3ABN Homecoming 2016

I Worm

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: C. A. Murray


Series Code: 16HC

Program Code: 16HC000006A

00:49 Well, we do welcome each and every one of you
00:52 who have traveled from so far to be with us here today.
00:54 We also welcome you if you're watching by television
00:57 or by Internet or listening on the radio.
01:00 We are having a good time, are we not?
01:03 Have you been blessed?
01:04 Amen... amen.
01:06 Well, those blessings will continue this hour
01:10 because we have our own C. A. Murray.
01:13 And Pastor Murray - I'll just call him C.A. -
01:17 he's a dear friend. He's a godly man.
01:19 But he has some of the most unique sermon titles
01:24 I've ever heard. Today it is iWorm.
01:28 You know, like iPad, iPhone... iWorm.
01:32 But he's going to be talking to you about Jonah I believe
01:37 and the Laodicean church.
01:40 And it is... he's told me just a little of his sermon
01:43 the other day. It's going to be a "barn-burner" I believe.
01:47 So we're going to turn that over to him in just a moment
01:49 but you know something? We heard you all sing
01:53 last night. We liked it!
01:55 So Tim Parton is going to lead us in a congregational song:
02:00 Bless the Lord, O My Soul.
02:02 And then the next voice you hear will be Pastor C. A. Murray.
02:06 Thank you.
02:07 The Psalmist declared in Psalm 103
02:10 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
02:13 and all that is within me bless His holy name.
02:16 And he goes on to say: Forget not all of His benefits.
02:20 I love benefits!
02:22 But I love my Lord even more, and I love to bless His name.
02:25 And He loves to hear you sing, so I want us all to lift our
02:29 voice as we sing Bless the Lord, O my soul.
02:32 Bless His holy name.
02:42 Sing it out now.
06:05 Amen.
06:09 I'm not familiar with that arrangement. Well done!
06:14 Good morning yet again.
06:16 Good morning! I'm sure that you have been
06:21 vociferously welcomed...
06:25 so I will not take much more time.
06:28 If you're not welcome by now then you won't be welcome.
06:33 Turn with me, if you will, to the book of Jonah.
06:44 There are only four chapters,
06:47 and we want to consider the last of the four.
06:52 So that will be Jonah chapter 4.
06:56 Take you a moment to find it because it is not long.
07:04 If you find Obadiah, you can find Jonah.
07:08 But Obadiah is no easy trek.
07:10 And if you can find Jonah, you can find Micah.
07:14 And Micah is no easy trek.
07:16 Jonah chapter 4.
07:21 And I want to read the last verse
07:24 in the book of Jonah
07:29 and that will set the stage for what we want to talk about.
07:32 Shall we pray? Father God,
07:36 there is so much in Your Word for us.
07:42 It is so wonderful and deep and wide.
07:48 Help us, dear Lord, again as we open Your Word
07:52 to understand Your will for our lives.
07:57 To prepare ourselves to take one more step along that road
08:00 that leads to glory. For surely
08:02 we would hear a word from the Lord this day.
08:06 And we thank you, dear Father, in Jesus' name, Amen.
08:11 I've been listening to Pastor Kenny and Shelley this morning
08:18 and Pastor Ivor on last evening, and I see a thread,
08:23 a theme that is running through all of these messages.
08:28 And we hope to continue in that theme even as we speak.
08:31 I'm in Jonah chapter 4
08:34 and let's pick it up at verse 10 and 11
08:41 which are the last two verses in the book.
08:44 The Bible says: "But the Lord said
08:48 'You have had pity on the plant
08:53 for which you have not labored
08:56 nor made it grow
08:59 which came up in a night and perished in a night.
09:05 And should I not pity Nineveh,
09:11 that great city, in which are more than 120,000
09:16 persons... ' I'm reading from the New King James.
09:19 'who cannot discern between their right hand
09:24 and their left and much livestock? ' "
09:32 His name means dove... D - O - V - E.
09:37 Dove. Now there are a number of theories -
09:42 almost as many as there are theologians -
09:44 as to how that applies to this man.
09:52 In Bible times names meant a lot.
09:56 And the name as a rule had something to do with
10:02 the character of the person:
10:04 how they related to heaven, and how heaven relates to them.
10:11 So this name Dove is an interesting name for this man
10:16 Jonah. In Hosea chapter 7 verse 11
10:21 Ephraim is a synonym for the 10 northern tribes.
10:26 And Ephraim is also called a dove.
10:33 Easily deceived and senseless.
10:38 So we get a little clue as to how Hosea is used by God.
10:44 In Hosea chapter 4 verse 17
10:46 the Bible says: "Ephraim is chained to his idols...
10:49 just leave him alone. "
10:53 So there are some theologians that equate this name Dove
10:58 to chicken. Yeah, that kind of chicken.
