This Is The Day Of Salvation
By Bobby Blakey on January 22, 2024
This Is The Day Of Salvation
By Bobby Blakey on January 22, 2024
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus writes seven letters to seven churches and some of these churches have become infamous. The church in Ephesus they lost their first love, the church. In Laodicea – You might have heard of this one. They're not hot. They're not cold. They are lukewarm. Well, one of the churches that's not as known, is the church of Philadelphia. And Jesus said to that church, I have set before you an open door. And I'm praying that we can be that church, the church that has an opportunity in front of it. I'm pretty sure Pastor Bill just gave the scooch to the middle of your row, for the first time in the new auditorium. I just saw some ushers said no more chairs in the back. See, we've got more people coming to this church than we've ever seen before. Can we give people a warm welcome, right now, welcome in the name of Jesus? We're so glad that you are here. And we want people to get saved. So, that is our passion. In fact, if you open up the bulletin, you will see today, a picture of Jerusalem, and a picture of the Huntington Beach Pier, meant to symbolize that we are the end of the earth from where Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. If you look at the timeline, it has been nearly 2000 years since he told them to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. And I don't know if you've ever gotten a globe and gone from Jerusalem to Huntington Beach, but we are at the end of the earth. And we are living in the End Times. And Jesus is still building his church, one soul at a time. He is saving people. Can we praise God for Sherry and Dante sharing their testimonies with us here today? And so right now, when we've got more people coming to church than ever before, God's got us going through Romans chapter 10. So, I want to invite you, will you please open your Bible and turn with me to Romans chapter 10. And over the next three weeks, we're going to do a series called, “This Is the Day of Salvation,” because all three of the sermons are going to talk about what it means to be saved. And so, over the next three weeks, we're going to go through Romans 10:1-13. And I would like to read that for you right now. And out of respect for God's Word, I'm going to ask if we would all stand for the public reading of Scripture, I would ask you to give this your full and undivided attention. This isn't me saying something. This is the Word of God. And we need to hear what God has to say to us today. So, I encourage you put all the distractions away and let us hear what God has to say; we're talking about the most important thing you can talk about. What does it mean to be saved? This is Romans chapter 10. Starting in verse 1.
Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat. You can see there at the end of verse 1, at the end of verse 9, at the end of verse 13, the theme is, what does it mean to be saved; who will be saved? This is the most important thing you can talk about. There is nothing greater than this. People are born into sin. Sin is when you want to do evil from the inside out. You want things that God told you are not good for you, and you don't want to do things that God told you you ought to do. You are rebellious by nature. You have sin, and this sin will master you. It will destroy you. You will keep making choices that you know are wrong. And the wages of this sin is death. You will die because of your sin. And after it is appointed, a man wants to die, after death comes judgment, where God, based on what you've done, God will now judge you according to what you have done. This is your biggest problem. Sin is everybody's biggest problem. I understand we've got a lot of problems represented in this room right now. We've got a lot of health problems. We've got a lot of financial hardships. We've got people who are struggling in their closest personal relationships, even as they sit here this morning. And those are real challenges. But there is no challenge in your life as serious and as severe as the problem of sin. And salvation is when Jesus delivers you out of your sin, and you're no longer defined by your sin. You are now identified by your faith in Christ. You are now a new creation. The old you is gone, behold, the new has come. That's what you need. That's what everybody you know needs. And no matter what the doctors are saying, or the politicians are saying, this is the issue of our day, who has been saved from their sin.
Go back to Romans chapter 1, and let's just remember the theme of this master class taught by the apostle Paul, Romans 1:16-17. This is our 50th sermon from the book of Romans. So, you might have forgotten what it's all about as we're 50 sermons deep now. So, let's just review here that he wanted to go to Rome, but he didn't know when he would get there. So, he wrote out his teaching and sent it ahead of him. He wanted to preach the gospel in Rome. And then he said in Romans 1:16, “For I'm not ashamed of the gospel,” because the gospel, the good news is that Jesus is the Christ, who died for your sins, and rose again, to give you a new life. That good news of the gospel, he says, “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” So, the Gospel, who Jesus is and what Jesus did, is God's power to save your soul. Anyone who believes in Jesus will be saved. What does that mean? Well, in Romans, he gets very specific. Look at Romans 1:17. “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith.” And then he quotes Habakkuk 2:4 here, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
What does it mean to be saved? It means you get the righteousness of God given to you as a gift, because you believe that Jesus died to pay for your sin, and rose again, so you could now have a new, abundant, eternal life in Christ. Has that happened to you? Have you been saved? Are you here to testify today? Praise Jesus for saving me. We'll go back to Romans 10:1, because Paul, he's been talking about the Jews. And he's been saying some tough things about the Jews in Romans chapter 9. He's saying, not all Israel is Israel, and his heart breaks for his fellow-Jews. I mean, he has compassion in Romans 9. Let's go back to Romans 9:1, and let's just put ourselves in the context here of Romans 9, 10, and 11, which really talk a lot about the Jews and the Gentiles and God's plan for his chosen people of Israel and all the other nations on planet Earth. And Paul here expresses his heartbreak for his fellow countrymen, his fellow-Jews. He says in Romans 9:1-3, “I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit—that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” Who is he talking about? Romans 1:4, “They are Israelites.” Paul is so brokenhearted about his fellow-Jews that he's saying that this sorrow that he has, what if he could be cut off and they could be saved in his place. But bad things are happening with the Jews, they rejected the Messiah. Many of them are not believing. Many of them are not saved, even though Israel is God's chosen people. Not all of Israel is actually chosen, not all of them believe, he says, And after talking about the fact that God can choose whoever he wants to choose, and not all of Israel has been chosen, he goes right on to say – look at Romans 10:1, right on to say, I know they're not doing what they should do to believe in Jesus. I know they're not all really God's people by faith. But he says, “Brothers, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” He's not giving up on his fellow-Jews. Now this Paul is a remarkable person. Paul is an extraordinary example to me and you of what a Christian should be. And sometimes when you read about Paul and his passion to see people get saved, it seems like something we could never be like, like he's just so all in, that guy is so all things for all souls. He has such a drive for people to be saved. How could any of us ever be like Paul? So, that's what he expresses here. He has both a passion and a prayer for his fellow-Jews to be saved. And yeah, if you feel like you're never going to be like Paul, you might be right about that. This guy is a unique man.
