Witnessing JesusMon, Sep 03, 2023 10AM • 59:23SUMMARY KEYWORDSJesus, people, Christians, witnesses, read, good, martyr, die, deny, church, bible, Matthew, Christian, verses, Greek, call, pastor, relationship, love, kids
Good morning. Welcome. If you're new here among us, my name is Gene I serve here at C3 church as your pastor. And it has been said that kids say the darndest things as even like a show with that title, right? They say the darndest things. When we were running businesses, my wife and I, my daughter was very young. She went up to someone who technically worked for us, and said to him, My dad says you have a half a brain? No going back on that one, that was it. So it made me think of a story about Sunday school. And so the Sunday School teacher is basically trying to impress on everyone how to be a good Christian how to live a good Christian life, right? So we have to show people that we're Christians by our good deeds, right? Let's go into this whole thing. And then she makes a mistake of posing a question. Why would someone call me a Christian? After a pause, one of the kiddos says, Well, maybe they don't know you yet.
So we find ourselves in the rest of the story. This is where we're really honoring God's word. We're looking at the whole text here, big chunks of Scripture. We looked at the resurrection. This week, we're going to look at the ascension. Now, that has been said by me a lot. The Bible's not in chronological order. So we're using charts to help you guys out if you're interested, it's in the app, and kind of put it together. Now this chart, it's interesting, because we're kind of going to be going or we will be going from the Gospels to x. And so I'll explain how that kind of works. And you'll see there's a little recap of the ascension, some extra details enacts and so you got to kind of put it back in where it belongs. If you're trying to do it chronologically. It's a little bit difficult. So this isn't too hard of a chart, because that's where we'll be today. We are going to hop right into John. So we're going to start off here, as John concludes, actually. Now remember, Jesus eats a lot. When he's back into Rosenberg, well, they just mentioned it a lot. Why? Well, it's to prove that he's not a ghost, as he says, he's an actual being touched me feel the whole, right. So you'll see him eating. And so we'll pick up there John 2115, after breakfast, Jesus asked Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? Yes, Lord, Peter replied, You know, I love you and feed my lambs. Jesus told him, Jesus repeated the question, Simon, son of John, do you love me? Yes, Lord, Peter said, you know, I love you can take care of my sheep. Jesus said, a third time he asked him, Simon, son of John, do you? Do you love me? And Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, Lord, you know everything, you know that I love you. Jesus said, Then feed my sheep. I tell you the truth. When you were young, you were able to do as you like, you dress yourself, and you went wherever you wanted to go. But when you're old, you will stretch out your hands and others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go. Jesus said this, to let him know by what kind of death he would glorify God. Then Jesus told him, Follow me. Peter turned around and saw behind them, the disciple Jesus loved, the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked Lord, who will betray you, Peter asked Jesus, what about him? Lord, Jesus replied, If I want him to remain alive until I return, was that to you? As for you, follow me. So the rumors spread among the community of believers that this disciple wouldn't die. But that isn't what Jesus said at all. He only said, if I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? There's a lot to unpack here. But that's actually I like those verses to kind of like show people. This was happening in the early church. That's not what Jesus said at all. What he actually said, was this. So clarify, here's that happens in church today happened then. So the three times this has a significance. This took me a long time to get this, but everybody was like, Oh, right. What is Peter do deny Jesus 30 times. So it's kind of like Jesus, flipping it over. And what's funny about Peter being so hurt, it's like, you're reading this and you can't help but think like, you're hurt. Jesus went to the cross, and you see him three times, right? So there's another little thing and if you've been in church for a long time, you might have heard this, if you did this teaching, don't do this teaching again. And I'll explain to you what, so a lot of times you'll get here and a pastor pretending to know Greek will say, Oh, well these are the different loves like Jesus says he can love us with an agape ever heard the word agape love, right. So I got to get lovers within agape love, and people can't love each other like that, you know, is his giant love. We do like the Philo love thing, that brotherly love and they go through all the different types of loves, right? And so, um, I'll tell you guys a secret and it's going to make all pastors really mad. But I don't care. Everyone's mad at me anyway. So what's the difference? So here's the truth, right? You go through Bible college, or seminary, you learn like this much Greek. And when you do learn it, like, it's like having a kindergartener go to a 12th grade grammar class. Like they they're learning, like arrows 10s They're learning, like these things about grammar for word they would never be able to read on the page. It's really funny. Anyway, worst part of seminary ever. So learn the Greek later on my own Holy Spirit, Greek tutor, right? So figure that out afterwards. But here's the thing. When you start really reading the Bible, you're going to notice something, John Paul, they say beloved, or agape, like they'll say they agape the church, they love the church. And then when you get to places like Titus, it's philanthropy. Like God has a Philo love for mankind. So what you learn there wasn't true. So anyway, although in the text, you're being fair, when you read it each time Jesus asked the first two times he says agave, Peter says, follow back through the root of it. Follow back, but the last time Jesus says, Okay, do you follow me? And maybe there's something there to that? Maybe but if you're reading the whole Bible, it just doesn't work that way. So we can have a God day love a gumbo. I love you. Right. So say I got just means I love you. And people, Greek people say that today, and nobody goes, Oh, you're not God. You can't say that. Right. So there you go ruined another one for you. How do you feel good? Yeah, you're like, Hey, can you delete that sermon from YouTube?
