Participants: Jac Colón
Series Code: RNN
Program Code: RNN000024
00:18 Whenever we come to this last lesson
00:25 I always think of the last words of Peter,
00:30 the last words he wrote to the church.
00:34 2 Peter 3:18
00:37 "Grow in the grace and the knowledge
00:40 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
00:44 To Him be the glory both now and forever." Amen.
00:51 What a thought, Christian growth.
00:55 That's what I want to talk about.
00:58 For the last 24 lessons we have been looking
01:01 at the Book of Revelation.
01:06 Revelation is more than
01:07 just identifying the beast and the mark.
01:11 Revelation is learning how to be victorious in Jesus Christ,
01:16 all the way through to the end.
01:20 And the only way to be victorious is to grow,
01:24 and the only way to grow
01:26 is to grow in the grace of Jesus Christ.
01:32 I'm thankful for Christian growth.
01:35 I used to think, I don't know that I want to go to heaven
01:40 because all they do up there is float around on clouds
01:43 and play harps and I'm not into harps.
01:48 But I learned that it's not gonna be that way.
01:53 We are gonna be growing even in heaven
01:56 because we will never fully plumb the deeps
02:00 of the love of God
02:02 and who He is and what He has done will be learning forever.
02:10 It starts right here,
02:13 "Grow in the grace and the knowledge
02:18 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
02:22 Grown in His grace.
02:24 Peter didn't say, I want you to grow into His grace.
02:31 You don't take a handful of seeds
02:33 and through them on the sidewalk
02:35 waiting for them to sprout roots and leafs
02:38 and then plant them in the garden
02:39 there will be nothing for them to get nourishment from, no.
02:43 You plant the seed in the garden where it can get the attention,
02:48 the nourishment that it needs to grow.
02:51 We grow in the grace of Jesus Christ.
02:54 Some new believers feel like they have to be fully matured
03:00 and develop before they are ready for baptism
03:04 but that ignores the principles of Christian growth.
03:09 Some feel like they need the whole life
03:11 and be kind a like on probation for a month or two
03:15 before they are ready,
03:16 that ignores the fact that we grow
03:18 in the grace of Jesus Christ not into it.
03:22 Baptism is not the graduation service.
03:26 Baptism is the enrolment service for Christian growth.
03:30 It's the beginner's class
03:32 it's where we are learning to take our first steps.
03:35 Some people they have been Christians all along
03:38 and they have learned so many new things all at once.
03:41 They felt like they needed to be re-baptized
03:44 it doesn't deny of their past experience.
03:46 It just simply means that they are taking
03:48 another giant step in following the Lamb
03:51 and they want to start with the clean slate
03:53 and that's okay.
03:56 But those who think that I need to wait,
03:59 I need to grow, I need to get more experience,
04:01 I need to be more mature
04:03 or ignoring the principles of Christian growth.
04:06 And don't misunderstand me
04:09 I believe a person needs to be ready for baptism.
04:13 We need to understand
04:14 that baptism means we are dying to the old life.
04:18 And we should understand
04:20 what that old life is that we are dying to.
04:23 We need to understand that when we are buried in the water,
04:26 we are burying the old man. He is dead, he is done forever.
04:30 We need to know and be willing to do that.
04:32 And then we need to understand that
04:34 when we come out of that water
04:36 we are coming out to live a life
04:37 that will honor, glorify and praise God.
04:40 And we should understand what that life is.
04:43 We should be willing to live our lives that way.
04:46 Yes, we need to understand
04:48 we need to know, we need to be willing.
04:50 John the Baptist even wanted to see
04:52 some evidence produce fruit of repentance
04:58 before the people were baptized.
05:01 But once a person understands,
05:03 once a person is shown they have turned their life around
05:06 and they are on the right path that they are following Jesus,
05:09 they are following the Lamb.
05:11 May be not perfectly, none of us are perfect
05:13 but once we are willing to do that
05:15 and soon at that moment it's ready,
05:17 its time to be baptized.
05:19 It is dangerous to put it off to delay being baptized.
05:25 Being baptized is entry into the kingdom of God,
05:28 the visible kingdom of God on this earth
05:31 and that's where we grow in the grace
05:34 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
05:37 We must be ready but we don't need to be mature.
05:44 And then there are the new members,
05:46 sometimes new believers just getting baptized
05:50 not understanding the principles of Christians growth
05:54 and they come out of that water and you've seen it.
05:57 They come out of water with such a beautiful
05:59 peaceful expression on their face
06:02 and it's a good feeling.
06:04 It feels like--a little lady in Oklahoma City one time,
06:09 she must have been 89 years old.
06:12 Frail and small and we went in a nice church,
06:15 we were in a National Guard Armory.
06:18 And they didn't have a nice comfortable baptistery
06:21 with railings and steps going into it.
06:26 We had an aluminum tank sitting up there on the platform
06:31 and they had a rickety aluminum ladder
06:33 that went up and then down, no railings on it.
06:37 And this 89 year old lady comes to me saying pastor,
06:41 will you baptize me?
