7th April 2024

Opening the Door to Christ

Passage: Revelation 3:20
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

00:00.000 --> 01:07.280
The book I want to talk to you about tonight has concerns and debates in Christian circles as to how one should properly understand the famous verse. The famous verse says that many people have become Christians, listening to and responding to and praying the following. Chapter 3 of Revelation 20 20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anybody or anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him and he with me. The discussion is one which centres around whether or not this is an appropriate verse to use to lead someone to Christ. The picture of Christ coming into a person is the metaphor that is used about when a person comes to take Christ as their Saviour, that this is

01:07.280 --> 02:09.860
what happens, that Jesus by his Spirit comes into your person. So the salvation moment is pictured by the metaphor of this verse. The understanding that is not so much about looking at it as a verse that applies to people coming to Christ and becoming Christians, and that conversion moment, but rather sees it to be understood differently, points out that, in the passage, Jesus is addressing a church. More than the fact that he is addressing a church, he's actually addressing the church for the fact that it's lukewarm and has lost its first love, and here, in this final of the seven churches being addressed, this church expresses that Jesus doesn't like lukewarmness, but rather he wants his church to be hot. and he shames them a little bit that they're lukewarm and they're neither hot nor cold.

02:09.860 --> 03:11.800
And they need to uh resolve that by getting on fire, of getting uh more people who who's love for him is burning and that they're... someone who he talks about as not being lukewarm. In fact, he uses the illustration of in that final letter to the latest sins, He uses illustration that they are like water that's neither hot nor cold. です. . . . Then Jesus is talking to Christians in this passage of they're people that he wishes were neither cold nor hot. And he says, I'm about to spit you out of my mouth. So very definitely the overall passage is addressing himself to Christians who need

03:11.800 --> 03:59.780
to warm up rather than a non-Christian getting converted. And so the debate goes as to who is interpreting the passage and using it properly. Now, the first point I want to make visible here is, in fact, by getting into this discussion and making it an either-or of those two choices, I think you really do miss the general point that's even bigger in the passage, and that point that is the biggest one that's there is the little fact that the overall passage pictures Jesus outside the Church, yes, but Calling on if any individual will get up and be the one that opens the door. And then He says if you open the door. Anybody look at that last verse.

03:59.780 --> 04:32.060
I will come in to him, to that person eat with him and he with me and so although the passage starts out with Jesus standing outside the church and giving a call. But it's a call actually for an individual response Although he is picturing a desire to come into the church, he is!] also picturing facts that individuals can get up and answer his call and open the door, and the result will be a special fellowship that he'll have with them.

04:32.060 --> 05:42.740
There is actually a general principle that Jesus is not about the business of wanting to crash his way in, uninvited, or crash his way into our experience against our wills, But he sees himself as a person who seeks to woo us, And he prays, Come unto to me, all you who labour in a heavy laden, And I will give you rest, is the sort of call that Jesus made. I Am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Me. Yes, the call is also talked about applying to individuals. And so there's a more general truth that has its application, both to the moment when Jesus Christ might be asking for an individual

05:42.740 --> 06:30.440
especially with children, has been one experience where I remember there was a child or a child thing in the church and there were children teaching the Gospel bit by bit ... and there came a little girl and she said, Lim, currently I want Jesus as my Savior. But how do I know that He would come in? Turned out when I asked her if she ever tried to ask Him to come in, said, yes, many times, but how do I know he came in? And how I answered her about the assurance that she was seeking for is that I pointed to the passage and said, What you know about Jesus, does he ever lie? And she said, Oh, no, he never lies, and I said, Look what he said, If anyone hears my

06:30.440 --> 07:17.160
voice and opens the door, have you opened the door? She said, oh, yes, seven times, she was telling me. I said, Look Jesus doesn't lie, you just trust him to have kept his word. Who is the liar anyway? But Jesus' word is trustworthy, that he won't force his way on you but if you invite him he will certainly come. She went away assured that she knew Jesus, it didn't really matter. I lead her to repeat a prayer to thank Him for coming in and that she's going to trust Him to keep His promise and have come into her life. She went away assured that she had Jesus, whether it happened the first time she prayed

