A Sharper Focus

Our Greatest Need -part 7

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: John Lomacang


Series Code: ASHF

Program Code: ASHF000176A

00:18 Hello! Welcome to our Wednesday night Bible
00:20 study here at the 3ABN Worship Center. Thank
00:22 you so much for taking the time to tune in
00:24 as we walk through the Word of God
00:26 together. We are ready- can we say amen?
00:29 - [Amen.] - We hope that you are ready
00:31 to walk through the topic on conversion-
00:34 repentance and conversion. So often, church membership
00:37 is talked about, but very few times is
00:40 repentance and conversion described.
00:42 So, tonight, as we open the Word of God
00:44 together, we do pray that you'll join us-
00:46 that you will ask for the Spirit of God to
00:49 guide you. Before we tell you how to get a
00:51 copy of the lesson and follow along
00:53 with us, we'll go ahead and ask for
00:55 the Lord's presence to be with us. Bow your
00:58 heads with me. Loving Father in heaven, thank
01:00 You for the beauty of studying your Word,
01:04 we pray, Lord, tonight as we open the
01:06 Bible that You'll open our hearts.
01:10 This topic of conversion, which is our greatest
01:12 need is something, Lord, that we pray
01:15 for Your Holy Spirit to impress upon our
01:17 hearts and minds. Teach us, strengthen
01:20 us, and cause our passion to serve you
01:22 to be something that Your Spirit accomplishes
01:26 in our lives not only tonight, but each
01:28 and every day. In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.
01:33 Now, to get a copy of the lesson, go
01:35 to this following website. It's asf.3abn.org.
01:40 Download lesson #39 and you'll see- it should
01:44 go up to question #37; that way, you'll know
01:46 you have the correct lesson. That's lesson #39;
01:49 has up to 37 questions. That way, you'll know
01:52 you have- and at that very same website,
01:55 you can look at all the prior programs,
01:57 because sometimes you may have tuned in
01:59 for the first time and say, "Well,
02:00 they're up to 26. What happened to
02:02 1 to 25?" At that very same website,
02:05 all the topics are covered from lesson
02:08 #1 all the way to 39. We've been having
02:13 a wonderful time- but before we do
02:15 anything else, we always sing our theme
02:16 song. Don't we know that? And what is
02:18 our theme song? It is...Victory in Jesus.
02:21 Join us as we sing our theme song together.
02:31 I heard an old, old story
02:35 How the Savior came from glory
02:39 How He gave His life on calvary
02:43 To save a wretch like me
02:46 I heard about His groaning
02:50 of His precious blood's atoning
02:54 then I repented of my sin
02:58 And won the victory
03:02 Oh, victory in Jesus
03:05 My Savior forever
03:09 He sought me and bought me
03:12 With His redeeming blood
03:16 He loved me e'er I knew Him
03:20 And all my love is due Him
03:24 He plunged me to victory
03:28 Beneath the cleansing flood
03:31 I heard about a mansion
03:35 He has built for me in glory
03:39 And I heard about the streets of gold
03:43 Beyond the crystal sea
03:47 About the angels' singing
03:50 And the old redemption story
03:54 And some sweet day, I'll sing up there
03:58 That song of victory (Key change!)
04:02 Oh, victory in Jesus
04:06 My Savior forever
04:09 He sought me and bought me
04:13 With His redeeming blood
04:17 He loved me e'er I knew Him
04:21 And all my love is due Him
04:24 He plunged me to victory
04:28 Beneath the cleansing flood
04:32 He plunged me to victory
04:36 Beneath the cleansing flood
04:43 Amen? [Amen.] Tonight, our topic is the truth
04:47 about our greatest need. The truth about our
04:50 greatest need. Now, oftentimes-just
04:54 laying some foundation for the lesson-oftentimes,
04:57 people join churches based on what they
05:01 have considered to be truth in God's Word,
05:04 which is a good thing. But the process of
05:07 joining a church, the Bible says, "He that
05:10 believes and is baptized will be saved," so
05:14 baptism is a very essential part of
05:16 joining the church or following Christ-
05:20 putting the old life to death and then beginning
05:24 to walk in the newness of life. You find that
05:25 in the book of Romans chapter 6. But so
05:28 often, there's a very big portion
05:32 that's missed when it comes to becoming
05:34 a Christian. I'd like to begin by pointing
05:37 out one of the more familiar passages
05:39 in the Bible that includes all- both
05:41 of these parameters. It takes into consideration
05:44 where we used to be and what we used to
05:47 do and if we make a decision to make a
05:49 change, what happens on the other side. Go
05:52 with me to 2 Chronicles 7 and verse 14.
05:55 2 Chronicles chapter 7, and let us look together
05:59 at verse 14. A very familiar passage.
06:04 This is- if you look in the Bible, there
06:06 are many passages that have if and
06:07 then. If and then. These are what I
06:11 call conditional promises. What
06:13 are they called? Conditional promises.
06:16 So, you say to your kids, "If you get
06:19 a good grade, then you'll be able to
06:20 use the car for the weekend." "IF you
06:23 pass all your classes, THEN you'll be able
06:25 to get that particular thing that you want."
06:27 If and then. God is the very same way.
06:29 There's an if and there's a then. Now, since
06:31 we know the passage very well, let's walk
06:33 through the before and after. The Bible says,
06:36 together, "If My people who are
06:39 called by My name will humble themselves,
06:43 then," first thing, "pray, seek my
06:46 face," and do what? "Turn from their
06:49 wicked ways." Notice here's now the second
06:52 half. "Then, I will hear from heaven and
06:56 will forgive their sin and will heal their
06:59 land." Notice what we're told to do.
07:01 Humble, pray, seek His face, turn from
07:04 our wicked ways. Humble, pray, seek HIS face-
07:09 not just His hands-and turn from our wicked
07:12 ways. "Then, I will hear from heaven, will
07:18 forgive their sin, and heal their land." So,
07:21 it's safe to say that if we don't humble
07:25 ourselves and pray and seek His face
07:27 and turn from our wicked ways, He
07:28 won't hear! He- what it means when it
07:31 says He will hear, that means He'll
07:33 listen to us. But if we don't do what
07:36 God has called us to do, then the conditions
07:38 not being met on our side will not bring
07:41 with the promise that He has on His side.