06:43 And I'll have to confess
06:45 I had difficulty seeing her climbing up that rickety ladder
06:49 and down into the water and back up again.
06:52 And I explain that to her.
06:53 I said, are you sure you want to do that?
06:55 She said I belong to a church
06:57 that doesn't baptize the right way
06:59 and I have been wanting for years to be baptized.
07:02 Pastor, won't you baptize me? Well, what can you say?
07:06 So we had a deacon on each side
07:08 and they helped to go up that rickety ladder
07:10 and she went down into the water.
07:12 I'm telling you when she came out,
07:14 you could have just turn the lights out
07:17 and the room would have been lit
07:18 with the glow on her face.
07:20 And she said, I feel so good, I just feel clean all over.
07:24 And it is, it's a good clean feeling
07:27 when you come out of that water.
07:31 But sooner or later it's gonna happen
07:37 may take a day, may take a few hours,
07:43 may take a few minutes
07:45 but this gonna happen, you are gonna stumble
07:50 and you are gonna make some mistakes.
07:53 And guess who is right there?
07:55 Now, God is always there to help you up.
07:57 But guess who else is right there to give you a kick
07:59 when you are down. The devil always is there.
08:05 The Bible Revelation says,
08:06 he is the accuser of the brethren.
08:10 And the moment you make a mistake he is gonna be there.
08:12 He doesn't mind kicking when you are down.
08:14 He says, you see you can't do it.
08:16 The standards are too high.
08:18 You will never be able to measure up.
08:21 You may as well just give up and quit now.
08:24 That's what he is gonna tell you.
08:27 But when you understand
08:28 the principle of Christian growth,
08:30 it means that we are still growing.
08:32 And if we are still growing we are not there yet.
08:35 God isn't finished with us yet, amen.
08:38 So that means we are gonna make mistakes.
08:41 So the real Christian understanding Christian growth
08:44 instead of wallowing around in an orgy of self pity
08:47 thinking that I will never be able to measure up.
08:50 Realizes that Jesus has already measured up for us
08:54 and gets off the ground and on their knees and says,
08:57 God forgive me and help me to do better next time.
09:00 I want to do better.
09:01 I hate it when I live this way
09:03 and get up off your knees rejoicing in the forgiveness
09:05 that God has already given you.
09:09 Christians are to be the happiest people on earth, amen.
09:13 There is nothing more abominable to God
09:15 than a bunch of long face,
09:17 sourpuss Christians walking around,
09:20 looking guilty for the sins
09:22 that Jesus died on the cross to forgive us for.
09:28 We should be happiest people on earth
09:34 and we are growing in the grace of Jesus Christ.
09:39 And then there are new members that don't understand
09:41 the principle of Christian growth.
09:42 They look at some of the older,
09:45 that's not the best way to say it,
09:48 some of the more experienced members of the church.
09:53 I am getting more and more sensitive about these things.
09:58 Some of the more experienced members
10:01 and they see some of these experience members
10:04 have been in the church for years and years
10:06 and oh, they have studied their Sabbath school lessons everyday
10:10 and they know the Bible backwards and forwards
10:13 and they have been looking up to these people
10:15 they are, giants, they may be elders or deacon
10:17 or even pastors in the church
10:19 and they see them make a mistake.
10:24 They forget they were all growing
10:28 and if we are growing we are not growing yet.
10:31 That means we gonna make mistakes.
10:35 I remember one man was baptized
10:37 he had to battle with cigarettes.
10:41 He just really fought and fought
10:44 and finally he got the victory.
10:46 He didn't want to get baptized
10:48 and come out of that water, blowing smoke.
10:51 He wanted to be done with it before he was baptized
10:54 and I think that's a good thing.
10:57 Got the victory, he is baptized.
11:01 He came out of that water
11:02 energized, excited, it mean something
11:05 when you had the really fight for some--
11:07 it means something.
11:09 You know, sometimes God just takes it away from us.
11:12 And that's good I'm glad He does
11:15 but you lose the benefit of fighting
11:17 and wrestling and watching God give you the victory.
11:20 I have something they have to.
11:24 I was so happy and then shortly
11:25 after he was baptized
11:27 he was driving somewhere, stop at a red light
11:30 and looked at the car next to him
11:32 and there was one of the elders of the church
11:34 with a cigarette in his mouth.
11:38 And he was looking at that elder,
11:40 getting mad and furious.
11:43 Wishing he had a cigarette that he could smoke too.
11:45 If the elder can, I should be. Why they make me quit?
11:51 He looked again and the elder turned
11:53 and saw him and he said instantly
11:55 that cigarette disappeared.
11:58 He says, I don't know where it went.
12:02 Well, shame on the elder.
12:05 He shouldn't have been doing that.
12:08 But folks, we are all growing.
12:09 We all stumble, we all make mistakes.
12:13 I mean, how powerful would our witness be
12:15 if we all live perfectly the way--
12:19 it would be awesome.
12:20 My job would sure be a lot easier.
12:23 You know, one of the biggest things I hear
12:25 is that, well, you are asking me to do that,
12:27 and I look at the members and they are not doing it.
