General Conference Session 2015
Morning Devotion Sermon –for July 6, 2015
Opening Song: 212
Scripture Reading: Matt. 19:16-20
Sermon topic: Faithful End-time Living: Preparation for His Return
I wish to thank the Holy Spirit of our God who impressed on the minds of the worship committee to allow me to share a word from the Lord to His church at such a time as this.
A time when we are encroaching on the borders of Canaan.
A time when our journey is all but over, and our pilgrimage is coming to an end.
When the signs foretold in the sun and moon, in earth and sea and sky. A loud proclaim to al mankind, the coming of the Master draweth nigh.
These officers that we are selecting at this session may very well be the last. This gathering of Gods faithful people may very well be the last of such meetings. If it is not the last time for us as a church, it will surely be the last for somebody in this gathering, and if that is so, then allow me to share a word with you as we get ready for the end.
Matt.19: 16-20 –records a story that I think is worthy of examination by end time people.
Vs.16- One came to Jesus with eternal life on his mind. We don’t know his name. Matthew says he is young, Luke says he is a ruler and he was rich. I want you to note that he had heaven on his mind but he was not too sure about his own readiness. Something was giving him trouble, something was bothering his conscience, but when he did an examination of himself he could not come up with the answer. When he checks himself, he was doing well. He could find no fault with himself. He scored high on the church membership chart. He was complicit with church guidelines and policies. He was a faithful commandment keeping member of the church. But he was taking no chance, he heard Jesus was in town and went to him to get a second opinion, and independent evaluation of His spiritual condition.
May I declare to the church of the living God, who has heaven on our mind, we need a second opinion, an independent evaluation of our spiritual condition. Can I warn the church this morning, we cannot trust our own evaluation of ourselves. But those of us who are marching to Zion, must place our selves under the microscopic eyes of an all seeing God and ask Him to search us and see if there is anything between me and my Savior. See if there be some wicked ways in me and cleanse me from every sin and set me free.
If left to himself, the rich young ruler would qualify himself to take a front row seat in the Kingdom. In fact when Jesus answers, “go keep the commandments,” he was not impressed, for if that is all the test necessary to make it in the Kingdom, he is already home. Somehow he must have felt that is too easy a test to make it in Kingdom. He says Lord check and again. Run another test on me. What do I still lack? Something tells me that even though I’m a member of my church in good and regular standing – I am not ready.
Something tells me that even though I hold high offices in the church, my soul not ready. Something tells me that even though I have served for 40 years and still not ready. Something tells me that even though, I studied my Sabbath school lesson, return faithfully my tithe and offering, stick to a vegetarian diet, sings on the choir- I am not ready.
What do I still lack? This is a question members of the last day church ought to be asking Jesus. Members of Gods church who are preparing for the end must be asking. Lord what do I still lack. Commandment keeping members of the waiting church must never be contented merely by the keeping of the commandment, but seeking an independent evaluation of your souls. Go to God and ask what do I still lack?
Make no mistake the profile of waiting church befits that of the rich young ruler.
As part of the preparation plan, the last day church need to make the same enquiry as this young ruler. Lord we have been keeping the commandment from our youth what do we still lack?
It makes you wonder, what would be the answer from the Lord, if we the last day church were to ask that very question, “Lord what do we still lack”?
In Revelation 3:14-22- The Lord sent an email to the last day church with the answer to the very same question. He gives an evaluation of what the church lacks and makes recommendations to address the condition. I must warn you before you open it. It is not good reading, it is not a pass mark. If the church at Laodicea represents Gods last day church since 1844 as the SDBC Vol.7 p.761 points out, then we are having the exact same problem the rich young ruler was having.
V s:14-17 – Like the rich young ruler the church did an evaluation of its self and could not find any fault. In the eyes of the church it is doing well, exceptionally well. It is ready for the Kingdom. But oh when the second opinion came in. When God did His own independent evaluation of the churches spiritual condition, it troubles God.
The verdict- the preparation is not sufficient, woefully lacking, there is shortage in the waiting church of the living God. At least the young ruler lacked one thing, but the last day church lacks three.
Faith that cause Daniel to survive a Lion’s den is lacking.
Faith that cause the three Hebrew boys to survive the fiery furnace is lacking
Faith that cause Peter to walk on water is lacking
Faith that caused Prison doors to fly open and chains to fall from the hands of peter and John is lacking
Faith that caused Peter and John to say Silver and gold have none but such as I have I give, raise up and walk – is lacking,- There is a shortage of this faith our fathers had. Without this faith Hebrews says it is impossible to please God.
-1) faith in God- refine Gold,
2)Righteousness of Christ – White Raiment
3)Holy Spirit- Eye slave
What is worse is that the church is not aware that it is lacking these things. Rather it has been functioning under the assumption that it is doing well. It is in need of nothing. And you ask how can our evaluation of our selves be so strikingly different from how God perceives us and we don’t know? How can we be so far out of sync with God and we don’t know? It is clear that the last day church suffers from a false sense of security. Think we are spiritually ok when we are not.
It is the identical problem that cause 50% of the bridegroom (another symbol of the waiting church) to be locked out, to lose out on salvation. Matt 25:1-13 documents the saga. They went to sleep thinking they had oil, thinking they were ok, and did not know that their soul salvation was lacking.
It is the identical problem that caused the Jews to reject Christ. They saw no need for a Savior thinking they already secure salvation by being a descendant of Abraham.
False sense of security is the greatest threat to the preparation plan of the last day church. It causes us to depend less on Jesus and more on our training. It causes us to depend less on the Holy Spirit and more on our intellect, less on the power of the living God and more on our collective wisdom. In these last days the church of God has to get back to Jesus, leaning on the everlasting arms.
The good thing about this bad email- is that God did not leave the church in the destructive condition it finds the church in. He offers some recommendations as He did with the rich young ruler. End time living necessitates the implementation of these recommendations in our lives. If I have one word for the new administration is that we focus globally on these recommendations that will save our souls.
This morning we can turn away miserable from these recommendations like the rich young ruler or we can say take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.
We can say, Like Felix not now Lord, a more convenient time, or we can say Just as I am without one plea but that thy blood was shed for and as thou bids me come to thee oh lamb of God I come I come. Appeal song- Just as I am.