07:44 Are you following? He says if, then, the
07:47 conditions are there. So often, people
07:50 accept the truth about what the Bible
07:54 teaches about a particular doctrine.
07:56 In our church particularly- in the Seventh-Day
07:58 Adventist church-there are 28 fundamentals,
08:01 and you really can't argue with them
08:02 because they're according to the Bible.
08:04 They are all in harmony with the Bible. So,
08:06 when you come to the conclusion that they
08:08 are all true and you said, "Well, I want
08:10 to follow the truth of God's Word; I want
08:13 to join your fellowship," the Bible says, "The
08:15 Lord added to the church daily those who were
08:18 being saved." Well, if you join just based
08:21 on the fact that it's true and you don't
08:25 humble yourself, pray, seek God's face, and
08:30 then turn from your wicked ways, then
08:32 the latter part of the text will not be our
08:34 experience. And so, so many people are
08:37 joining, but they are not being converted;
08:42 they're not repenting of anything. They're
08:44 just coming in as educated members
08:47 rather than converted saints. Do you get it
08:52 now? Because we were once sinners, but can
08:55 you be a sinner after Jesus has changed
08:58 you? You're a saint! Now, the word 'saint'
09:02 is often misused; we think it means 'perfect.'
09:05 Does this mean perfect? It means you are
09:08 no longer who you were, but you are
09:11 now in Christ. If anyone's in Christ,
09:13 he is a new creation. Isn't that right?
09:15 2 Corinthians 5:17. So, this new creation
09:18 takes over. If you are a new creation-
09:20 follow carefully-if you are a sinner
09:22 before Christ and old things have
09:24 passed away, and you are a new creation,
09:28 are you still a sinner? You missed
09:33 the swing. You are now a saint. If you
09:37 put that word in the New Testament, 'saint,'
09:39 Paul over and over and over and over
09:41 again said, "Greet the saints that are in
09:44 Ephesus. Greet the saints that are in
09:47 Rome." But the word 'saint' has been
09:49 exalted in our day and age to mean people
09:52 that have died and, quote and quote, are
09:53 "now in heaven," which is not true,
09:55 and they're now perfect and they're now looking
09:57 down on us, like St. Peter, St. Paul,
09:59 all these kinds of "saints" that the
10:02 Catholic Church has canonized. That's not
10:04 what a saint is. When you are in a relationship
10:08 with Jesus and the old life has been buried
10:10 and you are now a new creation, you
10:12 are a saint. Amen somebody? [Amen.]
10:15 That means you are growing every day,
10:17 growing in grace... Hear what I'm saying.
10:20 You're not growing INTO grace. You're
10:23 growing IN grace. Plants don't grow INTO the pot.
10:29 They grow IN the pot. Fish don't swim INTO
10:34 the sea; they swim IN the sea. Christians
10:38 don't grow INTO grace; they grow IN grace,
10:42 and in knowledge. And so often, that's not
10:44 even pointed out. So tonight, what we're
10:46 going to look at... We're going to begin
10:48 with question #26 and we're going to see,
10:51 before we go to the changed life, we're
10:53 going to see how best can the experience
10:55 of repentance be described. Let's just go
10:57 ahead and look at question #26 real
10:59 quickly tonight.
11:14 And we're going to look together at
11:19 the 23rd Psalm, and then we're going to
11:23 look at verse 3. Okay? I'm just going to
11:27 catch up with you. Psalm 23 and verse 3.
11:32 This one is going to be on the screen
11:33 for all of you who are here, and since
11:35 it is our first passage, I'd like us all to
11:37 read it together. Are you ready?
11:39 Here it is. The Bible says, together,
11:51 So, how best can the experience of repentance
11:54 be described? What does He do to us?
11:57 He restores our souls. He al- and then,
12:01 somebody else is taking over. "He leads me in
12:05 the path of righteousness." Now, that is huge,
12:08 because the question that is often asked
12:12 after conversion is, "Who's leading in
12:15 your life now?" Who's leading? Right. Jesus
12:20 ought to be leading. Day by day, we have
12:23 to choose Him as our leader, because if
12:25 He's leading, what path is He leading
12:27 us in? Path of righteousness.
12:30 If anybody else or anything else
12:31 leads you, it's leading you in the
12:33 wrong direction. Let's go to Romans 6:16
12:35 to add a component to that. Romans 6:16.
12:38 Just show you. It's a principle that
12:43 cannot be broken. Romans 6:16. Okay,
12:49 I'm there. Almost there. Here it is.
12:53 Ok, here we are. Acts. And right after Acts
12:56 is Romans. Here we are; great. Romans 6:16,
12:59 and I want you to pay a particular attention
13:00 to the word 'leading.' Alright? Romans 6:16.
13:12 It says, "Do you not know to whom you
13:16 present yourselves slaves to obey, you
13:20 are that one slave whom you obey?
13:25 Whether sin..." What does that say? "Sin
13:29 leading to death or obedience..." What else?
13:34 "Leading to righteousness." Depending on the
13:37 translation- the New King James version says,
13:39 "Sin leading to death," or "Obedience leading
13:42 to righteousness." Leading. Somebody's
13:45 gotta lead you day by day. So, the
13:48 converted life, the Christian's life-every
13:50 morning we wake up, we have to choose a what?
13:56 A leader! You ever play the game Follow
14:01 the... [Leader.] Every morning we
14:04 wake up, we have to choose a leader. If
14:06 you don't choose a leader, you choose a
14:08 leader. Did you hear that? If you
14:10 don't choose the right leader, by
14:12 default you choose the wrong leader, because-
14:14 and no choice is a choice. When you only have
14:16 two choices and you don't pick the right
14:18 one, which one did you pick? The wrong
14:20 one. That's by default. That's exactly what
14:21 happened. Right? You say, "Okay, pick
14:25 one." "Uhh, I'm not picking one." "You pick
14:29 one. Pick the right one or the wrong one."