12:30 That's not easy to deal with
12:32 unless you understand Christian growth.
12:35 So, yes, we are to be together. I'm not excusing the elder.
12:39 He shouldn't be smoking cigarettes
12:41 but we are all human, we all make mistakes.
12:45 We need to understand
12:46 the principle of Christian growth.
12:48 Some of you have given up things
12:50 that are dear and precious to you.
12:52 You changed the way you eat, you changed what you drink,
12:55 you changed what you watch, where you go, what you wear
12:59 and you come to church and you may see people,
13:01 that haven't made those changes yet
13:02 or they did and they went back.
13:05 You see, you could decide, well, I'm gonna go back too.
13:10 But people aren't your example.
13:12 I never said that you should follow the people.
13:17 You follow the Lamb, amen.
13:20 The people are still growing. The Lamb's done growing.
13:26 While you could get critical and judgmental
13:28 some do that, oh they can't wait to get on the phone
13:32 and do you know what she wore today?
13:34 Do you know where I saw him going today?
13:37 I saw them in the cafe
13:38 with a cup of coffee on the table.
13:42 They get judgmental, critical.
13:46 I hope you are not like that.
13:49 I have been to churches,
13:50 they just gossip and gossip about people
13:53 because they haven't measured up to the standards yet.
13:58 Well, I want to tell you,
14:00 I would rather have a church full of people
14:02 that is striving and trying.
14:04 It haven't measured up yet than a church
14:07 with one person who gossips about it.
14:11 I don't have a lot of tolerance for gossipers.
14:14 Pray for me there, I need to be more patience.
14:23 Or you could do the third thing and recognize
14:25 we are all growing in the grace,
14:29 in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus.
14:32 And people you see stumbling and making mistakes
14:35 instead of getting judgmental and critical.
14:38 If you just knew how far they have come
14:40 and how fast they made it,
14:42 you would be praising God instead of criticizing.
14:47 Let's be the family of God.
14:50 You know, I'm convinced that
14:53 the more we conform to the Bible principles
14:57 the more powerful our witness and our testimony is gonna be.
15:01 Unity is measured by the degree
15:04 to which we agree
15:05 and bring our lives into harmony with the word of God.
15:08 But there is a bigger test of unity
15:11 and that is the degree to which you love people
15:14 who see things differently than you do.
15:19 We need to be an agreement, we need to be together.
15:21 Jesus said that can two walk together
15:23 with out be in an agreement?
15:25 But we need to love those who--
15:27 and then may be we will give them
15:29 the opportunity to do the growing they are to do
15:32 and provide the environment that they need. Amen. Amen.
15:36 Then there is another kind of person
15:41 who doesn't understand
15:42 the principles of Christian growth.
15:45 And some people seem to think that,
15:50 when you come out of that water,
15:53 all your problems are left in the water
15:57 and you are fully grown and matured.
16:01 You are not gonna have any more problems.
16:03 Smooth sailing into the kingdom.
16:05 There are lot of preachers that preach--
16:07 usually they are late at night on the radio,
16:09 when I'm out in a road driving at night
16:11 I listen to some of these preachers.
16:12 I call them the prosperity gospel,
16:16 you heard them?
16:19 Any of you struggling with financers?
16:23 I was struggling with financers one time they will say,
16:26 and I sent a donation in for $5,000
16:29 check in the mail.
16:31 And if you send me,
16:33 you will get 25,000 in a mail too,
16:35 you know what I'm talking about.
16:38 Prosperity gospel, its not pie in the sky by and by,
16:42 its every thing you want it right now.
16:45 Well, I want to tell you Jesus said
16:47 that they are gonna be battles to fight in this whole world.
16:52 Take up your cross and follow me.
16:56 When you come out of that water it's true.
16:58 That whole life is gone, it's dead.
17:01 And you are a new creature in Jesus Christ.
17:03 But you are going to face a whole new set of problems
17:05 that you never saw before.
17:07 The difference is now you got Jesus walking with you
17:10 and you are not by yourself.
17:14 I want to tell you a story that illustrates us tonight.
17:18 I get more and more reluctant to tell it,
17:20 because its--its about a time in the history of our country
17:24 that we are not very proud of.
17:27 We embarrassed in the shame during the time of slavery.
17:30 But I want to tell you when people are oppressed
17:34 it bring out illustrations of the gospel.
17:37 It seems like you can't find any other way.
17:41 And this particular one was during the time of slavery.
17:46 It was a slave living on a plantation.
17:50 His name was Sam.
17:53 He was born there
17:56 and he is born about the same time
17:57 that the plantation owner's son was born.
18:01 His father was the top slave
18:05 and the owner and his father were good friends.
18:08 And so he was good friends with the son.
18:11 They even study together, school work together,
18:15 they did everything together, they played together.
18:18 So, when his father died,
18:21 this son took over the plantation
18:26 and Sam was his right hand man.
18:30 Nothing changed, Sam was a Christian,
18:35 he was always singing,
18:36 you know the old spirituals about the toils,
18:39 the strife of life.
18:42 And the other fellow says Sam, you are Christian, I'm not.