Alright, the big thing I want you to hang on to here is just remember this, Jesus is telling Peter, you're going to die for me, right? So you're going to get martyred, he's letting them know how it's going to, you're going to be led away. That's what he means by that. He said it to tell him how he was going to die, what kind of death he would die. If we continue in John. Now, John concludes, John 2124. This disciple is the one who testifies to these events and has recorded them here. And we know that his account of these things is accurate. Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. So just interesting. This is how we know John is the disciple Jesus loved. This is from the Gospel of John, and this is how John ends. So you might say, there's no ascension here, right? So what we need to do is go back now what you have with the Gospels, is, today, I'm going to try not to use any fancy terms, right? So there, but they're called the Synoptic Gospels, I just think summary, Matthew, Mark, Luke, as we learn to the series, they do share quite a bit in common. Matthew, though, gives us a lot more information. For example, you get the sermon on the mount and other things like that. And when you put them together, you can see sometimes remember, Luke will actually clarify some things of his statements. Sure, it's been taught before, he's like, you just don't know. Well, also this so they're different perspectives, different angles on the story, not contradictions. So if we go back to Matthew, start from the beginning, and go to the end of that Gospel account, where we are, we're going to see this Matthew chooses to point something else out, Matthew 2816, then the 11 disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told him to go, when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some of them doubted. So we see that again, Jesus came and told his disciples, I haven't been given all authority in heaven and earth, Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, ethnicities or peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. So there's a lot here, I'm not going to spend too much time on what people call the Great Commission here, because we're going to do missions and maybe three weeks or so and I'm going to talk I'm going to go back here, and we'll talk about this. We're going to look at the Church of Acts and how they approached missions and how the early church did it when they were doing it, right. But if I had to put that if it says a great commission and your Bible and bold letters that's not in the Greek. It doesn't have any numbers or headings or anything like that. Somebody adds that. And what it does is, it makes the Bible churchy, right. So we like, you know, over 1000 years later come up with some of these things. And then we're like, that's what this says or means. And what you do is you end up literally reading things into the text that aren't there. And so just very briefly, because we're here and you got to deal with it. I would call this the apostolic commission. That's what I would call it. And again, no fancy words like hermeneutics or exegesis and stuff like that. But who, what, when, where, why have we applied the same study tools to these verses that we do anything else? What will we come away with? That this is a verse four missions for the church. No, you never come away with that. Because what does it say very clearly. She's the 11 disciples, Jesus tells them where to go he meets them not everyone, right? The church second, it's not really like born yet, so to speak. So he's talking to them the 11. And he's their apostles and apostles means sent one. Now Costello means I send, they're just sent ones. That's the closest word. We have the missionaries in the Bible, it's really not there. Because the sent ones do that. And he gives them this commission, the apostolic commission. So it's going to be really interesting when we get to x. I know I'm ruining another set of verses where we get to x, we're going to see how they really operate and how this was understood, and how the early church understood these verses not like today. So it's been a little bit abused for missions. It's not the call for everyone in the church to do missions. So we're going to talk about that today. Not everybody's imaginary, but we'll see what we're all called to do. Alright, so this is how Matthew ends, we get to Mark, Mark gives like a little snippet of the ascension tells us just there's a little bit but he mentions the ascension, right a little bit different than Mark includes. If we go to Luke, Luke 2444, then this is Jesus. Then Jesus said, When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, and the prophets and in the psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And he said, Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead. On the third day, it was also written, that this message will be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations again, peoples, I forgot to explain that before beginning in Jerusalem, there's forgiveness of all sins. For all who repent. Sorry, you are witnesses. Remember that word of all these things. And now I'll send the Holy Spirit just as my Father promised, but stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven. So just take note of the word witnesses before I forgot to mention why bracketed nations if you the word how to make the word for nations, peoples or Gentiles, when you see those three words in the New Testament, it's a variation. It's one word Ethany. Think ethnicities. That's it. Right? So nations is not my favorite translation there. I like when some do peoples because that's what he's really talking about. We're going to see that because I remember when he sent them the first time like Matthew 10. He's like, don't go to anyone but the lost sheep of Israel, right? So and they don't hang out with the Gentiles or even the Samaritans, right? So it's got to come to the Jews first. That's the idea. So they're going to be a little confused about this. And acts like you said, not to go to anyone but the Jews. And then Peter has the Vision X 10. So we'll see all that. But you got to think nations, when we think of nations, when we think of, we think of a map, we think of like countries with borders and boundaries. Those boundaries changed significantly. I mean, a lot, right. So every time the boundaries change. So Jesus isn't like limiting this to geographical boundaries. That's why I don't like nations. What he really means is, go to everybody, right? So like, this is like anti racism, like, you're going to go to everybody now, people everywhere the Gentiles mean everybody else, but the Jews too. That's the meaning behind this, right? So just so you understand that. So just taking note of witnesses, Luke 2450, then Jesus led them to Bethany and lifting his hands to heaven, He blessed them, while he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. So they here we see it again, they worshipped him, and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. And then they spent all their time in the temple praising God, God, so there's no like, church, per se, just yeah, it's kind of mixed. It's like Christianity is seen as a Jewish sect in the beginning the sect of the Nazarene. So they're kind of intermixing trying to get the Jews into this, right. So that's how that book concludes. So now, when Luke writes x, so the Gospel of Luke is written by Dr. Luke, and he writes x two. And so when you're reading it, the first question might come to mind, like if you're just reading the whole New Testament is like, Well, why aren't they together? Right, where? Well remember the Gospels. So the early church, they want to keep all the Gospels together. So John's like, in between them, right? But when I read Luke, I like to like read x two. And if you ever tried to do that in Greek, it's hard. He's a really smart guy. So lots and lots of big words, very eloquently written. So if we hop to x, I told you, we're going to see the ascension result. So here's what he says. And now it'll make sense if you just read Luke, x one, in my first book, I told you at the office, about everything Jesus began to do and teach until the day he was taken up to heaven. After giving his chosen apostles further instructions, were the instructions given to the apostles see, if we keep reading through the Holy Spirit. During the 40 days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he taught them about the kingdom of God. Once when he was eating with them. Here we get all the answers. He commanded them. Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as he told you before John baptize with water, but in just a few days, you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. So you see the Who did he give the instructions to? He apostles. So we've talked about this too, and just this is in the text and we'll get to where we're going acts one, six. So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, Lord has a time come for you to free Israel and restore a kingdom. He replied, The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times. And they are not for you to know that we get that. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses. Remember that we're telling people about me everywhere, in Jerusalem throughout Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth everywhere, right? So he's just everywhere. So really quick, we've talked about this before. Prophetic, like, the End Times ministries, right, so I'm going to start doing that. And he says what they know, they say they know when it's going to happen, just lalalalala just walk away. Because what did he just say? It's not for you to know. Right? So what you say to them? Is ye of little faith, like, go away? Because that's what it is. Why do you want to know when it's going to end? Well, so I can sin as much as possible, right up until the last minute. Like, why are we so interested in that? Or just, I don't know. How about have faith and just live like Jesus coming back? Now? Wow. Then maybe when people would like see us as Christians, right? No, we don't want to do that. We want end times prophecies. If someone starts doing that, just stop, stop. Jesus doesn't know how do you know, the Father alone knows, I know more than Jesus. That's how arrogant we get something.
So here we get a summary. With a few more details x one nine. After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching. And they could no longer see him as they strain to see him rising into heaven to white road men suddenly stood among them, Men of Galilee, they said, Why are you standing here staring into heaven, Jesus has been taken from you into heaven. But someday he will return from heaven in the same way. You saw him go. So little summary there with a few details. And you will be my witnesses to the ends of the year that we will witness about me everywhere now. Last week, we talked about witnesses, we talked about the women, it was how amazing it was of the women were witnesses to the risen Jesus. And they indeed they were not allowed to be witnesses in a court of law. So we talked about crazy that was just why is that even in there? Well, because it's true. That's it. That's why it's in there. It's true, embarrassing detail. The New Testament books in the New Testament, with the exception of Hebrews, they're all witnesses. They're all written by someone who was like Luke, he's like a reporter. He gets all the information or people actually witnessed it. We talked about John, you know, Matthew, Mark, probably as a boy. Now, here's the thing. So when you're reading Greek, when you first start reading Greek, something happens to you when you get to the word witnesses. And when you're reading it, you go, huh? Because it's a word. And now look, I can read Biblical Greek, okay, like first or second grade level. It's like a hack my way through it. But I can't speak really well. And Greek people have told me that. So it's a word like Mark TLS, is how you're going to try to pronounce it if you're me. Now, Greek person would say bad accent. But also, they would say, witness, that means witness. And they would think like when we say witness, we think like of a courtroom scene, someone getting up on the stand, right? That's a witness, we think of something like that. And that's the same picture they would get in their mind, and should get in their mind, because that's what the word means. But when you're sounding it out, or you're looking at the letters or different, you're looking at it, you will see the word martyr, you'll see the word martyr. And it's really weird. Because when you're trying to translate it in English, you want to translate it as martyr, because that's what you're seeing. Right? So Jesus is telling me, You're going to be my martyrs. And it's weird. It's like, that's contrary. But indeed, he did tell Peter is going to die. Right? So how did this happen? Right? So you're looking at early church history, and indeed it was a courtroom term witness That's what Jesus saying, you're going to be my what you're going to basically testify to me, that's what he's telling them. Now, there's a little more to it as the church develops, as the church develops, crazy things start happening, Christians become persecuted. And they die some pretty horrible deaths. And the Romans think like usually like crucifixion, things like that. They leave the bodies up there for a while, you know, just to scare but supposed to scare people into behaving which are supposed to behave and so they go in and out of these waves of persecution, they didn't like Christians, right? So at times, you weren't supposed to be allowed to be a Christian. I don't know you're going to worship the Emperor like, we're not going to do that. And so it's not like civil disobedience. It's just, it's just religious worship, and then they're getting persecuted for it. Now, martyr when we think of that, sometimes we think of like Muslims, right? That's a perversion of martyrdom. That's not good. Mark. Martyrdom is you die. You're the only one who dies and you go out, like proclaiming Jesus. That's it. Right. It became a big trend. So big that like some of the officials As one that was quoted as saying, like, they're having like this math that basically would be like not stopping a worship service and someone just coming in and like, you die, and they still keep singing, right? You die. And they just keep saying they're not like they have to kill all these people and it gets to be so much. Like, don't you have like ropes to hang yourselves with and cliffs to jump off of? Like, why are you making us do all this work and killing you? So it became this very voluntary thing? Now, here's the thing, right? So you think about martyrs? Like what? Well, couple of things. Christians today, for the most part, don't read their Bibles. And so you never read like how it concludes in? Like, how did they really take this and people will get all these false conclusions? Because they never read it to the end, right? I told you guys this, would you do a book report not do a conclusion. If you never read the conclusion. Yet Christians do. It's amazing. So you get to the end, and you see that those who are martyred