14:31 You've picked one of them if you've chosen
14:32 not, and usually, if you don't pick the
14:34 right one, you pick the wrong one. So every
14:36 day, we have to make a decision, because
14:38 here's the key: not only does the Lord
14:40 restore our soul- that's the immediate
14:41 justification-but the leading part is the
14:45 sanctifying aspect of our lives, which is
14:48 the growing part. He's leading us in the paths
14:51 of righteousness. So, in this path, what
14:55 are you going to learn? What are you going to
14:56 continually learn? If He's leading in the
14:58 paths of righteousness, what are you going
15:01 to continually learn? Tell me. It's not a
15:04 trick question. If He's leading you in the
15:07 path of righteousness, what are you going be
15:09 continually learning? Righteousness. Exactly.
15:12 The opposite of righteousness, somebody once said, is
15:16 wrongteousness. [I was just getting
15:18 ready to say that.] You were just
15:20 getting ready to say that? It kind of fits.
15:23 So, you want Him to lead you every day
15:25 in the path of righteousness, but
15:27 here's the key-you can't lead yourself in
15:29 that path. He's gotta lead you. That's why
15:33 He said to the disciples, "Follow
15:34 Me and I will make you.." Forget the fishers of
15:38 men. You're not fishermen. None of us
15:40 is fishermen. But He will make us
15:41 that eventually, but, "Follow Me and I will
15:43 make you..." If you don't follow Him, He
15:45 won't make you! If you're not following
15:48 Him, somebody's making you. And
15:50 according to Romans 6:16, the wrong one is
15:52 making you. Somebody's leading you into
15:54 disobedience unto- I mean, sin leading
15:59 to death. That right? Now, go back to question
16:01 #26 and look at the second part-part B.
16:04 Psalm 51:12. How best can the experience
16:08 of repentance be described? First of
16:11 all, it says, "He restores my soul,"
16:14 but there's something else He does. There's
16:16 something else He does. Psalm 51:12. In the
16:20 interest of time, I'm going to go
16:22 ahead and put it on the screen. We
16:23 have time, but I'm going to go ahead
16:25 and keep the pace going very well. Psalm 51:12.
16:28 What is the first word?
16:42 Generous. Is there ever a time when the
16:46 Holy Spirit is not available through Christ?
16:48 Because what kind of Spirit is there? A
16:51 generous. People that are generous,
16:55 they always give you more than you ask
16:58 for. But notice in both cases, He
17:01 restores my soul, and then He restores to
17:05 me the joy of my salvation, and that
17:09 is something that is often missed a lot
17:11 of times in our walk with God. We don't
17:15 seek- I talked to somebody just recently
17:18 who said, "The joy in my walk is missing.
17:21 I need that joy to be restored." Now, let's
17:24 go to Psalm 85 and verse 4. Psalm 85:4-
17:28 we're in question #26 and C. Psalm 85:4.
17:32 We're going to follow this particular path.
17:35 Psalm 85:4. And look at this again! Look
17:39 at this again. Are you ready? Here it is.
17:42 Let's read it together.
17:53 In all these passages, what word did you see
17:56 continuously? 'Restore.' He restores my soul,
17:59 He restores salvation, and restores us. So,
18:03 we don't just want Him to restore portions
18:05 of us; we want Him to restore us. Am
18:07 I right? So, that's one of the passages
18:10 where repentance can be best described.
18:12 And, by the way, if you're just joining
18:14 us for this topic, we covered repentance
18:15 on #24, 23, 22, and so on and so forth. We
18:20 talked about repentance. Repentance is a
18:22 sorrow for sin and a turning from it. Repeat
18:27 that with me. Repentance is a sorrow for sin and
18:31 a turning from it- going in the opposite
18:35 direction. You've heard the phrase,
18:37 "If you're going in the wrong direction,
18:38 God allows U-turns." But now, let's go
18:41 another aspect of it. The question #27-
18:45 let's look at that together. Question
18:47 #27.
19:03 Not just repentance. Acts 3:19. Let's go
19:08 there. Acts 3:19.
19:17 Okay. I'm going to just- Lois, you have a nice,
19:21 boomy voice. You think you can read
19:24 what's up on the screen for us? Okay, here
19:26 it is. What is the answer? Acts 3:19,
19:28 together.
19:41 Ok. Repent and be what else? Converted.
19:45 Not just repent, but be converted.
19:48 A lot of times, we repent-... And
19:51 repentance is like a guy standing before
19:53 the judge and said, "I did it! I'm guilty."
19:56 But as soon as he's out of the court
19:59 and a little time passes, he's right back
20:01 to it again. Repentance means, "I admit it."
20:08 Conversion means, "I'm no longer even
20:10 living in that avenue." Now, let me make
20:15 it really, really clear. Conversion means
20:17 you're connected to a different source of
20:19 power. I used the example of when we
20:22 went to New Guinea a number of years ago.
20:28 We took all this American sound
20:31 equipment, which was designed back then
20:33 was not multi-voltage. Back in the '80s,
20:35 everything was like 120 here, 240 over
20:37 there. We took all this- two- that
20:42 have tons of equipment when I was in the
20:44 Heritage Singers. Well, we took two
20:46 large converters that were like 100
20:49 and something pounds each, and in-concert,
20:52 outside, in the rain, on stage, with all
20:57 these microphones. There were no cordless
20:59 mics then-was wired. We had to put tape
21:02 around the handles, 'cause we were continually
21:04 being shocked. So if you look at the video,
21:07 we got tape around the handle 'cause its
21:09 voltage. And then, the audio guy, Greg Mace,
21:14 who is the guy that runs sound for
21:17 Heritage still to this very day, he said,
21:20 "Keep your eye on the converter. If
21:22 it goes too high, it'll blow up the equipment.
21:26 If it goes too low, the equipment will
21:29 shut off." So, on this end was the bass singer
21:32 looking at it. On this end was another
21:34 person. There's a big, huge dial like a
21:36 dial that you open a safe deposit
21:39 box, a bank- big old handle, and had
21:41 very fine increments, so the voltage went
21:44 to and very minimum increments
21:50 because you're dealing with current that
21:52 could literally- if you turn it fast,
21:54 it'll blow the equipment to smithereens and
21:56 there's just no coming back. Here's my point.