11:04 Like when you say: "I dare you, chicken! "
11:10 And if we look at Jonah's life,
11:14 it kind of fits because among other things
11:19 he was chicken.
11:22 And we get to see that in just a little bit.
11:27 The evidence for that is not sure, so a lot of this is
11:30 speculation. And theologians do lot of speculating sometimes
11:33 when the don't have hard evidence. But it is interesting
11:36 that his name would be called Dove. Not something
11:39 exalted like Hosea... whose name means salvation
11:41 or God has saved. Dove.
11:44 Why would you call a guy Dove unless he's chicken?
11:53 Most scholars say that the book is written by the man
11:56 whose name it bears. And if it was, then he wasn't really
12:00 that much chicken because it takes a lot to talk about
12:02 yourself the way Jonah talked about himself in his book.
12:07 Now we all know the story of Jonah and the whale.
12:11 And of course there is some theological debate about Jonah
12:14 and the whale because most scientists will tell you
12:18 that whales are so built that they can't swallow people.
12:22 Although they are the largest of the animals
12:25 whales eat by straining small bits of food
12:30 through their baleen and they have very small throats.
12:34 So even if they could get their mouth open wide enough
12:38 to swallow a man he could never get down the throat
12:40 because though they are big animals
12:42 they have very small throats.
12:43 What the scientists forget
12:46 is that God can do anything He wants!
12:50 So if God can prepare a fish with a big mouth...
12:55 I mean, you've got a lot of people
13:01 with big mouths...
13:04 um-hmm...
13:06 So if He could prepare people with big mouths
13:09 then you can have a fish with a big mouth.
13:11 God can do whatever He wants.
13:14 Amen.
13:16 I said Amen. Amen!
13:18 That's what I said.
13:24 So today I want to take a look at Jonah in just
13:27 a slightly different context. I want to see Jonah
13:31 as a metaphor for Laodicean Adventism.
13:37 Um-hmm.
13:40 I think in looking at the story of Jonah
13:42 if we just look at it as an isolated incident in the
13:45 Old Testament we miss the import of the book
13:48 because really there's a lot in Jonah that looks a whole lot
13:52 like what we see in the mirror every morning.
13:56 The metaphor for Laodicean Adventism
14:02 in light of a Great Commission.
14:06 This sometimes listless attitude
14:12 that we have towards evangelism
14:14 and our relationship with God
14:17 is bespoken in the book of Jonah.
14:22 The story of Jonah is then OUR story.
14:27 Last night Pastor Ivor said that we are Joseph.
14:30 This morning I'm telling you you are also Jonah.
14:35 Jonah is an anti-hero.
14:40 We don't often see it but the book of Jonah
14:44 is the preeminent missionary book in the Old Testament
14:47 and other than the book of Acts perhaps the whole Bible.
14:52 But Jonah is not someone that we should hold up as a role model.
14:57 He is an anti-hero.
15:00 This book highlights among other things
15:03 God's desire to share the message with everyone.
15:10 It tells you why God calls a people, a church,
15:14 or a person. There was never ever a time, brothers
15:17 and sisters, when God did not want to save the whole world.
15:20 Old Testament and New.
15:22 God has never been exclusive.
15:25 He's never been One who didn't care.
15:31 Evangelism is not a New Testament phenomenon.
15:35 It's a "God phenomenon" through- out the books of the Bible.
15:40 Just like the commandments existed before Mt. Sinai;
15:44 just like the vision of clean and unclean animals
15:47 existed before Leviticus 11;
15:50 the active targeting of missionary activity
15:54 to people of heathen communities
15:56 did not originate with Christ's Great Commission in Matthew 28.
16:01 Elijah and Elisha had ministries outside of Israel.
16:06 They had ministries to heathen people.
16:09 Two senior figures in the Old Testament spent significant
16:13 amounts of time trying to evangelize
16:17 the wider non-Jewish community.
16:19 It is a mistake to think that God doesn't love them
16:24 as much as He loves us.
16:27 Amen. I said "Amen. "
16:31 Amen. That's what I said.
16:37 Jonah was called to minister to a people
16:40 who were not only non-Jews
16:44 but they were enemies of the Jewish nation.
16:47 Now that's tough to go and share God with people
16:50 who hate your guts.
16:53 But that's what he was called to do.
16:56 A hundred years after Jonah's mission
16:59 Assyria destroyed the 10 northern kingdoms.
17:03 It disappears in 722 BC and did not re-appear
17:08 until AD 1948.
17:14 Three millennia, but the truth is, brothers and sisters,
17:19 God doesn't hate anyone. Amen?
17:24 God loves everyone.
17:30 God is no respecter of persons.
17:34 And I keep having to say this because there are those who hold
17:38 this atavistic thought that because you are vegan
17:42 you are more acceptable with God.
