VBC Sunday Evening 09-09-18
I would like to say it has been a true honor and privilege to get to be here with you all over the past six months. You know when we were just leaving for the field last year.
We all gave us our send-off. We didn't know at that time that we were going to be back so soon. And at Trent told us because we just kept hanging around and we said we'd be back in six months that we just wanted to milk our good-byes. And so we came back and just want to do it all that we enjoyed it so much six months ago or now a year ago.
I wanted to come back and do it all over again. But no, it's been a an amazing six months. There's been some some rough times over these past few months and but you know, I came here to the church last month was five years ago. And it was five years ago that I just graduated from college and I moved here to the training center in August of 2013.
And I looked back over these last five years and I think one where did they go and to just all that? The Lord has done in our lives over these past five years. If you would have told me five years ago that we would be here. I would have probably had a panic attack or something just so just just thinking about all that all that's happened.
All that's went on in these past five years, but the Lord's been so good to us. The Lord has taken care of us. And you know in the midst of we left and went to India and September this past year and got there and. You know a lot of times in life. We Face a lot of challenging things. We Face things in our life that cause us to examine what we're doing and say am I doing something that matters am I doing something that's worth something and what I'm doing is what I'm doing in vain and we arrived in India last year and I'll share it partly and try to leave out a few details.
I'll share one with you after the service if you'd like to but when we got to India, I thought that after being there for my six months and getting there that I thought, you know, I know I'm. To experience culture shock. I just I didn't know it would happen before I even got out of the airport. And so we get there we leave and we take 17 big 50-pound duffel bags with us to carry ons and we get there and we go through customs and everything everything's fine.
And you know, we kind of worried. Sometimes we traveling through about our Visa situations and things like that, but we got there and we get our bags and we're loaded up we had five carts and we got asked these two guys in the airport to help us push them out and as we were going through and. Ready to leave the airport.
These Customs agent stopped us and my heart sank and I'm thinking lord. They're going to take all of this stuff. They're going to you know, they're going to ask us what are you doing here? You know all start asking all these questions. What am I going to say? And so we go over and they said we want to what's in all these bags.
What are you doing? And we start answering some questions. I said we want to run and scan these bags again. And so they put these bags up a scan five or six bags on the seventh bag. They they stop it and they say well open this bag. I want to see what's in this bag. So they open it up and this lady that she's going to work in the metal detector.
She pulls out this big steel pot to cook noodles in. Now why would a American be bringing the still pot to cook noodles in that was that had a big bottle of Pepto-Bismol in there? It had all these different kind of things that we were taking with us. And so she starts pulling these things out. Well then why are you bringing all this stuff in?
What are you. And so we start answering these questions. I'm sweating. I'm about to die. We've been traveling for 24 hours at that point. And so she calls this man over and this man starts asking the same questions. What are you doing here? Why are you bringing all this stuff? How much did this stuff costs and I'm looking and I'm thinking I don't know.
He said all right. Well, here's what we're going to do is you're going to have to show me a receipt and I want all this cost. You said you'll have to show me a receipt or I'm going to charge you 36 percent tax on all of this stuff. And I'm going to charge you a 36% fine for coming through the wrong line and I got to calculate that in my head 17 bags packed full of stuff and 72 percent tax on that.
I thought he's going to wipe me out and I took some cash in with me and this little pocket and I had this little pocket inside of my pants and I knew how much cash that I had and so he kept asking I can't give him a number and he was so far into this thing that I didn't even realize what was happening.
But he drew me into this thing and finally at the end of it. He said, you know what he leaned in he said, you know what you seem like a very nice guy and at that point I said man, he caught me. He got me he drew me in I did not know what was happening. And so this guy said, all right. Well, here's what I want you to I want you to go over.
I want you to put all your I want you to empty out your pockets. I want you to walk through this metal detector. And then I want you to come back through. I want you to grab your wallet and follow me in here, and I'm. Oh, no, you know what is what is happening here? And so he said follow me in here.