In fact, go with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 11, and let's just hear Paul tell us how it really was in his life. And in 2 Corinthians 11:21, if everybody can turn there with me, it's just a few pages over to the right in your Bible. What's going on here in 2 Corinthians is there's a lot of division. And there are actually other people claiming to be apostles, who are trying to get the Corinthians to turn against Paul. And so, Paul now has to like defend himself to his own church, to his own people. And so, he starts to talk about his life, and he starts to share his story of being an apostle, a missionary and evangelist, planting many churches. Look at what it says here in 2 Corinthians 11:20, you can tell he doesn't really want to defend himself, but he feels like he has to defend himself. So, he says this, starting in 2 Corinthians 11:21, “To my shame,” like almost like I don't even want to say this. “To my shame, I must say, we were too weak for that! But whatever anyone else dares to boast of—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast of that.” Are those guys telling you how great they are, and you should listen to them rather than me? Well, I don't like talking about myself. That seems foolish to me. But here we go. 2 Corinthians 11:22-23. “Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they offspring of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one.” How about that? Hey, are you a Christian? Well, I'm a better Christian than you, bro. I mean, that's what he just said, right? 2 Corinthians 11:23-29 “I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?” Wow. What a description right there. This guy was a Jew. And he got saved by Jesus when he met him on the road to Damascus. And then the Jews hated him because he brought the gospel to the Gentiles, to the other nations. And so, notice there in verse 24, he says, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one.” The idea is forty lashes kill somebody. So, we'll just give them thirty-nine lashes, so we don't kill them. Five times the Jews did that to him. This guy cared about other people getting saved. In fact, look at what he goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 12:14, even towards the Corinthians, who have caused him so many problems at this point, and he says here for the third time, I'm ready to come to you. He's not given up on the Jews. He's not given up on this church in Corinth. I'm now coming to you guys for the third time, “And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children.” Here's a great line to summarize Paul, “I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved the less? I will gladly give my life away so you can be saved. I will spend my life for your soul.”
So, yes, Paul is an extraordinary example, an example to inspire you. And maybe you've known other people in church history or other people in your life where you think that person, they have a past actually, that person, they're a prayer warrior. That person really cares about people being saved and the word I would use to describe these people… It's a hard word to spell. It's a hard word to pronounce, we'll throw it up here on the screen. It's indefatigable is actually the way to say it. I can barely even pronounce it. But you can see it's got the idea of fatigue in it. But Paul, he doesn't get tired of the gospel, he doesn't grow weary in wanting to see people get saved. He's tireless. He's relentless in defeat. Indefatigable is the word. Good luck with this one, everybody. This is my life goal right here. This is what I want to be like. It's an example to follow. But here's what I don't want this sermon to become. Wow, look at Paul, look at how Paul really cares. Look at how Paul really prays; be more like Paul. I don't think that's the main point. I think Paul's an inspiring example. And if you've got other inspiring examples, who are indefatigable about their commitment to seeing people get saved, look to those examples. Let them inspire you.
