VBC Sunday Morning 09-09-18
All right, open up your Bibles to Numbers chapter 16 Numbers chapter 16 and I love that song. We sing that song in China and makes me think about our church in China and a room full of Chinese people singing the same song and worshiping the same God and is an exciting thing and this morning. I just want to use this passage of scripture to try to illustrate a truth that many of us know.
And so kind of using an Old Testament story to illustrate a new testament truth and I want to show how that kind of has played out in China a little bit when we are traveling on deputation. We were telling stories. From vision of how God worked here and how people were saved here and in the different work that God did in your lives and we were telling churches that as we were traveling and now that we've been in China and been serving in China or coming back and now we get to tell the stories of how God's been working in China and it's an exciting thing to be part of God's work.
It's an exciting thing to see God change people's lives and I'm going to tell you I'm going to give you their names and I'm going to tell. Their stories, but before I do that here in just a minute. I want you to see this truth here in Numbers chapter 16 and verse 45 is says get you up from among this congregation that I may consume them as in a moment and they fell upon their faces.
And so Moses and Aaron they're there in the congregation. They had sinned against God. They decided they're going to follow Cora and they were going to go do things that God did not command them to do that. They were going to do their own thing and that they were going to rebel against God and complain against God and because he had sinned against they have sinned against him.
Also in God's Wrath is going to come down upon them and Moses and Aaron knows it's coming and they fall down upon their face because I know the wrath of God is coming. The first thing they do is they're going to fall down and they're going to say we have to come before God. Maybe God will have mercy maybe God will have Grace upon them.
And as soon as I do that look in verse 46 and it says and Moses said on the air in take a censer and put fire therein and front from off the Altar and put on instance to go quickly into the congregation and make an atonement for them for there is wrath gone out from the Lord in the plague is begun.
So because of God's Wrath coming down upon them for their sins all of a sudden there was a plague that was going to come through the congregation and if you can imagine this as I try to visualize this in my head that congregation is there and the people are out there and they're spread out and also in the wrath of God is coming in.
The plague is coming through just as sweep through and as the play comes through what is happening look at verse 47. And Aaron took as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the congregation and behold the plague was begun among the people and he put on incense and made an atonement for the people and he stood between the dead and the living in the plague was staying and so the plague was going through and people were dying.
People were dying and they said there's something we have to do to make the plague stop. We had we don't want the whole congregation to die and then Moses looked at are and he says look you have to run and you have to get this sensor. He says look, this is an urgent task that we have to do. This isn't just something that you can just go and just just idly by doing.
He says no, he says go. He says go quickly into the congregation. He says they need an atonement and as you look at the people around the world. As you as you hear the stories from around the world understand that those people need the exact same thing. The plague of sin is going through country by country and it is Taking Lives unless somebody runs into the Mist in Holdsworth the gospel and lesson know that the atonement has been made they're going to die without Christ and they're going to be eternally separated from him no more.
Hope the hope for these people was that Aaron would run into the mist and that he would hold forth. This sensor in the plague would be stayed right there for us. The atonement It's Already Done. Jesus has done everything that needs to be done. He is died on the cross and he rose again from the dead and look we can be justified by putting our faith in him.
Everything is done. There's only one step left and that is to declare the revelation of Jesus to them. And the declarant to them we know the Bible tells us in the New Testament that there has to be a preacher there has to be somebody sent somebody has to go forth and somebody has to open up their mouth and they have to tell them the gospel when they hear the gospel they can believe and when they believe all of a sudden the plague is stayed right there in their lives the man that is leading our Church's name is Charles.
And Charles he grew up out in the village and when he grew up out in the village, he said, you know one day he said we didn't go to church we didn't do anything. There is no church out there. He says but one day says, I remember very very clearly. He says we're down playing in a creek and he said a missionary came by and he said that's the first time I ever heard of.
He says I don't know where he came from. I don't know where he went but a missionary came through our little village and he said he started telling us about Jesus is the first time ever heard his name and he was a kid and he said that missionary LED my mom to Christ and you understand that the plague it doesn't have favorites.
