Memphis Belle

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Luke 1:1-38
Luke 1:39-80 Luke 2:1-38 Luke 2:39 - 3:17 Luke 3:19-4:23 Luke 4:14-5:11
Luke 5:12-26 Luke 5:27 6:11 Luke 6:12-49 Luke 7:1-23 Luke 7:24-50 Luke 8:1-18
Luke 8:19-40
Luke 8:40-56 Luke 9:1-27 Luke 9:26-50 Luke 9:51 to 10:24 Luke 10:25-42
Luke 11:1-13 Luke 11:14-44 Luke 12:1-21 Luke 12:22-48 Luke 12:49 - 13:17 Luke 13:18-35
Luke 14:7-35 Luke 15:1-10 Luke 15:11-32 Luke 15:24-32 Luke 16:13-31 Luke 17:1-26
Luke 17:26-37 Luke 18:9-27 Luke 18:31-43 Luke 19:1-27 Luke 19:28-48 Luke 20:1-26
Luke 20: 27-47 Luke 21: 5-36 Luke 22: 1-20 Luke 22:21-34 Luke 22: 35-53 Luke 22: 54-71
Luke 23: 13-43 Luke 23: 43-56 Luke 24: 1-35 Luke 24: 36-53    
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Luke 13:18-35

 

“Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like?  and whereunto shall I resemble it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.  And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.  And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, journeying toward Jerusalem.  Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?  And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate:  for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.  The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence:  for Herod will kill thee.  And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day shall be perfected.  Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow and the day following:  for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate:  and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

 

“‘And Lord, I know for myself, sometimes it’s easier for me to pray ‘give the surgeons wisdom, guide the hands of the doctors,’  and that way Lord, you’re off the hook, and I’m off the hook, and everybody’s off the hook, except the surgeon.  And sometimes Father I feel in my heart that I hesitate to ask for your best, that you would get there before any other surgeon gets there Lord, and you would do a miracle.  So Lord, I believe, we all  believe Lord, help our unbelief.  Lord, we do see the work of Satan in the world today.  And Lord it seems like iniquity is abounding, as your Word said that it would.  That you also said that when iniquity abounds, that when wickedness comes in like a flood, you would raise up a Standard.  So Father we pray in Jesus name, for your mercy, for your love, Lord that you touch those this evening that have stood with their feet Lord, and those that are sitting that have stood in their hearts, and Lord that you would do it, blow our minds, Lord, bless our hearts, heal those Lord that look to you this evening, we pray Lord, in Jesus name, amen.’  ‘And Lord, as we continue in Luke, Lord, we ask that you would speak to us, we thank you for your Word, thank you that we can gather, Lord, in peace, Lord.  We know there’s war around the world, we know there’s many difficulties, we praise you that we can sing your praises, and rock out a little bit Lord, have a great time, and look to you and laugh and cry together, and fellowship Lord.  Lord, that you sent your Son to die for us, we thank you for that, that we can come this evening, expecting your best, because someone else has paid the price for us to have that, and how effective that price was.  Father we look to you know, and ask your continued presence, in Jesus name, amen.’ 

 

Parable of the Mustard Tree and the Lump of Leavened Dough

 