17:49 Being vegan doesn't bring you closer to the Lord.
17:55 Amen.
18:00 God loves everyone.
18:03 God is a God of love and mercy,
18:07 and God is not willing that ANY should perish.
18:11 God calls out a people
18:14 so that those called-out people can call out people
18:18 by calling others.
18:23 Amen.
18:27 I said "Amen. " Amen! That's what I said.
18:31 God called you to call others.
18:33 That's why you were called out. You were called out to call out.
18:38 And if the called out don't call out
18:41 there's no reason for being called out.
18:47 Not called out to sit here and say "Amen. "
18:52 Amen.
18:55 Called out to call others out.
19:02 It is the purpose of God that the plan of salvation
19:06 shall not be wrought out independent of human
19:09 instrumentality. Amen.
19:12 God planned it for you to have a part in calling others.
19:19 He has not chosen angels
19:22 but men of like passion as ourselves
19:26 to proclaim the gospel to the human race.
19:28 It is important that all who have been partakers
19:32 of this great salvation communicate to others
19:36 that which has been made known to them. Review and Herald 1886.
19:40 God has planned it that you have a part in the salvation
19:44 of your fellow human beings.
19:46 God could do it all by Himself
19:50 if He wished to... but He doesn't want to.
19:54 He wants you to have a part in laboring with Him.
19:58 So God calls out people for many reasons...
20:03 two of which I will give you. One: He calls out people
20:06 so that they can be saved.
20:10 You're working for others enhances the prospects
20:15 of your being saved. Amen.
20:19 Yes. Like someone said yesterday
20:21 in our Board meeting. He said: "I could be
20:24 a Christian as a monk in a cave. "
20:29 Maybe... but that's not God's will.
20:34 God's will is that you come to Him
20:37 and then go and help others.
20:42 Another reason He calls us is that He can use us
20:46 as agents of salvation for other individuals.
20:50 In Genesis chapter 6 verse 3 the Bible says
20:54 that "My Spirit will not always strive with mankind. "
20:59 Now the implication is that in that text
21:03 is that God's Spirit IS going to strive with mankind
21:06 for a while. We're part of that striving.
21:11 Let me use a couple big words.
21:13 There are two realities to that text
21:14 "My Spirit shall not always strive with mankind. "
21:17 There is an ontological reality
21:19 and there is an eschatology reality.
21:22 Actually there's a third reality, but if I said that
21:24 I'd just be showing off. If I said that there was also
21:26 an epistemological reality that's just showing off
21:28 and I don't want to do that.
21:33 But there are two realities. One is an ontological reality.
21:36 That means that when the Bible says: "My Spirit will not always
21:39 strive with mankind" it means that for you as an individual
21:43 God's not always going to work with you.
21:45 Now... praise the Lord He will work with you as long as
21:49 you are alive. Amen.
21:52 But sooner or later you're going to die.
21:58 There is nobody here... there is nobody walking the earth today;
22:01 there is nobody alive who is beyond the reach of God.
22:05 Do not worry yourself unnecessarily about the
22:07 unpardonable sin. If you're here today,
22:10 you may not have a perfect life but you are not beyond the reach
22:13 of God. Amen? If you're bad, you can get good;
22:17 if you're good, you can get better;
22:19 and if you're better, you can get even better than that.
22:21 Amen? So don't worry about unpardonable sin.
22:24 That's not for you... that's not for now.
22:26 Rid yourself of that.
22:28 If you feel a little something going on in your heart,
22:30 if you want to get better, if you want to hear the Word
22:33 of God, you're not too far for God to reach you.
22:36 And even if you think you're beyond the reach of God
22:39 you probably are not.
22:40 Amen? Amen! So that's the ontological reality.
22:44 The other is the eschatological reality.
22:47 That means that the Spirit of God is not always going to
22:49 be here on the earth trying to convert people.
22:52 Sooner or later God is going to say
22:54 "Let him who is just be just still;
22:56 let him who is filthy be filthy still;
22:58 let him who is righteous be righteous still;
23:00 let him who is unrighteous be unrighteous still. "
23:02 Whatever you want... that's what you're going to get.
23:06 "For My Spirit will not always strive... " But for here and now
23:09 God's Spirit IS striving.
23:12 And we are part of that striving.
23:15 I Peter 3 verses 18 and 20 talk about the Spirit
23:19 of God or the preaching of the antediluvians to the spirits
23:24 in prison... which simply means that those souls who were in
23:27 prison to sin: God wanted to save them too.
23:30 God has always wanted to save people.
23:33 So Jonah now is called
23:36 as an agent... an arm of salvation.
23:42 He is called to do God's bidding
23:45 just as you and I are called to do God's bidding.
23:50 He is a prophet of God.
23:53 He is a representative of God.
