A Sermon

A couple of Sabbaths ago I had the privilege of going before a church in our area and gave the sermon. What I  thought would be helpful is to show the notes from the presentation. As we come to the last days of our church probation, I centered on reformation among us.

Here is that sermon —

Big hello! Happy Sabbath! Are you ready to hear some “meat in due season?” How many like to be feed with Spiritual food on the Sabbath? Amen.

(Talk to the people how impressed I have been with this church. The sermons given, straight testimony, etc. How  pastor Santiago and others here have impressed me with their leadership, thank you.) God has impressed upon me that this church is special, we have the potential to lead out in our valley with serious Adventist reforms!

(Ackowledge friends)

Ellen White, our prophetess from God said the following–

“The church has turned back from following Christ her Leader and is steadily retreating toward Egypt. Yet few are alarmed or astonished at their want of spiritual power.” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p.217)   (Slide One)

Retreating towards Egypt

Those words were penned in 1882. She had noticed that we as God’s remnant church were becoming more lax and accepting the world’s standards in many areas of our Christian walk. SDA people were becoming more and more disconnected from Christ’s teachings and her own people were showing a real tendency to “retreat towards” Egypt.

Retreating toward Egypt means that we as His people are doing as the world does. eating, drinking, dressing, even carelessly worshiping in His house. But let’s now look at some ways that we can show the Lord we are serious–Serious about obedience to His word.

Page 218 of the Testimonies, vol.5 reads, “Impurity is today widespread, even among the professed followers of Christ. Passion is unrestrained; the animal propensities are gaining strength by indulgence, while the moral powers are constantly becoming weaker. many are eagerly participating in worldly, demoralizing amusements which God’s word forbids…

And what has caused this alarming condition? Many have accepted the theory of the truth who have had no true conversion.” *( explain this– talk the talk we must walk the walk)

So we see that soon after our Lord started His remnant church in 1844-45, the evil one Satan had already began to influence our people.

As a people we should always be ready to improve. We are warned in Rev. 3:14, “And to the angel of the church of Laodeceans write, “These things say the Amen, the Faithful and the True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot, I could wish you were cold or hot.”

What we see here is that God wants us to be ‘hot” or “cold”. In other words if we are so-so, kind of lukewarm, kind of obeying Him partly, kind of worshiping Him partly, kind of living a partly converted Christian life, we will not make it. Verse 16 He warns, “So then, because you are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”

Ok, let’s look at how we can become “hot” in specific areas of reform that will surely please God and show Him we are serious, we want to obey Him and honor Him in all our ways.

1) Health Reform   (Slide Two)  

Before I start on Health reform, let me give you some of my own testimony.

(Give my own testimonies, cheeseburgers, alcohol, coffee, chewing tobacco–give personal evidence of overcoming by quoting Scripture when tempted)

Cheese burger

Chewing tobbaco was so powerful an addiction that even after I came into the church several years ago, I chewed a few times in church! But as I continued to draw to the Lord, He convicted me of this bad habit. (Give story of Jesus in desert. Fought devil with Bible quotes. So I used one that was found in Psalms 23:1 ‘The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want.”   —continue story–

Ellen White says–

” Let us never bear a testimony against health reform by failing to use wholesome, palatable food in place of the harmful articles of diet that we have discarded. Do not in any way encourage an appetite for stimulants. Eat only plain, simple, wholesome food, and thank God constantly for the principles of health reform. In all things be true and upright, and you will gain precious victories.” (Testimonies, vol. 9, p.164)

So what specific items of food and drinks does Inspiration tell us to avoid? In 1908 our prophetess gave this specific pledge on our Diet reform–

The Pledge

 “I SOLEMNLY PROMISE, BEFORE GOD, TO ABSTAIN FROM TOBACCO, SPIRITOUS LIQUORS, SNUFF, TEA, COFFEE, FLESH-MEATS, BUTTER, SPICES, RICH CAKE, MINCE PIES, A LARGE AMOUNT OF SALT, AND ANIMAL FAT OF ALL KINDS, BAKING POWDER, SODA OR SALERATUS IN ANY FORM, AND CHEESE, AND FROM ALL EXCITING ARTICLES OF FOOD, AND TO ABSTAIN FROM EATING BETWEEN MEALS, AND TO DO ALL I CAN TO INDUCE OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE.”

This pledge was given to the then Conference leader, Elder A.G Daniells, on March 29, 1908. But it was withheld and not circulated because it would “split the church”.Later on, when Elder Daniells wanted to see Sister White, she refused to see him, saying: “I have nothing more for him.”

So we see that God’s servant was deadly serious about this reform, let us seriously consider these important instructions from God and obey these health giving principles.

So when we eat and drink, we are supplying either quality material to God’s temple or harmful health destroying material to God’s temple, it is up to each of us to decide.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;” (1 Cor. 6:19)

2) Dress Reform (Slide Three)

Well dressed guys  Good dressing gals

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.” (1 Tim. 2:9-10)

Imagine this situation– You get a call from the president of the USA–Barrack Obama.

(Slide Four)

oval-office-2010-new-overview

He wants to invite you to his office for a meeting in the White House. How would you dress to that occasion? Would you put on shabby clothes? Ofcourse not. You’d go there in a respectful and modest looking outfit.

But who are we coming before today? Right here in this sanctuary? Is He not so much more important that president Obama? He is looking at us right now, each of us. Are we comfortable standing before Him?