Luke chapter 13, Luke chapter 13, Jesus is in a synagogue.  There’s a woman there, bent in half, we looked at it last week, for eighteen years.  The only time in the New Testament the word is used in regards to a disease, double-bent.  Again, many of you have seen someone like that, bent all the way down to the ground, just bent in half.  And the Lord set her free, called her to himself, touched her, said ‘Woman, you’re loosed from your infirmity.’  And it says, ‘The ruler of the synagogue yelled at the people, says ‘There’s six days during the week that men ought to work, come to be healed in those days, not on the Sabbath day.’  It was not work for Jesus, by the way.  Jesus then moves us into these parables about the Kingdom, it’s in light of that, it’s in light of the hypocrisy that is within the religious movement of men that has hardened itself in regards to the heart of God, that has esteemed its traditions and its rules and its by-laws, and its boards and its organizations and its programs above the heart of the Lord and above the leading of the Holy Spirit.  And Jesus says this in verse 18, “Then he said, Unto what is the kingdom of God like?  and whereunto shall I resemble it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.  And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (verses 18-20).  Jesus now describing the Kingdom, what had happened in his present situation as he faced the religious leaders in Israel [Judah], and he uses two analogies.  One is of the fowls of the air, and the other is of leaven.  And he says, ‘One thing that I might liken the Kingdom to is like someone who took a grain of mustard seed and sowed it in the field.’  Now the mustard in Israel sometimes gets six, seven foot high.  But he says here something different, ‘that became a great tree,’ almost like the great tree in Daniel chapter 4, that is an analogy of a world kingdom or a world empire.  He says, ‘The kingdom is like a seed that was planted, and yet there’s unnatural growth, and it becomes something that it was never intended to be, and then the fowls of the air come and make their nests in it.’  And what we have in the Bible is called expositional constancy.  Jesus when he tells parables says, ‘If you know not this parable, how shall you know all parables?’ in Mark 4.  And what he’s talking about is these idioms he uses are pictures of something.  And he says the kingdom is like something that has grown into this monstrous thing, and the fowls of the air, which he tells us in the parables are workers of iniquity, have come and made their nests in it.  And maybe you’re here this evening, and one of the things that has kept you away from Christ, it’s kept you away from Jesus, has kept you away from making spiritual motion in your heart towards forgiveness and toward the Lord, maybe one of the things that’s done that to you, has been the fact that you’ve seen the Church, as a huge unnatural monstrosity, where there are art treasures that are worth billions of dollars, and there are billions of dollars in Swiss banks, and all kinds of money and extravagance, and in the mean time, you look around the world and you see people suffering, and you see people without food, and you see the same organizations begging for money every week, and you see that it’s a political show. And how often do we see scandal, and we see people in the Church that are bringing a reproach on the name of Christ.  And I know myself, before I came to Christ, that was one of the things I’d look at, ‘The Church, I don’t want anything to do with that, man, it’s full of hypocrites, look, anybody can see through that, I’m fried and I can see through that.  Half my brain works and I can see that, how could people go there and not see what’s going on there?’  And any time I did go, I went to get warm usually, it was in the winter, and sat all the way in the back, and made that midnight service on Christmas Eve. And I saw enough there, that I didn’t want to be there the rest of the year.  And I didn’t see anything real that touched my heart, or reached out to me where I lived, or where I struggled.  I saw rules, and I saw regulations, I saw laws, I saw dress codes, I saw offering envelopes, I saw how much everybody gave posted on the wall so you’d embarrass them into giving more.  I didn’t see Jesus. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch3.htm to learn what Church Pastor Joe is talking about.  It’s not what originally started out as the apostolic Church of God in Jerusalem in Acts 2.  To see what started there, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch1.htm.  The two were never, ever part of each other, which most do not understand.]  ‘Or it’s like leaven,’ he says, ‘which a woman took three measures of flour and hid leaven in it until the whole was leavened, until it permeated the whole thing.’  Leaven works, and it causes bread to rise, it permeates the whole, and leaven is a picture of sin [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/messianicmovement/Leaven.htm].  It [the kingdom] looks like something that’s been permeated.  Jesus is there looking in the face of the ruler of a synagogue whose supposed to care for the people, and he’s angry because of a woman has been set free on the Sabbath day.  And he looks at it, and he said the kingdom, you know it’s become a big unnatural thing of rules and regulations, and the workers of iniquity have come and made their homes in it, because it’s prosperous, and they are able to take advantage of God’s people, and they were raking the money into the Temple treasuries.  He said ‘It’s like three measures of meal that a woman hid leaven in, and now it’s permeated the whole thing.’  And it’s very interesting, because it tells us that the common people heard Jesus gladly, that they listened to his gracious words, it says.  And it was so far removed from the picture of religion and Judaism and the things that they had in their minds.  As they heard his words it says they were astounded as they listened to him, because he spoke with authority, and not as the scribes and the Pharisees. 

 

‘Lord, Are There Few That Be Saved?’

 

It says, verse 22, “And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.”  Your Bible may say ‘making his way toward Jerusalem’, making his way toward his crucifixion, making his way toward his death, making his way toward carrying our sins, and paying the full price of what we deserve.  “Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved?  And he said unto them,”  You know, this is the last six months of his public ministry, and he’s become stern with the religious leaders.  His words are cutting a little deeper, they have a little bit more edge to them, as he pronounces the woes against the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the doctors of the Law.  It is the most heated things that he has to say, more heated than what he says to drunkards or to prostitutes or to tax collectors.  The ones he’s really turned on, and he’s skinned them alive, has been the religious leaders and the hypocrisy of their system. 

 

Where is this world going?

 