23:56 More than a representative, he is a soldier in the army of
24:00 God. But when God calls him to get up out of his comfortable
24:04 house and go to the Assyrian community
24:07 Jonah refuses!
24:13 We see Jonah as narrow,
24:17 stubborn, hypocritical,
24:22 and graceless.
24:26 And he's a representative of the kingdom of grace!
24:35 But more than that, his sin lay in
24:40 not only the lack of godly love
24:43 for a dying and lost people
24:46 but an inordinate love of himself,
24:51 his comfort, and his own world view.
24:56 Ladies and gentlemen: that is the textbook definition
25:01 for the Laodicean church.
25:06 As a prophet now he parallels the status
25:10 of God's people today.
25:17 Christ in His message to Laodicea
25:20 has no commendation.
25:23 You know that. There are two churches
25:25 to which He has nothing good to say:
25:27 Sardis and Laodicea.
25:30 Nothing good. Sardis because they are hypocritical.
25:37 He says: "You look like you're alive
25:40 but you're really dead. "
25:44 And Laodicea because "you're neither dead nor alive. "
25:50 "You're lukewarm. " The term Laodicea means a people judged,
25:55 a people judged by God.
25:58 And as God judged His prophet so God is now
26:02 judging His church.
26:04 Listen to what Ellen White says.
26:07 "To those who are indifferent at this time
26:11 Christ's warning is: 'Because thou art lukewarm,
26:16 neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of My mouth. ' "
26:21 Now if that were not bad enough, listen to what she says
26:24 further: "The figure of spewing out of His mouth
26:30 means that He cannot offer up your prayers
26:36 or your expressions of love to God. " That's serious!
26:41 Let me read it again.
26:44 "The figure of spewing out of His mouth
26:47 means that He cannot offer up your prayers
26:52 or your expressions of love to God. "
26:58 "He cannot endorse your teaching of His Word
27:02 or your spiritual work in anywise. "
27:08 So if you're in a listless, backslidden, Laodicean...
27:13 Laodicean condition,
27:17 even your works in His behalf get you no credit.
27:25 You know, Ellen White uses the expression - I read this
27:27 years ago - of a dishcloth: how a dishcloth cleans
27:31 dishes while it itself is getting dirty.
27:35 She says God can use the unconverted
27:38 to convert folk.
27:43 So just because folk are coming to the Lord
27:46 through a particular preacher or preaching
27:49 doesn't mean that God endorses that person.
27:54 See, the power is in the Word.
27:58 And God can clean up others using a dirty rag!
28:06 Um-hmm. Now when you get a rag that's dirty
28:11 you've got two choices: either wash the rag
28:15 or throw it out.
28:18 Yeah. Use a towel one or two days
28:21 then it's time to change the towel. Amen?
28:25 Cause as you're getting clean what's happening to the towel?
28:29 Yeah. So either wash the towel
28:32 or get rid of it. So God can get clean results
28:38 using imperfect instruments.
28:41 By the way, if God had to wait for the church to be
28:43 totally clean before He used it
28:45 the church would never get anything done.
28:50 He's not waiting for you to get perfect.
28:53 In using you He is perfecting you. Amen?
28:58 So if you refuse to get used -
29:01 yeah -
29:03 if you refuse to get used you are getting dirty.
29:09 And God's going to either have to wash you -
29:11 in hot water by the way -
29:17 or throw you out!
29:19 Amen!
29:25 So He cannot endorse your teaching of His Word
29:28 or your spiritual work in anywise.
29:30 "He cannot present your religious exercises
29:34 with the request that grace be given you. "
29:37 That's rough.
29:38 That's frightening.
29:40 Sixth volume of the Testimonies page 408 paragraph 2:
29:49 "Could the curtain be rolled back,
29:52 could you discern the purposes of God
29:55 and the judgments that are about to fall upon a doomed world... "
30:00 You know, this world is about to go through some "stuff"
30:03 ladies and gentlemen.
30:06 The judgments of God are coming!
30:10 So could you... "could the curtain be rolled back,
30:13 could you discern the purposes of God
30:16 and the judgments that are about to fall upon a doomed world,
30:20 could you but see your own attitude,
30:25 you would fear and tremble for your own soul
30:30 and for the souls of your fellow men. "
30:37 "Earnest prayers of heart-rending anguish
30:41 would go up to heaven;
30:43 you would weep between the porch and the altar
30:48 confessing your spiritual blindness and backsliding. "
30:53 Again, sixth volume of the Testimonies
30:57 page 408.
31:02 So if we are indeed lukewarm,
31:05 neither hot nor cold,
31:08 and unacceptable to God in that state,
31:12 if the Laodicean church is indeed a church devoid
31:16 of commendation, what then was the relationship
31:20 between God and Jonah when he was in the belly of that fish?