Is it's going for everyone and the plague is sweeping through and as is going through is Taking Lives and all of a sudden in this little village people are dying because of their sins people are dying because they don't know Christ and they're going to go to eternal hell and all of a sudden somebody came in and they helped thwart that sensor and they said Jesus Jesus saves is if you believe in him you can have eternal life in his mom trusted.
And his mom eventually found a church somewhere and started taking the church and started studying the Bible with him so that he also get hear the gospel. When we moved to Dolly and Aliens a small city of about 6 million people and when you get there, we don't know a lot of people and we have been there.
We have been working there for a couple years at this point. And we go to an English corner and on there at the English corner, and I'm getting ready to leave. We just been talking for about two hours with people and I turned around and I walked down and also in this guy comes up and he's wearing I think a cross necklace and I just said hi.
My name is Mark and he said he said hi. My name is Ryan and he says what are you doing? I said, well, I'm a pastor I so what about you and he says he says really your pastor I said, yeah and he goes, well, I want to be a Christian. And I said wonderful. I mean, when does that ever happen? I mean you just walk in and you're just like how I'm a pastor.
He says I want I want to be a Christian and I said great I said when you got time to study the Bible and he says well you can come to my dorm next week. And so we signed a we went to his dorm and sat down and his idea of being a Christian was something he saw in a movie and so he was thinking of being a priest and all these other weird things that he saw in a movie that nothing to do with the gospel.
And you completely misunderstood but he was willing to study with me. Now. Ryan was a very smart guy. He's studying currently to get his PhD in physics and he was willing to meet and a lot of the things that we said, he would he had all these kind of ideas about what Christianity was and things and so we would talk about it and we would go through the Bible and it was kind of deconstructing what he was thinking about what Christianity was and he kind of learning new things and he would just kind of sit there and think about.
You know and analyze it because he has that kind of brain and then he'd ask and more questions and then every week we just slowly going through and just slowly studying the Bible and God was slowly working in his heart. And finally we got to one of the lessons called how to be saved and we went to a restaurant we were there and we had studied the lesson at the end of the lesson.
There's a review question. The review question says are you say? Ryan looks at me to just starts crying. He says yes. Nice you are well, when did this happen? He said last night. You said you dropped me off and he says we were talking about it. And you said if I need to be saved us to go up in my room and bow down before God and just confess to him and ask him to save me and he said I did that.
He says I know I'm saved. He says I know I'm saved and you got to understand from the village. To a little boy to a mom that's out there playing by the creek and there's not many other people out there in the village. Maybe just a hundred people are so and then you go into a college student who is studying to get a PhD in physics.
It doesn't matter where they're living or what they were doing. The plague of sin was coming for him and the play was coming and what does the Bible say when he ran in and he took the censer and he made atonement he hold it up. The plague was stay. It stopped right there and out there in that Village and right there and that restaurant for those two people the plague was coming for them because they had offended a holy God but the plague was stayed because someone told them about Jesus there's another lady that was coming to our church.
She was dating one of the guys in the church and he was a Christian. She wasn't a Christian. And they were coming and she didn't really like to come to church but she was coming because he was there and she made it kind of known that she really didn't like coming to church and and and she didn't really think what we were saying was right or true and that she would just come on and off and eventually she started coming more and.
Eventually, you know, they wanted to get married and I said, well, you know, it's not a great idea and and and they said well, you know, we've kind of already made this commitment and it's kind of hard to go back on it because in our in the way our culture works and things like that and I say well let's let's do some marriage counseling and they said okay, so we started going to their house every single week and started counseling them.
Obviously my goal in the counseling was give the gospel every single time one to help them. Each point every time you help somebody say you need to do this you need to do this to work on your marriage. It only works. If you have the power of the Holy Spirit there to help you to do this and there's only one way to get the Holy Spirit to help you and that's through a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and they would hear it and she would hear it and she would hear it and we would be there sometimes to let him clock at night 12:00 o'clock at night just going through and she had questions and she came from a little village up north and her parents were.
She had never heard before come to our church the gospel besides her boyfriend giving it to her, but she didn't know any Bible stories. She had no back knowledge. And so every little point to grasp. Every little thing was a Brand New Concept for her and she kept coming and coming and we were there sharing the gospel.