22:01 We may have great value, but unless we
22:05 are connected to our source of power that
22:06 converts us, we are of no value. Because the
22:11 Christian life is entering into a
22:13 foreign territory. The Christian life
22:18 is not natural. It's spiritual. So, living a
22:23 natural life, living a spiritual life in a
22:25 natural place, it doesn't work unless there's
22:27 conversion. Right? So, when Dr. Luke
22:32 wrote this, this is what Peter preached
22:34 on the day of Pentecost. "Repent therefore and
22:37 be," what? "converted." What's the benefit of
22:39 being converted? What did he say? What's the
22:42 benefit? "That your sins may be blotted
22:44 out." Amen? [Amen.] Blotted out. Not absorbed,
22:50 but blotted out. That's huge! Have you
22:53 seen a blotter before? That's the kind of
22:55 terminology they used then. They literally-
22:58 if ink spilled, because they wrote things not
23:00 like us today-not with pens, but if it
23:03 spilled...a huge stain. They had blotters
23:06 that would absorb anything that spilled.
23:09 When our sins are spilling out into our
23:12 lives and we repent and are converted, the Lord
23:16 blots them out. Amen? [Amen.] So did you
23:18 write that down? What else besides repentance
23:20 does the Bible prescribe as for a changed life?
23:23 What's the word? 'Conversion.'
23:28 Very important. Let's go now to Matthew
23:32 28... Sorry, question 28.
23:39 Matthew chapter 18. There's question 28.
23:58 Let's look at that. Matthew 18:3.
24:05 What's the first word? [Assuredly.]
24:08 That's with certainty. "Assuredly I say to
24:10 you, unless you are," what else? "converted
24:14 and become as little children, you will
24:19 by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."
24:22 Now, I talked about this in a private
24:23 program, but I wanted to begin today to
24:25 reiterate this because I found this
24:26 to be fascinating. Why would the Lord
24:29 use little children? Well, little children-
24:31 in some sense, they try to prevent the children from
24:36 coming to Jesus. Remember that? Suffer the
24:39 little children. That means, allow the
24:41 little children to come to Me." The King
24:43 James version says, "Suffer the little
24:44 children to come to Me." We don't talk that
24:46 way anymore. Suffer the kids to come to me.
24:48 But we say, "Allow the children to come to
24:51 Me and do not prevent them for of such is
24:53 the kingdom of heaven." Why little children?
24:55 Because when you are converted and you
24:58 become as a little child- I'll use the
25:01 illustration. When children- little
25:04 children- now, notice it says, "Become
25:07 as a," what kind of child? "Little."
25:09 This is huge. Not just the child,
25:12 but a little child. Little children,
25:16 when they play and they have an
25:18 owie- our teacher knows. When they have
25:23 little incidents that they get all
25:25 upset, you say, "What's wrong?"
25:27 "He took my pencil." "Did you take his
25:30 pencil?" "Yeah." "Why?" "'Cause I
25:32 wanted it." And then he said, "Apologize."
25:36 "I'm sorry, Mikey." "Okay, I accept your
25:39 apology," and they run off and they go
25:41 play right away! It's like, that's it!
25:43 But adults? When we have owies, "I'm
25:49 not talkin' to him. He's not talkin'
25:51 to me. I don't care. I don't-... Walk up
25:54 that aisle; I'll walk up this aisle."
25:56 Conversion brings into us, we have to have the
26:00 heart of a child. [Amen.] Because
26:02 the heart of a child- they may get hurt
26:05 quickly, and I've often seen- we don't
26:07 have children, but I've seen children.
26:08 When they fall and they get that hurt,
26:10 you know what they do? They look to
26:11 the parent right away to see how critical
26:13 that fall was. If the parent says,
26:15 "Aw, you'll be okay," they'll get up and
26:16 run; but if the parent says, "Are you
26:18 alright!?" You know, they go into crisis
26:20 mode! They start screaming, they're crying, their
26:23 head's off... When we fall and we look
26:26 to our heavenly Father, you know what you're
26:27 going to find? A compassionate heavenly
26:28 Father that'll say, "I can handle that."
26:31 Amen? [Amen.] So, what happens here-
26:34 the heart of a child keeps looking to the
26:36 parent. The heart of a child-the little
26:38 child-looks to the one in the position
26:41 of authority. And the heart of a child
26:44 does not hold onto ills. The heart of
26:48 a child lets it go and they go play
26:51 again. Something that we could learn from
26:55 children, because the Lord said... How bad
26:59 is this? How important is it? What's the
27:02 latter part? Say it with me. "You will by,"
27:04 what? "no means enter the kingdom
27:09 of heaven." You might be converted, but if
27:11 you don't become like a little child... That's
27:14 really sad. So, in heaven, are we going
27:16 to all be little children? Do yourself
27:18 an assignment. Just try this out. One day,
27:21 look at the writings of the apostle John.
27:24 You'll see him- he'll say, "My little children,
27:27 I write to you," or, "You have no need
27:31 that I should write to you, little children."
27:33 You'll find that phrase often through the
27:35 Word of God. "Little children." Because he's
27:37 been talking to those of us who have been
27:38 born again. And when you are born again,
27:40 you are what? A little child. Amen? Let's
27:45 go to number- so write the answer down.
27:47 What was the answer for #28? How important
27:51 is the need for conversion? Say,
27:56 how important? Very. Let's put a bigger
27:59 word than 'very-' imperative. Absolutely
28:03 necessary. [Assuredly.] Thank you, Brian.
28:07 Assuredly! I like that. Assuredly.
28:10 #29.
28:11 #29.
28:38 "Is imperative" is one word- I
28:39 made it one word. Just say, "isimperative."
28:43 Little space there, but it's okay. You'll
28:46 survive. Psalm 19:7. Let's see if we can
28:53 get there. Let's see who I could pick on,
28:55 'cause we have little microphones in here
28:56 and I know those are active. Let me get
28:58 somebody to read that. ...But I need somebody
29:01 with a big voice. Who has a big voice?
29:05 Okay, great. Brian, do you have a big
29:07 voice? [Big enough.] Go for it. Here it
29:10 is on the screen.
29:22 The law of the Lord is what? Perfect.
29:25 What is it doing? Converting the soul.
29:30 Now, you could easily illustrate that to a
29:37 train being on the tracks. Some people
29:42 claim this- I've heard people say, "I'm free
29:44 now; I'm free in Jesus." Uh, well,
29:47 don't take that too far. You're free from
29:51 the penalty of sin, but you're not free to
29:55 do what you want anymore than a train
29:58 is free from the tracks and is going anywhere.