And now someone listening is saying, ‘Well then Lord, are there few then that will be saved?  This sounds impossible, this is all we know, this is what we thought it was all about, and you’re telling us something that’s so far different, and you’re denouncing what we thought was our own religious experience.  Lord, are there few then that will be saved?’  Now, I asked that question, when I was younger, only I didn’t put the word “Lord” in front of it.  In my own heart I looked around, and I thought ‘What in the world is the world coming to?’  I remember being in elementary school, and I don’t know how many of you remember that, 1950s [I do, he’s only three years younger than I am], they used to have air-raid drills.  [I used to attempt to build bomb-shelters with the kid who lived down the street, we’d dig deep holes in the ground, one in my yard, and another out in the woods.  They’ve since filled in, thankfully.]  I remember, kindergarten, first grade in the middle of the day, all of a sudden in the school the air-raid drill would go off, and they would take us, hundreds of us into the basement, air-raid drills in case the city was bombed.  I remember when I was younger the air-raid sirens constantly in the streets would go off, they would test them.  But I just remember as a little kid thinking ‘Wow!  They’re taking us down into the basement so we don’t blow up!?’  And those seeds being there, of how, ‘This is strange.’  It was the end of World War II, and other nations were starting to get nuclear bombs [mainly Soviet-Russia, that’s who we were worried about, the big Soviet-Russian blockbuster nukes, as we would call them, 50-kilotonners, with a kill radius from the center of Boston all the way out to Route 128.  Yeah, I remember.  I was a little older, so I collected more facts on it, my friend Bobby Patkin and me.  We’d go down to the Belmont Town Hall and get free bomb-shelter plan booklets, which are collectors items now.]  You must have remembered even later than that, the phase when everybody was building bomb-shelters in their back yards.  [A good movie to get and watch is “Blast From the Past”, it shows how nuts everybody was getting over this, it’s about this scientist type guy who builds this super bomb-shelter in his back yard, it’s really funny.  He went a bit further than us boys were able to go, but we were all dreaming about doing that.]  And by the time I got to high school, and friends that were graduating in front of me were going to Vietnam and not coming back.  [They tried to draft me out of high school before I graduated, so I joined the Naval Reserve, Submarine Division 1-8, they let me finish high school, and then I went active duty, had a blast on an old WWII submarine, fond memories.  But a sister-ship we were operating with in the Med, the Scorpion, was sunk by the Russians, and I didn’t learn the facts about what happened until recently when two books were written about it.   See http://www.unityinchrist.com/author.htm]  I mean, I remember being a teenager thinking ‘What in the world is this all about?’   You know I’m not going to work for 30 years and retire and get a pension and join a golf club in Florida.  Because they’re going to blow this all up.  [See http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm to get a clue as to where we are in the prophetic Big Picture.]  They’re going to blow this whole stinking ball of dirt up.  I remember thinking that when I was in high school, and listening to the Eve of Destruction [sung by Barry McGuire, now a born-again Christian] on the radio and thinking ‘Wow!  Where are we going?’   And it was enough to push a whole generation I think into LSD, dropping out and turning on, and looking for something else, reaching to some spiritual plane or some thing, or you know, meditating on our navels, dropping acid and lighting incense and listening to Ravi Shankar.  What we were saying is, “Who can be saved, are there few that will be saved?  What takes us out of this?  What is there if this all blows up?  What is beyond this?  It’s just I didn’t know then to put the first word on, ‘Lord, Lord, are there few that will be saved?’  [And this question could apply to both the spiritual, eternal life, and to the physical, those who will be saved alive in the ensuing World War III.  The number that will die in WWIII will be huge, about 90 percent of the world’s population, according to Bible prophecy.  This also brings up the question he seems to be begging, what about the “unsaved dead”, which is always a sticky question amongst believers.  The Body of Christ has various beliefs on this subject, to read some of them log onto:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm] 

 

Spiritually, Who Will Be Saved?---‘Strive To Enter the Strait Gate’

 

You know, I think sometimes when I ride down 95 and I look out across the city of Philadelphia, and I see steeple after steeple after steeple, crosses on top of churches, and row home after row home after row home, millions and millions and millions and millions of people, and you think, ‘Lord, are there few that will be saved?  How in the world can this many people be reached at this late hour?  How will they hear?’  Jesus answers, and says this, verses 24-30, “And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate:  for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able to.  When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.  And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.  And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.”  This guy says ‘Lord, is it that hard to be saved?  Is it just few that will be saved?  Jesus turns around to him and says to him, ‘Now look, strive to enter in at the strait gate,’  “Strait” is the word for “narrow.”  ‘Strive to enter in at the narrow gate, for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.’   “Strive” is agonizo, to agonize over something, to put your heart to something.  Now look, no one is saved by agonizing.  You know, this is not like making the Olympic trials or something, you get there because you run faster and you huff and puff and blow salvation down.  That’s not what it’s saying.  You’re striving to enter because you’re looking at a religious system that has grown into a huge unnatural growth, and workers of iniquity have made their nests in the branches of it.  You’re looking at a religious system that has become leavened.  And you know, as you look at it, you’re looking for truth, you’re looking for what is real, you’re looking for something that matters, and there’s only one thing, there’s only one way to be saved, there’s only one gate.  And Jesus says ‘Strive to enter in there.’  Think of the things that people strive to do in life.  You know, I watched one of those shows a couple weeks ago about these guys climbing Mount Everest.  And they have different camps along the way.  And as they’re going up, ‘Oh here’s Tom so and so that froze last spring, here he is at this camp’ and the guy’s like an ice-cube, he’s there, ‘And here are those two guys up here, oh yeah, they’re frozen here, sticking out like popsicles out of the ice.’  I’m thinking, ‘What is wrong with these people?’  They can watch this on a National Geographic special and eat ice cream and be safe, what are they doing?  Think of the things that people strive to do, and they get to the top of the mountain, and they stand up there, ‘Haha, I’m on Mount Everest,’ and if they don’t make a TV show about it, nobody knows.  And nobody will believe you when you tell them you were there anyway.  And they make the TV shows about the guys that don’t know what they’re doing, and half of them don’t make it back again.  I watched this young girl around 20 years old, and she holds the world record for diving without tanks.  She just dives down, 167 feet with no diving tanks, holds her breath.  A hundred and sixty seven feet, what is wrong with somebody who wants to do that?  I mean, I didn’t wake up and see fins this morning, I’m just happy where I am.  [I’m an ex-submarine sailor.  Right now I’m a fish out of water. I love to swim, skin dive and scuba dive.  My present job doesn’t allow it.  I know where this girl is coming from.  One of my favorite movies is The Abyss, about an underwater oil rig.  But someday…]  And think of the things that people strive to do, ‘This is her, she’s in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, you’re the young lady that holds the deepest diving record, I know who you are.’  I mean, what do you want to say at the end of your life?  ‘I did it, I dove deeper than anybody ever dove without oxygen tanks [better be air tanks, oxygen will kill you at depth].  I’m ready to go now.’  I think there’s something else I want to say at the end of my life.  [Wheh! Made it!]  I want to say, ‘Lord, I cast my spirit into your hands.’  [Like General ‘Lo’ Armistead in the movie Gettysburg, just before he started marching across that long open field against the Union army and artillery.  I sincerely believe he was a believer, and that he knew he was going to die.]  “Lord, I breathe my last, I’ve served you, I cast myself upon you.  Through the veil of death, Lord, I’m stepping in, I’m trusting you to catch me there, to put your angels around me and to bring me to glory.’  