But go back to Romans 10:1, because there's an ultimate example that you and I need to get inspired by, let me let me take you through this verse. He's writing this in the first person, he's writing this from his own perspective, but he describes here two things, the first thing he says is, my heart's desire. One thing I found very fascinating, when I was looking at this in the original Greek language that it's written in, is the Greek word here is thelema. And that Greek word is often translated will. He's saying, my will is for them to be saved. Now, when you translate it will, that sounds like something that we often associate with God that God has a will, God has a desire, and God's will is for people to be saved. So, it's not like, hey, line yourself up with Paul and get passionate about people being saved. It's actually you need to line your will up with God's will, and God wants people to be saved. God has a desire for the salvation so much that God sent his one and only Son to die for people. That's how much God wants them to be saved. So, yes, you could try to be like Paul, but even Paul is trying to be like somebody in the one that he's lining his will up with the will of God. Now the word prayer here, there are many different words for prayer in the Greek language, this one is deesis. And this one is specifically a need-based request. Sometimes it's translated supplication. Like, the reason that it gets you start praying is you see the need for what you're asking for, like maybe you've heard of who has a prayer request, well, I need something. And the need is what's compelling me to ask God for it, because I can see that there's a lack of something, and we really need God to do something about it. So, the reason that he has a heart's desire is because he sees God's will for salvation, and he lines up his desire with God's desire. And then the reason that he asked God to do something about it is he can see the need among the Jewish people. So, seeing that many Jews are not saved does not make him angry at the Jews. It doesn't make him judgmental towards the Jews. It makes him see the great need among the Jews, and the need drives him to pray to God. Now this is not just something personal. For Paul, my concern when we talk about Paul is, people think well who could be like Paul.
But go with me to 1 Timothy Chapter 2, everybody. I need everybody to turn with me to something that Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 2. In fact, if you can turn with me to the letter of 1 Timothy, I think this is a very important cross reference to go along with Romans 10. One we need to also keep in mind. 1 Timothy 2:1-6. And before we even read these verses in 1 Timothy, let me just give you why did he write this letter to Timothy. It wasn't even just for Paul to encourage Timothy. Go to 1 Timothy 3:14-15, where he gives us the reason that he wrote this letter. He says in 1 Timothy 3:14-15, “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.” So, Paul's not sharing with Timothy his opinion, and Paul's not writing to Timothy, here's what you need to be like, Timothy, if I can't come and see you. I've got to write this down. It's got to be known. There is a way that people need to behave in the church. Are you a Christian? Are you a part of the body of Christ, or are you one of the people who make up the church, the church is not a building. The church is not a service. We are the Church of Jesus Christ. And there's a certain way we ought to conduct ourselves. There's a certain way that you and I should be because we are the church. And that's what he's writing in 1 Timothy, how should people be in the church? What does it mean to be the church? That's what 1 Timothy is for?
And so, now go back to 1 Timothy 2 now that we know the purpose that he's writing for. Well, here in 1 Timothy 2:1, he says, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” What does it mean for you to be a part of the church? Well, first of all, then, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” He says, first order of business is you and I are supposed to be praying for all people. That's what he says. And he uses four different words to describe prayer. And the first word there is supplications. Like, can you see the need to pray for people? Then prayer, it's like you direct your thoughts towards God, intercessions, you're doing it on behalf of other people, and thanksgivings. You're so confident as you pray for people to get saved. You're so confident that God wants people to get saved, that God is able to save people, that our God is mighty to save. In fact, he sent Jesus and we call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins, you're so confident that God is able willing, and going to save that even as you're asking him to save, you're already thanking him, because that's the way you're praying with faith for all people. It says, and what are you praying for all these people? Keep reading 1 Timothy 2:2, “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
God's desire, it says, is for all people to be saved. Do you believe that here today? Do you believe that God wants to save people? Do you believe that God would rather save people than judge people? Do you believe that the whole reason the judgment hasn't come yet, the whole reason Jesus hasn't come back yet, there is a great and terrible day of the Lord that is coming on planet Earth where God is going to judge the nations, judge the peoples for their sin. But the reason that that day hasn't happened yet is God is patient, because God doesn't want people to perish because of their sins and get judged. But God wants people to repent because God desires all people to be saved, you believe that?
Let's get that down for point number one: You’ve got to believe “God wants to save.” The desire for salvation doesn't start with somebody who's indefatigable like Paul, no, the desire for salvation starts in the very heart of God himself, starts in the character and the nature of who our God is. Our God is a Savior. He wanted his one and only Son to have the name as the one who would save people from their sins like this is God's heartbeat. This is God's passion. The reason that you should have a passion for people to get saved is God wants all people to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And what is the truth? Well, it says right here in 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.” Jesus is the way; Jesus is the truth. And Jesus is the life, and nobody is getting to God the Father, except through Jesus. And God wants people to know his Son, Jesus. God wants all people to be saved. The reason that you can have a passion is because God has a passion, you can line up your will with God's will. See, you might have other inspiring people, you know, that want people to get saved, but you're not just trying to be like them. You're trying to be like them because they are like God, and they have a heart after God's own heart. And nobody, I repeat, nobody wants people to be saved more than God does. That's what we've got to see. There's passion here.