in the tribulation, those who are more than they get to rise up with Jesus first. And so if you actually believe this, and you actually read this, you're like, martyr, awesome. You're going to die anyway. Did anyone here not know that? Right? So Christians act like you're, they're never going to die, you're going to die anyway, what better way to go out, and then I get to rise up the further to Reverend first resurrection and reign with Jesus. That sounds pretty amazing. If you believe it. If you don't, it doesn't. And that's where the rubber meets the road. So it was an appropriate response to true faith in this. That's what it is. And indeed, in today's accounts, he tells Peter, I tell you the truth, when you were young, you're able to do as you like, you dress yourself went wherever you wanted to go. But when you're old, you'll stretch out your hands and others will dress you and take you where you don't want to go. Like a cross. Jesus said this to let him know what kind of death he would glorify God. Don't you want to glorify God? Then Jesus said, Follow me. Does this sound familiar? Do you says it all the time, deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow Me? These are the prerequisite. He lets everybody know, this could get you killed. Think about it. What king goes to war with his 10,000 troops versus like another army of 20,000 troops without first, you know, consulting his advisors and maybe drawing up terms for peace. That's what Jesus says, do people want to follow him? Think about it. Interesting. So obvious question comes to mind. You may be thinking about, would I die for Jesus? Would I die for Jesus? Are you willing to die for Jesus? Now this, you know, you don't hear this in church a lot, which is really strange, because you hear Jesus say it all of the time. If you've been realizing this, here's how many times he talked about it. I got to a point where I'm talking about death. Every week, I think we lost 10 people. Like I had to say something about I'm like, Listen, guys, this is just if you follow Jesus around, this is what you'd hear. That's all we were doing. That's all we're doing. We're just following us around. What does he talk about? Death? Hell. You don't I mean, like, I can't apologize for it. He's got you should be thinking about this. That's depressing. Okay. Now, here's the thing, a lot of people like, they make excuses. Well, that's not going to happen to me. I don't live in a country like that, or this all these different things. And so they kind of like yeah, no, no, I'm not going to worry about that. Now. You, but what if? What if you did. So if it came down to that, Jesus gives a very stern warning, and it shouldn't be ignored. So remember, I talked about them being sent, right? So it's in that chapter in Matthew 1032, everyone who acknowledges Me publicly here on Earth, I will also acknowledged before my Father in heaven, but everyone who denies me here on Earth, I will also deny before my Father in Heaven Oh Would we deny Jesus to save this body this life? Right, if that came down to I'm going to cut your head off. If you do not, or if you don't deny Jesus, right? Oops, got it off. Okay, no, Jesus is my Lord. Would we deny it even though he's told us what are the profit a man to gain the whole world right? Game this life with things in it that lose your soul? Now, when we think of martyrs, we think of life and death right? So let me dial it back down a little bit. So I went all the way there, everyone's quiet. So let's pull it back. How might we deny Jesus in smaller ways? Because the verses there have the same gravity without martyrdom attached? So how might we do that? Like, are we worried about what it might literally cost us here? Well, we deny Him for a job. Right, Fred until your boss or your Christian or something like that we deny Him for a job or money. Right? Maybe for family members who disagree with maybe we're, we're so into, like, you know, who we are as a culture, and we placed our identity in that and then we have this family identity. I can't change because that's my identity. But you're like, No, I can you decide to identify. I'm a Christian. That's what I am now I follow Jesus. And that's it. Always it costs us our family. Our friends, believe something there. This was a big thing with me. Like, No, I will not go and do those things with you anymore, right? Judgmental? Like, no, I don't want to do those things anymore, right? I'm in a relationship with Jesus. And so you lose friends.
Okay, you're a Christian. Now, you know. Now, it's funny, because Jesus must have thought of that. Because if we just keep reading the next verses, Matthew 1034. Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth, I came to not to bring peace, but a sword. Now we've learned about what that sword is right? Because he's not talking about hacking your family up. I've come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother and a daughter in law against her mother in law, that's not hard. Your enemies will be right in your own household and wake up. If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine. Or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you're not worthy of being mine. If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me, you're not worthy of being mine. He said it again. If you cling to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you'll find it. Like this is literally like a straight shot to return to life with Jesus. If you give it up for me, you don't have to have any think about that. Right? Like a lot of us. May even theologians with us have struggled with whether they're saved. Like, am I saved? Am I okay? Am I going to hell? Like this is better, like you didn't die and then you know, I'm not going to hell. So you can just die to no questions in your mind. Chop off your head. No, Jesus is my Lord. Now you're home with the Lord. It's certain if you believe if you try to save your life by denying Jesus, you will lose your eternal life with Him. Clear Isabel again and again. He keeps saying Now we talked about like cults false religions, like knock, I call them knock off religions, because that's what they are. Right? So one of them was Islam, to knock off religion, right? So 600 years later, they pervert the Bible, they twist it all up, make up their own story, someone goes away, has an experience, right? And then goes back, no witnesses to it at all, no credibility. And then people just take him at his word. Maybe they do have more faith in us. Right? So it's crazy. So knock off religion. But here's the thing. Here's the thing. So when I'm backing up from everything, I'm going to get in some honest territory here. When I'm backing up, and I'm looking at like Christians, because so that, you know, I was I was raised like Catholic, but I was not devout Catholic or anything like that. And we didn't I didn't ever read the Bible or anything like that. So I have nominal Christian, just like you know, we're Italian Catholic. We weren't even Italians either. So we then they weren't Catholics either. It was just like, I don't know what we were. So I grew up without any real, any real faith. And so it's easy for me to pop into other worldviews. And so I've been a part of like Satanism, I've been a part of all kinds of Taoism, all kinds of different worldviews, and I've seen a lot. So it's easy for me to kind of back up and go, Okay, let me look at Christians. And then let me look at Muslims, right, and then see how they're doing it. I'm going to give this to the Muslims, they win on one thing. That's why they're growing faster than Christianity.