07:17.160 --> 08:04.540
and asked, or just whether just then. You don't actually, it doesn't matter about exactly when. The biggest principle in that verse is that Jesus can be trusted to keep His Word and that Jesus is not someone who wants to snap his fingers and make you a Christian against your will or aside from your answering His call. That's not what the passage is talking about. And because of that what I discovered was in literature when you read about some of the revivals that have happened in the world in England and in Scotland and in places like Wales, there'll be revivals that have happened amongst Christians but one of the features of those Revivals has been when there's been a return to the understanding that Jesus seeks

08:04.540 --> 09:03.060
the love and fellowship and closeness of Christians just as much as he seeks to have outsiders or people who have never come to Christ to answer a call to become a Christian. The general principle applies to both. And here, in this passage in Revelation, it's very clear, that although he may knock at the door of the church, he narrows it down to an individual response. And that can be in either of the spots where Jesus calls outsiders to get converted, or when Jesus calls on believers to come and have their love renewed and inflamed. Jesus calls for Christians. And in fact you can check this up yourself when you go home and have the pleasure and the time to look through the Scriptures. Look up any verse that has to do with the love of Christ, and you'll suddenly discover that this is a

09:03.060 --> 09:54.080
theme of the New Testament—the love of Christ—and it is something that Jesus wants to call us to have, to love him, and he calls for us to put our love for him first. 14. And in revival times, and particularly in Scotland, or some literature I read, that there had been revivals when Christians suddenly woke up to the fact that they needed to have their love renewed. You might say, Jim, is you're sure you're speaking correctly here? But one of the principles of understanding the scripture that I've been trying to illustrate in even talking recently from the Beatitudes is to bring scriptures to bare on scriptures. The principle is that the best scriptural interpretation is the one where the scriptures

09:54.080 --> 10:35.760
interpret the scriptures. There is a number of little ways that this applies if people argue with it, or people not sure how to think about the Bible as to whether it's inspired and whether you can trust its accuracy then why not look at Jesus and how he treated the Scriptures. One of the features that The Bible Society actually brought to attention of us here in Australia back in the 70s by writing a special article about it is the fact that the Scriptures have an interpretation about themselves And, it uses Jesus. And one of the things that happens is, the scriptures turn out to be finally

10:35.760 --> 11:25.560
both the word of something like Moses, if you're talking about the old testament, the first five the first five books of the Bible. But it's also, according to Jesus, the word of God. And some of the same passages are referred to by Jesus as Moses乐 writings and yet in another slot we will refer to them as the word of God. in a very famous verse, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." He actually is quoting Moses's writings, quoting the Old Testament. And so it is the fact that we saw going through about the Beatitudes that Jesus wasn't trying to undo the trust in the accuracy of the wording of the Old Testament, but rather he was arguing itWith the interpretation that the Pharisees and those who were the rabbis and itinerant

11:25.560 --> 12:12.780
interpreters of his day they gave to it droit Herr ultimate Goodi Quotation He had a way of taking the same things they had without disagreeing with them, but by actually advancing their application, making it even more, a higher bar to get over. Righteousness of Stretch God If you give greater righteousness than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you won't near, you won't get into the kingdom of God. And this increase that Jesus gave was not, as some commentaries say, that Jesus was putting aside the Old Testament, or somehow giving an interpretation that differed from it, but Jesus was actually expositing it and showing that the standard that God has is one that the scribes and Pharisees and that the legalism

12:12.780 --> 12:55.360
of just taking the Old Testament and saying, if I just do this and I'm right with God. The truth is that the Bible teaches that none of us are naturally right with God by the standard even of the Old Testament, because it says that for all have fallen short of the glory of God. We've all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and so we need to have a righteousness and the gospel is actually all about the fact that Jesus isn't about to come and increase what the bar is so you'll try a bit harder and get a bit more better behaving. 줄 Then you might be saved. What's been taught by Jesus, as we saw through the Beatitudes, is the fact that Jesus was saying that you had to have a righteousness that's perfect.