31:31 And what if he had died in that fish?
31:36 And what if he had died on the way to Tarshish?
31:42 So the Bible says that Jonah "cried out. "
31:47 So let me ask you a question:
31:50 what did he cry out for?
31:54 Did he cry out for Nineveh?
31:57 Unh-umm.
31:59 Cried out for Jonah.
32:02 He cried out for himself.
32:04 It was a selfish cry for deliverance.
32:11 An argument could be proffered -
32:13 and argument, indeed, could be made -
32:18 that running from the will of God -
32:22 an unacceptable activity of Jonah -
32:27 parallels the miserable, spiritually blind and naked
32:33 Laodicean message.
32:36 Aren't you glad that we serve a God
32:40 who's always the same?
32:42 Amen! I mean... seriously. Amen!
32:45 He's being punished.
32:47 He's in the belly of a fish
32:51 and he cries out for God... not that God would
32:55 deliver him or deliver Nineveh.
32:59 "I just want to get out of this mess! "
33:02 Ellen White says when Satan saw what his sin had done
33:05 in heaven he felt bad.
33:08 Didn't feel bad for heaven...
33:12 felt bad that he got kicked out!
33:16 When we were kids it was easy to get us to repent.
33:22 When my father did this...
33:26 easy to repent!
33:30 You know, when the hammer's going to come down
33:32 it's easy to get sorry
33:34 when you're about to get yours.
33:38 So Jonah now cries out for deliverance...
33:41 not for Nineveh... for himself!
33:44 And yet with that God heard his plea.
33:50 That's why I'm so glad I'm not godless.
33:53 God has said: "What you calling Me now for? "
33:58 But God heard his plea.
34:01 And I'm so glad that we serve a God... every time you go to
34:04 God you get the same God.
34:08 Every time!
34:10 God never has a bad day.
34:13 Amen. And I'll tell you the truth:
34:17 I do.
34:19 Um-hmm.
34:21 I have days when I want to be bothered
34:27 and I have days when I don't want to be bothered.
34:33 Amen... I said "Amen. " Amen. That's what I said.
34:39 But God never has a bad day.
34:41 Never has a bad day!
34:43 Every time you go to God you get the same God.
34:46 And so Jonah selfishly calls out to God
34:49 from the belly of the whale. Not for the Ninevites
34:52 but for himself.
34:55 And God hears that prayer and God delivers him.
35:01 I wonder if it's going to take a whale of an experience
35:06 to get the Adventist church where God wants it to be?
35:12 To get us ready to do the work of God.
35:16 Christ said of the Laodicean church
35:19 "I wish that you were hot or cold. "
35:21 And that wish - the word is ethelo - is not... is not just
35:26 "I wish. " It's... it's: "You ought to be hot or cold.
35:29 You MUST be hot or cold.
35:31 You have to be hot or cold. "
35:33 The worst thing you can be in the church of God
35:36 is indecision.
35:39 Be indecisive.
35:41 Decide!
35:44 On or off... but not lukewarm.
35:52 The Laodicean message, by the way, brothers and sisters,
35:55 we are told in the first volume of the Testimonies page 187
35:58 is an individual message.
36:01 It's not a church message because everybody in the
36:04 Laodicean church is not in the Laodicean condition.
36:07 Praise God! Amen! There are some people who are on fire
36:11 for the Lord. The problem is:
36:14 not enough people are on fire for the Lord.
36:20 So the Laodicean message is an individual message.
36:24 Galatians says: "Let a man examine himself
36:29 to see whether they're in the faith. " That's why
36:31 most people come to church they bring two tools:
36:34 a rake and a shovel.
36:37 And usually when folk are screaming "Amen... "
36:39 they've got the shovel out.
36:41 "Church needs to get right. " "Amen, Pastor. "
36:45 "Amen. " Shoveling it onto the person next to them.
36:47 And you ought to have a rake: "Amen... amen...
36:50 amen... amen. "
36:52 Using the wrong tool.
37:00 Here's what Ellen White says:
37:02 "It would be more pleasurable to the Lord
37:05 if lukewarm professors of religion had never
37:08 named the name of Jesus. "
37:11 That's hard!
37:13 "It would be more pleasurable to the Lord
37:16 if lukewarm professors of religion had never named
37:20 the name... named His name.
37:23 They are a continual weight to those who would be faithful
37:28 followers of Jesus. " So for those who want to run
37:31 if you're just shuffling, they've got to drag you
37:34 with them. "They are a stumbling block
37:39 to unbelievers. " The late C. D. Brooks used to say there
37:43 are some people so useless God can't use them
37:45 and the devil doesn't even want them.
37:49 That's first volume of the Testimonies page 188.
37:52 "They are a weight to believers and a stumbling block
37:55 to unbelievers. " So they're not helping the church
37:59 and they're keeping folk from coming in the church.