18:45 I don't have all those kinds of strife
18:47 and problems and toils in my life.
18:50 Why don't you just give it all up and be like me?
18:52 You won't have those problems either.
18:55 Poor Sam he doesn't even knew how to answer that question.
18:58 Until one day they were out hunting
19:01 and a flock of ducks flew over.
19:03 The man lifted his shotgun pulled the trigger
19:06 and he got two ducks in one shot.
19:08 One of them he killed, the other one he nicked.
19:12 The wounded--that one went right straight down,
19:16 the wounded one just flattered to the ground.
19:18 As soon as he hit the ground he began to scamper away.
19:22 Sam, Sam's job was to go get the ducks.
19:27 So he had his bag in his hand
19:29 and he went chasing after that duck trying to get away.
19:32 Chasing him down, he ran right past of the dead one.
19:35 He finally caught that wounded duck
19:38 he put him in the bag
19:41 and then he is walking back pick up the dead one,
19:46 put the dead one in the bag and all of a sudden.
19:50 Big smile broke out in his face.
19:53 He said, you know, you are always asking me
19:56 how come I'm a Christian and I'm singing about the toils
19:58 and strife of life and you are not a Christian
20:00 you don't have those problems.
20:01 I never knew how to answer you before but now, I do.
20:03 You see, you shot two ducks you killed one
20:06 and wounded the other one.
20:07 You know, I went chasing after the wounded one
20:10 because I knew I had the dead duck in the bag.
20:12 I'm the wounded duck.
20:13 The devil is after me
20:14 and I'm trying to get away as hard as I can.
20:16 You are the dead duck, he has got you.
20:17 He is not worried about you,
20:18 because you are in the bag already.
20:25 Some people think they're better off
20:28 because they don't have some of the problems that we have.
20:32 But one of these days, Jesus is gonna come
20:35 and all those problems will be gone, amen.
20:38 Amen. Praise the Lord.
20:41 I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God
20:45 and then there is another kind of church member
20:48 that does not understand Christian growth.
20:51 I don't think we have any here,
20:54 but just in case somebody snuck in,
20:58 I'm going to talk about it.
21:01 I call them fossilized church members,
21:06 because fossils don't grow, they finished growing.
21:11 Not only they are not growing,
21:13 but they are not helping other people
21:14 to grow, they are fossilized.
21:17 They have been in church a long time.
21:18 They know all the answers to all the questions
21:20 every Sabbath in the Sabbath school class.
21:23 They may teach a class.
21:25 They may be deacons and deaconesses and elders.
21:28 Oh, they know everything they got--they are fossilized.
21:31 They are not growing
21:33 because they are not helping other people to grow.
21:35 They are the ones who stand
21:36 on the sidelines in evangelistic team
21:39 and they see all the new members.
21:40 We are gonna have them down here,
21:41 everybody will be lined up front 25-30 people
21:45 and they are looking at him and they are going to be saying,
21:50 do you think they are gonna stick?
21:56 And you almost feel like they hope they don't stick
22:01 because they view the church as their exclusive club.
22:06 And that person has the audacity
22:09 to sit in my pew for the last 24 nights
22:13 and I had to sit somewhere else,
22:16 and they park in my parking line.
22:19 And they don't dress the way we dress.
22:22 And they bring stuff to the potluck
22:26 that we don't eat here.
22:28 I'm not talking about unclean foods,
22:30 they know better than that.
22:32 You know what I'm talking about they are just--
22:35 it would rather keep everything like it is.
22:40 Fossilized members
22:42 and I hope we don't have any this morning.
22:45 If I here any of these sticking stuff,
22:47 you gonna get another sermon from me.
22:51 Don't say it near me.
23:00 They look at the church like it's an exclusive club.
23:03 And let's hold these guys off for about six months
23:06 they can prove themselves first
23:08 because after all, we have to consider
23:10 our reputation in the community.
23:15 When you had your first child what was it like?
23:20 You remember that, first born child.
23:24 You stop at the window in the nursery.
23:28 May be mom had never had a chance to go.
23:30 You know the big--they still have the big glass windows,
23:33 impression owes against the glass
23:35 and look at all the babies in there.
23:36 They still do that.
23:37 Probably have TV cameras on it now or something.
23:41 It's all digital.
23:44 Well, this is a old fashioned hospital
23:47 and the momma says before we go home
23:48 I want to look in the window.
23:51 So they get everything together and wheel it over there.
23:54 She is looking in the window,
23:56 there he is all purple and wrinkled up
24:00 and ugly looking like a little prone.
24:04 New born babies are not really that pretty.
24:09 I mean ours are exception of course but
24:14 and he is screaming at the top of his lungs.
24:18 He is shaking his fist and he is kicking his legs,
24:21 face is ready as a beat and dad goes wow.
24:26 Look at that guy. Man, he is got a temper.
24:30 Must have got it form you?
24:35 He could grow up to be a disgrace to our family name.
24:40 He could embarrass us.
24:42 And the mother says, yeah you know,
24:45 he don't look very intelligent either.
24:50 May be we should leave him here till
24:53 he is old enough to take a IQ test or something.