12:55.360 --> 13:45.900
He finished up, as we saw in Matthew's Gospel in Chapter 5, how Jesus raised the standard to be perfect. The wordmate Tezonata meansckeen to the full development, and it's actually your sanctification after you come to Christ the Holy Spirit helps you gradually to get more sanctified, with the purpose and the aim and the teleos, the conclusion and the climax and the fulfilment of that will be when you hit Eternity and you will have been sanctified and if there was any lack in that sanctification God will make it up the rest and you will get into heaven. But it's all a a Grace Gift, this Gift of righteousness from Christ that's ours when we come to Jesus, and when He calls us, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any person hears My

13:45.900 --> 14:31.660
voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him, and fellowship with Him, and He with me. He's talking about the change that happens, that relationship with Christ brings because He brings you the righteousness of God. Which is why the book of Romans talks about the Gospel, as a revelation of the righteousness that comes from heaven is a gift of the Gospel. And if you come to Christ as you recognise that you're a sinner and acknowledge the Bible's description of us all having hearts, as I was on about last other Sundays, are the hardest deceitful above all things and desperately wicked who could not. That verse is true that we all need a righteousness that we could never develop. We need the righteousness that comes from heaven, it's the righteousness of Christ.

14:31.660 --> 15:06.360
Why from heaven? Because the one that has the righteousness is in heaven, and when you come to Christ and you get united to Christ, God the Father looks on you, as though you are Jesus. He gets to share with you the acceptance he gave to Jesus, even that acceptance he had all the way through his life. In his baptism, the voice from heaven said, this is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased. And later on it is clear that Jesus had gone to heaven, and that he had gone to be the righteousness, standing before the Father, but the Father had accepted the whole story

15:06.360 --> 15:45.360
line as we said at Easter time of resurrection, as that being the very action of heaven to be a voice in action, to lift Jesus from the grave, to say to the world, ''This one who said about your sins, it is finishedㅠ He has finished!'' He's paid for it. It's done! Because Jesus died, and he rose and he's gone to Heaven. And in the acceptance of Jesus, from the dead, God the Father lifted him up as the one whose sacrifice has been enough. Which is why Jesus said, It is finished. I'm rehearsing now some other things my previous sermons have said about what is meant by the resurrection of Christ,

15:45.460 --> 16:20.040
that God was saying the sacrifice was enough. If it wasn't enough there's a whole lot of events that wouldn't have happened that happened at the moment that Jesus was crying out my God, my God, how you have forsaken me. And it wouldn't have happened when he rose from the dead. What happened was that the veil of the temple this big, thick curtain that had people out from the Holy of Holies very thick. One single man or a group of men would have trouble ripping it but suddenly it ripped from top to bottom. A very high top.

16:20.040 --> 17:31.000
Rip down, because the Holy of Holies was exposed as open." Jesus had said it is finished in what we have been saying in the morning service as when Jesus said it is finished He used the same word to do with tilaos, as in Jesus by attitude said, that when we come to him it's got the purpose of being sanctified, and the word sanctified, made perfect and made holy, is what your conversion to Christ is to give to you, that you might have the righteousness of Christ. I'm on a favourite topic now. It's very hard to get onto this topic not to elaborate how deep is the truth. That when Jesus died, His death as the book of Hebrews says sanctified us forever by one act. He has sanctified all those who are to being made perfect.' In Hebrews it says, chapter 10. Jesus and the sanctification that happens after you become a Christian. So the little girl who said,

17:31.000 --> 18:09.140
how do I know he's coming sometimes people have those questions because they know that they've They've got a rotten streak. She might have had an argument with her mother. She might have been aware of her cranky side. She might have just had doubts that she would be good enough for God, and she's quite correct, none of us are good enough for God. But the gift of the Gospel is not for you to be good enough, it is for the goodness of Jesus. And I've been elaborating that doctrine of union with Christ, of how, when you come to Jesus, if you open the door and he comes in you get united to somebody who is

