As we draw
closer and closer to the end of the world, there are going to
be more and more events that will disrupt our regular business
operations, whatever kind of business we are in. Yesterday afternoon
I had to go to a car part place. I was told shipping has all
been disrupted, but things are starting to come in again. And
so their business was disrupted.
was disrupted. As we get closer and closer to the end of the
world, there are going to be more and more events that will
disrupt life. And as these things happen, one of the consequences
of some of the events that are going on in the world today is
that we see an unbelievable amount of hatred developing in the
hearts of men and women. And this is a very dangerous development
week should give people a little idea of how dangerous hatred
is. We are going to study what the Bible says about that in
just a moment. First, let us ask the Lord to help us to understand
what we are going to read and what we are going to study.
we are at that time now in our worship service where we are
going to open Your Holy Book and read it. Oh, Father in Heaven,
we feel our great insufficiency. We feel our great need of
Your Holy Spirit to help us understand truth, to transform our
hearts, to prepare us for the future. We know that we are at
the beginning of a period of earth’s history, which is described
in the Bible as a period of great tribulation. We pray that
You will help us to understand what is coming, how to be ready
for it and how to be ready for Jesus to come. We thank you
in Jesus’ name. Amen”
In the Bible,
the Second Coming of Christ is described as occurring at the
darkest period of this earth’s history. Do you remember the
story that Jesus told about the ten virgins and the bridegroom?
Do you remember what time the bridegroom came? It was at midnight,
the darkest period of the day. The Second Coming of Christ
is going to occur at the darkest period of earth’s history.
It is getting
dark, but it is not yet midnight, but it is going to get to
midnight, and you and I had better be ready. There is a great
controversy going on in our world. It has been going on for
several thousand years, but it is reaching a climax. Now an
interesting thing has occurred. I find that people in all different
churches and people who are not Christians at all, as they look
around at what is happening, they realize that we are not just
living in ordinary times, that something is building up.
is building up. This great conflict that has been going on
that is building up toward a tremendous climax, the controversy
between Christ and Satan that you can read about in your Bible
in Revelation 12:7–9. This is a controversy in which each side—there
is Christ’s side and there is Satan’s side—is attempting to
get control of the minds of men. The devil is trying to get
control of your mind, because the great controversy is in the
And I want
to tell you that there are millions of people in the United
States whom the devil has gotten control of their minds this
week. Do you know how that happened? Because this is how the
devil works. Hatred generates more hatred and it just keeps
going up and up and up. If you do this to me, I will do that
to you. Well, if you do that to me, I will do that to you,
and so on.
that end? It ends the same place that it ended with Cain, that
is where it ends. I will just kill you, then! Have you heard
talk like that this week? And if the devil can get your mind
filled full of hate, he has you. You are on his side. It does
not matter whether you call yourself a Christian, whether you
go to church, if your mind is filled with hate, he has you.
You are following him, he has his spirit in you, and he has
gotten control of your mind.
is a twist, a perversion of something that is good. It is all
right to hate evil. In fact, the Bible says that the fear of
the Lord is to hate evil. There is nothing wrong with hating
evil as long as you do not hate the people. Love includes justice,
but if the devil can get your mind full of hatred against other
people, he has you. You cannot go to heaven, nobody will go
to heaven whose mind is full of hate.
Let us read
a few things that Jesus said about it. If you have your Bible,
this is the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5. Look first of all
at verse 22. Who is Jesus talking about here? He is talking
about the person who hates his brother. Who is your brother?
Your brother is every human being that needs your help, even
if their minds are full of hate.
solve the problem of hatred with more hatred. So look toward
the end of Matthew 5:43, 44. Who are we supposed to love?
Our enemies. I am going to read this to you from Luke 6. You
can turn over there if you want to. Luke 6 contains very similar
words to Matthew 5:43, 44. “But I say to you who hear: Love
your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who
curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” Luke
remember the story when I read these words of a Christian pastor
in the Middle East in a Communist country who was taken prisoner
and who was in a Communist prison. He was in prison between
ten and twenty years. He was in prison, by the way, because
he was a Christian, not because he had committed a crime. While
he was in prison, the guards treated him very, very cruelly.
prisoners who were beaten to death. There were prisoners who,
for one reason or another, the guards would get angry and give
them blows and sometimes their jaws would be broken. When your
jaw is broken, you cannot eat, so you are going to die unless
somebody helps you out. This man told about what some of the
other prisoners did, because there was a prisoner whose jaw
had been broken by the guard. He could not open his mouth.