30:00 Some people say, "I'm free! I've been set
30:03 free." You've been set free from the PENALTY
30:05 of sin, but you need Jesus- sorry. WE need
30:08 Jesus, how often? Every moment of every
30:10 day. And, the transcript that guides us is the
30:16 law of the Lord that is what? Perfect. Now,
30:19 I was raised in New York City and I know
30:21 what a subway is. Anybody not know
30:23 what a subway is? A subway is an
30:25 underground train, and you might be
30:27 watching from someplace in the world where they
30:28 have no subways. Like in New Guinea, there
30:31 are no subways. In the Caribbean, there
30:34 are no subways; you can't dig holes under
30:35 the ground. In Puerto Rico, there are no
30:38 subways. But they have underground subways!
30:43 You could hear trains coming. Where I got
30:46 on the train-where we got on the train,
30:47 Franklin Avenue-there are 4 tracks: two local;
30:50 two express. You hear something coming, but
30:53 you don't know. What amazes me is you're
30:55 flying through the tunnel. Trains are-
30:58 it seemed to be about a foot apart at
31:00 high rates of speed. Just...whoosh.
31:03 You know why it's safe? Because they're
31:06 on the tracks. Here's my point: if you try
31:09 to live your Christian life without the law
31:11 of God, it's like a train off the tracks.
31:15 There's nothing guiding you. You may be free,
31:18 but you're not going anywhere OR, more
31:21 deadly than that, you are in line for a
31:24 severe collision. In other words, your
31:29 life is being derailed and you're saying
31:31 you're free. But if you live by the law
31:33 of God, which can only be done by the
31:35 indwelling Spirit-am I right? Then you are
31:38 being converted. You're being what? Converted.
31:41 Converting the soul. And conversion- how
31:44 long does it take to convert somebody?
31:47 Huh? We are justified instantly, but we are
31:52 being converted every day. Every day.
31:55 Conversion is a work. I think it's Philippians
31:59 1:6-you might check that-"He who has begun
32:01 a good work in you will complete it."
32:03 All right? So, what transcript of life
32:06 is imperative? What is? What is it?
32:08 The law of the Lord. The Commandments of
32:11 God. Now, look at this. Let's go to
32:16 question #30. I like the pace we're moving
32:19 at tonight. We might get to 37. But if not,
32:22 that's okay. Question #30, and here it is.
32:38 'Cause a lot of times, when we baptize
32:40 people, "I baptize you in the name of
32:42 the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,"
32:44 "Are you excited?" "Lord, Holy Spirit,
32:46 come into this person's life," but there are
32:49 some very important things that we have to
32:51 understand. What actually happens?
32:52 What does the Lord decide to do for us?
32:54 What promise has He made to help us in
32:58 this experience of conversion? In what
33:05 way does the Bible describe the transaction
33:07 of conversion? Let's look at this. Ezekiel
33:10 36:26. This is beautiful. The Lord says of us,
33:36 Stone and flesh. Which one is harder?
33:39 [Stone.] Stone!
33:43 This is important. We've got to really
33:45 be careful, and little indicators in our lives
33:48 will tell us when we need to be calibrated.
33:53 You know the word calibrated? You know
33:55 what calibration is? People into electronics..
33:58 I remember we used to do that. We used to
34:01 work in- you hear the sound,
34:03 [hums rising and descending pitch]
34:08 A certain sound, you know you're right at
34:09 the right frequency. When you tune up
34:13 a guitar, you could hear [hums again].
34:16 Tune a piano - calibration. The whole aspect.
34:19 The Lord is calibrating our lives in harmony
34:22 with His will. Calibrating our lives
34:24 in harmony with His purpose. Calibrating
34:27 our lives in harmony with His law. But what's
34:29 happening? How's He doing that? He's
34:31 putting a new heart and a new spirit
34:32 within us. The spirit that the Lord wants
34:34 us to have is what kind of spirit? Somebody
34:38 tell me. What kind of spirit does the Lord
34:40 want us to have? [New spirit. Holy Spirit.]
34:45 Holy Spirit. Yes. Now, the Holy Spirit-
34:49 the presence of the Holy Spirit- how do
34:51 you know when somebody has the
34:52 Holy Spirit?
34:58 Not a trick question. I don't want to trick
35:00 you guys tonight. It's not a trick question.
35:04 Say it again? [They have the fruit of the
35:05 Spirit.] They have the fruit of the Spirit!
35:09 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
35:14 longsuffering, gentleness, meekness,
35:17 patience. And the apostle Paul says,
35:19 "Against such, there is no law." Meaning,
35:22 there is no limit. In other words, you could
35:24 be a person with 10 million pounds of love.
35:28 Great! Get 10 million 1! The more loving you
35:32 can be- there is no limit. Amen? [Amen.]
35:35 Joy. Have you ever met a person and say,
35:37 "You know, you are too happy. You're too
35:39 joyful." Have you ever heard somebody?
35:41 "You need to be less joyful." No! If you
35:44 have the fruit of the Spirit, you will be
35:45 what? Joyful! "Joyful, joyful-" don't just
35:49 sing it; be it. Love, joy- what else?
35:51 Peace. Do you know anybody that needs
35:53 peace? Yes! When the Spirit is not there-
35:56 because here's the key. The promise the Lord
35:59 makes in Isaiah, it says, "He will keep
36:02 him in," what kind of peace? "Perfect peace
36:05 whose mind has stayed on Thee because he
36:08 trusted in Thee." We try to find peace
36:10 over there, either in other people, other
36:14 circumstances, other things, and we're
36:16 not focusing on Him. He will keep us in
36:18 perfect peace if our minds are stayed on
36:20 Him. Like a dad will say to the kids. Like
36:26 the little girl that was in the thunderstorm
36:27 and the lights went out. Immediately,
36:33 she didn't see her dad and it was dark.
36:36 When I was raised- OK. When I was a
36:40 little boy, I used to be afraid of thunder.
36:42 Okay, you got out of the way. But I'm not
36:44 afraid of thunder; I like thunder now.
36:46 ...But I just don't like Southern Illinois thunder.