24:56 And then we will decide what to do.
24:58 I mean, we don't want him to embarrass our family.
25:02 Is that what happens? No.
25:04 Man, if you are like we are, you resent the fact.
25:08 They have kept him back there isolated from you for so long.
25:12 You can't wait to get him or her home
25:14 and put him in his bed, his own bed.
25:16 Get some good old family germs all over him.
25:24 Should it be like that with new believer in Jesus?
25:30 Can't wait to get our arm around him,
25:33 bring him into the family.
25:35 Can't do it soon enough. Put him on probation?
25:41 Make sure they are not gonna disgrace us.
25:43 Hey, it's a risk.
25:46 That child could bring you--
25:47 nothing can bring more pain to a parent
25:50 than a child turning against them.
25:53 It's a risk, but you don't even think about the risk
25:58 because of love.
26:00 Share the risk when you bring in new people,
26:03 they may not behave the way you want to,
26:04 and they can cause more problems for the pastor
26:06 than you ever dreamed of.
26:08 But you don't even think about it,
26:09 at least you shouldn't.
26:12 Not when a person is ready to take their stand,
26:15 for all the things that they have been learning about church.
26:18 It's not easy to become an Adventist.
26:20 We have high standards
26:22 and anybody willing to take their stand,
26:24 we should be willing to take a risk. Amen. Amen.
26:29 And by the way, here's a new one.
26:33 My wife just reminded me this morning.
26:36 When our boy came home,
26:38 you know we spent nine months getting ready for this guy.
26:43 We did all kind-- we brought a little baby bed
26:46 from the flea market.
26:48 Sanded it down, getting all those old things off of it,
26:52 paint it nice and new and perfect.
26:54 Dena, decorated that room.
26:56 She went shopping and bought all kinds of stuff.
26:59 I mean this went on, I took classes.
27:03 I have to go there watching her learn how to breathe.
27:08 And we really worked at it,
27:10 but then when we got him home it was all done, right.
27:12 Put him in his bed we are done.
27:17 The work just started.
27:21 And sometimes we think well, we have been working.
27:24 Building this set and camera crews
27:28 and greeters and rushers
27:29 and we have been coming out every night
27:30 and we are getting tired.
27:31 And now we got this new members
27:33 in our family, we are done.
27:35 No, you are not, folks.
27:38 And new members you are not done either
27:41 because that's older more established
27:42 one need help just as much as you do.
27:45 We all need to strengthen one and another.
27:47 This is a family of God.
27:51 You see about a year later,
27:53 not a year later this father comes home from work
27:58 and mom is so excited.
28:00 She can't even talk. She is gone.
28:04 He--he did it. He did it, he walked.
28:07 He took a step today. Oh, isn't that exciting time.
28:10 So dad just drops his briefcase on the floor
28:13 and he bends over and puts his arms out
28:15 and mom is out there holding him steady
28:17 and dad is out there coaxing him come on, come on.
28:20 Hey, he did it before so he puts out that little foot,
28:23 he takes a step right into his dad's arms
28:25 and always dad tosses him up in the air wow,
28:28 he can do it, he can walk.
28:30 They bundling him up in his coat put his shoes on
28:32 off to grandma and grandpa's house.
28:34 All the way there he can walk, he can walk.
28:36 They go in the grandma and grandpa open the door
28:38 and there is grandma and grandpa,
28:39 aunt, uncle, cousin standing around there watching
28:42 and they have him there
28:43 standing on carpet under his feet,
28:45 shoes on, coat but he did it before.
28:47 He can walk, he can walk
28:49 and there is mom holding him study
28:51 and there is dad coaxing him come on,
28:52 you did it before, come on just take a step.
28:54 He is there standing looking around at everybody
28:57 and hey, he did it before.
28:58 He puts out that little foot,
29:00 wheels around in his heel and falls to the floor.
29:04 And dad walks over to him
29:05 and he kicks him across the route.
29:14 You idiot, I knew you couldn't do it.
29:22 Should I wait a year to do this?
29:27 Sometimes we get new,
29:31 brand new Christians just learning how to walk.
29:36 And they stumble
29:38 and we kick him across the floor.
29:43 We do baptize them too soon.
29:49 We are grounded enough,
29:52 didn't give them enough time to prove themselves
29:59 or may be just leave him alone and not say anything.
30:07 How long you think it would take a little baby to learn
30:09 how to walk if nobody was there to teach him how?
30:15 Probably never so they tell us,
30:20 truth is he didn't fall to the ground
30:22 because dad caught him before he hit the floor.
30:27 And he stood him back on his feet
30:29 and he said he can walk, he can walk
30:33 and they did it again and again and again until they got it.
30:37 If he didn't get it that night,
30:39 they bundle him back up all the way home.
30:41 He can walk, he can walk.
30:43 Dad takes off the next day, they practice all day long.
30:47 And when he's got it, he is back to grandma
30:48 and grandpa's house again.
30:51 See it's hard to fall when someone has their arm
30:54 around your shoulder holding you up.