You think you're getting close and nothing and after a period of time we were there. Sunday morning service we were singing and I don't know what happened, but she came after the service and she said I don't know what happened to either but we are singing that song and God moved and all sudden. I realized I was a sinner and I needed to him and I put my faith in him and I trust him now.
I don't understand everything still but I do believe in Jesus. You gotta understand the plague was also coming. She was being deceived by by Buddhism and she thought she had the medicine that could that could stop the plague, but it wouldn't the plague would have just gone on through and like everybody else.
She would have died and gone to Hell unless there was someone there to tell her of Jesus. There's another lady and you've probably heard the story recently. She was coming to our church. And she was also Buddhist and she was married at the time and she came and she brought her daughter to our kids club and she started coming to the kids club and then they really her daughter really enjoy the kids club and hanging out with our daughters.
And so she wanted to keep coming but after coming to the first service and hearing me preach she came to me. She said she said pastor. Is my child loves to come to the church and we want her to learn English and your kids clubs in English and all these things. She said but I'm Buddhist and I really don't care for what you're saying and I think it kind of goes against what I believe and so I don't want to participate in their services and I was thinking well, okay, that's fine.
As long as your your daughter keeps coming then, you know, we can at least give her the gospel and somebody's reaching the gospel and she said well, can I just kind of sit outside or sit back in the. I said, okay. I said I said if that's what you want to do I said you can do that. And so she was going back and she started sitting back in the nursery and sitting back and yeah the nursery and we are thinking if she's going to sit back there we might as well get a video camera and get a TV and try to Route the service right into the nursery at least, you know, you should be able to hear it or see it and be hearing the gospel.
And so we got all that set up and so on. Time she comes in you know, everybody's used to go into the nursery. And also now we have the TV there in the sermons coming through and she was okay with that because she didn't he wasn't violating her conscience, I guess and so she kept coming and she would just sit in there and she was hearing the gospel.
She was hearing the word of God being preached week after week and God started working in her heart. And then she started coming to our services and we would have special services and we had have big meals and banquets and things and she would start making food for that and coming along and obviously God was growing her.
God was working in her life for her to receive the Gospel and all of a sudden as she was coming. It was on Chinese New Year. We went to her house. And I said I asked her I said you've been coming to our church for a long time now and it seems that you're getting excited about the things that we're excited about.
When you first came you weren't that excited about them, but there's a change happening in your life. There's there's something going on in your life. And she said yes, she said I don't know what it is. He said there is something and I got a couple more questions and she started listing out these questions and then about a week later.
She called me and she said Mark I've trusted Christ as my savior, but the story gets better because as she trusted Christ as her savior just before that. She went through a pretty bad divorce. It was bad and she was just all over the place when she was going through that and she came to me in about a week after I got the phone call.
She said something really strange has happened to me. She said I hated my ex-husband the things that he did to me. She says I couldn't stand him. I had all this hate in my heart. She's. But I believed in Jesus and she said you know what happened all that hate it went away. She said I don't know where it went, but it's not there anymore.
She said in my heart. She says I'm full of a pity for him. She says I think he needs what I just got and so let's pray for him that he'll believe in Jesus. And so we started praying for him. And we said well, maybe we can go and meet him and share the gospel with them. She's like, well, I don't think he'll meet with you and all these different things and so we were just praying for him.
Probably about two three months ago before we came before he came back. We'll see the two months ago got another phone call. There you at the church. I said, yes. I'm at the church. And I said I'm here with the one the Chinese pastors and she said she said go. She said I think my ex-husband's ready to get saved, but I'm not sure can I bring him by and you guys make sure she said I've been witnessing to him.
And gotta change her heart so much that she could forgive her ex-husband and say the thing that he needs the reason he was doing all those evil things. The reason that he was living like that is because he didn't know Jesus and if he did know Jesus his life could be radically changed. She says I got to get the gospel to him.
She understood that the plague that was going to take her life was on the way to take his life and also in the show, she brought him to the church and the Chinese Pastor sat down with him. And went through the gospel and he accepted Christ as his savior, but the story gets better because not only did she get saved and that he got saved but a couple of weeks later Scylla our second daughter.