They're very convincing.They are willing to put their lives where their mouths are.
And a lot of Christians aren't even willing to put 10% of their money where their lives are. They make a lot of Christians look like a joke. If we're being honest, if I'm looking at both things, they are very, very believable. It's very bold. I know. But I have to be I'm not a liar. Right? I can always tell you the truth is you can rely on me for that. From what I observe, I would have to say that there is no way most Christians believe this by their behavior. I'm like, really, you know, like, you read this and you believe this. And it's crazy. Because now young people scared to death. I get that when you do, like, you know, you get up to my age and I'm like, Just I've had it, you know, stuff starts falling off, out, you know what I mean? Like, really, you know, like, Paul, my patches 10 up and get to my new heavenly body. Let's go. Like I'm ready for it. Right. But when you're young, I get it. Everything works still like and you're good. And so there's so many jokes. I can tell there's so inappropriate, but I'm not going to do it. So anyway, this weekend, you were thinking it, but anyway, I cannot. Okay, so anyway. Stop. Okay, Holy Spirit. There we go. Back on track. We're here. So, but I get it young people, right. You're still young, you're enjoying life, you're having fun, everything's good. And you know, you want to do other things. You want to see your kids grow up and all that other stuff. And as they grow up, you're like, Okay, I'm done. She made it. I want to get out. And so it's different. We're thinking differently, right? But what kills me? Like this is like, killed me. When I see like, 80 year old Christians, right. I had they been in church are not here. You're clearly you know why? Right. But like, you know, one guy was talking about martyrdom, I gave that teaching. It's correct. And he's like, No, thanks. I was like, You're just hungry. Shut up, you know. He's overweight, and you made fun of him. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, just leave. But anyway, you see, 80 year old Christians like no way. And they bug out. Like, it's the craziest thing in the world. They like all of their politics, wherever, like they're persecuting us. They're persecuting us, versus getting us. I'm like, calm down. Go to the country with a really killing people. Like here. Like if we refuse to bake someone a cake, right. That's our version of persecution. That made me laugh. Now, look at Muslims. That's embarrassing. We were joking on the way in, like, if I was going to do church takeover, the first thing I do is I go outside, I scrape all the Jesus fishes off the car, and make everyone like, earn them back. You know what I mean? Like, bring a friend to church, and they need to report that you preach the gospel of them, and make sure they're Jewish. You know what I mean? Like, you get all your things back. It's embarrassing. I can I be honest, sometimes, like when I say I'm a pastor, it's embarrassing. Like they know how most people see Christians is a really good reason why it's embarrassing. Eight years old, you're freaking out about dying. You're eight years old, Mr. Potato head, you dropped an ear on the way and you know, some of these people. They're just true, when he's literally falling apart is to fully off your body, like, let it die. Death is the best thing that could happen to you right now. Like, what is wrong with you? Why are you worried about that? It's going to be painful. Every day of your life is on pain. You're on 13 medications for pain, and you're worried about someone cutting your head is going to be so fast. So I hear I just don't know, I've never experienced that.
Like, someone give him coffee. No, I'm tired. This is what happens when I'm tired. That's true. I'm really tired. I mean, if this is the way they behave, there is no way. There's no and I love this challenge a lot of people. And if you're older, you have no excuses. You're done. But the younger people I get it, but like, come on. Read this, you know, if you really believe this, it's really change your perspective about these things a little bit, just a little faith. I was I get it's a walk. So don't worry. You're trying but like what I would say, especially if you're like over 70 or 80 Hurry up. Hurry up, right. So come on. So here's the thing. It's all about relationship. Sometimes that this is the key. And indeed, when you think about it, like so let's think about it really practically Joking aside, like, I don't think that's possible for me. So I can't make that kind of promise. But you know, you think about your loved ones, right? I mean, I don't think if we really love like your wife, or spouse, or kids, especially kids, right? Like, I hope every father in the room would die for their kids. Like you just hope that you know what I mean? Like if your kid was in danger, and you could save the kids, some pictures, some scenario, without a doubt, like definitely it's not even going to be a thought in my mind. I think that most fathers will love their kids think that way. Like I think that way, my wife. Absolutely. And that's really selfish because I'd be really sad if she died and I don't want to be without her. So I just die first by see later on anyway, but most of us would do that. I'm just being honest with you. It's selfish. Like I die first. And so but now with that in mind, I told you I could not stop myself from doing Okay, he can joke about death. Yes. So this is the key right? Being in a devoted relationship, having a relationship with someone loving someone that is the key. And indeed, it is the key to will it to be willing to be Dr. Martyr die for Jesus told you, sir, that's the key to develop that, like, how do I develop that kind of willingness to give my life for the Lord how? Well it begins with the relationship. That's where it starts. Right? If you love him, and I will say this, husbands, you must love Jesus more than your wife more than what he said, more interest, but I'm going to tell you that that's the key to being a better husband and about your father. It has nothing to do with you. That's the key. That's the key. So but if we are in relationship with him that's deep like that, and we love him. No problem. Of course, I'm going to die for Jesus. There's your key. So, natural question. How do you build that relationship? A lot of people struggle there. You know, it's like, Oh, how I can't see him. You know, like, what is this? It's not the same thing. Like, it's weird, right? So how do you