 

Why People Have To Strive To Enter the Narrow Gate

 

But because the Scripture, the Word of God, and Christ have been so misrepresented in so many fronts, that people do have to strive, they do have to agonize, as it were, over the issue, you know.  And he says ‘Strive to enter in at the narrow gate’, there’s a gate to enter, there’s a portal somewhere.  You watch those TV shows where there’s a portal and they jump through a portal, and they go through some worm-hole in time and end up somewhere else.  There’s a door, there’s a gate into another kingdom, another realm.  Now, there’s only one gate.  It’s not narrow in a prohibitive sense…It isn’t like thousands of people, you ever see people trying to get through the door at the same time, and they’re bumping into each other, and then they get stuck.  It’s not narrow in the prohibitive sense, where there’s thousands of people who want to be Christians, and the door’s only this wide, and some of them are loosing weight trying to get through, and everybody’s pushing.  It’s not prohibitive, it’s narrow in the sense that there’s only one way to be saved.  Millions of people can fit through the gate, but there’s only one, and it’s narrow in that sense.  And it’s a busy gate.  When you come to that gate, one of the reasons that you have to strive a little bit, is because there’s lots of people there---the JW’s are there, and the Hare Krishna’s are there, and the Mormons are there, there’s all kinds of organizations---did you ever notice that all those organizations, they don’t teach their people how to argue with Buddhists.  You ever notice that?  You ever talk to a J-dub?  They don’t get trained to argue with Buddhists.  They only train them to argue with Christians.  All of these organizations, they train their people to argue with one kind of people, and that’s your kind of people.  And they all crowd around that gate.  And the Devil’s there at that gate, with all kinds of bait.  [Comment:  Even amongst the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God this is very true.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/What%20is%20Arianism.htm]  I mean, the enemy knows where to concentrate his effort, and how to turn people away, and how to lodge in the branches of the Church [Body of Christ], and how to leaven it with sin, and how to make it look discolored and stained to a world that is hopeless and looking for something that they can cast their lives upon.  But that gate is not prohibitive, it is open for anyone who wants to step through it, and receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and eternal life.  He says, ‘Strive to enter that gate’ here’s the reason, “For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” 

 

There Is A Time Element To Entering This Gate

 