30:58 One of my favorite Bible verses
31:04 Hosea, 11 chapter, in Hosea 11
31:10 one of my favorite pictures of God.
31:12 Verse 1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him."
31:15 Verse 3, "It was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
31:18 taking them by the arms." What a picture of God.
31:22 He holds us up as we walk along
31:25 as we grow in the grace of our Lord
31:28 and Savior Jesus Christ.
31:29 That's what it means to be a part of the family of God.
31:32 We hold each other up.
31:35 It's hard to fall when somebody is holding you up.
31:39 There was an article in
31:40 Readers Digest years ago after World War II,
31:45 it's called the Awesome Power of Love.
31:47 And they discovered that,
31:49 they discovered that they were lot of babies
31:53 brought into orphanages
31:55 and all the babies run into orphanage
31:56 under the age of two years old.
31:58 Few of them ever grew up
31:59 to live normal healthy adult lives.
32:02 And they couldn't understand why.
32:05 So they did a lot of research.
32:08 Doctors and researchers went
32:10 to all the different orphanages trying to figure out,
32:12 finally they found one in Germany.
32:15 All their babies grew up,
32:17 they live normal healthy adult lives.
32:20 And so they can converged on that orphanages
32:22 they had to feel what are they doing,
32:24 that nobody else is doing. What's the difference here?
32:28 They couldn't find anything,
32:30 food, the schedule, everything is same.
32:35 But one day a doctor saw an elderly lady
32:41 standing off in the side of the room
32:44 with a baby in her arm and he said, who is that?
32:47 Ah, it's nobody. It's just old Anna.
32:51 Old Anna. What does old Anna do around here?
32:55 Oh, she don't do anything.
32:57 She is just here and when one of the babies get sick
33:00 we let old Anna hold it.
33:06 Is it possible?
33:08 The thing missing in the lives of those babies
33:12 was the love of a mother?
33:15 So they did an experiment
33:17 and they went around hiring ladies to be
33:20 mothers to the babies in these orphanages.
33:23 That's all they had to do all day long,
33:25 just love the babies.
33:26 We try to have a job like that. Amen.
33:29 Love the babies all day
33:30 and years and years later they went back
33:32 and discovered that in those orphanages
33:35 where they hired mothers to love the babies
33:36 they all grew up to live normal healthy adult lives.
33:40 The awesome power of love
33:43 and if love is so essential in order for us
33:45 to grow physically how much more
33:51 do we need love in order to grow spiritually?
34:03 We have been doing this for 35- 36 years now.
34:08 Sometimes we get a chance to go back
34:11 a year or two later to a church we have been.
34:14 And now, I have to confess sometimes
34:16 it's with fear and trepidation that we go
34:22 wondering are they still gonna be there.
34:25 Some churches do really well,
34:28 and almost all their new people are active and involved.
34:32 Some churches don't do too well
34:36 and they don't do a very good job
34:37 of hanging on to their new ones.
34:40 And you know, it's not that difficult to figure out
34:42 which ones do the best and which ones don't do well.
34:46 Because it's the cold formal churches
34:50 that have a hard time holding on to their new members.
34:54 The warm, friendly, caring church,
34:58 they usually hang on to them.
35:01 Now tell me,
35:06 both churches
35:09 where the new people came in the program was the same,
35:15 preacher same, sermons same,
35:19 Bible same, singer same.
35:25 Length of time they prepare the same.
35:30 The only difference was what?
35:34 The church where they were left behind.
35:39 So I want to ask you, what is your church like?
35:46 Is it a warm, friendly, caring church or is it cold and formal?
35:51 Some people will come through those doors and visit it--
35:54 visits last week and they've said,
35:56 this the friendliest church we have ever been in.
36:00 Ever since the first time we've had people--
36:02 that we came we just had people talking to us
36:05 and sitting with us and bring their arms around us
36:08 and this is a friendly church. I command you for that.
36:14 But I think we still have room to grow.
36:18 Think we have room to grow.
36:21 What kind of a member are you?
36:23 You are friendly member?
36:26 Do you know the new people
36:29 that are about to join your church?
36:32 You know their names? Do you know what they do?
36:36 Would you recognize one if you saw one out before you?
36:42 What kind of a member are you?
36:46 Do you go to church in order to get a blessing
36:49 or do you go to church in order be
36:51 a blessing to someone else too?
36:54 Do you seek people out or do you wait for people
36:58 to come to you or worse yet?
37:04 You kind of go in and make yourself rare and scarce
37:08 and then leave criticizing the church
37:10 because it isn't friendly.
37:15 What kind of a member are you?
37:16 That's what I want you to live with.
37:18 And no matter how friendly you are
37:20 I think there are things we can do to be better.
37:24 Let's be the true family of God. Amen. Amen.
37:28 Jac's been talking about
37:29 becoming a part of the family of God.
37:32 And want a rich invitation
37:33 that God gives us to become part of His family.
37:37 God's inviting us to become his children,
37:40 to be His sons and daughters.
37:44 What a rich, what a very rich invitation
37:47 to be a part of his family.
37:49 My grandfather before--
37:51 many years ago before he became ill he gave me this book.