And so we go back into this he following this little security office and then he says are finally back here and we walked back here into utility off. So here I am after traveling for 24 hours just told my family. Goodbye that they my parents wrote me this letter that they wanted me to read on the plane.
That wasn't, you know, you probably should have read that they number one on the plane all these different types of things and here I am in the in the Delhi airport in the utility closet with this Customs agent and he's about to ask me for money. And so he he calculates this feeling said if you don't need a receipt, I won't charge you the fine.
I said well, I don't need a receipt I don't guess and so he asked me and so I have this that that Belton that with the money inside of my pocket and so I had to get the money out. And so what I started to do is that he said all right now, you know give me the money and so I said well, okay and so I started undoing my pants and unzipping my zipper.
He said no, no just money just many just money.
That's what the money's in my pants. And so I'm pulling out and give it to him. You know, we got out fight. Thankfully we got out the airport with all of our bags and so we go out and I tell Jim I said get in the car. We got to get out of here getting the car. We're leaving so we get in the car and we start as we get out the next day I'm panic.
I slept one night one hour of that night just stinking just felt so awful for doing that and we go and we start looking for a house and we get told time and time again after we found this. These places and we would go and they would come back to us about a week later after we've been waiting to see it and sign a lease and they would say no we're not going to rent to you because you're a foreigner.
We go to the bank. You can't we just go to try to get a bank account in different things like that. The bank tellers would tell us no, we're not going to give you a bank account all these different things we get getting told no and no and no we hit a snag with our visas and we thought all these different things, you know, we were told by the FR office of they were going to come to church and they knew about us and they knew where we lived and all these different types of things and they were going to come and investigate and see what we were doing and we thought that we were going to.
Kicked out and all these different things, you know things happen in our life and we look back and in the middle of all these things we look and we examine and say Lord. What am I doing? You know, should I just throw in the towel is what I'm doing. Is it in vain another to be honest with you there were times and all those different things and those sounds silly and those sound kind of petty things but in the middle of all that you start thinking about all these different things Lord, should I continue on and go forward?
And the lord gave me a verse in all that and going through all the things that the we experience with our visas and it was Psalms 61 to from the end of the Earth like Rhonda tea when my heart is overwhelmed lead me to the rock that is higher than I and the lord gave us that verse and we had all those snacks with Olivia's Visa.
It was just the Lord's a uses the Holy Spirit just reminding us of scripture of just leading us to the Rock leading us to the Rock leading us to the Rock every time. You know, we don't know what's going to happen Wednesday when we go to the airport. We don't know what's going to happen in the days of headed days ahead in India, but I know one thing when we feel overwhelmed we feel like the world is falling in on us when we're in utility closets in the Delhi airport.
We're being told no, you're not going to be able to rent a house because of your for no one told no, no. No, we feel as though our work is in vain lead me to the rock that is higher than I. So I'd like to talk with you tonight on the thought of continuing in the work of the ministry. Look with me in First Corinthians chapter number 15 First Corinthians chapter number 15, when we think about a church that had problems it was this church in Corinth.
They have their own set of problems. They were fighting over who they would follow beliefs about church discipline suing one another marriage Christian Liberty. The Lord's Supper all these different issues separation in reality in the church, but you know, if Paul and inspirational Holy Spirit gets to chapter 15 and he begins to start talking about the power of the Gospel the First Corinthians chapter 15 verse number one that said moreover Brethren.
I declare unto you the gospel, which I preached unto you which also ye have received and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved if you keep in memory what I preached unto you unless ye have believed in vain for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures, you know, the gospel in which we believe is the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has been a firm to us through the scriptures Paul goes on in verse number 12 to say now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead house how say.