build it? Well, by being more devoted, and relationships, they take work. I'll give you a couple of guys a couple action steps today. They take work, it just it takes work. Right? So a lot of people there's like this Christian kind of NIF, where it's like, they don't have to read their Bible. They just all of a sudden, like, yeah, I got baptized. I have instant faith in Jesus without knowing anything about the Bible, or anything, and I just have this relationship with him. That's it. Like, it's all I needed is great, and everything's going to be great. Wrong. That's not what the Bible says at all. faith comes through hearing Romans 10, hearing, hearing about Jesus, that's how faith goes in here, first, then start to make its way down here. We have to know the truth. We're not called to be stupid. We have to know the truth. And so what they'll do is to kind of throw everything away. And the truth is, they just don't want to do any work at all. They're lazy. And so they say, oh, saved by grace. And that's it. And that's true. Ephesians to say, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, but keep reading the next couple of verses are created anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do good works. It's both so when someone says it's all about relationship, and that's it. It's another false Christian. He's saying, yes, it's about relationship. It's the other side of the coin. It's also about showing people you're a Christian, and this is how we're all called into that witnessing phase. So look what the Bible says about religion, James 127, pure and genuine religion, Jesus brothers writing, as if it's a good thing. In the sight of God, the Father means caring for visiting orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. Bible says religion is a good thing, huh? Both sides of the coin. So it begins with our belief in him, right? We need to actually believe this and we talked about a lot of that we talked about like knowing what the Bible is why we believe it like that's important because then it develops into faith with him and develops into this relationship if we have a devotion to Him for devoted to him, we're in a committed relationship with him. That's how it works. So some faith building exercises and this is this is the first one I just I know I say this a lot. But it really we as a Christian community, we need to change the way we think about being corrupted by the world. Like the world has really corrupted Christianity in this country. It looks nothing like Biblical Christianity in this country so the world has really corrupted a lot of Christians so how do you get uncorrupted? Well, like so here's the test. This is going to show again if people a lot more people watch us online so it's going to be a test don't answers labs, keep all your words to yourself. Right but what if I gave you a homework assignment this week? And I said, I'd like all of you to read to read or listen to the Bible for two hours every day right people would be like Pastor you're crazy right so other pastors like you can't say that right? How many times yes, I can't I just did read your Bible two hours a day. Now just wanted to do let's think about this for a second All right. What do we do for two hours watch TV for two hours I'm not even get into the sports not even going to go there. Okay, so I'll leave you alone. But think about it. I could not even touching on it. It's really bad TV useless. They mindless things on your phone, you know? Passive aggressively, like arguing with people like stop it. Right? Or just take the Jesus fish off. But they've to cross off your profile if you're going to so anyway, hold fight. Right. So but let's think two hours. What are you doing for two hours? That don't give me the like, I work well I'm going to get to the I work all the time thing and that's You're just as bad. So two hours, right? Stupid things you do for two hours a lot, but we won't do that. And then we say we love Jesus, I love Jesus, I'm going to heaven. You know I'm in a relationship with them. Amen. Amen. This is great. Okay, so you watched a movie? Why can't you read the Gospel of Matthew, it takes about two hours. You can answer that question for yourself. Why aren't we as motivated to go here as we are to like all these other and to tell you the truth, they're corrupting us. The world is corrupted. I'm not one of these, like, we call them house now it's out, right? So duck and cover Christians. So that's what we call the Christians that do that they hide from the world, right? Like, no, I'm going to duck and cover moving into homeschool. We're going to keep your kids away from Disney. You know? Like, it's just like, demonic, you know, like, oh, my gosh, you know what I mean? There's a difference between like, Jesus did hang out with sinners and tax collectors, right? So it's like, you know, you get filled with the Holy Spirit, then demons can get in there. Don't worry about it. You're good. You have to interact with people, you don't engage with the bad things you're doing. But what do we do just huddle up as a church and that's what they do. They huddle up as a church, right? And they see like, Halloween is a time to hide, I see it as a great time to give the kids wear dresses like Disney princesses, candy in a church like business card. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Guys, it's easy to talk about when don't it's not literally shooting, there's no need to think about it. It's easy. That is an opportunity. We're going to hear that word today. It's an opportunity. Get out there. And if your kid believes and they die for Jesus, great, you'll see them in heaven. That's it. We have to change the way we think, what do we spend our time doing? And does it have real value? Now for that, I but I work too much. Okay, let's talk about the Sabbath. All right. Like, you know, when people come up to me, and they're like, I haven't taken a day off in like, 30 days, like, like, that's not a good thing. You need to arrest God rested. You're better than him. I cut it out. It's prideful. I've said this before. I'll say it again. The Sabbath is the only one of the 10 commandments that Christians are actually prideful about breaking. Pride. It's all here. pride, pride, pride, pride, pride. I'm going to tell you, I get I'm tired today. I'm honest about it. Right? But I get to Saturday and it's like, I'm done. Everyone be quiet. I'm finished. I need rest. Net. When I'm tired. I'm done. Like this hurts. Everything hurts. I'm like, I need I need to just to take a day off. That's okay.
