ministry
54:34 expressing the aspiration
54:38 to be with us and for us to be with Him.
54:42 As we come to the book of Revelation
54:44 the second coming is depicted in chapter 19
54:48 again with matrimonial language.
54:51 Chapter 19 verse 7: "Let us be glad and rejoice
54:55 and give Him glory for the marriage of the Lamb
54:59 has come and His wife has made herself ready. "
55:05 Remember? The bride has been going through
55:08 a maturation process, a beautification process
55:11 of character and personality,
55:13 growing in the love of her bridegroom.
55:19 She's made herself ready.
55:22 She's made herself ready. Verse 8:
55:25 "And to her was granted to be arrayed in fine linen
55:29 clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts
55:33 of the saints. " Do you see what's happened here?
55:37 Jesus comes for a people...
55:41 the people He's coming for.
55:43 He's coming for a people - a corporate body
55:47 like you and me - whose love has reached back
55:52 to His love, whose faithfulness has reached back
55:57 into His faithfulness.
55:59 He's initiated the relationship.
56:02 He's wooed us; He's cultivated a connection with us.
56:08 We've moved through a trysting process.
56:10 He's been romancing our hearts through Bible study and prayer.
56:16 And as we have grown closer to Him - and I urge you
56:19 in the name of Jesus that if what we're describing here
56:22 does not approximate what you know to be your experience
56:26 with Jesus, it is time for you to fall in love.
56:32 It is time for you to begin to identify
56:35 with the lover's heart that is the Savior of the world.
56:40 Jesus is coming back for a people.
56:44 He's coming back for you and me:
56:47 a beautiful bride who has made herself ready
56:50 who loves Him in return for His love...
56:55 His faithful covenantal love for us.
56:58 Do you want to be ready when Jesus comes? Amen!
57:01 Well that's what it looks like.
57:03 Let's pray together. Father in heaven,
57:05 thank you for loving us the way You do.
57:08 You're incredible in the extreme, Lord.
57:11 We've not known any love like this
57:15 even in the best relation- ships that we've ever had.
57:18 We long for a love that is greater still.
57:22 Our hearts were made for You.
57:25 Prepare us, Lord, for the soon coming of Jesus.
57:30 In His name we pray, Amen!


Revised 2022-04-26