18:09.140 --> 19:09.300
perfect. And just as the Father looked at Christ when he was baptized and he said from heaven, I don't know whether this was planned to be done, I guess you can't say there's anything God does he didn't understand beforehand. But God lets out a statement as Jesus is baptized he says, this is my son in whom I'm well pleased.' And I want to tell you that when you come to Christ the righteousness he gives you includes his righteousness as you are united to Christ. You come under the same statement, this is my daughter, this is my son. These are mine in whom I'm well pleased, and one of the features of coming to Jesus in the fellowship that you have with him is the fellowship of being a part of the one under the smile of the Father, well-pleased. And you know you're right and have peace with God.

19:09.300 --> 20:06.420
That's what it is to come to Jesus. Just as equally so, it's the case that God wants us to learn to love Him. And so it is also true from this passage in Revelation that there is a sense in which It's a call, not only for those who already have the union with Christ, not only those who through Jesus and His justification have been made righteous by Him, but it's a call to us to learn to love Him more. And I think God calls on Christians to love Him more, not more so that you'll be more properly saved you already are saved, but a call to love Him because of who He is for you. Now whenever you have an idea like that and you come to a passage like this, don't just take it because it sounds like a good semi-option or

20:06.420 --> 20:56.740
something, but look elsewhere in the Scriptures and let the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures. So for tonight what I want us also to do the passage that Joey read to us from the� Song of Solomon, as There's often a mysterious passage. We'll put it up again starting in Chapter Five verse two. What this actually is, is sometimes called the Song of Songs or sometimes called the Song of Solomon, is one of these parts of the Bible that's mystic. There's obviously some picture that's being evoked, and the picture is of, it's actually Solomon and his bride-to-be, one of his many brides-to-be, but the picture of the love is actually a picture of how Jesus wants there to be Love between him and a believer.

20:58.100 --> 21:42.180
The girl is the one to be married soon, I presume. I don't fully understand all the details but I'm giving you an interpretation. I got from Robert Murray-McShane, who was a revivalist preacher in Scotland, But the idea is that you can see the bit of the parallels of the different people in the storyline. The girl represents you and me as believers. And the fact that Jesus comes to awaken the love of believers, His having you here tonight is a part of, I believe, His agenda to awaken a deeper love in you. And that sense of Jesus coming and standing outside the church

21:42.180 --> 22:20.700
It's because the church often gets rather slack in its love of Jesus. And sometimes Jesus gets upset outside the churches because we rely upon all our human efforts and all our own schemes of things and Jesus stands outside feeling neglected because we've missed the whole point many times. The church is not just to be about doing it right is not just about illegalism to get to be holier than people outside or something. It's all meant to be about love for Jesus. And we could slip away from realizing that that's the first agenda that Jesus has in causing us to be converted— that if you're someone and you look back and know when you

22:20.700 --> 23:11.980
came to Christ and just think of it for a minute you didn't get called to come to Jesus just because he wanted another servant. I want to tell you he's got 10,000 times 10,000 angels who will do exactly what he wants and you don't measure up to that standard. I'm going to tell you that Jesus is looking for someone to love Him. That is really the purpose, if you go home tonight and read Revelation 3, The final of the Seven Letters of Jesus to the Churches, see, you will realize it is pounding with the heart of Jesus and is calling you to love Him. He calls on the Church not to leave Him outside and carry on with your activities, and fail to realize that He is knocking at the door of the Church. Then we have the fact that in this knocking of Jesus, he's not wanting to come contrary

23:11.980 --> 23:56.800
to the will of any human being. But if you hear his voice, and get up and you open the door, he'll come in to you. Fellowship with you? The having a meal is that special fellowship of closeness that Jesus will have for you, and the purpose of the whole call to the Church is Jesus is wanting individuals to respond to his love. Revival happens when people understand that that's his purpose for the Church they're here to be his loved ones. I slept my heart was awake a sound my beloved is knocking Jesus loves you

23:56.800 --> 24:24.020
Open to me my sister! My love, my dove, my perfect one! For my head is wet with dew." Now the wording, perfect one, is picturing some of the older translations that say that one not defiled, is talking about the bride who is perfect and ready for the wedding. And here it is, he says ... ... my locks are wet with dew. My head is wet with dew. My locks with the drops of the night."