37:56 It's a family tree
37:57 that was put together by some one in the family.
37:59 I don't know who but it lists the--
38:01 the ancestors of the Bryson families
38:04 having come from Ireland
38:06 to America in about 1730 or something.
38:08 William Bryson was born in Ireland 1700
38:11 and came to America
38:12 and as you look down through the,
38:14 through the list of the families
38:16 and the children and where they came from
38:18 and I link over to even my tree in this branch
38:23 I find up my ancestor Jessie Montgomery Bryson,
38:28 who lived in North Carolina,
38:30 was a solider for the confederacy.
38:32 Stole horse and food from the northern armies
38:36 and was captured twice and escaped both times.
38:39 After the war he was in North Carolina
38:41 and the Southern soldiers were being
38:43 shot up by the northern occupying forces.
38:45 Finally his family says, you got to get out of here.
38:47 He headed to the Colorado
38:48 where he eventually found his wife Sara Praeter who--
38:51 they had nine children
38:52 and eventually they migrated to Oregon on the Oregon Trail.
38:56 When they arrived in Moab, Utah my grandfather told me,
39:00 Sara was ready to give birth
39:01 to the last child the tenth child
39:03 and Jessie went to find a doctor.
39:05 Finally he found him in a bar,
39:06 sobered him up and brought him back to the camp
39:08 and she had already given birth, it was too late.
39:12 You know, all of us have rough family histories
39:16 with skeletons in the closet.
39:18 But its okay, it doesn't matter
39:21 what your family background is like the skeletons
39:23 that may be in your closet
39:25 because we have somebody in the family
39:27 who overseas that, who erases that past in Him
39:31 and through His, His friendship with us.
39:34 And God has invited us to be a part of his family.
39:40 It says in Hebrews--
39:44 if can find the chapter here says in Hebrews 2 Chapter,
39:48 "Therefore, in all things He" that's Jesus
39:53 "had to be made like His brethren,
39:57 that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest."
40:03 You see, Jesus has called our brother
40:07 and if you are in Christ if you are part of His family
40:13 then you have Him as your brother advocating for you.
40:18 He is our advocate, He is our judge, He is our hope.
40:26 What a Savior and His father is called our Father
40:32 and of course the third person of the God
40:34 had his the Holy Spirit is called the Counselor.
40:38 When you are part of the family of God
40:40 you are in good hands with a marvelous heritage.
40:48 In this series that Jac has been sharing,
40:49 we had people come to Christ.
40:52 They have given their heart to Him.
40:54 They are prepared for baptism.
40:56 Some have been baptized, some will be baptized
40:58 and in that baptism they are joining the family of God.
41:03 Their names written in heavens book of life
41:05 from the foundation of the world
41:07 and yet they finally recognize
41:08 that they are part of His family.
41:10 And you too that are listening can be a part of His family.
41:14 If you will give your heart to Him in surrender
41:16 and prayer you can be a part of the family of God,
41:19 the children of God.
41:22 And our Father in heaven
41:24 as Jesus tells us in John 14 is making a mansion for us.
41:30 In fact Jesus says, I go to prepare a place for you.
41:32 In My Father's house are many mansions or many rooms
41:37 and we will have a place in the Father's house
41:40 for all the rest of eternity, how rich?
41:45 Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us
41:51 that we should be called the children of God.
41:57 If you had not made that decision
41:58 to give your heart to Jesus
42:01 I would invite you right now to--
42:03 to bow your head and to pray.
42:08 In fact, let's bow our heads right now,
42:09 I will pray and you could pray in your heart.
42:12 Father in heaven, we thank You
42:14 that You have invited us to become a part of Your family,
42:18 to be a part of the rich heritage
42:20 that was established by the sacrifice of Jesus
42:23 and that You establish before the world was created.
42:27 For those that are listening right now on TV,
42:31 if you would like to give your heart to Christ right now
42:33 and full surrender just repeat after me.
42:36 Dear Father, come into my heart through the Holy Spirit,
42:42 may Jesus sacrifice apply to me.
42:48 And I thank you in His name, Amen.
42:53 If you pray that prayer with me,
42:56 then you too are now a part of the family of God.
43:02 I heard an old, old story
43:06 How a Savior came from glory
43:11 How He gave His life on Calvary
43:15 To save a wretch like me
43:20 I heard about His groaning
43:24 Of His precious blood's atoning
43:28 Then I repented of my sins
43:33 And won the victory
43:37 O victory in Jesus
43:41 My Savior, forever
43:46 He sought me and bought me
43:50 Justin, this is a privilege today,
43:52 to brought you to this point of rebirth
43:54 and we baptize you in the name of the Father,
43:57 in the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
44:00 And all my love is due Him
44:04 He plunged me to victory
44:08 Beneath the cleansing flood
44:19 Carrie, on this special day we baptize you
44:22 in the name of the Father,
44:23 the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
44:26 Of His cleansing power revealing
44:30 How He made the lame to walk again
44:35 And caused the blind to see
44:39 And then I cried, dear Jesus Come and heal my broken spirit
44:44 We baptize you in the name of the Father,
44:47 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
44:49 And somehow Jesus came and brought
44:52 To me the victory
44:57 I heard about a mansion
45:01 He has built for me in glory
45:05 Veronica, because Jesus loves you so much,
45:09 He gave His life for you
45:11 and He is coming soon to take you to His home.