38:03 Ellen White said that the Laodicean message
38:07 is applicable to all who profess to be Christians.
38:11 And James White repeated that statement in the Review
38:14 and Herald in 1856. Christ said: "I would you ought
38:19 to be hot or cold. " It is an obligation
38:23 for you to decide whose side you're going to be on.
38:26 And let me say this to you quickly:
38:28 everybody - every Christian - sooner or later in your walk
38:31 with Jesus is going to have to answer the question
38:34 "How much is Jesus worth to me? "
38:39 And it will determine if you will go forward
38:42 or if you will just tread water.
38:45 You've gotta answer that question.
38:47 How much am I willing to sacrifice for the Lord?
38:51 How much of my comfort am I willing to give up
38:53 for the Lord?
38:55 How much of my life am I willing to re-arrange for the Lord?
38:58 Every Christian will have to answer that question.
39:01 It is a duty to be hot or cold.
39:04 Jonah cried and prayed for himself, not for the lost souls
39:09 of Nineveh. He didn't care about them.
39:14 Let me read you something from the book Evangelism.
39:16 I date all my books. That's a habit I have.
39:19 Put my name on the bottom and the date on the top.
39:21 I bought this May 1, 1973.
39:27 Couple days ago.
39:34 Ellen White... this is page 34.
39:37 "I appeal to our brethren who have heard the message
39:40 for many years: it is time to wake up the watchmen.
39:43 I have expended my strength
39:48 in giving the message the Lord has given me.
39:51 The burden of the needs of our cities
39:54 has rested so heavily upon me
39:56 that it has sometimes seemed that I should die. "
40:03 That's powerful!
40:07 I've done evangelism over the years.
40:09 I've done maybe 35 or 40 meetings.
40:14 And I've done long evangelistic meetings.
40:16 I've preached 6, 7, 8 weeks.
40:18 I started preaching right after 4th of July
40:20 and preached straight through till after Labor Day
40:22 many times in New York City.
40:25 I preached so hard I preached myself in the hospital
40:28 on two occasions. Fasting and praying for souls
40:30 and you're preaching, not eating. You're running back
40:32 and forth. On two occasions.
40:35 Evangelism used to be my weight control when I was pastoring.
40:39 I would lose 22 pounds every summer doing evangelism.
40:42 So I could fatten up during the winter and lose it
40:45 during the summer.
40:49 At least 30 meetings.
40:51 I baptized my mom,
40:56 my dad,
40:58 my wife...
41:03 Amen...
41:05 step-son, step-daughter,
41:09 and a lot of other folk.
41:13 But I have never felt like I was going to die.
41:19 I never had that burden that I feel sometimes
41:22 like I'm going to die.
41:25 How about you?
41:27 Do you think you're going to die if you don't take the gospel
41:30 to your next-door neighbor?
41:33 Do you feel like you're going to die if you don't share the
41:35 gospel with the people that you work with?
41:40 Or worse... people who con- sider themselves your enemies?
41:44 Are you going to die if they don't get the gospel?
41:48 Never felt that.
41:52 But Ellen White says: "I agonized over the cities
41:56 to the point I feel I'm going to die. "
41:59 And Jonah didn't feel like he was going to die for Nineveh!
42:05 He prayed for Jonah
42:09 and was only concerned about Jonah.
42:13 Praise God the Lord graciously heard and answered
42:19 his prayer. You see brothers and sisters,
42:24 God is undoubtedly blessing the church.
42:27 There's no doubt that God is blessing the church.
42:29 But that doesn't mean that the church is perfect.
42:36 Doesn't mean that the church is not making mistakes.
42:40 Doesn't mean the church can't do better.
42:42 Doesn't mean the church has a ways to go.
42:47 You see, the Laodicea's said to themselves
42:49 "We are rich and increased with goods"
42:52 and they were telling the truth!
42:56 They were rich... they were increased with goods.
43:02 But that thinking can get in the way sometimes.
43:06 And Ellen White says: "Don't neglect the warning. "
43:12 "Since you've got all of this stuff,
43:15 don't let the stuff delude you into thinking
43:19 that you're perfect with God.
43:21 Luke chapter 12 verse 15
43:23 "A man's life does not consist of the things that
43:26 he possesses. " The good- ness of the Adventist church
43:29 does not consist of "the stuff we got. "
43:33 Got a great educational system.
43:35 Got a great hospital system.
43:38 It's a blessing to the church as is 3ABN!
43:44 Amen. Amen!
43:47 I said "Amen. " Amen! That's what I said.
43:57 Don't let that delude you into thinking that you don't need
43:59 anything else.
44:02 Christ is saying beneath all of this stuff
44:06 you may be wretched and miserable and poor and blind
44:11 and naked.