36:49 [laughter] 'Cause it brings with it
36:51 sometimes tornados- and when they have
36:54 tornado warnings and they say, "Seek shelter
36:57 now," and it's nighttime and it's thu- you can't
37:00 see anything out here. You all know what
37:01 I'm talking about? If you're in the
37:03 Caribbean, ignore us. ...Where was I
37:07 going with that? [laughter] [Shelter.] Okay, the
37:11 shelter. So, I used to- Momma, when
37:15 she was raising me, I used to run to
37:17 Momma and grab her, and she says, "Okay,
37:19 I'm here," and I would always feel safe
37:22 because she's there. When we run to the
37:25 Lord, in that moment, we find that He is
37:29 our ever-present help in time of need.
37:32 When we focus on the only One that can
37:34 deliver us in our times of storm, what do we
37:38 have? Peace. "Daddy, I can't see you."
37:42 "But I'm here." And he reached out
37:44 and touched the shoulder of his little daughter.
37:46 "Daddy, I can't see you." "But I'm here."
37:49 And so the beauty of the Lord is when we
37:51 focus- when we focus, the Lord is changing us
37:54 every day. The new heart- and the word
37:58 heart is interchangeable. New heart also means
38:02 what else? New mind. Because I know one
38:05 of the reasons they have the polygraph
38:07 tests nowadays is because what the
38:09 mind is thinking, the heart is reacting to
38:11 and they both work in tandem to the way
38:16 you feel. Boy, nobody says, "I mind you."
38:20 We say, "I heart you." Which means what?
38:22 "I love you." So, we don't go...
38:29 "What is he saying?" No, but if you go...
38:32 There you go. [laughter] You get the message!
38:36 See? But in reality, in the Bible, heart
38:39 and mind are interchangeable! Right? The Lord wants
38:43 to be in our hearts. Now, when He gives
38:46 you a new heart, what's in that heart? Go
38:48 with me to Hebrews chapter 10. What is
38:51 in that heart?
38:56 [The law.] That's right; you
38:59 know exactly where we're going. Hebrews
39:01 chapter 10:16. Hebrews 10:16.
39:08 To say that the Lord has given us a new
39:10 heart and to ignore His law is a contradiction.
39:16 It's a contradiction. Because notice, "I
39:22 will give you a new heart." Look at Hebrews 10:16.
39:25 He says, "'This is the covenant. I will make
39:29 with them after those days,' says the Lord.
39:35 'I will put My laws into their hearts
39:40 and in their minds, I will write them.'"
39:43 Interchangeable. It's here and it's here.
39:47 He puts it in both places, so we can't
39:49 say, "Well, it's not in my mind." It's
39:52 in your mind AND heart. It's in both places.
39:54 So, when He puts that new heart in us, He
39:57 also installs in us a new rail system to
40:00 keep us in line. And honestly, nobody would
40:03 argue. The only time we're afraid of trains
40:06 is if they're off the track. Somebody once
40:09 said, "I don't like stop signs. I've
40:11 discovered that stop signs are not really
40:14 stop signs; they're go signs," because
40:17 if you get to an intersection and-
40:19 sorry; stoplights. Comparison but not-
40:23 if you get to an intersection in a
40:24 city and the stoplights are not working,
40:26 nobody's moving. But if it's working, there's
40:29 motion. The law of God is the go light,
40:34 but it gives you continual direction in our lives.
40:37 It tells us when to go; it tells us when
40:39 to stop. Amen? So, in what way does the
40:43 Bible describe the transaction of conversion?
40:45 He gives us a what? New heart and a what
40:48 else? New spirit, and He gives us a what
40:51 kind of heart? [Heart of flesh.] Heart of flesh.
40:54 That means it's pliable. It's not- when you
40:59 say to somebody- you ever say, "It's
41:01 written in stone"? What does that mean? Say
41:04 it again? Unchangeable. Non-negotiable. But
41:10 when it's set, it's written in flesh.
41:13 It's latitude. That's why I'm so glad the
41:16 Lord writes His law on stone, but He
41:20 writes our sin in the dust. Amen?
41:24 Writes our sin in the dust; writes His law
41:27 in stone. Look at these quotes. I don't
41:29 normally do this, but I wanted to do this.
41:31 This is really important. From a
41:33 book Evangelism- I don't normally have
41:35 that- very rarely would you see me
41:36 with a quotation, but I thought this was beautiful
41:38 to have. It says,
42:00 Going on.
42:15 So a lot of times, people say, "Hey,
42:16 I'm a member of the Adventist church."
42:18 What does that mean? "Well, the doctrines are
42:23 true; I'm finally in the light now. I
42:25 understand; everything is now clear..."
42:26 What does that mean? Are you changed?
42:28 Changing churches and changing hearts
42:32 is not the same thing. The Lord
42:35 wants us to be in the truth, He wants
42:36 us to walk in the truth, but He wants our
42:38 hearts to also be new. Am I right? Wow.
42:44 Let's go to #32. And you guys are so wise,
42:49 you already know the answer here.
43:07 You want to put that little "as" there.
43:11 I was probably on the phone with Lois and
43:14 forgot to put an 's' there. [laughter]
43:17 I gotta blame somebody. Don't worry- I got a
43:19 new heart. It wasn't Lois' fault. It was
43:21 mine. 2 Corinthians 5:17, a very familiar
43:26 passage. What percentage of character change
43:29 qualifies as converted? All right. I want us
43:33 all to read this one together. Very
43:35 important one. There's not a passage in the
43:37 Bible that's not important, but this is a staple
43:39 in the topic. Together...
43:57 What's another word for the phrase "passed
43:59 away"? Have you seen in the Bible-
44:02 [Dead.] That's right. If you say, "He
44:06 passed away," that means he's what? Dead.
44:10 And he's going to be what? Buried-hopefully,
44:12 because people cremate, they sprinkle, they
44:18 do all kinds of strange things. Old things-
44:22 yes! We were reading that this morning,
44:24 actually, in our devotions! One of my favorite
44:28 devotional people- Oswald Chambers.
44:30 He says, "We have to be ready as
44:34 Christians to sign our death certificate."
44:38 He said, "Not enough Christians have signed
44:42 their death certificate. They've become Christians
44:45 but they have not died to anything," and it's
44:48 like, woo. That was really powerful.