24:24.020 --> 24:56.280
He's coming through the night. He's been out for a journey and he's come back late, and he's come to find her! And he says, I've put off my garment, I've gotten ready to come in your nice prepared room and I've taken off my shoes. And he says, I've bathed my feet. He's like, you know, someone who's being careful with the girl he's saying, look, I am not coming with all dirty feet from my journey. I washed them, but why should I make them dirty again? How could I soil them? and he says, my beloved put his hands to the latch.

24:56.280 --> 25:53.420
This is the girl inside saying because she's been sleeping and didn't get up too quick and he was fiddling around with the latch to try and come in. My heart was thrilled within me, I rose to open to my beloved and my hands dripped with myrrh, and she goes on my fingers with liquid myrrh. On the handles of the bomb I opened to my Beloved. that picture of the speciality of this couple who are soon going to be together in marriage and he's been on a journey and he's coming to see her and he's a bit late and she's been asleep and she didn't quite wake up in time to open it but when she opens this, oh goodness look what happens, I open to my beloved but my beloved had turned and gone. My soul failed me when she heard him speaking to get up.

25:53.420 --> 26:45.260
She didn't get up in time and now her soul has failed her. I sought him but found him not. I called him but he gave no answer. and in that picture you picture what it is for a believer to find something missing, and if you're a believer and you've discovered your Christian experience is somehow not cutting the grade or somehow your Christian experience isn't quite answering what you expected I'm describing for you what that problem is, it is that you are someone that is needing to get closer to the beloved And in His Presence in that unwrapping of your love to each other as ones who belong to each other, just as we Christians are those to be the bride going-to-be-Christ in eternity

26:45.260 --> 27:30.120
and we are heading towards that final moment of the wedding feast of the Lamb, we are heading towards that final time where we will be with Jesus forever which is what heaven is to be, being with Jesus forever, Here it is, and there is something you say you are missing, And I'll tell you what it is your missing you're missing the closeness of Jesus and you're missing the sense of When you're in love with Jesus and you just want him close I wanna tell you that the New Testament is filled with spots that talk about the love of Christ There's not talking about objectively. Yes. He loved you and he went to the cross. That's true enough Kids, you are a special item!" 26. And he longs for your fellowship, which is why the Revelation 3 passage is written about

27:30.120 --> 28:05.260
Love about how he says, You look warm and I wish you were neither hot nor cold. 27. But because you are neither hot nor cold, I want to spit you out, because you are not what I want either! 28. And a Christian experience that doesn't have the closeness of Christ is not satisfying, because what you need is to get back to a central understanding of what it is to be a Christian. have the love of Jesus – the experience of his closeness. looking around to see if she can find Him, and that is what the next

28:05.260 --> 29:01.020
part of the passage is about. And I am interpreting it as How best I can, and it is a mysterious passage, I could have my interpretation wrong. But I think it brings that interpretation to Revelation 3-20 He says, I adjure you O Daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, If you find my beloved, tell him, you tell him I'm sick with love. And what Jesus in heaven now, his Spirit present with us, which is what the Christian life is all about, where two or more are gathered together, there he is in the midst, he's here and his heart is thumping to get a cross to you, your somebody special, whose love he wants and longs for.