She came to me after the service and she said that she says I just preached a sermon on forgiveness and she came with me and she said that she. I think I'm ready to believe in Jesus and as yes, I mean, I literally stopped what I was doing and I was just like I couldn't hear anything else. But what she was saying, I was like, all right.
Let's go to the other room with sit down with talk about this and that prompted her friend, which was this lady's daughter to say I think I'm ready to believe in Jesus and so they went through it and I said I asked her mom about it, and she said I went home and I talked to her and she says yes, she says I believe in Jesus as well.
And she says I want to follow Jesus I ask him to forgive me of my sins and then she got saved and so right before we came back the ex-husband and his daughter. We baptize them together there in the church. And if you can think about this in the in and take this story and take this illustration and you can put them together and realize that they were standing in the sinful congregation and the plague was on its way and it was moving through and it was going to take their life and all of a sudden somebody ran into the Mist right there with between the plague.
Between the dead and the living and health or the sensor health or the gospel. Somebody bear the gospel right there in the middle and all of a sudden when it came to that household. The plague was stopped right there and their lives were saved, but there's more God is doing amazing work in. When Cannon came over we needed a language school teacher for one of the men that straining in the church's name is LeBron the so we have Charles and LeBron and our church and he need a language school teacher and LeBron's dad came for Chinese New Year to basically live with them for a month for the holiday.
And so he was there in he's an older gentleman and. You know I said well, would your dad be interested in teaching Kennison some Chinese and he said yes, he says hard to find people that are on Chinese New Year because everybody's traveling and he said well he's here for a month. He has nothing to do I said, all right, let's ask him and he was he was glad to be able to sit down and teach Cannon some Chinese and so we hired him but you gotta understand LeBrons dad.
He did not like that LeBron became a. LeBron was a Christian before he came to our church, but nobody'd ever discipled him. He had gotten reached by another American that was there and he went to an English Bible study. He said I didn't really understand what he was saying, but somebody translated for me so I understood he said I understood that I wasn't a good person.
I understood that I needed Jesus. And so I confess my sins and I believed in Jesus. He said when I did I told my dad and my dad basically said you have to make a decision. You're going to follow our culture. Our Traditions are going to follow our family. Our you're going to follow your God. You're going to follow which one and he had to make a decision what he was going to do and he said that he said, I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to follow the heavenly father.
I'm going to follow him because he this is true. And so he come and he's there and he's teaching he's teaching Chinese the cannon and as he's teaching we have a Bible curriculum if they're going through and so his dad is slowly learning about the gospel by teaching Chinese the cannon, he does us for about four weeks and at the end of the four weeks he was getting ready to go back and I told her I said I'm going to sit down I'm going to try to witness your dad before he goes back and he says, yeah, I don't think he's gonna get saved, you know, he wasn't really that interested and so we sat down and I shared the gospel with him.
And we're going through and I said I said you understand this. He says yeah, I understand it. I said I said you you understand that. This is the only way he says yeah, this is the only way there's no other way. I understand. I said, you know that you need repenting your sins put your faith in Jesus.
He says yeah, I've been I've been here for the past four weeks. He's like this is what I need to do. I said you want to do that right now and he says yes, I want to do that right now and LeBron just starts crying. I think all of us in the room were just were just started bawling and he put his faith and trust in Jesus.
And then God just started working. He started moving through and that for the next six weeks. It seems like we are seeing people saved every single week every single service people are coming forward and people were being saved. Why because somebody ran into the mist and held Jesus high and people were saved now, we don't have time to look at it.
But here in the verse he says that he was standing between the living and the dead. Over 17,000 had already died Aaron. He got their little late. He got there little late 17,000 people had already died. Are we going to get there a little late? Are we going to run into the mess as fast as we can hold Jesus high and as we stand between the living the dead understand we can't do anything for the day.
Millions in China have already died without knowing Christ and that is a hard concept to think about but I know one thing that's true. There's millions that are still living and we're going to run into the Miss for those that are still living that they might have a chance. Will you run with me?