Go to Ezekiel 18. Let me take you to one of the prophets, Ezekiel 18:30, if you can turn back into the Hebrew Scriptures with me. Sometimes when you go to these prophets, it's like God is speaking in the first person through his prophet. And that's what happens here in Ezekiel 18:30, God's going to have to judge his people Israel, because they are not turning from their sin. And their sin is storing up judgment for themselves. And so, God's going to have to judge his people. But look at God's heart. Look at what God says here, because it's like he's speaking straight to Israel here. This is a Ezekiel 18:30-32. “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, declares the Lord God. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” There's a great quote from God to write down if you are taking notes today. God has no pleasure in the death of anyone. God is not finding some kind of joy when people die in their sins. Here's God expressing he doesn't want to judge Israel, turn from your sin live, don't die in your sin. Why? Why will you die in your sin when you could turn to me and you could live, declares the LORD God, it's great just to hear it from him. It's great for everybody here to hear today that God does not want people to perish. God wants them to reach repentance. That’s 2 Peter 3:9, if you don't know that one, you can write that down. Our God is a God who wants all people to be saved. That is the desire of his heart. That is who he is. And so, when I want people to get saved, I'm not being some kind of super Christian. And I'm not trying to be like somebody like Paul, no, the reason I want people to get saved, is my will is lining up with my father's will. And I'm starting to see people how God sees people. And that person, that frustrating person that's driving really slow in front of me on the 405. And it's like, what are you doing, bro, like that nobody's driving like that. And I'm thinking, why are they in my way, and I'm ready to get angry. And I'm like, what’s going on here? No, that person, and that little car on that little freeway, that person is a soul. And I shouldn't be getting angry with them, I should be praying for them, because God wants that person to be saved. See, the reason God has grown in you or me or anybody else, a passion to see souls not die in their sins, but be saved by Jesus is because we're just starting to get a little glimpse of the desire that God has himself, we're just starting to see the real purpose that God has a whole plan, and God's doing all things for the glory of his Son, Jesus. And someday, the father is going to give all the things he created as an inheritance to his Son, and every knee is going to bow and every tongue is going to confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord and we just want people to get saved so they can know that now.
And see, when I see what God's doing, and I start to think like God does, then I have a heart's desire for people to be saved, because my God desires all people to be saved. Do you believe that about God? And then if you believe that about God, well, it makes a lot of sense that you would then if you think that God is able to save and God wants to save, then why wouldn't you ask God to save? Go back to 1 Timothy, chapter 2, because that's what we're when we're praying for all people. We're praying for all people to be saved, because Jesus has given himself as a ransom; his blood is the redemption, his body is the sacrifice offered to all is what it says. And so, we're praying specifically, you need to be praying specifically for people to be saved. That's what we're praying for. Now, I'm sure you know, you have problems that you're bringing up before the Lord and you know other people, and you know this person, they've got this diagnosis, and you're praying for them. And you know, this person, they're going through this hard time at their job, and you're praying for them. And this person, they're having a hard time being the parent of this their child that they love, and there's tension there, and you're praying for them. And yeah, when you hear about real needs that people have, that could be a reason to pray for them, but there is no greater need that anyone has than for that person to be saved? Are you praying just for the daily needs of people? Are you praying for the ultimate need of their soul that they would be saved out of their sin that's killing them? And they would have a new life in Jesus Christ, and they would never be the same because God is mighty to save. Are you asking God, I'm talking to you. Now this is personal. First question is, do you even pray? Do you even ever go into a secret place where it's just you and God, and you put everything else away, and it's just you talking to God? I'm not talking about the kind of prayer that you do throughout the day; I'm not talking about the cry of help when you realize you're in a bad way. I'm saying to you, set aside time and make it a priority, where it's just you and God, the most quality, the most best time in your whole day is when you go into the secret place and you pray to the Father. And when you are on that place, I don't know how often you go to that place. I don't know how serious you are about praying but is one of the things that regularly comes up in your prayer. God I am asking you to save. Is that something you're praying about? And I wonder when I see this many people in a room on a Sunday morning, where we gathered together publicly in the name of Jesus, I wonder how many of you privately go before God and pray in the name of Jesus. And I wonder if a lot of those prayers are me, myself, and I prayers. And I wonder if even when you are praying for other people, you're praying for this interview, and you're praying for that medicine, and you're praying for this over here, but you're not hitting the most important issue of the day, is that person saved or not? Do they know God, the only true God through Jesus Christ him son that he sent, like have they been delivered out of their sin and given a new heart, given the Spirit, and they are now new in Christ? Because if you're just addressing the lighter issues, the apparent problems, you're not getting to the deepest need of that person. Now, here's what I think. I think some of you really do pray for people to get saved. In fact, I think when I talk about you praying for people to get saved, you may be thinking of a specific face that comes to your mind, a specific name of a person, a person that you love, that you genuinely care for, that you want more than anything for this person to be saved, and you're praying for that person, because they're like your parent, or your child or your sibling, or there's somebody, you grew up in the same neighborhood with this person, and you met Christ, and your life completely changed. And they're like you if you've never met Christ, and every time you think of that, every time you see them, your heart goes out to them, and you love them. And you ask God to save them.