29:01.020 --> 29:59.740
In the storyline the girl tells the watchman in the city, I take them to be like pastors or leaders or youth persons who are helping you. that know Christ longer than you and he she tells him to if you see him telling him I'm sick we'll love and Jesus wants that to come out of us what is your beloved more than another beloved they ask for who that is as the other women the other people in there I take that as other believers what is your beloved more than any other beloved almost beautiful among women what is your beloved more than another beloved and going on to the next bit my beloved is radiant and ruddy distinguished amongst 10,000 this is what you find with people in love and they see the people they love through gold sunglasses somehow

29:59.740 --> 31:01.340
or other and his head is the finest gold bit of a contradiction because he's got here that's black but I thought he had blonde hair but no somehow or other is talking about how he's just so wonderful and he explains to the other women, Jesus is wonderful, I want to say to you tonight that if you've never had that time when Jesus just came to you and you were aware of Him then you've discovered what this passage is about the Jesus is There is nothing like how the Scriptures depict the experience of the Christian as to have found the love of Christ that passes all understanding, his words all understanding. And so, when you say to others about Jesus, into this time of being close to him, you

31:01.340 --> 31:44.580
the love of Jesus is past all understanding. When God's Spirit moves upon people and upon His church, upon a group and an area, they come to realise they've had a mere smattering of religion. They didn't have the real thing very deeply at all. And they come in revival, repentance of their half-heartedness and of their lack of love and the fact that they filled their lives up with everything else, and they've even …put aside that which they should have come and made the most major thing in their life which is Jesus and His love. Oh, the love of Jesus—I wish we could get that. We sometimes do in our older hymns— I don't mean to be critical of our new ones because

31:44.580 --> 32:18.280
we need to have fresh experience of Jesus and His love and put that into music too, so let's get that done just as happened in other revivals as well back through history. that's what happened when they used the simple songs from the pub there in places like Wales and Ireland, and in revival times, they put their Christian experience into the melodies they got out of the pub, it's not the music that counts, you just do something that happens to be that which is understood of your day. It's not the music, but it's what they're talking about.

32:18.280 --> 32:45.980
Oh, the love of Jesus. I'm grateful for my mother. She used to go around the house and sing some favourite songs of hers now. She's in heaven now with my dad and I don't know whether they actually get to hear and see what we're doing now. But I'm going to tell you, I sing her songs. Michelle sometimes leaves her washing out and I bring it in and I sing. I don't know what the neighbours think about her because my voice is cracked, I'm not like the others in my family

32:45.980 --> 33:32.320
who sing so well. But I sing her songs. and her songs are, I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus, to tell you of someone that loves me, I forget the words, but I sing her songs, the songs that say about the love of Jesus, because there is something in the Christian experience where that's the normal point, the normalcy experience, of having found Him and His love. I was greatly influenced in my teenage years by an African person who came and studied at our college, and he would ask people, do you love Jesus as your own personal saviour? That's how he would talk to outsiders.

33:32.320 --> 34:08.480
He captured putting together this love of Jesus, but also the call for people to come to know him, and all over the place he would ask many people, do you love Jesus as your own personal saviour? I got afraid that one day he would ask me. He never did, but I heard him ask many others, but why I was afraid is that I wasn't sure how truthful I could say back. Yes, I love Jesus! I suddenly got awakened by somebody from overseas who came to our country and displayed motivation to tell others about the love of Jesus that I didn't have.

34:08.480 --> 34:38.600
And the love of Jesus is something real. He's calling on us if we don't love Him, if we're lukewarm, to get up and leave where you are in the church, and open the door to Him and say, at least come to me! Set me on fire, please! Make me someone who loves you. And when that happens, I want to tell you it makes absolutely everything different. Well, that's what The Song of Solomon's about.

34:38.600 --> 35:48.240
And when this girl gets to tell other women, you know, her lovers like. Can't you hear? She loves him. Can't you hear? She loves him. That's what Jesus is wanting for us to have of him. And every day of our lives our behavior the things that we cherish, the activities we get into, tell him how much we love him. If you go on through this story I think you'll see that it's giving a picture that we need to get back to loving Jesus as the heart of it all. And he's calling, Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone can hear my voice and will open the door, I will come on in and up to that one, the literal rendering of the Revelation 3.20 is, and fellowship with him. I think we show we don't love him when we don't put as high value spending time with him, when we don't put church attendance….now I'm not one who believes in