45:14 Well, as a pastor,
45:18 I baptize you for the forgiveness of your sins
45:23 and for the anointing of the spirit,
45:25 in the name of the Father, and the Son,
45:28 and the Holy Ghost. Amen. Amen. Amen.
45:32 O victory in Jesus Amen.
45:36 My Savior, forever
45:40 He sought me and bought me
45:45 With His redeeming blood
45:47 Alisha, because you love Jesus,
45:48 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
45:50 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
45:54 And all my love is due Him
45:58 He plunged me to victory
46:03 Beneath the cleansing flood
46:07 Frieda, because of your love for Christ,
46:08 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
46:11 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
46:18 Our Father
46:27 Melinda, because you love Jesus,
46:29 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
46:31 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
46:33 Our father,
46:40 hallowed be
46:48 thy name
46:50 Tanya, because of your faith in Christ,
46:52 and you are requesting to be re-baptized
46:54 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
46:56 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
46:58 Thy kingdom come,
47:06 thy will be done on earth
47:13 Thomas, because of your faith in Jesus
47:16 and your willingness to obey Him,
47:17 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
47:20 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
47:39 So, Raymond, we baptize you in the name of the Father,
47:42 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
47:46 Give us this day
47:51 our daily bread
47:57 and forgive us our trespasses
48:02 Albert, because of your love for Christ Jesus
48:05 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
48:07 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
48:15 And lead us not into temptation
48:22 but deliver us from evil
48:27 Margarita, because you love Jesus,
48:29 He want to be your Savior.
48:30 We baptize you in the name of the Father,
48:32 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
48:36 And the glory forever
48:52 Brendon, because you have
48:53 given yourself back to Jesus tonight,
48:56 we baptize you in the name of the Father,
48:58 and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
49:24 When this is all over
49:30 when Jesus comes and take us to heaven.
49:38 On the second day,
49:41 first day is saved for my family
49:45 and for Jesus, maybe Paul.
49:51 Second day, 6 o'clock in the morning
49:59 I'm gonna be standing under the tree of life.
50:05 Right hand side when you are facing the throne,
50:08 because it's on both sides
50:13 I want to see you there. Amen.
50:19 Oh, Lord,
50:23 it is been so good
50:28 and I just want to lift up I preach all these people
50:32 standing here this morning.
50:35 Some have just become a part of your church family here
50:41 and some brand new in Christ
50:45 taking their first baby steps,
50:48 others who have been Christians for a long time
50:52 they are just continuing to follow the Lamb.
50:57 Lord, I pray that you will
50:58 put a hedge around them,
51:01 keep the devil away.
51:03 Give them a chance to grow
51:05 in the grace of our Lord and Savior.
51:09 Then those who are already been around a while
51:14 I pray that You will specially strengthen and power them.
51:20 Let us love each other, Lord.
51:23 Help us to grow above the pettiness.
51:26 It holds so many churches down
51:30 and let's be a true family of God. Amen.
51:35 I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
51:42 With all my strength, with all I am
51:48 I will seek to honor His commands
51:54 I pledge allegiance
51:58 to the Lamb
52:11 I have heard how Christians long ago
52:17 Were brought before a tyrants throne
52:24 They were told that he would spare their lives
52:30 If they would renounce the name of Christ
52:36 But one by one, they chose to die
52:43 The Son of God, they would not deny
52:49 Like a great angelic choir sings
52:56 I can almost hear their voices ring
53:02 I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
53:08 With all my strength, with all I am
53:14 I will seek to honor His commands
53:21 I pledge allegiance
53:25 to the Lamb
53:36 Now, the years have come and the years have gone
53:42 And the 'cause of Jesus still goes on
53:48 Now, our time has come to count the cost
53:55 To reject this world, to embrace the Cross
54:01 So one by one let us live our lives
54:08 For the One who died to give us life
54:14 Till the trumpet sounds on the final day
54:20 Let us gladly stand and boldly say
54:26 I pledge allegiance
54:30 to the Lamb
54:33 With all my strength, with all I am
54:39 I will seek to honor His commands
54:46 I pledge allegiance
54:49 to the Lamb
54:52 To the Lamb of God who bore my pain
54:59 Who took my place, who wore my shame
55:07 I will seek to honor His commands
55:13 I pledge allegiance
55:17 to the Lamb
55:26 I pledge allegiance
55:29 to the Lamb
55:32 With all my strength, with all I am
55:38 I will seek to honor His commands
55:44 I pledge allegiance
55:48 to the Lamb
55:51 I pledge allegiance
55:55 to the Lamb
55:58 With all my strength, with all I am
56:04 I will seek to honor His commands
56:10 I pledge allegiance
56:14 to the Lamb
56:16 I pledge allegiance
56:21 to the Lamb
56:27 To the lamb