44:51 Ok, I already closed it. That was really-
44:53 so he says, "When you wake up every day,
44:54 be willing to sign your death certificate,
44:57 because old things have died. Behold,
45:01 all things have become new." I tell you-
45:03 this is not just a single application,
45:07 but a what? Daily application. Because
45:10 at no point- and here's the reason
45:12 why. Here's the very important reason
45:14 why. Practice makes... [perfect.] Ah, that's
45:19 incorrect. I just threw that at you.
45:21 Practice does not make perfect. Do
45:24 you know of any doctor- this is-
45:26 I kind of got it this way. Doctors practice for
45:31 their whole career. If you go to a doctor
45:35 that's not practicing, run for your life.
45:38 Right? Because information is continually
45:41 being updated and new techniques are coming
45:43 to the forefront. A pilot- as long as a
45:45 pilot flies, he always has a checklist. If
45:49 you find two pilots without a checklist,
45:52 don't get on that plane. There's a
45:55 continual process in our lives, and the
45:57 continual process is a day-by-day process.
46:00 So, here's the point. If a Christian doesn't
46:03 have a daily process in his or her life
46:07 that keeps the old dead and the new alive,
46:11 then the old will be alive and the new will
46:15 die. Because there's one thing we all have
46:19 that's going to be hanging around until
46:22 it's finally gone. And what is it?
46:28 Huh? [Leaving self behind.] It's actually
46:31 our storage system. Do you know that our
46:35 storage system-which is our brain-now, we
46:37 are unlearning old things, but there are
46:41 some things- how many of you can remember
46:42 stuff like, when you were a kid? Sometimes,
46:45 you know, childhood memories come back.
46:48 Depends on how far back it is. Sometimes
46:50 you'll see something- "Ah, that reminds me
46:52 of such and such!" We have things that
46:54 we've practiced in our past that sometimes, as
46:58 the old life, if we don't daily put the
47:01 old man to death in our practices, in our
47:06 thoughts, in our desires, in our attitudes,
47:09 then he's waiting at the front door.
47:11 He's waiting at the foot of the bed if
47:14 we don't put him to death right away.
47:15 That's why- I think it was Simon Sinek
47:18 who said this. I don't know if he's a Christian
47:20 or not, but he said, "In an age with so
47:22 much technology, we should put our phones
47:24 in the other room." And I would add to
47:27 that, put our Bibles right next to our bed.
47:29 Because we wake up in the morning and
47:31 the first thing we do is what? "What's the
47:33 weather?" "Who texted me?" "I heard a message."
47:38 And during the night, some people don't
47:39 silence their phones. A few nights, we've
47:42 had that issue. I like my room completely dark,
47:47 and sometimes, my wife, when we go to sleep,
47:49 she has her phone face-up and somebody
47:51 would text during the night and her iPhone
47:54 will brighten up the whole ceiling and
47:57 all of a sudden, it's like a plane landing.
47:58 And I say, "Would you please turn your phone
48:02 over or turn it off?" Some people sleep with
48:06 it right there, and then some people
48:08 leave it on and you hear, "Ding!" and
48:09 they wake up. "Honey, what time is it?"
48:11 Now, my wife doesn't do that- praise the Lord.
48:13 But some people live that way. What if
48:15 we woke up during the night and read our
48:17 Bibles? What if you couldn't sleep and you're
48:20 reading your Bible? [You can't; it's
48:24 pitch dark.] Ah, we have a light right
48:27 above our head. Two variables so we could
48:29 grab it instead of looking for switches
48:31 on the wall, just grab and read our Bible.
48:33 Here is the key- so guide your life,
48:36 so organize your life that in case of
48:39 an emergency- I was raised- my dad taught
48:42 me this when I was being raised and
48:43 I said this last night. "Can't go to bed
48:45 without knowing where my flashlight is!"
48:49 I don't ever go to bed without knowing where my
48:52 flashlight is. Dan, are you the same?
48:54 I would think you are 'cause you're a
48:56 techie like I am. But don't go to bed
49:01 without knowing where your Bible is. It's
49:04 right by our bed because every night,
49:07 we read it before we go to bed. You've got
49:11 to plan your life to have a spiritual,
49:13 successful life every day. Amen? [Amen.]
49:16 You gotta plan it purposefully so that
49:18 the old things stay dead and the new things
49:21 keep staying new every day. One of the
49:24 dangers, and the Lord talked about this
49:25 to the church of Ephesus- the church of Ephesus
49:28 had a new awakening. The church of Ephesus
49:30 was the period when the church just was
49:32 burgeoning. It was exploding. And as the
49:36 disciples began to die off, the rebuke that
49:40 the Lord had for the church of Ephesus
49:41 is they lost their first love. So, you
49:45 got to, every day, you got to keep your love alive
49:47 in Christ. Amen? Let's look at the
49:50 next one. What number am I up to? [33.]
49:52 33. Okay. Another component that
49:57 keeps- this is another thing that- this is
50:04 another very important question.
50:10 This is a- I'm including this text
50:13 for a special reason, and you might not
50:16 see the word 'conversion' in it, but I'll tell you
50:18 the reason why I've chosen it. All right,
50:21 Ephesians 2:10. Now, we like Ephesians 2
50:23 verse 8 and 9 because the Bible says, "For
50:25 by grace are you saved through faith
50:27 and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God-
50:30 not of works lest any man should boast."
50:32 We like that. But verse 10 is also
50:34 included; we cannot forget that. And here
50:36 it is. The Bible says...
50:52 I likened this to a person being hired.
50:55 I likened this to a person being-
50:57 by the way, we are created in Christ Jesus.
50:58 That's the truth, right? But I likened this to
51:02 a person being hired by a company. The
51:04 person being hired by the company says
51:06 to the employer, "This is all I'm going to do
51:10 for your company." The employer says,
51:13 "Excuse me?" "I got the job, right? But this
51:16 is all I'm going to do for your company."
51:19 The employer says, "But there's a job
51:21 description that we've hired you to fulfill."
51:24 And you say, "Well, let me see the job
51:26 description." And so, watch this. I'm
51:28 going to be cynical intentionally.