Notice, it doesn't say to pray for some people, it doesn't say to pray for the people you know, pray for the people you already love. How many people does it teach us to pray for here, everybody? See, I think some of us are really praying for people to be saved. But it's a very specific group of people. And the reason that I'm praying for them to be saved, is because I want them to be saved. Now, I'm not trying to say there's anything wrong with you wanting them to be saved; that's great that you want them to be saved. Of course, if you love somebody, and they don't know Jesus, how could you not want them to be saved? But this is what we're doing. We're going to God and we're bringing up so and so. And we're saying, God, I really want them to be saved. Let's back that up. Let's think about that for a second. Here's you, here's the Father in heaven, who wants this person to get saved more. So you don't need to go to God and be like, God, this person's my child, this person's like, they're my parent, this person, they're my friend from back in the day you put me next to this person at work God. And so I'm praying for my coworker. No, this person is God's creation. God knows this person way better than you do. God wants this person way more than you want them to be saved. So, I think that some of us, we are sincerely praying for people to be saved, but it's the wrong motivation. The motivation is I want them to be saved. When I should be coming to God and saying, God, you want them to be saved. And God, I know what would happen if you save them. Your name, and the name of your Son Jesus, would be hallowed. The name of Jesus would be lifted high, the name of Jesus, it would be seen to people that Jesus is alive and Jesus is on the move. And Jesus is keeping all his promises, and he's saving people to the end of the earth to the end of the days, he is with us always. And if you save this person, Father, the name of Jesus will be exalted. And it will be a way for you to advance your kingdom, and you'll be building your church. In fact, if you save this person, then your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. The reason that I should be praying for all people to be saved is not because I want them to be saved. But God think of the glory that you will have, think of the delight that you will have, think of the joy that you will have when you saved the person, not how all feel, but how you will feel God who's praying like that? Who's appealing to God based on God's name, not based on your name, and not because you know their name? No, you're praying for God's glory, for God's kingdom, for God's will. See, now you're really learning how to pray, not your requests, but God's prayer list.
See, there are two reasons prayer doesn't work. James 4 makes this very clear. We have not because we ask not, if you're not praying for people to get saved, well, then that's a big problem that you're not going to see people get saved. But it also says there's another thing we ask in a wrong way. We ask to spend it on our pleasures, our passions. Like I've heard people say these kinds of things, like I really want you to be saved. And sometimes it's clear, I've even heard people say, oh, my life would be so much better if my kid just got saved. Okay, well, that's true. But that's probably not the best motivation to pray for your kid to be saved. You see, a lot of times I hear things like, well, I'm going to miss you. If I die, and I go to heaven, and you're not there with me, I'm going to miss you. And I want you to be in heaven with me. Now, that's true. I can relate to that. I have a family. I love my family. The other day, my wife called me at two o'clock, and she's like, I'm like, why are you calling me? She's like, I miss you. I'm like, it's the middle of the day. Like we were just hanging out a few hours ago. But see, that's how it is. It's like, even in the middle of the day, you can miss the people that you love. Like, yeah, when you love somebody, you want to be with somebody. And if I love you, and I'm going to heaven, sure, I want you to go to heaven. But the idea that I want you to go to heaven, to be with me is kind of missing the whole point of going to heaven. I want you to go to heaven, so you could see the glory of God. Like rainbows, like radiant light forevermore, I want you to go to heaven so that when we all shout, worthy is the lamb who was slain. We can all be there with Jesus, praising him and giving him glory. Yeah, I might be there, but that's not the point. The point is, I want you to know Christ. He is life. He is joy. He is love, he is peace. That's my motivation. God save this person because they need to know what you've opened my eyes to see. They need to know what I have experienced. So they need Jesus, please save them. It's not because they know me. It's not like well, will I be there really, their life will not be defined by their relationship with you, their life will be defined by their relationship with God, and his Son Jesus. That's why you should pray here.
Let's get this down for point number two: “Ask God to do what he wants.” Ask God to do what he wants. You're asking God to do something he's mighty to do, he's able to do. He's telling you he already desires to do and he wants them to know the truth, that his Son Jesus is their only hope, the way to the truth and the life. And so, you are not at some of our motivations, we’ve got to rethink it, because I understand that you love them, and you want them to be saved, and you would like to be there in heaven with them. And that's all true. But that's not the reason to pray. Like, you’ve got it, you’ve got to see not only does God want them to be saved, God wants them to be saved more than you do. And not only does God want them to be saved more than you do, God knows them better than you do. Even if they're your kid, God's the one who fashioned them in their mother's womb. God's got a unique relationship to them, that he made them in his image. Like, don't be like God, please save them all. Love it, if you save them all have joy, no appeal to God. Think of the joy that you will have when you save them.