35:48.240 --> 36:48.900
having to make legalistic measures of how much you go to the church. There are some people who would say if you don't go twice on Sunday you're just a lesser Christian. I think the truth is, With generally speaking the more you love Jesus the more you will seek out those special opportunities to be with him in a worship service. Read the books of people who were involved in a revival testimonies of Christians who have had a great influence in the world, some tremendous missionaries overseas, some who've been involved in bringing many others to Christ. And it's the same thing I keep finding. Within their younger years, they went through a period of realising they needed to seek

36:48.900 --> 37:35.200
Him and so they would go to church, often on. If it was on six and over, I would go every time. And as a matter of fact when I went to study in America with Michelle, we went to a lot of different churches, we'd go to the different services, there was even one on Saturday where you could go, or we'd go to two on Sunday. And I enjoyed the fact I didn't have to only go to one! You can go as often as you can to hear of Jesus, or if you can find places where the Word of God is preached one way for you to get in love with Jesus is to go 20 where the Word is opened. And surely you know the difference yet by when there's just a book read or a set of

37:35.200 --> 38:12.060
human ideas that are proclaimed, or whether someone's found the Word of God. Can you identify the Word of God when you hear it? It's something the Holy Spirit does! And when a church has got a group of people who pray like our church does, something happens in the services. group of people who meet before the morning service and they pray for our services. I feel the difference when I hear them pray. And when they even pray for me I'm glad of it because I'm not the person that produces the Word of God. I'm the person that just passes it on. When people pray, when people add

38:12.060 --> 39:11.220
prayer, to the fact of Church going. Something happens in the Church, and you go away with your heart singing because you know Jesus was there where two more remember his word are gathered together there am I in the midst? Jesus is here, he's here right now, and I believe that verse in Revelation 3, 20 is happening right now behold I stand at the door and knock if any Any person hears my voice it will open the door. I will come on in and up to Him and fellowship with Him and He with me. Because Jesus calls not only people who have never came to Christ to make a step and become Christians, but He also calls for Christians to come on in deeper And, like in the Song of Songs, to look for your beloved in your Christian expression.

39:11.220 --> 39:56.080
Jesus is the beloved. I Am His and He Is Mine. And when you discover that closeness of relationship with Jesus, it is the answer to every issue. I am not saying that in the sort of way that you answer everything with one simple thing. and I'm saying that knowing Jesus is at the heart of what it is to be a Christian. And I know one thing, that when you recruit Jesus, all sorts of things happen. I found that out in the hard experiences of life. It's a time when closeness to Jesus counts. I had a thesis that wasn't going to be accepted in Dallas. When I'd spent my money ... I had no meal ticket money left.

39:56.080 --> 40:54.880
I did have my big 400 cubic inch Pontiac I hadn't gotten rid of, but I didn't have any peel and people were putting cans of soup outside my door. Some people just got good eyes to spot needs and God was helping me be sustained. But nonetheless what happened is I went and took a prayer time in the First Baptist Church of Dallas I was going there every Saturday night and praying through the night for their services the next day but I prayed about my thesis and God was there and He spoke to me. I won't go into the details but the way that thesis got handled and accepted and into the hands of the people who then organised for me eventually to come back to Australia I I won't go into the details. I ended up getting ordained as an evangelist as a result of the answer once God brought

40:54.880 --> 41:34.400
to those prayers in that church. But Jesus was there in the prayer meeting. Actually I've been at a number of prayer meetings where Jesus' presence came. Earlier, I was at a church that was having problems getting through the Council for their new building changes. So they had a Saturday morning prayer meeting. I was living at Brookfield and the church was at Wynnum. It took me 45, a rather fast driving to get there in time, and it was difficult and I was tired and I resented. Somehow I had to drag myself out and get in the car

41:34.400 --> 42:22.180
but some way in that prayer meeting, part way through Jesus came. If we neglect prayer, If we neglect the services of the Church, if we neglect that special fellowship of sharing in Communion, somehow we're missing out. I can remember one time at that overseas seminary, one of our number had a friend with Lewis Palau. He was an evangelist that we all admired, Argentinian, and he was coming. But there was a prayer meeting. actually got him to turn up to, I think, but I was away! I slept in and I got so