What does that mean?  Does that mean Jesus is going to say, ‘OK, you can come in, no not you, not you, yeah you, you can come in, not you’ and everybody’s out there, ‘Let me in!  Let me in!’  No, no, listen, he qualifies it here.  “many will seek to enter in…and shall not be able” verse 25, this tells you when, “When once the master of the house is risen up, and has shut the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open up unto us; he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in your presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.  But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”  He says this, there comes a time when the door is shut in regards to a life, when the Master rises up and he shuts the door.  And we don’t know when that’s going to happen.  And that’s when people realize the spiritual world is real.  [Comment:  This could also occur in the end-times, when Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  What end would that be talking about?  Very next verse, verses 15-16, “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains…”  see http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew24-1-31.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/revelation3-1-22.html.  This is a very serious time to be living in.  There will become a time when  the Lord declares there is time no more. When you look at current events right now, looking at the recent Arab Spring governmental overthrows brought about by the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, so far, all united under Muslim Brotherhood governments, and Syria is about to be next, in the middle of a Muslim Brotherhood driven civil war, what does that spell as far as end-time prophetic events?  Most don’t realize.  That is most definitely the beginning of the formation of what Daniel called “the king of the south” in Daniel 11, verse 40.  We’re real close folks.  Far, far closer than when this was preached in 1996.  And what is that “gospel” Jesus said we’d be preaching in Matthew 24:14?  Although it may have a prophetic warning aspect to it, it is essentially defined at:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm]  And  for some, it’s too late then.  And they say ‘Lord, let us in.’  He says, ‘I don’t know you, I don’t know where you’re from.’  So he says ‘Strive to enter in now,’ don’t worry about how many people are going to be saved, worry about what you’re doing with Jesus.  And again, don’t people do that, ‘Well, what about this guy?  Well what about the people that believe this?  What about the people that believe that?  What about the people that live here, what about the Eskimos that no missionary ever got to?’  Hey, there’s Coke machines there man.  I’ve talked to missionaries where the Coke manufacturer has got there before they have.  This world is exposed to the Good News of Christ.  And you shouldn’t be worrying about ‘That guy.’  You’d better be worrying about you.  Because in heaven [the kingdom of heaven], this evening service will be replayed, and when God says ‘Depart from me ye workers of iniquity’ what all he’s doing is he’s taking justice, and we all want that, we all look at something and say ‘That’s not fair!’, especially when we’re supposed to get it and we don’t.  We all respect justice, we all see someone on TV, ‘You know, I’d just like to get that guy, I can’t believe they’re raising those taxes again!  They’re taking advantage of us, there’s a wage tax and there’s this tax.  Oh we want justice when it effects our lives.  Well if you take justice, and you add it to sin, what you get that’s necessary is judgment.  And it isn’t that the Lord wants to say to anyone “depart from me ye workers of iniquity”, because I was a worker of iniquity, and he says unto me “Enter in, well done thou good and faithful servant”, because Jesus Christ himself, that narrow door has determined where my destiny lies. 

 

Enter Now, There Is A Time When It’s Too Late In Our Own Lives

 

But he says do it now, because there’s a time when it’s too late.  I mean, you know, look at the news, look at what’s happened in our church this week, we just saw this week two or three people go home to be with the Lord.  Those of you who know Rosie Messina, John Messina, Monday, 49 years old, she woke up, he was dead next to her.  The funeral’s going to be Saturday, you can call the office and find out.  They’ve been coming here for years, 49 years old, gone, snap!  Just saw on the TV this week, saw a policeman in Philly, shot down on the street [that was 1996, just saw the same thing happen in Philly just last week, 2012].  Or you see the kid shot down by a 13 year old and an 11 year old.  And you look beyond our borders and you see what’s going on in Rwanda and the Sudan, and Bosnia.  How many people do you think there are that have died today, that did not expect the door to shut?  How many people do you think died in the world today, that stepped into eternity without Jesus Christ, and then turned around and banged on the door and said, ‘Lord, now I understand, open’? They say, that every minute, conservatively, several hundred people on this planet go into eternity, several hundred every minute while we’re here, we’re here in the Bible study for an hour, multiply that out [12,000 people]. [Comment:  within the Body of Christ there are many varying beliefs about heaven and hell.  To see some of these, log onto:  http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm]  “Strive to enter in at the strait, narrow, gate:  for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.”  When?  “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:  Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.”  ‘We’ve eaten in the Cougar Café’, what do you mean you don’t know us?  We were at the Men’s Breakfast, we were at the Men’s Retreat, Sandy Cove, the Women’s Retreat, we were there, we ate.  We were at the Men’s Retreat, we ate more sausages than any church that ever came, is that on record somewhere, don’t you know who we are!?  We drank in your presence, we were at the bar, right next to the church [loud laughter], doesn’t that count for something?  We could have drank at a bar that was far away from a church.  You taught in our streets, Philmont Avenue, we went in and listened.’  But did you enter?  When the invitation was given by a friend or here at church or at a home fellowship, or did you enter when the door was presented to you open, did you enter?  When you go to the airport and the plane is ready to take off, if you don’t get on the plane, don’t expect to fly.  Don’t stand on the ground and say ‘This is not fair.  I ate next to the plane, I drank next to the plane, I was on the same street as the plane.’  Jesus says you have to enter.  “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.” There will be a consciousness to those that are lost.  And he is addressing here the religious that are presuming, because they are religious, that they’re better than others. 