Among you that there is no resurrection of the dead. But if there be no resurrection of the dead then Christ is not risen and if Christ be not risen then our preaching is vain and your faith. Is also been can I tell you something this evening? If you believe in the gospel your faith is not in vain as we boldly proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Our preaching is not in vain because Christ and his resurrection. Our faith is not in vain in a world filled with problems like the church faced in Corinth. Hope it time seems lost. However, because of the gospel of Christ his death his burial and Resurrection. Hope is not lost. You know we see here as we flip over to verse number 51 will be reading verse 51 through the end of 58 by like for you to notice tonight.
We have hope. In his return first, 51 says behold. I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last Trump for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised Incorruptible and we shall be changed for this corruptible must put on incorruption and this Mortal must put on immortality as I was listening to a preacher who I was it heard a preacher say this one time preaching this passage.
He said that for the nursery Ministry of our church versus. One should be the same verse for nursery Ministry behold. I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed and some of you may get that on the way home. So maybe I'll have kids you may get that on the way home. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.
You know, what a moment in a twinkling of an eye. Jesus will return in the next event on God's prophetic calendar is the rapture of the church and not know about y'all, but I'm looking forward to that day. I'm looking forward to the Lord returns and takes us out of here. And first first Thessalonians chapter 4 verse 13, but I would not have you to be ignorant brethren.
Concerning them which are asleep that you sorrow not even as others which have no hope for if we believe that Jesus died and rose again even so them which also sleep in Jesus. Will God bring with him for this. We say unto you by the word of the Lord that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the Archangel with the Trump of God and the dead shall rise first, then we then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with him in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord where for one another Comfort one another with these words one day soon the Lord's coming back and what a comfort one another with these words.
Now this life is not the end for us death isn't the end for the believer death is just the beginning and we should be looking and waiting every day for his return. We have hope in his return knowing that one day he will come again and when he comes he'll come quickly and 52. It says in the moment in a twinkling of an eye at the last Trump for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised Incorruptible and we shall be changed.
You know, how long a twinkling of an eye out? Well give you a good illustration in Delhi India. There's a lot of traffic and to give you an idea of the twinkle of an eye. It's the amount of time between a red light turning green and a horn honking by right behind you and that's the twinkling of an eye as soon as that thing's turning green.
You better hit the gas and get going because the horns are going to be wearing and so but in a twinkling of an eye the Lord's going to come back quick and he says, Revelation chapter number 22. He said he which testifieth these things saith surely I come quickly. He's coming back. He's coming back quickly and will be changed.
I want to be something to one day no longer have to deal with sickness or sorrow or ailments you 753 for this corruptible must put on incorruption this Mortal must put on. Immortality the corruptible for Incorruptible mortal for immortality no more flesh. No more sin. We shall be like him will be like him first John 3:2 says beloved.
Now. Are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is. You know what we have hope tonight. And the fact that Jesus Christ, the Risen Son of God is coming back for us. We have hope tonight in the return of Jesus Christ, but not only in his return we have hope in his resurrection look with me in verse 54.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption and this Mortal shall have put on immortality then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written death is swallowed up in Victory. Oh death. Where is thy sting o grave? Where is thy Victory The Sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ got to be something.
There's there's passage in the Bible when you're reading the audio Bible and you're listening to a dramatized. Version of it like places like Romans 8 know when you're listening to Romans 8 in the car. It'll get you so excited. You'll be looking down the speedometer and you're going about 20 over.
This is one of those passages of scripture because Paul is he's building up here. He said oh, Where is thy sting o grave? Where is thy Victory death is one day going to be swallowed up in death as we know as a result of sin in Romans chapter number 5 verse verse number 12 through 15. It says wherefore as by one man, sin entered into the world and death by sin.
So death passed upon all men for all its send for until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed where there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression who is the figure of him that was to come but not as the offence.
So also is the free gift anybody here thankful for the free gift tonight for a through the offence of one many be dead much more the grace of God and the gift by Grace which is by one man, Jesus Christ hath abounded unto many the law brought forth death. But Jesus Christ brings forth life Adam sinned in the garden death passed upon all men and death has a price that must be paid for the wages of sin is death.