Go with me to Luke 15. I want everybody to see the picture here and Luke 15 that Jesus gives us of the joy that God has when God saves somebody. In Luke 15. If everybody can turn there with me. There's a famous story. It's called the parable of the prodigal son, and it's often misinterpreted. But the prodigal son is somebody who takes the life that God gives them, and they live it all for their own pleasures and their own passions. They take the money and they run; they think they can do whatever they want with the life that God gave them. And the father represented here, the prodigal son is the sinner who repents, and the Father is the example of God in the story. So, start with me in Luke 15:1 to make sure we get the context. The tax collectors and sinners, we're all drawing near to hear Jesus and the Pharisees, and the scribes are grumbled, saying this man receives sinners and eats with them. So clearly, the context is the sinners are coming to hear the good news. And the people who know that they're sinful, they're repenting from their sin, and they're turning to God to be saved. That's what Luke 15 is about. It's about people who are lost, being found, people who are dead, being alive, people being saved. And so, Jesus tells the Pharisees, you're missing the point. The point is, I came here to save people. Sinners are those who need to be saved. That's where you're getting saved, as you're getting saved out of your sin that's destroying your life, ruining your life and going to kill you. And so, you turn from your sin to God and you find salvation. So, he tells three stories, a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. And at the end of the first two stories, it says, when one sinner repents on earth, what do the angels in heaven do? Everybody who knows the story, what do they do? They rejoice. Now why would angels rejoice? Why would angels shout for joy in the heavenly places? If you know about heaven, what are angels doing? They're all focused on the one who's on the throne. They're all messengers of God himself. And so, if the angels are rejoicing, who are they taking their cue from? Who's the one who's finding joy in saving a sinner? And see, the father here, look at it with me and Luke 15:20, as Jesus describes the father in this story, he's describing our Father in heaven. And it says in Luke 15, verse 20, when this son realizes that he's hitting rock bottom, and he realizes his sin is destroying him. And he says, even the servants in my Father's house have it better than this, I'll go back to my father's house Luke 15:20, “And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I'm no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, bring quickly the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this, my son, was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found, and they began to celebrate.” When God save someone, there is a celebration in heaven. That's what Jesus is telling us. And I love this description of the father. If you go back to verse 20 with me. Notice how it says, when the son is coming, and he's still a long way off? How do you notice something when it's far away? You notice something when it kind of stands out to you, but you only see something really far away when you are what, when you're looking for it. See, the father's looking for the center to turn to him. And then the father runs to his son. Now, if you think about this story in context, right, the men are wearing long robes, and the father, like this is a grown son. So, you're talking about the father is now advanced in years, the father is now kind of an elderly man. So, the picture here is an elderly man pulling up his robe and running through town. When was the last time you saw an old guy just running through the city? Right? That's the picture here. That's a picture of God's love and God's desire to come and run and embrace and kiss. Because God knows that they were dead in their sin, and now they're alive in Christ.
See, God wants to save. In fact, you could write down Zephaniah 3:17 under point number two where our God is mighty to save, our God is in our midst, and are God sings over his people, and God quiets his people with his love. Like Zephaniah 3:17 is this picture of God being the one who's putting all of his people at peace and joy and ease because he is the one singing in his joy over his people that he has saved. When I pray for all people to be saved, I'm asking God to do something that will exalt his name. I'm asking God to advance his kingdom. I'm saying, God, I know what your will is. I know what you want to do. I know you delight and you desire in saving people. And so, God, do it here on earth as it is in heaven. Let us see your will be done. Let us see souls get saved, not because I want them to be saved, but because you want them to be saved. Are we praying like that? Are you praying like that? First of all, then I urge that these kinds of prayers be made for all people. This is the way church is supposed to be. This is supposed to be standard operating procedure. Neither in your private life, and when we gather together publicly, and we pray, we are supposed to be praying for all people, our fellow-Americans and people of the nations of the earth. We are supposed to be praying for God to save them. And so, I'm going to call a prayer meeting, an all church prayer meeting tomorrow night at seven o'clock, I'm asking our entire church, we're going to gather together for the most important need. Like, if you found out that somebody that you know and love had cancer, and there was going to be a prayer meeting tomorrow night, would you show up at that prayer meeting? If you found out that there was a natural disaster and these houses collapsed on these people and groups of people were going to pray about it. Would you go to that prayer meeting? If, let's say perhaps it was an election year, and people were really concerned about what was going to happen in the future of their country. And here's a prayer meeting where we can pray for America because what's going to happen with us, when it comes to politics? Would you go to that prayer meeting? Well, none of those prayer meetings are getting to the ultimate problem, the major need, which is the salvation of people's souls, and so we're calling an all church prayer meeting tomorrow night at seven o'clock to pray for people's souls, are you going to come? Are you going to see like, wow, this is a sense of urgency. This is an emergency. People need to be saved. This is their biggest problem; their sin is killing them. And so, we're going to gather together tomorrow night, and we're going to pray for all people to be saved. And if you're able to, please come into this room and join us as we cry out to God in prayer and learn more about how to pray this way. And we understand not everybody can be able to be here Monday night at seven o'clock, but maybe you can pray for all people to be saved. Wherever you are, there won't be kids’ ministry. So maybe you'll be at home with your kids, maybe you could begin to teach them to pray this way. Because this is how we are expected to pray in the church of Jesus Christ. We're here to pray for all people to be saved, because God wants all people to be saved, because Jesus is the ransom for all of those souls.