Spend time with the Lord my family. That's great. That's another way to build that relationship. And we need to think about that. You know, if you're not spending time with anyone that you're in relationship with how you're going to develop a relationship is going to get worse. Are you listening to them like prayer? What you don't understand a lot of prayer is listening. Just read that, just absorb it. Right The answer is a What's so funny is I like to they pray for everything critical. Why are this? All the answers are right here? They're all right here. Just read this. You don't have to ask so many questions. Well, we're going to talk about it. Most Christians spend more time in the world than in the world. And that's the problem. This is a part of that good religious behavior that helps us deepen that relationship with Jesus so we know the difference between him and all the fake Jesus's people are presenting out there. I told you I don't watch shows like that. Like no way it's so far off from this. It makes me nauseous. Like I just can't stand it it's just wrong. But that's because not saying better or worse then I know I'm in a relationship with Jesus and I'm in His Word constantly. Will so spot falls like a bad note. Like us I spot it really quick simply because I know it. Need to really know Jesus to be devoted to him. It's funny because like if you do couples counseling one thing you're going to hear along the way somewhere I don't even know you anymore. You hear that? I don't even know you anymore. It has been said that distance makes the heart grow fonder. But I would add of someone else. There's no such thing as a long distance. To relationship with Jesus. We must develop our relationship with Jesus, we must nurture our relationship with Jesus until we are molded into His image. You can tell when someone is in a committed relationship with Him because they act like him. And this is how we become good witnesses for Him. We must not deny him by the way we live. And we've seen this before you can deny and we talked about denying Jesus right go back to that thought. In Titus, Titus is pasta telling Titus about all the false teachers right in Crete where he is he's planting churches. And he says this site is 116. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. So they claim they're Christians, but deny God by the way they live. So take it back to that verse that I said before, if you deny me, I will deny you. When if we read the Word of God, it says we can deny him just by our actions without even saying a word. detestable, disobedient, worthless for anything doing good as the first part wasn't bad enough. Bibles not always so nice is it. So this is the first and most critical part of being a witness for Jesus, what we do says more about what we believe that anything we can say. Important to remember that. So we may not all be called as apostles. We're going to talk about that in a few weeks. But we're all called, as we can see in the text, to be witnesses, to not deny Him, for all called Don't deny him, like be witnesses. And witnessing begins with a relationship with Jesus, and then extends out to others. That's just how it works. molded into His image. Love, love, love. And that's how it works in any situation. So kind of an interesting thing. I'm just going to give you a couple little practical examples. And then we'll go eat because I'm getting hungry, right? So you have this guy he passed away but Nabil Koresh, well, he was a Muslim one time and then converted to Christianity. And he was famous for being a good apologists for being able to argue and make the case for Christ, like in very complicated environments, like, he'd go to universities and all these kids would think they're smart. And he'd be able to engage with them and win all the arguments like that's his job. But what was really funny is he gave everybody the key. And it was not what anyone was looking for what they wanted, or what they thought. Because it was really hard work. He said, I converted to Christianity, not because of a convincing argument. But because the Christian was really being a Christian and loved me for a really a long time. Until we developed trust. thing, that's the key. So it was like his roommate or something like that. And you're just patient with a patient with a patient. And finally, he believed it came at him with the right verses and all that stuff. Relationship. That's the key. Both directions. And I told you before that cold I called the cold witness. I told you I'm traveling around different cities, right. And I have the street evangelists. I'm like, their conversion rate is like, point 5%. Alright, so they put up 20 videos on YouTube. Look, I converted this person, but like that took them 10 years. Like it's a horrible conversion rate, screaming and yelling,
I'm a pastor. And I was like, that's crazy. I don't want anything to do with them. I'm like, and I know, yeah, what you're saying is true. But it's crazy. And stop being nuts, like by people cups of coffee goes on like, crazy. It doesn't work. But right, it's a lot easier to vent our anger, which we're not supposed to be doing as Christians says that too. So a lot of people will just ask me how until I when I hear a lot of and this is going to just leave you with a couple quick little tips. It's kind of like you see, I think my wife would make this argument like easy for you. Right? It's easy for you because like, I'm this this, like, forget about it. But like when no one's watching, you gets crazier sometime. Right? But the thing is, I am an extrovert. Clearly, right. But I like people. I'll tell you the truth. Sometimes I don't. But I just confessing my sins, right? And just like, oh, it's hard. But it's not hard for me. If you've been at the search for a while, you know, it's not hard for me to engage with you or like talk, not get engaged to you, but talk to you, right, like I talked to everybody, I just got something to say. So I'm going to give you some pastor Jean tips. Like how do you do that? You're probably never going to be like this unless you're Tony Johnson. Like, we're the only two people in the room who will like just like he likes talking to people like shooting him, like somebody will like literally shoot at him. And he'd be like, Hey, friend, you know, let me tell you about Jesus. That happens. Like really? He's a cop. So that's the why would they be shooting? Because he's a cop. Nice ringtone. That's interesting. Okay, so But like, we're the only two people are like that, like, you just shot me. That was awesome. I would have gotten to me, like, so mad you missed, right? So sorry, Kristin, we're not going to pray for that. But some tips, right? So I got that crazy. We go to France, right? So we go to France. And like you'd think like he's not going to talk to anybody here, right? So we go to a restaurant where you got to get seated and then go get your food. And so like, Okay, we'll go get the food because if you get the food, it's going to be really dangerous. So we'll get the food, you get a table. You're good at that. Right? So they come back. And like I'm making it I'm sharing a table with there was like no