51:30 "Okay, I'll come to church, but I'm not coming to
51:34 Sabbath school." "Uhh, yeah; I'll decide
51:39 whether or not Wednesday night
51:40 prayer meeting's going to be a part of my
51:42 exercise. I'm not sure about that. I know
51:43 it's in the job description." You
51:44 said, "Don't forsake the assembling of
51:46 ourselves together, but I gotta think about
51:47 that one. "Share my faith? Uh, I don't
51:51 know about that one. Hmm. Give me some
51:54 time to think about that one." When you look
51:57 at this passage, it says before the
51:59 Lord shows us, He had work for us to do.
52:04 "Created in Christ Jesus for good works which
52:08 God prepared beforehand that we should walk
52:13 in them. Here's my point- so important
52:17 on conversion. People that are not actively
52:19 involved in the mission of their church in
52:22 some capacity is not being converted.
52:25 'Cause it's gonna get old. You can only sit at
52:30 the bus station long enough. After a while,
52:33 it gets boring that you're waiting.
52:34 "What are you doing?" "I'm waiting for the
52:36 bus." "I'm waiting for Jesus to come."
52:39 What are you doin'? "I'm waiting for Jesus
52:43 to come." There's a reason why the
52:46 Lord says, "Blessed is the servant whom
52:49 the master when he comes finds so doing."
52:51 And as the old negro spiritual, "Keep so
52:55 busy working for Jesus, ain't got time
52:57 to die." So many people are not doing
53:00 anything for the Lord, so after a while,
53:03 their new birth gets stale. It starts to
53:07 dry up, 'cause I'm not connected to the
53:09 mission at all. Let's try to apply that to
53:11 other aspects of life. Let's just say, you
53:13 work at the hospital, or you work for an
53:15 airline, or you work- wherever you work!
53:17 And you go to work every day and you
53:19 sit down. "What are you doin'?" "I'm waiting
53:22 for payday." "You're waiting for...payday?"
53:28 That's why- you know, somebody once
53:30 said, "People stop looking for work
53:32 when they find a job." And the same thing is
53:35 true with many churches! People stop looking
53:37 for work when they find a church! But
53:40 God didn't call us to be members;
53:43 he called us to be workmen! The workmen
53:48 that needeth not to be ashamed rightly
53:51 dividing the word of truth. But so many
53:53 people have nothing they're connected to,
53:55 so they get excited about joining, they
53:57 get baptized, they're happy, but when they
54:00 don't get connection to a mission, some aspect
54:04 of the growth of the church, they will die.
54:07 They will die, because you know what? The
54:11 most exciting event- if you're just waiting
54:15 for the event to start, after a while,
54:16 it just gets boring. And like a cat, and
54:21 like a dog, we become nothing more than an
54:24 exalted animal, meaning, "I'm waiting to get
54:27 fed, waiting for you to take me out,
54:29 waiting for you to give me a bath, waiting
54:31 for you to walk me..." That's what an animal
54:34 does-they wait. They wait for their food,
54:37 they wait for their water, they wait to
54:38 be petted, they wait till you come home,
54:40 they wait till you leave. Christians
54:43 ought to be active. Amen? [Amen.]
54:45 Created in Christ- which God prepared
54:48 beforehand that we should walk in... And
54:51 my encouragement is, find a way-... I always
54:55 say to people- and I was talking with
54:56 somebody this week that was saying, "I
54:58 don't know what happened but I just don't feel
54:59 that joy anymore." You can't find joy
55:02 in something you're not doing. Right? You'll
55:07 never- "Well, I can't remember the Bible
55:09 passages." Well, how will you remember
55:12 the Bible passages if you're not reading
55:14 the Bible? And don't just read it; share it!
55:18 You remember what you share. Right? That's
55:21 why teachers are so good; they're telling
55:23 young kids every day! Math, social studies,
55:27 science- and the longer they do it,
55:29 they become like these walking libraries of
55:31 numbers and statistics and figures- keep
55:34 doing it for a number of years, Jody. You'll
55:35 be like a professor just by default because you're
55:38 sharing it every single day! What you don't
55:41 use, you will...lose. That's what happened
55:45 with the guy with the one talent. He buried
55:47 it. Did nothing with it and nothing came
55:51 out of it. Let's try to get one more here.
55:53 So, get connected to some mission. Do
55:55 something, because I don't care how good
55:57 your church is and how truthful what they teach
56:00 is; if you're not involved, you're gonna
56:03 die! You are going to die, because conversion
56:07 requires activity. Not working to be saved,
56:11 but working because you are in a saving
56:13 relationship. Okay... #34. Let's try to
56:17 get one more in here.
56:23 I think this is the last one we're going
56:25 to get. Let's try to plug this right
56:26 away. Colossians 3:5-7- let me go ahead and
56:29 read it. In the interest of the clock, here it is.
56:32 "Therefore," the apostle Paul, "put to death
56:36 your members." That is, not the church members.
56:41 [laughter] I'm going to clarify.
56:43 That means the things that happened in your
56:45 life- the things that are controlling you.
56:50 Notice the challenges...
57:12 That's where you used to walk. But to not
57:14 go there again- put them to death. Do
57:17 what? Put 'em to death. How do you put them
57:20 to death? I'm going to ask the question-
57:22 how do you put them to death? Somebody
57:24 tell me. [Conversion. Surrender.] How often
57:32 do you put them to death? [Daily.] When you
57:35 put them to death, you put them to death by
57:38 when you wake up in the morning, "Father,
57:40 I commit my life into your hands;
57:42 I cannot keep myself." And don't just verbally
57:46 commit your life into the Lord's hands;
57:47 do it by activity. Read His Word, get it in
57:50 there because the Word of God is like food.
57:52 It's like what? Food. And Paul in Ephesians
57:55 says, "The Word of God effectively works
57:58 in those who believe." Meaning, if it's the
58:00 bread of life, can you get nourishment from
58:02 bread you don't eat? No! Can you get your
58:05 thirst quenched from water you don't drink?
58:08 No. But those who hunger and thirst
58:10 after righteousness- what's the promise?-
58:12 will be filled. We're going to continue-
58:16 we have 3 more questions in the next program,
58:18 but let me tell you, friends. We sure need
58:20 to believe that the Lord has a desire
58:22 for each one of us- not only to repent-
58:24 but to be converted. And if it doesn't
58:26 make sense, keep studying. One day, it
58:28 will come into a sharper focus.
58:30 God bless you.


Revised 2018-10-09