Now go back to Romans 10. Because now I think we can really understand Romans 10:1. Paul's got a passion and a prayer for salvation. But that's because that's God's will. And he's asking God to save those people. We're not trying to be like Paul, we want to be like God. And we want to have the same will as God. And we want to ask God to do his will, here on earth as it is in heaven. But then look at how well Paul knows the Jews, the people he's praying for. He sees what their problem really is, he knows this, because he used to be one of these people before he met Christ. And he knows this, because the Jews are still coming after him, now that he is in Christ. And so, look at what it says here in Romans 10:2, 3, and 4. For I bear them witness, talking about the Jews here, the Jews have a zeal for God. They really want God, but not according to knowledge, for being ignorant of the righteousness of God, they are seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Like, hey, let me talk about the Jews for a second, the Jews, they have a zeal that's real, they're really going for it. They really want it. And they're even seeking to establish their own righteousness, the Jews are trying hard to do what is right, but the Jews have lost the plot because they think you can keep the law and you can be righteous if you try hard enough, when the whole point of the law was the purpose of at the end of it was Christ is the righteous one, believe in him. And by faith God will give you righteousness. The law wasn't meant to make you think you could go and be righteous, no, the end of the law was to show you that the Christ is the righteous one. And when you believe in him, God will grace you with righteousness. You don't have a righteousness of your own. God will give you the righteousness of Jesus, when you believe in Jesus. But he's got these people, they sincerely want it, and they are really trying hard to get it. They're just looking in the wrong place. They're looking in their own words, rather than having their eyes open to see Jesus by faith. And so, Romans 10, you should like circle that. Underline that, write that down if you're taking notes, if you're trying to figure out the book of Romans. Romans 10:4 is a very helpful verse, because it says that this law that shows us our sin, was meant to always be fulfilled by Christ, the end, but tell us the completion or fullness of the law is Jesus. The law is meant to lead you to faith in Christ, not for you to go and try to keep the law in yourself. And the Jews, they've lost that plot. And part of the reason Paul knows this is this is his testimony.
Go with me to Philippians chapter 3 and look at how he describes himself. We already read a passage where he's like a better Christian than us. We’ll now look at Philippians 3 because, before he was a Christian, he had a resume as well. And here in Philippians 3:4, he gives us a glimpse into the Jews because he was one of them. And it says in Philippians 3:4-6, “though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law,[a] blameless.” Like, hey, I was as Jew as a Jew could be is basically what he said. I wanted it, I tried really hard, you could have found something in the law that I wasn't doing. Philippians 3:7, “But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.” Indeed, I count everything is lost, because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. For his sake, for Jesus, “I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own, that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.” See what Paul understands very clearly is that the Jews don't see that he can see, that he's praying that they would be able to see, it's the purpose of salvation is Christ.
Let's get that down for point number three: That you could see “the purpose of salvation is Christ.” Like the point is to know Jesus, the point is to be saved from your sins and be forgiven by Jesus. The point is to find an abundant life in Jesus. The point is to see that apart from Christ, I can do how many things, everybody? Nothing. I need Jesus, that's the point. Doesn't matter how bad I want, it doesn't matter how hard I'm trying, without Jesus, I have nothing. But with Jesus, I have all things. So, people say things regularly, like, oh, they hit rock bottom, they really need to get saved. Well, let's think that thought all the way through. Because most of the neighbors that we've got here in North Orange County or South LA County, people in Southern California, they're living in very expensive homes, and they're driving cars, and they've got a fridge full of food, and they've got clothes, and they haven't hit rock bottom. So, are they doing just fine? See, it doesn't matter whether you've hit rock bottom, or whether you think you're living at the top of the world. If you don't have Christ, then that's the whole point. The whole purpose of God saving people is that they could know Jesus and enjoy him forever. Can I get an amen from anybody on this? So, it's not like, oh, look, their life is bad. Maybe they need Jesus. No, no, no. If their life is good, they need Jesus. Everybody needs Jesus. That's why we're praying for all people. And it's not just so that they could stop in this way. And it's not just so that they would be a better spouse for my kid that they married, or it's not just so that they would stop being so annoying when I talked to them when I'm walking my dog. It's not, that's not the reason we want them to get saved. It's not so that they'll come to church, it's not so that they'll know just verses in the Bible. No, we want them to know the living one who died, and behold, he is alive forevermore. And eternity will be to the praise of the glory of his grace, it will be an endless praise to the name of Jesus. That's what we want them to be a part of. It's not just so that their life could get a little incrementally better right now. Some of us have gotten saved. And things actually got harder for us right here right now. But we don't care because we've got Jesus. Now see, the point of all of this is Jesus. And I feel this very deeply. Because sometimes I think, where would I be if I didn't meet Jesus? If God didn't open my eyes. And there was one day I could see it very clearly that when Jesus was dying on that cross, he wasn't dying for all the people’s sin and he wasn't dying for that person said no when Jesus was up there on the cross, he was dying for my sin. The sin that I did, the sin that I deserved to die because of the sin, that I deserve to be judged by God forever because of. And there was Jesus taking my place and paying for my sin and God opened my eyes, and he saved me. And sometimes I think, man, if God didn't do that, where would I be right now? And you know where I would be right now if I wasn't saved in Jesus? I'd be at church on a Sunday morning. That's where I would be. The