42:22.180 --> 43:24.240
not here about him and him joining in our prayer meeting. I really kicked myself for missing out and I reckon that generally speaking we Christians miss out on the presence of Christ by slothfulness at times. We miss out because we haven't seen the value of those things when you come close to him, why did he say we're two or more are gathered together in my name? Is it just for a doctoral statement? No, it's because it's true. If you want to get closer to Jesus go where two or more are gathered in his name, whether it be a prayer meeting or a home group, go and join a home group where they pray in the home group, and where there is that sense of fellowship, or come as many services as you can fit in. Go to where Jesus will be. Don't be lazy about your

43:24.240 --> 44:17.180
Bible reading. Realize that when you open the Word, it's Jesus' Word. You'll find him in the scriptures if you if you really want to find the closeness of Jesus. Just do what many an older Christian leader has written up in their biographies the autobiographies has written up when they sought him in the word, sometimes he makes you wait a while. I knew a couple who got out of out of sorts with Christ, and they got into sinful ways, and they felt deserted, and somehow their Christian experience wasn't working, so they determined to keep on trying. And even though when they went to Church. It seemed hollow. They just persisted, and there came a moment when Jesus could see they are serious. They were searching for him. He came

44:17.180 --> 45:07.800
back close. That's what Jesus does to people who are walking away. The two to the Road of Emmaus. In the end the final chapters of the Gospel of Luke. Read about these two. The business of walking away from where they had a fellowship that now they were disappointed because Jesus and constructed and they're walking away, but Jesus walked next to them. They didn't recognise him at first, but eventually they did, but that's what that chapter is about, that Jesus sees people on the journey walking away and he calls them and does something to reignite their hearts! The burden of my heart tonight is to say to you that Revelation 3.20 Not only pictures just people coming to Christ.But it pictures Jesus calling on you to respond to His call

45:07.800 --> 46:08.600
and ask Him. I'm going to finish in a moment's time. Having the song ready, we'll come and take the seats and be back soon! But if there's someone here that needs to say to Jesus that you really want to love him and you're sorry that you're so far away that he has to come and knock again and say let me into your Church. Let me into your heart. Come and make your love that's hot and full or like the the girl in the Song of Solomon who says if you see my love tell him that I love him. If you want to say that to heaven for Jesus to know that you love him and you want him to come close to you and not let go of you if you get lazy again. But you want

46:08.600 --> 47:00.280
him to make you hot with love for him and to wreck your life. Then leave where you'll be as we stand and sing and whatever it is that they give us to sing at the ends and come down the front here and kneel here. This will be vacant and tell him what he will love to hear from you and then go back to your seat. It's not because you need to tell me you don't have to but you just tell Jesus and go back to your seat because that's what this passage is evenly calling to people who don't know Christ and want him tonight you could come to and just telling that say Jesus I'm one that's never really been certain of that you but I want you now like that little girl I don't know whether she'd gotten in the first time she prayed or whether she I

47:00.280 --> 47:50.700
let her in a prayer but that's when she's gotten in the door didn't really matter when she went away certain that she had him and you can too so whether it is to come to him as a conversion moment or whether it is because you've recognized his voice that he's calling you to love him there's is one way you can tell him that you're answering the call. I'm going to pray and leave it to the musicians when they'll close the meeting and that'll be my end of the night. Heavenly Father, thank you for the message that you gave, for me to bring. Lord, I praise you for the song of songs. And four, the fact that Jesus is, as the Bible says, all together lovely.

47:50.700 --> 48:27.020
Jesus, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, is the one you, Father, said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And he invites us to be joined together with him, union with Christ, and then to be the one that shares his love of us and lets us grow and share our love with him. Do business, I pray, Jesus, with souls and people tonight, I ask, in your name. Amen.

Listen to a recent sermon