So they would take the bread, that is about all they had, not
much more than bread and water, and they would take the bread
and break it up into little tiny pieces so they could get it
into his mouth to keep him alive. He was describing this and
he said, Two things I saw happening in this prison. There were
these people who were being tortured, but, he said, as they
ministered to the needs of others around them who were even
worse off than they were, it just seemed like the presence of
God and angels were in that prison.
did they minister to the needs of those around them who were
worse off, but also as they thought about it, the Christians
decided that they needed to pray for their guards. In fact,
they not only needed to pray for them, they decided that they
were going to tell the Lord, We choose to forgive them for what
they are doing to us. And he described how in the midst of
all kinds of trouble, torture and pain, when they had a forgiving
spirit, the spirit of God came into that prison and transformed
those people in character.
just Christians when they walked in, but they were saints when
they walked out. That is one of the things that was happening
in that prison. But there was something else happening in that
prison. The devil was working. He said that some of these
guards became so satanic, you could hardly look in their face,
they were so satanic. So in the very same place there were
some people who were becoming like the devil and there were
some people who were becoming like Jesus Christ.
I want to
tell you, friends, that is a little microcosm of what is going
on today all over the world. Because of the awful things that
are happening, some people are going to be filled with hate
and they are going to become just like the devil. Other people
are going to turn to the Lord and become just like Jesus Christ
and learn to forgive. Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good
to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for
those who spitefully use you.”
How is it
in your life? Who is getting control of your mind? Does the
devil have control of your mind, or does the Lord have control
of your mind? If you are filled with hatred against people,
no matter what they have done, the devil still has control of
your mind. And a person who is filled with hatred cannot be
taken to heaven, even if what they were hating was wrong, even
if the people were wrong.
Let me read
you a few paragraphs on this subject from the pen of Ellen White.
This is recorded, if you have the book, in The Mount of Blessings,
55, 56. There is a comment on some of these texts that we have
just read. “Through Moses the Lord had said, ‘Thou shalt not
hate thy brother in thine heart. . . . Thou shalt not avenge,
nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but
thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.’ Leviticus 19:17,
18. The truths which Christ presented were the same that had
been taught by the prophets, but they had become obscured through
hardness of heart and love of sin. The Saviour’s words revealed
to His hearers the fact that, while they were condemning others
as transgressors, they were themselves equally guilty; for they
were cherishing malice and hatred.”
while they condemned others, they were just as guilty. Why?
Because they were cherishing malice and hatred, and malice and
hatred are the foundation of the problem. Is not the devil
a devil? If he gets you to have hatred in your heart, you are
on the same ground as the other people with hatred in their
hearts who do all these things. That is the root cause of all
themselves equally guilty; for they were cherishing malice and
hatred. Across the sea from the place where they were assembled
was the country of Basham, a lonely region, whose wild gorges
and wooded hills had long been a favorite lurking ground for
criminals of all descriptions. Reports of robbery and murder
committed there were fresh in the minds of the people, and many
were zealous in denouncing these evil doers. At the same time
they were themselves passionate and contentious.”
are we passionate and contentious? If we are, we have the very
same problem. The very same problem. “They cherished the most
bitter hatred of their Roman oppressors and felt themselves
at liberty to hate and despise all other peoples, and even their
own countrymen who did not in all things conform to their ideas.”
Is that not interesting? They “felt at liberty to hate and
despise all other peoples,” all other nations “and even their
own countrymen who did not in all things conform to their ideas.”
ever met somebody with whom it is either my way or else? Now
they do not tell you that, but you get it figured out pretty
quick, right? It is either my way or else. That is the problem
that Cain had. That is the problem that the devil had. That
is the root cause. You know, it HAS to be MY way. Oh, really?
That is why we have the problems that we have in the world today.
It has to be my way, you have to do it the way I want to do
this they were violating the law which declares, ‘Thou shalt
not kill.’ The spirit of hatred and revenge originated with
Satan, and it led him to put to death the Son of God. Whoever
cherishes malice or unkindness is cherishing the same spirit,
and its fruit will be unto death.” What is the fruit of malice
and unkindness? The fruit is unto death, it says.
revengeful thought, the evil deed lies enfolded as the plant
in the seed. ‘Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and
ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.’
