Mark: You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You're the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!
Mina's Mother: Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn't want them turning to God. Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn't seem to be any need to leave. The door's wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it's too late.
Simply put – God works through people who are faithful to Him. The guy said, “You prayed and believed your whole life. Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know.”
Her testimony spoke volumes to who she was in Christ. She made a huge impression on a lot of people around her. Even this guy, her son. But, he never got it – for the years she was healthy – he never got it.
She was constantly waiting on the lord:
Isaiah 40:31 - But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Zephaniah 3:8 – “Therefore wait for Me,” says the Lord…
Psalm 27:14 - Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Lamentations 3:25 - The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him.
Micah 7:7 - Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.
Hosea: 12:6 - So you, by the help of your God, return; Observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually.
She waited on the Lord, her whole life. And even in a time when you and I would consider her lost or a burden, even then – God used her to witness to her son. And you know what – that is exactly what needed to happen.
Matthew 25:14-30 - “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
That lady, she used her talents to please God – for His Kingdom.
But what about how he compared her life to his? “You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect.”
His entire life was based on, how things looked on the outside and he had no regard for others. He was planted deep into that cell that his mom was talking about. Up to that point, he had nothing to do with God and saw himself as being just fine.
Proverbs 20:6 - Most men will proclaim each his own goodness,
Up to this point he has claimed to be all that. This is the first time we see, where he is calling himself out.
Romans 2:13 - (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
You can assume that he had heard the law all a long, he just never did anything about it.
What a terrible place to be, right? A person that heard God’s law, but doesn’t do anything about it.
A person that is not saved.
Name some things that either he specifically or others who are not saved, do:
Man, sinners have no regard for God, do they??? Just look at the world today!!!
What do you think it would take for them to get saved? A huge amount of convincing or maybe a miracle?
Do you know anyone like that, where you think you could witness to them and perhaps help them change their perspective?
Are you concerned about someone in that position right now? Think about someone that you know well.. Do you feel badly for them? Worry about them?
Rhetorical: Assuming at some point you have told them or alluded to telling them you’re a Christian, would they be able to look at your life and see any reason why they would want to be a Christian also?
Matthew 13 - On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should[a] heal them.’
16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
So, let’s look at Mark – the son now. Do you think a seed was sown? You better believe it was.
What about people who have told us they believed in God?
James 2:19 - You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!
Hosea 11:7 – My people are bent on backsliding from Me. Though they call to the Most High, None at all exalt Him.
Jeremiah 3:14 - “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
But God doesn’t want for us to backslide…
Hosea 14:4 - “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from him.
2 Chronicles 7:14 - if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Matthew 7:21-23 -“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
The truth is, that we have all backslid. The truth is, none of us are worthy. The truth is, there is nothing that any of us can do, to earn salvation. It’s all about His grace and our faith.
Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
I asked earlier how can someone be saved. Some people quote:
Romans 10:9 - that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 14:6 - Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
But have you ever heard someone say:
Matthew 7:16 - You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Remember the thorns spoken about earlier? How is someone going to produce good fruit, while in the middle of thorns?
John 15:2 - Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Cutting out things in your life that are not producing good fruit. The things in our life, even if we think we’ll skate by, because God wouldn’t take “that” away from me – You might want to spend some more time in scripture.
Matthew 7:19-20 - Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
Hebrews 12:6 - For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
That sounds a little more permanent, doesn’t it? That tree is us.
Matthew 7:21 (read this one earlier) - “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Remember the cage the lady was speaking about earlier?
There was scripture I read earlier in:
Proverbs 20:6 - Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, The Scripture ends with -
But who can find a faithful man?
Either we are faithful or proclaiming our own goodness. There really isn’t a middle. Ok – well, actually there is. It’s addressed in Revelation.
Revelation 3:16 - So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
Lukewarm being a person who believes they are a “good Christian”, but are self-deceived.
Have you heard that passage before?? First time I read that – I was convicted… I was living a life that was not that of a Christian.
Matthew 15:8 - ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.
So – to finish off tonight – pretty much the bottom line:
Micah: 7:8-9 - Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The Lord will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, Because I have sinned against Him, Until He pleads my case And executes justice for me. He will bring me forth to the light; I will see His righteousness.
Imagine having that kind of confidence, to stand up –obeying God – knowing that you can stand toe to toe with any enemy and have God on your side. Imagine all of the talents you have been given – doubling up – because you are faithful to Him.
Imagine standing in the full armor of God, prepared for anything that came up against you.
Zephaniah 2:1-3 – Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, O undesirable nation, before the decree is issued, or the day passed like chaff, before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you! Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger.
Romans 3:7-8 - For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
Psalm 91:1-6 - He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, Nor of the arrow that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
Psalm 15:1-4 - Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
Isaiah 55:11 - So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Jeremiah 31:16-17 - Thus says the Lord: “Refrain your voice from weeping, And your eyes from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, And they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord, That your children shall come back to their own border.