 

How Many Will Be Saved?  Jesus Answers

 

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God”  (verses 28-29).  Jesus is saying,  ‘Do you want to know how many will be saved?  Are you really asking me is there just a few that will be saved?  No, they’re going to come from the east, and they’re going to come from the west, and they’re going to come from the north, they’re going to come from the south, and they’re going to sit down at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Noah, and Ezekiel, and Elijah, and Paul and Barnabas, and Peter, and Whitfield, and Spurgeon, and Dr. Livingston,’ I’ll get to say that, “Dr. Livingston I presume.”  Don’t worry about how many will get saved.  You get saved.  That’s what he’s saying.  Is there anything restricting you?  I don’t think so.  Look, he says, “And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (verse 30).  Hey, we see it here, we live with it.  How many people in my family, I am the last person they ever thought they’d hear Jesus come out of my mouth.  In fact, I’m the last person I ever thought I’d hear Jesus come out of my mouth.  Nobody is excluded, I’m the last person many, many, many people ever thought would get saved.  I remember someone walking in the church in the Mall and seeing John Beluchi sitting there, and they said, John Beluchi, we know this guy, if he’s sitting here, God must be here.  John Beluchi sitting here with a Bible.  I think of old friends, grew up in the city, that I spent time with that I don’t really care to think about.  Someone came up to me a couple months ago and said, “the last time I saw you, you were so stoned you probably don’t remember that I saw you.”  Now that was BC, that was in the ‘60s, before Jesus came into my life.  But I am the last person, because I didn’t want anything to do with church, I didn’t want anything to do with three loaves filled with leaven, didn’t want anything to do with a big tree full of fowls.  I was bent-over from sin like that woman, I was crippled in my heart.  And I was empty.  And there was nothing in organized religion that touched my life.  But I found out there was a door opened up that I could go through, opened up by the blood of someone else, opened up to provide a supernatural and impossible, as it were, entrance for me into God’s Kingdom.  Are there just a few that will be saved?  No, they’ll come from the east, and from the west, and from the north and the south, and behold there are those that are last that shall be first.  There are others, who you think ‘Oh these, this is the nicest person’ and I’ve heard people say that, I have, people come up, single people, ‘Well, I’m having this problem, I’m dating this person.’  ‘Are they a Christian?’  ‘Ah, they’re a Catholic.’  ‘Are they a Christian?’  ‘Ah, they’re a Baptist.’  ‘Are they a Christian?’  ‘Well, of somebody who is not a Christian, they would be one, because they are so nice.’  I had someone say to me their dog is so nice, if dogs could be a Christian, they would be a Christian.  You know, ‘This is the first person, this is the nicest guy…if this person doesn’t go to heaven, nobody will go to heaven.’  My mother-in-law one time, had a picture of Santa Claus on her refrigerator saying ‘If you can’t see the love of Christ in that face you must be blind.’  He ain’t gonna be there.  ‘But he gives toys to little children.  Imagine the speed he must travel at to go around the entire earth.  Imagine how much pain he must be in after squeezing down all those chimneys in one night.’  He ain’t gonna be there.  He might as well get used to the chimney.  I don’t know why I went there, I just [loud laughter], mistake. 

 

We’re All Running A Course As Believers

 

Verse 31, “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence:  for Herod will kill thee.” Now we don’t know if this is genuine concern, or provocation, maybe they’re trying to provoke him to say something against Rome that they might entrap him, we don’t know.  “And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”  Interesting, it’s “vixen,” feminine for fox.  ‘you go and tell that vixen, Behold…’  “Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following:  for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem” (verses 32-33).  Jesus says, ‘The plan of the ages is on schedule, and nothing can change it.’  We are indestructible, the Bible teaches, until God is done with us, indestructible until our course is over.  Now, I think that there’s only two reasons people who are believers die.  One is they finish their course, the other is, they get in the way.  I think sometimes when someone becomes damaging, even though they’re a believer, to many others, there are times when the Lord will take someone.  We read about that in Corinthians, not damn them, but take them.  And wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, there is a course for your life.  I think we need to live with a sense of that, God has a plan for us.  Psalm 139 says ‘all our days are written out before any of them are formed, before we’re born.’  Paul talks about the course, Acts chapter 20, that he desired to finish, that was set out for him.  2nd Timothy, ‘I have finished my course, I’ve kept the faith.’  And until we’re done our course we’re indestructible.  Think of John, how they [the Romans] took him, and they boiled him in oil, tradition says, and he didn’t boil.  I heard someone say it was because he was a friar, he didn’t boil.  Think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3), not even the smell of smoke came upon them.  Think of Saul of Tarsus, with the shipwrecks and the poisonous snakes, and the different things.  Until we are done our course, Jesus says, ‘You go tell him, I’m doing the Father’s business today and tomorrow and the next day, until I finish my course, and it isn’t fitting that a prophet should perish outside of Jerusalem---and then a heart-cry, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  Behold, your house is left unto you desolate:  and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (verses 34-35).  In many ways, the Plan of the Ages is here. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that stonest the prophets and killest them that are sent unto thee:  how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings”  That was the story of thousands of years, the Plan of the Ages.  “And ye would not” is the part of the story that brings them up to the present, where Jesus is at that point.  “And henceforth your house is let to you desolate.”  They knew what desolation was.  “And ye shall see me no more until you say” so they would survive until the end [of the age] “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”  It tells us in Zechariah 12:10 that God “will pour out on the house of David a spirit of grace and of supplication”, and he says “they will look upon me whom they have pierced.”  Powerful verse, if you’re witnessing to a Jewish friend, if you’re witnessing to a JW, if you’re witnessing to somebody who doesn’t believe in the Deity of Jesus, you read Zechariah chapter 12, it is Yahweh speaking, Jehovah God [the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ], and all of a sudden in verse 10 he says “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.”  When did Israel [the Jews] pierce Yahweh-God?  And he says “they will see me when I pour upon them the spirit of grace and supplications.”  Jesus says, “You’ll see me no more until you say Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”  [tape switchover, some text lost]…for Israel, for Jerusalem, for God’s people.  And remember, that anti-Semitism is Satanic and diabolical. 