44:14 So Christ is calling us to a higher standard.
44:19 He's calling us to "gold tried in the fire. "
44:22 Translation: faith tested in the flames of affliction.
44:29 We need our faith tested.
44:32 Jonah bemoaned his fate
44:35 but did not reaffirm his faith.
44:40 One of the things to be sorry...
44:42 It is one thing, rather, to be sorry for the consequences of
44:44 your sin and quite another to be sorry for the sin itself.
44:48 As children of God
44:55 we must be sorry for the sin itself.
44:58 Satan, says Ellen White, when he got "jettisoned" from heaven
45:01 was sorry for the results... not for the sin.
45:05 So now Jonah begins to preach. Praise the Lord!
45:09 But his heart wasn't in it.
45:11 And the reason we know that his heart wasn't in it
45:15 is because when the people repented
45:19 from the greatest to the least,
45:22 when the revival that he wanted happened
45:27 Jonah got upset.
45:31 Chapter 4 verse 10 we see what's going on
45:36 in Jonah's mind.
45:39 You see, if you have the mind of Christ
45:41 and you preach Christ and people respond to your preaching
45:44 that ought to make you glad. Amen?
45:48 When souls are turned away from destruction
45:51 you ought to be happy.
45:53 But the Bible says in Jonah chapter 4 verse 1
45:59 "But it displeased Jonah exceedingly
46:02 and he became angry. "
46:05 Now what kind of mind gets mad when God has mercy?
46:10 You say: "Fear God... give glory to Him
46:15 because judgment is coming, "
46:17 and the people fear God and give glory to Him
46:21 and you're all "bent out of shape? "
46:25 Does that make sense?
46:27 You got what you wanted!
46:32 And you ought to be happy and you ought to rejoice.
46:37 Acts chapter 17 verse 11 says:
46:39 "The Lord takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked
46:42 but rather that they turn from their sin. " Amen!
46:46 That's repeated in II Chronicles 7, Jeremiah 25,
46:50 Zechariah 1:4... over and over again.
46:53 God doesn't get any kicks out of killing folk.
46:55 He wants us to turn and live!
46:58 So if you preach Christ and they turn and live,
47:01 what's the problem?
47:06 So God had on Nineveh the same mercy
47:10 that God had on Jonah. Amen?
47:14 See, you've got to look at it that way.
47:16 When you want God to punish your neighbor for doing bad stuff
47:20 to you... you've got to remember
47:24 that maybe God is holding back the bad stuff
47:27 on you for what you've done to somebody else.
47:31 Amen? You know, I had a teacher in school...
47:34 he used to tell us... and I didn't understand it till I got
47:37 out of Oakwood College, graduated with my degree...
47:39 he used to say: "As bad as it is to breathe
47:42 second-hand smoke, it's worse to blow smoke up your own nose. "
47:48 And it took me years to understand that.
47:53 So be honest with yourself.
47:55 God forgives them just like God is forgiving you!
48:01 So when God has mercy on them
48:03 remember it's the same God
48:06 who's having mercy on you.
48:08 Amen?
48:10 So God has mercy on Nineveh
48:13 and Jonah is upset. He says: "That's why
48:17 I didn't go in the first place. "
48:19 "That's why I didn't... 'cause I knew... I knew You, God!
48:24 I knew You! "
48:26 "I knew You were going to repent; I knew You were
48:28 going to give them a break. I don't like those people
48:31 anyway! I don't like them and they don't like me.
48:33 I knew You were going to do that.
48:34 You're going to repent; You're going to make a liar out of me.
48:37 You're going to forgive them and embarrass me!
48:43 I wish I was dead! "
48:47 "Sick of it! Preaching, preaching, preaching.
48:51 telling them that hell is going to come,
48:53 going to be destroyed. And here You go:
48:55 You repent... making me look bad! "
48:59 "I just want to die... I wish I was dead! "
49:10 "I knew You were going to pull some stunt like that! "
49:16 And it's interesting...
49:19 because there is someone else who said "Just kill me, " too.
49:24 Interesting, interesting, interesting
49:27 juxtaposition.
49:30 Moses... Moses said the same thing to God.
49:33 "Lord, just kill me... just kill me. "
49:38 But Moses was in response to God saying
49:41 "This is a stiff-necked people. Hard-headed.
49:45 Why don't I just blot them out
49:47 and start over with you? "
49:50 Moses said: "No, don't do that... kill me
49:53 and let them live. "
49:56 Now Jonah says
49:59 "OK, Lord, You didn't kill them so kill me. "
50:05 You see the difference?
50:07 One is somebody acting like Christ;
50:10 the other is somebody acting like... um-hmm.
50:15 Like the devil!