1 John 3:15.” So, if you are filed with thoughts of unkindness,
revenge, hatred, the devil has taken over your mind.
has taken over a lot of minds this last week. If he has gotten
hold of yours, you need to ask the Lord to deliver you from
his power, because as long as you have hatred and revenge in
your heart, the devil has control of your mind.
says, Pastor John, this is so awful what you are saying. Do
you not believe in justice? Well, yes, I do. The Bible teaches
it. Let me read to you about justice and vengeance. There
is a place for justice and vengeance, but look what the Bible
says about that in Romans 12:19. “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves,
but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance
is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord.’”
going to be vengeance? Yes. Is God going to straighten out
the problems in this world? Yes. Must their be a price paid
for things that are done that are wrong? Yes, but the Lord
says, You are not competent to do this. You leave that to me.
There is a place for vengeance, but God says, Do not you do
it, let Me do it, because if you try to do it, it will ruin
you spiritually. It will ruin you.
And so God
says, You do not do it. You let Me do that. Oh, somebody says,
Pastor John, you mean then we should not have any punishment
for evil until the Lord comes? No, I did not say that. We
will not take time to study Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. Romans
13 says that when a crime is done, the state has authority from
God to punish the crime, including the death penalty. The Bible
teaches that. You can read it in Romans 13 or 1 Peter 2 or
in Genesis 9, for that matter.
me tell you, even at that, if it is done with hatred in the
heart, it will end up making more problems to be solved. You
see, you cannot overcome hatred with more hatred. It will not
work. So there are developing two conditions in the world today.
There are some people who are developing the very characteristics
of Satan, the very image of Satan. And there are other people
who are developing the image of Christ in their character.
taking place in your character? Now, it is not for me to judge
your character. It is not for me to judge what is going on
in your heart, but you can. It is perfectly appropriate for
you to go to the Lord and say, Lord, what is going on in my
heart? What is developing here? Am I developing the image
of Jesus Christ in my character or am I developing the image
of Satan in my character? What is going on? What is happening?
your inner thoughts and feelings? (The ones that other people
do not know about.) That is the surest indication of what character
you are developing. What are your inner thoughts and feelings,
the ones that other people do not know about? Let me read to
you what is developing in the Synagogue of Satan right now.
I will read it to you. This is the Manuscript that Ellen White
wrote in 1894.
It is found
in several places in her writings. It says, “The forces of
the powers of darkness will unite with human agents who have
given themselves unto the control of Satan, and the same scenes
that were exhibited at the trial, rejection and crucifixion
of Christ will be revived [happen again]. Through yielding
to satanic influences men will be merged into fiends, and those
who were created in the image of God, who were formed to honor
and glorify their Creator, will become the habitation of dragons,
and Satan will see in an apostate race his masterpiece of evil—men
who reflect his own image.” Seventh-day Adventist Bible
Commentary, vol. 5, 1136.
And I want
to tell you, friends, we are close to that time. You see, when
you come to the end of the world, there are only going to be
two kinds of people in the world. Right now I cannot say that
because it is a great mixture. But when you come to the end
of the world, remember Jesus said, talking about the harvest,
and at the harvest time every plant is fully developed and goes
So at harvest
time there will only be two kinds of people in the world. Listen,
here is who they will be. There will be people, we just read
about them, who are actually in the very image of Satan. That
is why it says in Daniel 12, talking about the end of the world,
that there is a time coming when there shall be a time of trouble
such as has never been since there was a nation.
coming a time that what happened this last week will sound like
a small piece of what is going on. That is the truth according
to the Bible. There is going to be such a strife of bloodshed
and fighting all over the world in every city that is unimaginable.
Ellen White saw it in vision. She said, No pen can picture
what is going to happen.
If you want
to get a little idea of what it will be like, look in your own
history book about two different events in the past which are
symbols of the end of the world. One is the destruction of
Jerusalem and the other is the destruction of France during
the French Revolution. That will give you just a little idea
of what is going to happen all over the world.
the character of the great mass of mankind will be in the image
of Satan. And when a person’s character is in the image of
Satan, he is filled with hate. And when you are filled with
hate, you will do anything. Is that right? People cannot even
imagine what you will do. And the whole world is going to be
full of people like that at the end.
only going to be a few people who decide that they are going
to go a different direction. I want to be one of that little
group. In Bible prophecy they are called a remnant. There
are going to be some people at the end who will reflect the
character of Jesus Christ perfectly. I want to be part of that
group, do you?