But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ and death has a sting to it. Don't it? We've probably all experienced the death of a family member has a sting to it. It hurts her sorrow that comes with death, but can taste something one day death. Is going to die. It's going to be done away with this going to be swallowed up.
Then. I cannot wait for that funeral of that death. It is passed over Mankind and one day it's going to be done away with death is not the end for us, but in light of Eternity, it's just the beginning but verse 57 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It says but thanks be to God which giveth us the victory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ death has lost its sting the grave thought it would win this battle, but we know the end of the story and can I tell you something what it had been like what would it be like to walk to that empty tomb on that third day to find that Jesus was not there conquering death hell and the Grave by himself defeating death victory in our lives is not something that we will have but something that we have already.
Through Christ's Resurrection. We have hope knowing that death has been defeated. We have hope knowing that one day he's coming back for us. We have hope knowing that in his resurrection that death is not the end. But in reality, it's just the beginning we have also hoping his request and look with me here at verse number 58 First Corinthians chapter 15 verse 58.
It says therefore. My beloved Brethren be steadfast unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord Nepal's building up to this point and he we see here we have hope in his in his return with hoping his resurrection. We see here the Hope in the request.
Because of Christ to Media imminent return his sacrificial death on the cross his literal burial his bodily Resurrection the fact that death has no more power or dominion over you death has lost its sting and all and one day God is going to make all this right. We have the victory through Jesus Christ.
It is already ours in Christ and because of all these things Paul says brothers be you steadfast. Unmovable always abounding in the work of the Lord. This is be steadfast because he's coming again James 5:8 says be ye also patient stablish your hearts for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. They said fast because our adversary is looking to destroy us 1st Peter 5 verses 8 through 10 be sober be vigilant because your adversary the devil as a roaring lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour.
Whom resist steadfast in the faith knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world, but the God of all Grace who have called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus after that. We have suffered a while make you perfect stablish strengthen and settle you Paul says Brothers at Corinth.
Brothers Vision Baptist Church be steadfast be rooted be firm unwavering, but not only steadfast be unmovable fixed rooted. Don't be tossed to and fro don't be double-minded man, but not also not only steadfast and immovable, but he said always abounding in the work of the Lord continuing and being faithful in the service of the Lord.
Hebrews chapter number 12 verses 1 and 2 it says wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses. Let us lay aside the weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run the race with patience the race, let us run with patience the race that is set before us looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross despising the shame.
And sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God brothers be steadfast be unmovable. Always abounding in the work of the Lord. But here's where the Hope comes in. Why continue why keep going well while in difficult Tom's car while when troubles come while wind doubts and fears and temptations come why continue when we look around sometimes sometimes you may think and you look at your faith promise and you think of well, I'm just giving this in vain.
It's not really doing anything sometimes in the ministry. We can't see immediate results and sometimes we think Lord is this all in vain. We look at things in our life and we say am I making a difference and what I'm doing does it really matter. Is it worth anything and we begin to examine this but why continue why keep going while we remain steadfast unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord?
Why do we do this? Because our labor is not in vain though there be many battles many problems that we must fight. Can I tell you something it is worth it. You know, sometimes I think about when we get back to India and what if we go and we do a Visa Run, what if we get kicked out we look back and say man.
This time was wasted it wouldn't waste it because although we may not see the results immediately. Nothing we do for the Lord is away singing I'd say something I've been so encouraged by this missions conference this week. Now I'm reading foxes book of Martyrs. There's really some challenging stuff and foxes book of Martyrs Village.
I know you were just reading it recently, but you looking one of the missionary stories that really challenged me to consider given my life for the Lord Jesus Christ in the area of missions was a story of Jim Elliot. No, I grew up in a church. I never once heard about missions. I didn't meet my first missionary until I was 21 years old.
I got saved when I was eight years old didn't meet a missionary till I was 21. American missionaries, mr. Church supports West Gaza way and as very first mission ever met. I just I didn't understand I didn't really know. I'd never heard missions preached before and brother Justin guys away who's been here before at the church.