tables. I was like, I sat down at the table, Mike. Hi, my name is Jean, what's your name? And that's it. They come back. I'm like, Hey, meet so and so and so and so kids and college, kids going to school, they're here. They're here from America. They're American, like us, who would have thought? There's Americans to talk to and they're just like, like, now I think they are used to it a little bit. So it's like, but generally, it's like, it's just want to be on vacation. Can we? You know, so that's the way it is. So for me, it's easy. Like, I'm the first I'm like that kid, I'm not worried on the first day of school. I'm like, Yes, make friends and talk to people. But a lot of people will say like, no, no, but I was never good at making friends. Like how do I make friends? How do I do that? Right? And so even if you've never asked that question you should have you should have said how I make friends and then ask me because you don't. So I'll give you some tips. Like if you tend to be introverted, right? It's actually really easy. The key now see, I talk a lot so I'm being a hypocrite, but different, right? Do it for a living. The key is not talking so much. That's the key. And when you do just ask questions. Now recall like first, second, third, fourth, fifth, every conversation I have with most people what happens? I compliment your clothing or something like that, or ask you where you got to ask a question, or I try to give a compliment. That's how you do it. Right? Like so Tony Johnson like, you almost shot me good job. Right. So he's going to compliment is going to compliment something. We're going to try to find we're looking that's what good pastors are doing. I'm not a good bathroom. Not a great password. No, but that's a joke. But anyway, you're trying work. When I learned in ministry school, my mentor told me this, he says, it's like having five games that double dutch going on at the same time, and you're trying to find the right place to hop in each game without interrupting it. aronia that's what it's like, that's what being a pastor's like, Alright, so I'm just kind of listening to you a little bit. And I'm just trying to find like, like, where do I get in there? Just to find something nice to say. The curmudgeons are the worst, because I'm like, well, that's bad. I'm trying to like, well, you know, that's nice. My husband died. Well, I think he's going to have ends you know, so anyway. But you know, I'm always trying to find something positive to say, right. And then when all else fails, I say pizza. I'll make you pizza. That always works. So you know, pineapple on so sorry. That's the thing, listening, praying, pray without See, pray all the time. So many Christians, they talk to other people before they've consulted with the Lord. Talk to you guys. You want to get angry. You get it? Someone's coming at you hard like Pray, pray, don't even open your mouth. Just pray like just start, Lord. What do you want me to say? Like, just what would Jesus do in that situation? And here's the last part. This this is the thing. apologetics is one thing. You can argue scripture, even Christians, like argue scripture, all this stuff all day long, right? And usually, when someone comes have never won an argument, when someone comes to the table with an argument, they're never going to change their mind. Don't even try. Like it's not worth it. It's a waste of time. But here's the one thing, they cannot argue your story. They can't argue that. How did you come to know Jesus? How has he impacted your life? How has he changed? What were you like before Jesus? And what are you like now with Jesus? So when you do start talking, are they asked you the appropriate, this is what you want to talk about? Because they can't argue. Your mess becomes your message. Your test becomes your testimony. And the last thing I'll leave you with is seems like the hardest thing for Christians to do it should be the easiest thing. Bless you. Seems like the heart. Be transparent. Be honest. Did you do something bad? Just tell them the Lord knows. let everyone else know it doesn't matter. And most of the time, they'll be like, oh, you know, really? thought you're a Christian. Wow, wait, I wasn't always a Christian or I wasn't I messed up and the Lord forgave me prodigal son, right. So something like that. Just really like if you'd be really surprised. We spent many years trying to brush Everything on the rug, hide all kinds of stuff trying to be pretty perfect. And like rich or whatever, all this stuff. We did all that. I had no idea later, like everyone knew what we were doing. Like everyone knew what was going on anyway. But like then when we would go to people, we would amaze me how many people like they've gone through the Sydney army to I'm like, really? Like I thought it was the only one with problems. And that's how we think of ourselves sometimes. And it's narcissistic. We're not the only one. Everybody around you. It's the person sitting next to you has problems. Everybody, nobody in here, like, trust me. You come in my office. You give me five minutes. I'm making you cry. Because you got problems. You got problems, everybody. So just be honest about your problems, even if you're struggling now. And here's the one barrier that's going to break down the belief out there that all Christians are judgmental hypocrites. In Washington that away. Ah, no friend, you think you're about? Nope. It's not just you. I got some problems. But Jesus is helping me with them. Or Jesus has helped me with some so many people like heroes, like you're in recovery. Awesome. You guys know this, though? That's your story. Start there. And like nine times out instead of Oh, me too. Or my family member or you'll get this. I wish my whatever was in recovery. That's awesome. That's awesome. Just be transparent. How did Jesus change your life? He was looking at all these things is opportunity. So I'm going to close today from with some scripture. And I'm going to pray for you guys. But you're going to see in the Scripture, how much is in here. So this is Paul writing Colossians. He's in prison for not denying Jesus. And there's some inter woven prints. So this is kind of how he's praying for him. Colossians four, to Devote yourselves to prayer. With an alert mind and a thankful heart. Pray for us to the God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. That is why I'm here in chains. Pray that it will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Have wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive, so that you will have the right response for everyone. So that's my prayer for the church. Lord, I thank you for everyone who came in to hear Your word. Because that's what we do here. Thank you for your word, that you would give it to us in full so that we can know you better come into relationship with you. Experience your love, your grace, your mercy, your peace. My prayers that you would fill everyone with the Holy Spirit as they go out this week. So the view just vehicles for your gospel message delivering your love, your grace, your peace, your mercy, Your kindness to everyone they encounter. I ask these things in Jesus's name