As I have
thought about it, I have said, Lord, it really does not matter
whether I live or die, that is not even important. What is
important is, does my character reflect the character of Jesus
Christ? And Lord, whatever happens, death is all right, but
do not let me die in my sins. You see, that is what Jesus said
to the Jews who rejected Him. He said, this is what is going
to happen to you—you are going to die in your sin. And let
me tell you, friend, if you die in your sins, you will be resurrected
at the second resurrection at the end of the millenium. You
will never enter the Holy City if you die in your sins.
going to be a group of people who will reflect the image of
Jesus fully at the end of time. The Bible clearly prophesies
this. Let us read a few texts. I do not want you to think
that I am making anything up, I want you to see it right in
of all at Ephesians 5. We can read many, but we will just read
two. Two witnesses will verify every word, the Bible says.
Here are two witnesses to this truth. Ephesians 5:25–27. “Husbands,
love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave
Himself [on her behalf] for her [in order] that He might [make
her holy or] sanctify [purify] and cleanse her with the washing
of water by the word, [in order] that He might present her to
himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any
such thing, but that she should [might] be holy and without
Now if you
have faith, that is about one of the most exciting texts in
the Bible. What is the Lord going to do? He is going to purify
a people. He is going to cleanse a people so that they are
going to be holy. They are going to be without blemish. Why
does God need a church that is without blemish to take to heaven?
Well, let me tell you why. If you took somebody to heaven who
had one blemish of sin in their character, you are headed right
back toward events like we had this last week at the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon.
Let me read
something to you about that from the pen of Ellen White. She
says, “If we were defective in character, we could not pass
the gates that mercy has opened to the obedient; for justice
stands at the entrance, and demands holiness [purity] in all
who would see God. Were justice extinct, and were it possible
for divine mercy to open the gates to the whole race [that is
every human being], irrespective of character, there would be
a worse condition of disaffection and rebellion in heaven than
before Satan was expelled. The peace, happiness, and harmony
of heaven would be broken (up). The change from earth to heaven
will not change men’s characters; the happiness of the redeemed
in heaven results from the character formed in this life after
the image of Christ. The saints in heaven will first have been
saints on earth.” Maranatha, 326.
is plain, is it not? If I am going to be a saint in heaven—by
the way, only the saints are going there, that is what the Bible
says in Hebrews 12:14. If I am going to be a saint up there,
I first have to be a saint down here, because my character is
not going to change when Jesus comes. Now, I will get a new
body when Jesus comes, but my character is not going to change.
is why we have such a large part of the Christian world so deceived
today, because people have been taught that you can live like
the devil and just keep your sins confessed. And then when
Jesus comes, there will be some magic button which will transform
you and you will go to heaven, even though you have been living
like the devil your whole life down here.
a deception. There is no promise of eternal life to anyone
like that in the Bible. We just read it in Ephesians 5:26–27.
God is going to purify unto Himself a people who are blameless.
If you want to look in a Concordance, look up the different
texts in the New Testament where it says over and over again
that God’s people are going to be blameless. You will find
a whole bunch of texts, not just two or three.
one more, though. I told you I would give you two witnesses.
Here is one more. Look at Revelation 14. This is talking especially
about the last generation. We will just read verse 5. You
can read all five verses at your own leisure. Revelation 14:5
says, “And in their mouth [there] was [not] found no guile.
. . .” Yes, that is one translation.
guile? I find that a lot of people do not know what guile is.
Guile is deceit. It is something that is a lie. “There was
not found in their mouth any [lie] any deceit.” But notice
the rest of the sentence. “For they are without fault.” In
other words, they are blameless. There it is. We read two
texts that say the same thing as you would expect. The Bible
always teaches the same thing. The people who are taken to
heaven are going to be people who are not like the devil.
Let me tell
you something about how deceived people are. This happened
first of all in World War II and it happened again this last
week. In World War II there were pilots of Japanese planes
who dived their planes right into our ships. Of course, they
died when they did that. Well, why would they want to commit
suicide by flying their planes right into our ships? Do you
know why? Because they had been told by their Emperor, whom
they worshipped as a god, that if they died in this war they
would go instantly to heaven.
I have heard
a lot this last week about people going instantly to heaven
and it is not true. Whether you are saved or lost, people did
not go to heaven last week. They did not go to hell last week,
either. That is not our subject. We cannot get into the state
of the dead right now. But when they saw that ship coming up,
the Japanese pilots knew that in a few moments they were going
to smash into it and die, they were not worried because they
thought, In just a moment I am going to be in heaven. Are they
ever going to have a shock when they wake up a little over a
thousand years from now! How do I know that? I am not judging
their character. The Bible judges their character. Look in
Revelation 22 and you will see that I did not make this up.