(Slide Five)

Throne

Let’s look at what God’s word says about dress reform through our prophetess-

“God knows His humble, willing, obedient children and will reward them according to their faithful performance of His will. To many the dress reform is too simple and humbling to be adopted. (Stop here and explain it’s God we want to impress, not man) They cannot lift the cross. God works by simple means to separate and distinguish His children from the world; but some have so departed from the simplicity of the work and ways of God that they are above the work, not in it.”(Testimonies, vol.1, p.523)

Apostle Paul wrote —“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.”(Galatians 1:10)

Mrs. White said –I was referred to Numbers 15:38-41: “Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: and it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: that ye may remember, and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: I am the Lord your God.”

Here God expressly commanded a very simple arrangement of dress for the children of Israel for the purpose of distinguishing them from the idolatrous nations around them. As they looked upon their peculiarity of dress, they were to remember that they were God’s commandment-keeping people, and that He had wrought in a miraculous manner to bring them from Egyptian bondage to serve Him, to be a holy people unto Him.

They were not to serve their own desires, or to imitate the idolatrous nations around them, but to remain a distinct, separate people, that all who looked upon them might say: These are they whom God brought out of the land of Egypt, who keep the law of Ten Commandments. An Israelite was known to be such as soon as seen, for God through simple means distinguished him as His. (Testimonies for the church, vol. 1, p.523-524)

Lastly on our topic of dress reform , the Bible forbids us as follows — The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.(Deut.22:5)

3) Worship Reform (Slide Six)

Jesus praying

“Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer..”(Isaiah 56:7)

Christ taught that this house we are in right here today, be first and foremost a house that we can come and pray to God. Speak to our Father in His house.

Our prophetess said this about reverence in God’s house–

“They should remember that heavenly messengers are in the house. We all lose much sweet communion with God by our restlessness, by not encouraging moments of reflection and prayer. The spiritual condition needs to be often reviewed and the mind and heart drawn toward the Sun of Righteousness. If when the people come into the house of worship, they have genuine reverence for the Lord and bear in mind that they are in His presence, there will be a sweet eloquence in silence. The whispering and laughing and talking which might be without sin in a common business place should find no sanction in the house where God is worshiped. The mind should be prepared to hear the word of God, that it may have due weight and suitably impress the heart.”( 5T page 492)

If we have cell phones, let’s make sure they turned off. If we are laughing and joking loudly, we should cease to do this. Kids should be attentive and not running up and down the aisles. The bottom-line is God is sitting here in His house watching and we must show honor and respect. To go back to that Oval office analogy, we would not think to let our kids run around the oval office in front of the president, how much more should we before the Lord of the Universe right now?

4) Sabbath  Reform (Slide Seven)

Remember the Sabbath day

We as Adventist are known for keeping one Commandment that other Christian denominations ignore– the Sabbath.

Let me give you my own personal story about how I came to know the Sabbath was true.

1) Raised Catholic

2) Went into the world and became a heathen for decades.(party, poker, money schemes, you name it)

3) Decided to read the Bible from front to back about 5 years ago.

4) Made a promise

5) Decided to keep it holy as best I knew how at that time

6) Dinner and then miracle light sign at close of my first Sabbath

7) Prayed and committed to learn each of them (Commandments)  and obey them.

One of  the big no-no’s is to buy and sell on the Sabbath. In Nehemiah 13:15 we read, “In those days I saw in Judah some treading wine presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and loading donkeys; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold provisions.

Here dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that you do, and profane the Sabbath day?

Did not your fathers do this, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and some of my servants I set at the gates, that there should no burden  brought in on the Sabbath day.

So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath.”

What a powerful and clear message from God’s prophet concerning not buying or selling on the Sabbath.

Tell story of invited out to lunch at a restaurant  on Sabbath by veterans when I first joined the church.

Closing

In closing let’s ask ourselves why is it that we need to reform? Why do we need to do such pinpoint and exact things when we know the Lord is forgiving and patient?

Because it is written–“Be ye holy as I am holy”( 1 Peter 1:16)

“… be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22)

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (1 Romans 12:2)

“God gave rules of order, perfect and exact, to His ancient people. Has His character changed? Is He not the great and mighty God who rules in the heaven of heavens?” (Testimonies, vol. 5, p.496)

May the Lord be with this church as we strive to go forward, improving our ways, to receive His blessings, thank you.

*********************************************

The results from the sermon/presentation were quite well. After not speaking for over 2 years before the church, was nervous but as the sermon progressed became more at ease. Many were blessed and said some words of appreciation. A couple noteworthy things I noticed that many who came back to church the following Sabbath were much improved in the dress! And one lady who had braided her hair the Sabbath of the speech, had undone it the following Sabbath. Praise the Lord! I may be invited back again soon as the pastor was pleased,  will keep you updated. God bless.

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4 Responses to “A Sermon”

  1. wilfred. Says:

    Wow! wow!wow!incredible!I am really inspired by the Sermon!i have printed it and will no doubt use it next Sabbath !i will be presenting!
    Thanks and may God bless you!

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    May the Lord be with you my faithful brother! May He use you as a channel to speak His words to them.

  3. rene Says:

    Great sermon brother, That’s a great presentation. The message was right on. The lord is truly blessing you. God Bless.

  4. godsloveandlaw Says:

    To God’s Glory all our work my faithful brother. Thanks and keep up your faithful work as well. Soon we’ll be there in Israel doing His world wide final proclamation, by His grace and mercy.

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