only life I've ever known is going to church. I mean, my parents, they were a part of the Jesus Movement. My dad got saved, he met my mom, wasn't too long after that, there I was everybody. And they were going to a good church, and they were reading the Bible at our house. I've never known a life where you don't go to church, I've never known a place where the Bible was not open. And if I hadn't met Christ, you know what? I'd probably be sitting right here with all of you. And you know what? I would have zeal, I would really want it. And you know what? I'd be trying really hard to do it. And at church, I might even look like I had it all together. And this is what I'm all about. But if you knew what I was thinking in the morning, or you knew what I was thinking in the evening, if you knew what really drove me, it would not be Christ. I'm saying that I would probably look pretty much like how I look today. But it wouldn't be real. Because it wouldn't be about me remaining in Christ every day, realizing that apart from him, I'm not going to do one thing that matters today. But in Jesus, that I can bear much fruit I can bring glory to God. I can have love and peace and joy because I know Christ. And so, you could be having a zeal for God. And you could be trying really hard to do what is right, but has the purpose in your life become Jesus? That's what salvation is all about. It's not about just cleaning up your act morally, it's not about having a better life than where you would end up if you hit rock bottom. The purpose of salvation is you get to know Jesus. And when Jesus is unveiled, and Jesus is revealed, and every knee hits the ground, and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord, you won't be one of the people being judged on the earth, when he returns. You won't be one of the people being judged under the earth, acknowledging who Jesus is, but you will be one of his people. And the greatest privilege, the greatest blessing of your entire life is that somebody would call you a Christian, that you would be associated with him. That's what it is to be saved, that I get to know my Lord, my Savior, I get to know Jesus. And I wonder how many people do we have here in the room with this many people at church on a Sunday morning. I'm not saying you don't want it. And I'm not saying you don't try hard. But I wonder, is there anybody here today that you realize even as I'm talking right now, the point of my life is not Christ. This isn't about me being a better person. This is about me, trying to get my act together. This is not about me, seeing that the end of the law was Christ and believing in him and getting to know him, and all those things that I used to define myself by, all those things that used to matter so much for me, I now have lost all those things. I count them all as losses, because what I really want now is to know him, the fellowship of his sufferings and the power of his resurrection. I don't care what happens to me, as long as I know Jesus. Is that true about you? Because that's what it means to be saved. People who are saved know Jesus. And as they get to know Jesus, they have a passion, and a prayer for other people to know Jesus. Because that's what God wants, is God wants all people to know Jesus. So let me pray for us right now.
Father in heaven. I want to thank you for bringing all these souls here to church this morning. I want to thank you for opening the door to this place so we could all gather together. And Father, I'm coming before you now, and I'm confessing on behalf of my brothers and sisters that I don't think for all of us, the first thing is we're praying for all people to be saved. Father, I want to confess that some of us aren't even really praying. And I want to confess that some of us were passionately praying for people to be saved. But it's because we want them to be saved, we're not seeing clearly how much you want them to be saved. And so, Father, we ask that through your word being preached today, that you would align our will up with your will. And you would align our prayer up with your requests. And that we would see that you want them to be saved more than we want them to be saved. And you're the one who is able to save them and you're the one whose name will be hallowed and whose kingdom will come and whose will will be done when they are saved. And so, Father, I pray for my brothers and sisters here at Compass HB that you will empower us to pray for people to be saved more than we ever have before. I pray that you will hear from us here in Huntington Beach in heaven, in these days to come, and then tomorrow and It is seven o'clock that we will gather together again in the name of Jesus for the whole purpose to learn how to pray and to pray together, that you will save many souls. Not so people will think, oh, they're becoming a better person or not. So, people will think, oh, look what's happening at that church, but that so people would know that there is only one name by which anybody can be saved in the name of Jesus. And that people would know that Jesus is alive, that Jesus is on the move, that Jesus even at the end of days at the end of the earth, Jesus is building his church, and not even the gates of Hades can stop him. Father, we know your passion, we know your heart, you want the glory of your Son to be revealed. You want every eye to see him, you want every heart to worship him. And so, Father, we pray that here among us, we would see that you are a God who was mighty to save, and that you will take the name of Jesus, and lift it high here in Huntington Beach, and make us all people who pray for all people to be saved. Father, please don't let this be a church where there's a few people who have a passion, or there's a few people who pray. But let this be a church where we all pray for all the people. And Father, I want to pray for people who are here right now, and they know their life is not Christ. They know there are other things that they are hanging on to more than Jesus, and they're not willing to count them as loss. I pray that even today, even now at this service, you could open their eyes and they could see Jesus dying on that cross for that very thing that they will not let go of, there is Jesus sacrificing himself, bleeding out to pay for their sin. Father, I pray that today would be the day that you would open eyes to see that there is nothing worth living for compared to your Son, Jesus, and there is life in his name. And so, I pray that even now you would show yourself that you are here in our midst, and that you are mighty to save souls by placing them into Christ, that they would die to that sin and they would rise to a new life. Father, please show us who you are, that you are God our Savior. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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