This is what the Bible says. It says in verse 14: “Blessed
are those that do His commandments, that they may have the right
to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the
city.” That is the Holy City. But look at verse 15. It says,
“Outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral [harlots]
you murder yourself or somebody else, it is still murder. And
those people, are they on the inside or the outside? They are
on the outside. There will not be one inside. The people who
go in according to verse 14 are the people who keep the commandments.
When you go inside that city, you do not have to worry about
locking your door. No thieves in there.
You do not
have to worry about anything. You do not have to worry even
about security. No murderers around. You will never have to
go through a security system again in that city. If you are
on the inside, that will be in the past. The murderers are
not there and the thieves are not there and the liars are not
there. The people who break God’s law are not there. That
is what it says. Did we read it out of God’s Book? They are
the devil has deceived people and that is the reason they are
willing to do the things they are willing to do. They have
been told that if you die in a jihad, that is a Holy
War, if you die in a Holy War, then instantly you go to heaven.
That is a deception. They are going to find out about a thousand
years from now that they are not going there at all, they never
have gone there and they never are going to go there.
teaches you what is going to happen in the future and how to
get ready for it. There is going to be a group of people in
the last days when all these things are happening who say, how
will I ever make it with all these things happening? Well,
Jesus did it. Do you remember when Jesus was in our world and
Philip went to Nathaniel when he said, Come and see Somebody?
I have found the Messiah.
is He from? Well, he is from Nazareth. Nathaniel said, Look,
can any good things come out of there? But Jesus came out of
there. We are living in a world like that again. Oh, they
are sly, impurity, licentiousness, and pornography. The breaking
of every one of God’s Ten Commandments all around the world.
But in the middle of all these awful things, God is developing
those Christians who were in that Communist prison, the harder
the trials got, the more they prayed, and the closer they got
to Jesus the more they were transformed in character. They
were just Christians when they walked in, but they were saints
when they walked out—the ones who walked out. And that type
of thing is happening again.
a great controversy going on in the world. There are two supernatural
powers seeking your allegiance. They are seeking to have control
of your mind. And sometimes we are tempted to judge other people.
We say, Well, I am thankful that I was not here, was not there,
was not in this disaster, was not in that disaster. Jesus’
disciples had that kind of temptation, too.
Do you remember
the story we read in our Scripture lesson this morning? There
were people who came to Jesus, recorded in Luke 13, who said,
What do you think about those people? They were killed by Pilate
right when they were offering their sacrifices. They were killed
right in church. That is not the last time that has happened.
Actually in 36 A. D. Pilate went over to the Samaritans and
killed a bunch of them while they were offering sacrifices.
such a stink that Caesar recalled him and Pilate was not the
governor any more. But Pilate evidently had done this more
than once and evidently it had just happened. And they thought,
Well, those people who suffered those terrible things. . . .
You see, they had the idea that people who suffered misfortune,
must have deserved it. Oh, that person, they are divorced,
they must be a terrible person. That person got this sickness,
they must not be obeying the health reform. This person, look
at what an awful thing happened to them.
And so they
were thinking that they were better off than those people.
However, the disciples, they decided, were wise this time.
Once in a while Christ’s disciples were wise. They were wise
this time. They decided that when these questions arose that
they would not venture to give an answer, they would wait and
see what Jesus said about it.
they ever shocked with His reply! Because Jesus did not say
that those people who suffered those disasters were worse than
other people were. That is a common human feeling. Oh, that
person! They had a divorce. Oh, that person! They got cancer.
That person, they got burned. This person was in a car wreck.
This person . . .. And I have not had any of those things happen
to me. And so they were expecting that Jesus would tell them
what awful sinners they were.
said, No. He said, Do not think that they are worse than other
people. Let me tell you the truth, He said, if you do not repent,
you will perish, too. And Jesus said, Do you remember those
people around the Tower of Siloam and that tower fell down and
eighteen people were killed. Do not think that those eighteen
people were worse sinners than other people. Do not think that
the people who have been victims of disasters are one bit worse
than you or I are! Do not think that.