50:17 Same words, but they're coming from two totally different
50:21 perspectives. Moses is saying: "Save them, take me. "
50:26 Jonah is saying: "If You're not going to kill them,
50:29 You might as well kill me 'cause I can't take it anymore.
50:33 I can't take it; I can't take it. Just kill me.
50:35 My life is over... I can't stand it. "
50:40 See, that's why I'm saying I'm so glad we serve the kind of God
50:43 we serve because he asks two times in that conversation,
50:46 he said: "I want to die... just kill me. "
50:51 See me... I would have given him what he wanted.
50:58 You ask me twice in the same conversation
51:02 "I want to die... just kill me. "
51:05 "Oooh K. "
51:14 But aren't you glad we serve a merciful God? Amen!
51:17 Who doesn't always give you what you want or even
51:19 what you ask for. He gives you what you need.
51:23 So God is wrestling with this guy.
51:26 This ought to give us all hope because he's in God's fate.
51:33 Two times... kill him.
51:38 And then the Bible says he stomps out of the city
51:41 and sits down on the ground to see if God will finally
51:43 change His mind and kill them.
51:46 He's mad. Sun beatin' down on him
51:49 and God still has mercy.
51:51 During the night God allows a plant to grow up.
51:53 The Bible calls it a gourd.
51:55 And there's some theological variants on what it is, but it
51:58 grew up big enough to cover him.
51:59 And it grew up in one night. That's a miracle of God.
52:03 You go to sleep one night. The next morning a plant's
52:05 big enough to cover your whole body from the sun.
52:08 And one night later God has a worm kill that plant.
52:12 Another miracle!
52:14 Now Jonah's hot.
52:17 "God, what is the matter with You?
52:22 You killed my plant? "
52:30 "That's my plant, Man... that's my plant! "
52:35 "You took out my... You save them and You kill my plant? "
52:43 And then God says: "What are you whining about?
52:49 You didn't plant that plant.
52:53 You didn't water that plant.
52:56 You didn't fertilize that plant.
52:57 You had nothing to do with that plant.
52:59 My plant.
53:03 So I sent a worm to kill the plant
53:07 because I'm trying to get you to see yourself.
53:10 You're in My face over a plant that I let die
53:15 and you're angry over a whole nation
53:19 that I let live. "
53:23 See, that's a warning to the Adventist church.
53:26 "Get your priorities straight. "
53:30 I was on the phone with a pastor the other day.
53:32 He was asking for some counsel
53:34 'cause he's got a little issue in his church.
53:37 Folk up in arms over stuff. E- mails flying back and forth.
53:41 Facebook, texts... all kinds of stuff.
53:47 And I was telling him: "If your people had the same
53:52 energy to fight the devil
53:57 like they're fighting each other... "
53:59 I mean, you've got hot texts flying back and forth.
54:02 Folk getting bent out of shape.
54:04 Elders walking out of meetings.
54:07 Could put that energy in fighting Satan!
54:11 If you fought the devil like you fight your brother and sister
54:13 in church, Christ would have been here long ago! Amen!
54:19 Gettin' bent out of shape over a plant...
54:25 and there's a whole world out there dying.
54:31 And that's what's wrong with the Laodicean church.
54:36 Lazy... listless.
54:40 Focused on the wrong thing.
54:44 Jesus is coming soon. Amen!
54:50 And we're majoring in minors
54:53 and we've gotten our eyes off of Christ.
54:57 That's why 3ABN has pivoted into front-line evangelism.
55:05 Because there's no more time to sit and talk about doing
55:07 the will of God or think about doing the will of God.
55:12 It's time to DO the will of God! Amen!
55:17 Amen? Amen! And the Laodicean message
55:20 I repeat is an individual message.
55:25 Every member has to ask himself
55:30 "Lord, is it I? "
55:33 "Am I doing Your will or am I not doing Your will? "
55:37 And the sad truth of this book... You see how it ends.
55:41 It just ends.
55:44 It ends with a nation that is converted
55:50 and a prophet who is not.
55:54 It just ends.
55:57 Nineveh is saved.
56:00 Jonah is lost.
56:05 The last line is him arguing with God.
56:12 "Where's my plant? I want my plant! "
56:20 And he didn't know that just beyond the wall
56:24 a whole nation had turned to God.
56:29 And he's focused on the plant.
56:31 And so God says: "Is it right for you to be mad? "
56:36 You know what Jonah's response is?
56:39 "Yeah, it's right for me to be mad!
56:41 I'm so mad I could die! "
56:48 That's the last thing he said to God.
56:51 And the Bible ends the story right there.
56:56 I wonder if he ever got right with God.
56:59 I wonder if he ever came to his senses.
57:03 I don't know.
57:05 Let's ask God when we get to heaven.
57:11 Amen? Amen.
57:13 Keep your eyes on Jesus. Amen!


Revised 2019-09-24