He's preached here at the church before and he told me the story of Jim Elliot. You don't the story of how these men and Jim Elliot these four other men, they went down to reach this tribe and Ecuador and. How they gave their lives trying to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you know, when they died many people around the world said what wastes of a few young men's Lives?
Why would some young men do something so reckless and something so vain with their life, if you know the story at all, you you quickly know that their lives were not in vain. Because nothing we do for the Lord Jesus Christ is in vain. There's a young man in India's name is raghav and story isn't necessarily about recovers at much as much as it is about the man that led him to the Lord.
No regard of was is not is a 19-year old man. He's been at the church now for about a year or for about nine or ten months and so we're gov was online and he was his brother had just converted to Islam. His family was Hindu and he began to start. Questioning some things in his life. He began to start wondering, you know, my brother can't be right.
My parents can't be right. Somebody something's got to be the the only truth so he began to look online and he became a he came across this pastor in Canada. And this pastor in Canada. He was come to find out his church was getting ready to close its doors, but he kept turning that camera on in the back kept recording his services.
Kept recording the preaching kept giving the gospel and as regards was looking online. He was looking for something he came across this man and he began to start engaging him in conversation over the internet as he was watching his preaching this man began to answer regards questions and continue to follow up with him after a few months of doing that.
He finally asked for gov he said Do You Believe In Jesus or not? We're going to said yes, I'll put my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and we go has been to church now. He came that following Sunday after he was connected with Jim and he hasn't missed a service since he just just a few months ago came to Jim and said I want to serve the Lord in full-time Ministry.
I want to be a pastor this man who 19 years old never hear about Jesus, but there was a man on the other side of the world. The kept preaching the kept turning that camera on they kept giving the gospel that didn't quit that didn't throw in the towel that kept going when it seemed as though everything was falling apart when it seemed that everything looked Bleak.
Is anybody listening? No one's coming anymore. He kept preaching you gotta tell you something that man's preaching was not in vain. Your faith promise commitment is not in vain sharing the gospel with others is not in vain your ministry in the church is not in vain we have we have not believed in vain.
Our preaching is not in vain no matter what problems we may be facing don't be discouraged Brothers. We have hope we have hope in his return because Christ is coming again. We have hope in his resurrection because he has defeated death and we have hope in his requests because when doubts. Come be steadfast be unmovable.
Continue always abounding in the work of the Lord when Temptation comes be unmovable. When you feel you are making a difference. Remember this your labor is not in vain trying times will come but Brothers. Maybe we encourage one another today could to continue in the work of the Lord steadfast immovable always abounding until we see him don't retreat.
Even when you can't see what is happening around, you know that your labor is not in vain keep marching forward because in the end of the day, it'll all be worth it. So, let's continue going young men. Let's continue going Vision. Let's continue giving. Let's be as men of Vision Baptist Church. May we continue to be steadfast and unmovable and always abounding in the work of the lord?
We don't know what lies ahead for Vision Baptist Church, but this is my prayer in this was the prayer of the Apostle Paul that as we go forward in our service to the Lord that we would labor knowingness that our labor is not in vain. So let's continue working. Let's continue giving let's continue going one day when he comes back.
It'll all be worth it. You know, I used used to say this on deputation when we get to heaven. We're not going to look around and see all the wonders of heaven and say Lord. I wish I wouldn't have served you like I did when we get there. It's all going to be worth it every. Every track we give out every dollar that we give to missions every dollar that you give to the church every time you pray for pastor Gardner every time you support one of the missionaries every time you give and you go and you do things in the work of the Lord nothing to do for the Lord as a waste, so I don't know where you're at today.
Have you feel like there's no hope but we have hope if hoping his return if hoping his resurrection. And we have a hope in his request knowing that our work is not in vain. So let's continue in the work of the Lord. May we as men of God continue being steadfast unmovable and always abounding until we see.