Unless you repent, you will perish, too. You see, Jesus saw
forward. We can only look backward. We did not know about
this disaster last week, we can just look back. We do not know
what is going to happen next week.
can look forward and Jesus saw Jerusalem encompassed by armies
and many of those people right around there who were with Him,
He saw many of them perish. He knew that would happen. He
said, You are going to perish yourselves unless you repent.
do you realize, friends, that when Jerusalem was destroyed it
was only the Christians who escaped?
Unless you repent, you are going to perish, too. Do not look
at the people who are having troubles and say, Well, they must
have done something awful. They must have deserved something
awful. Because, Jesus said, unless you repent, you are going
to perish, too.
I want to
ask you, friend, What is the state of your mind today? Is your
mind in the state of repentance, or is your mind in the state
of dissention or hatred? What is in your inner thoughts and
feelings today? Have we really repented? Do you know what
will happen when we repent? Here is what will happen.
branches of the true vine, all will be united to Christ, the
Living Head. Christ will abide in every heart, guiding, comforting,
sanctifying, and presenting to the world the unity of the followers
of Jesus, thus bearing testimony that the heavenly credentials
are supplied to the remnant church. In the oneness of Christ’s
church it will be proved that God sent His Only Begotten Son
into the world.” This Day With God, 88.
going to happen when we really repent? God is going to draw
us together in unity. Oh, we may not think the same in everything
but we will have what the Bible calls the unity of the spirit,
Paul says in Ephesians 4:3. You see, when God takes this church
to heaven, from all over the world, from all different nationalities,
all different ages, they are going to come together in one and
they will have instant unity and harmony.
that be? Because they all reflect the character of Christ.
They have repented.
what repentance means, do you not? Well, I will make it as
simple as I know how. The word repentance comes from a Greek
word that means to turn around. The person who has not repented
is going in the way of sin, developing hatred and all the other
characteristics of the devil, but when a person repents, he
turns around. He turns his back on his sinful life. “Sin is
the transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4. When a person repents,
he turns his back on his past sinful life and he starts following
Jesus and going the opposite direction. His character begins
to be changed into the image of Christ instead of the image
of the devil. And that is why repentance is something that
grows in a Christian every day. He becomes more repentant and
more repentant and more repentant. What does that mean? He
is more determined to turn his back on the former life and to
follow Jesus. The repentance grows deeper and stronger.
If you are
really a Christian, your repentance will be much deeper and
stronger now than it was last year at this time. And the stronger
and deeper that repentance grows, the less chance there is that
person will ever turn back into the ways of sin again because
they are rejecting it and they are abhorring it. And let me
tell you, sin is something that should be rejected and abhorred.
If we have not learned that lesson this week, we have not learned
Let me read
one more statement to you. “I feel an earnest interest that
those who have been creating dissention and strife shall be
convicted of their wrong, and shall repent and be converted.
Tell this to the people: ‘Yet a little while is the light with
you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon
you.’ (John 12:35).” The Upward Look, 188.
have you seen the light and are willing to turn toward the light?
Turning toward the light means you are turning your back on
sin. You are turning your face toward righteousness, toward
keeping God’s law, toward obeying the Lord, so that when He
comes, if you have repented, if you have turned toward the Lord,
the Lord has promised to transform you so that at His coming
you will be blameless. God has promised that He will do that
in your life if you are willing to repent. (See 1 Corinthians
cannot do anything for you unless you are willing to turn toward
Him. That is the reason for the problems that we have in the
world today. Not very many people are willing to repent. People
want to be saved without repentance, but there is no salvation
without repentance. If we are not willing to turn our back
on sin, there is no salvation. When we repent, dissention and
strife will cease in the home, it will cease in the church.
The Lord will bring us into unity and harmony. We have to be
willing to repent. Jesus said, Except you repent, you will
Oh, do not
look at somebody else and say, Well, I am surely glad that I
was not there by that Tower. I am sure glad that I was not
there when Pilate killed those people while they were right
in the act of worship. Jesus said, Do not say that. Realize
that unless you repent, you are going to perish just like those
willing to repent? It is serious, is it not? Life is serious,
because one of these days, what we call the future, will not
be the future any more. It will be the present.
I want to
appeal to you, if you want, I am not trying to force anybody,
but I want to give an opportunity to people who are saying in
their hearts, Lord, I want to repent. I am willing to choose
to repent. By the way, repentance is a gift that Jesus will
give you if you want it. The ability to turn from sin and go
a different direction.
Do you want
to pray and ask the Lord to give you the gift of true repentance?
If you do, I will invite you to just kneel with me and ask the
Lord to give us that gift.