 

Luke 14:1-6

 

“And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.  And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.  And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?  And they held their peace.  And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; and answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?  And they could not answer him again to those things.”

 

A Chief Pharisee Tries To Entrap Jesus on the Sabbath

 

“It came to pass as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees”---now isn’t that interesting?  He’s going to dinner in the house of a chief Pharisee---“to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him” (verse 1).  Now the food was prepared the day before, they didn’t cook on the Sabbath day, they prepared it the day before.  Jesus comes in, he’s coming into the house of one of the chief Pharisees.  He knows that this is a set-up.   I wonder if he’s just coming in for the man that he heals, and maybe for those that would be willing to listen.  He steps into the middle of it.  And I think, as you look through the Gospels, Jesus never turns down an invitation for dinner, he’s always there.  And it says he came in and “they watched him.”  Sometimes that word is used of scrutinizing or espionage, there’s an idea there behind that word ‘watching him.’  They were watching him with evil intent, they were watching him to spy something out in his life, they were watching him to find fault with him.  Now, maybe you’re doing that this evening.  Maybe a friend has been saying ‘Man, you’ve gotta go to church with me, gotta go to my church, gotta go to my church.’  ‘Leave me alone, I’ll go one time!’  And all week you’ve been thinking ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this, I’m going to this stupid church.’  And maybe you’re here tonight, like somebody working with the espionage department, trying to find something wrong with Jesus, so you can leave and say to your friend, ‘Oh man, they got the wool pulled over your eyes.’  Well, keep your eyes open.  They watched him.  “And behold,”---consider---“there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy.”  It’s two Greek words that mean “to be filled with fluid”, maybe edema, maybe elephantiasis, the idea we get from it is, no doubt his arms are swollen, possibly his face, great pressure on his heart, kidneys, a liver malfunction, great stress on the heart. If you’ve seen somebody with elephantiasis, where the legs are swelled up, usually a chronic condition.  This man maybe for a number of years living this way, has no hope.  Not able to do the things that you and I would normally do.  And he’s bait, because no Pharisee, no religious person would invite a man like this to his house for dinner.  Because in their theology, they believed that if you were afflicted with illness it was because of God’s disfavor [a form of the health and wealth gospel].  If you were afflicted with a bloodflow, if you were afflicted with some illness, if you were afflicted with leprosy, they called it “the finger of God.”  They believed that if you were afflicted with a chronic illness, that the finger of God, God’s judgment was on you, and the reason you were suffering is because of God’s disfavor, which is not what the Scripture teaches.  [Comment:  One of the major corrections Jesus gave the Pharisees, throughout the Gospel accounts, was about their warped, legalistic, and totally unmerciful treatment of people during the Sabbath day.  Make no doubt about it, Jesus Christ observed the Sabbath day.  But he was constantly correcting the Pharisees, scribes, doctors of the Law, and synagogue rulers over their adherence to thousands of legalistic do’s and don’ts added to God’s legitimate Sabbath Command, and that these do’s and don’ts of theirs were an unnecessary (and illegal in God’s eyes) burden on everybody, especially the less fortunate. Jesus, by his actions and everything he did, invited sinners to church, into his life, so that he could heal them, and forgive them, and offer them salvation.  Normally, Pharisaic churches would never dream of inviting sinners to church to hear the sermon, just like these Pharisees would never do that, unless it was to attempt to entrap Jesus.  They had their religious Gestapo-type policemen at the door, keeping the very people Jesus wanted to heal and save safely outside their religious sphere of influence, the synagogues and the temple itself.  There is a HUGE difference between inviting sinners into the church to hear the Gospel, and baptizing un-repentant sinners and making them a part of your church.  This is a powerful correction even for today, especially for the Sabbath-keeping Churches of God, who lean strongly in this direction. To see an interesting study detailing all of Jesus’ corrections to these guys, log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Has%20the%20Sabbath%20Been%20Abrogated.htm.  Pastor Joe’s congregation grows and grows and grows, because he welcomes those same folk Jesus welcomed into the front door of his presence.  And then if they accept Jesus into their lives, Jesus transforms them through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  I think we could learn something powerful about this form of local church evangelism, and what makes it work, and what stifles it.]  But they’d have never invited this man with the dropsy to dinner because they considered him a sinner, being in the condition he was in.  Now I wonder if he’s thinking, ‘This might be the day that I get healed.’  I’m wondering if he’s looking right past the Pharisees that have used him as bait for Jesus, I wonder if his hope is being stirred in his heart?  I don’t know.  “And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?” (verse 3)  Now isn’t it interesting, Jesus is answering, and they didn’t say nothing?  But he’s answering.  Does he do that to you---before you say anything?  He does that to me sometimes.  Sometimes when I’m mad, and I’m just ready to open my trap, all of a sudden he’ll say ‘A soft answer turns away wrath---soft answer turns away wrath.’  And he’s answering me before I, ‘Don’t look at that, don’t waste your time, don’t waste my time.  No, don’t go there.’  You know, I’ll be thinking ‘I wonder if I could, maybe I could go there.’  ‘No.’---before I ask.  I’m sure that these Pharisees and doctors of the Law are thinking, ‘I wonder of he’s going to heal on the Sabbath?  Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’  That’s what they’re thinking, because that was a debate in their day, and they’re sitting there thinking, ‘Is is lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’  I’m sure that’s what they’re doing.  Jesus turns around and looks at them and says, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’  [Pastor Joe starts imitating the Twilight Zone musical notes]  ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’  “And they held their peace.”  I bet they did.  They kept their mouths shut. 

 

Jesus Reaches Out To Heal the Undesirable

 

“And he took him, and healed him, and let him go” (verse 4)---no one had taken him for a long time.  No one took me.  No one took me.  Religion never took me.  And I was at a stage in my life, to be honest, where it was very hard for my parents to take me.  Most people couldn’t take me, couldn’t take me being around.  Jesus took me.  He’ll take you this evening, he’ll take your life, he’s the same yesterday, today and forever.  Maybe your life isn’t worth anything to you, maybe you came here tonight thinking about suicide.  Maybe you’re thinking about taking your own life.  Don’t do it.  Let him take your life.  Because you don’t have the ability to kill the pain.  You don’t have the ability to kill what it is inside that you want to kill.  All you can kill is your body.  It got dressed and came to church, no sense killing it, it works.  What you want to kill is something inside.  And you don’t have the ability to do it.  You only cast yourself into an eternal state where the pain never ends.  [The Body of Christ has various beliefs about heaven and hell.  To read about some of them, see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.]  So let Jesus take your life, with all your sin.  This man needed to be drained out, he needed to be cathorized, he needed the poison drained out of his system.  And that’s how we all were when we came to Christ, whether we were self-righteous like the fowls of the air that came and made their nests in the Kingdom, or whether we were crippled with something, all of us needed him to drain the sin and the guilt of sin, and penalty of sin from our lives.  And he took me just the way I was.  My mom used to look at me and cry.  She’d just look at me and just started to cry.  But Jesus didn’t see any of that.  He saw me.  He took this man, and he’ll take you, and healed him, and let him go.  And this guy’s thinking ‘Man, I’m glad they used me as bait.’  And he’ll take you, and heal you, and he’ll let you go, if you’re willing to enter in at the narrow gate.  Oh it’s not hard to get through, it’s just exclusive, there’s only one.  And isn’t that the struggle?  People say ‘That’s too narrow-minded, that’s too narrow-minded.  What about these people and those people in other religions of the world?’  Jesus says, ‘No, the gate is narrow.’  And because you don’t think it’s fair, you have to strive with that.  Well, I don’t think it’s really that you think it’s fair or not, I think you’re looking for loop-holes.  Because if I say to you, ‘Jesus is the only way that you can be saved, and live beyond the grave in heaven [in the kingdom of heaven, more accurately],’ and you don’t want to hear about Jesus, you’re looking for loop-holes.  ‘What about this guy?  What about these people?  What about the guy on the island?  What about these people on the North Pole?  What about these people?  And you’re striving.  Well if you’re going to strive, strive to enter in at the narrow gate, while the door’s open.  Because many are going to come, north, east, south, west, and sit down at the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, in the Kingdom.  And he’ll take you, and he’ll heal you, and he’ll set you free.  Now I can’t imagine, what happened to this guy?  Did all of a sudden, did his elephantiasis go ‘Woooop!’ and did he have loose skin hanging all over him?  It’s interesting, the woman that was double-bent over, he touches her and sets her free, it says she begins to praise God.  She doesn’t have to go to rehabilitation, she doesn’t have to get muscle-tone, she doesn’t have to get her spine defused.  When Jesus does it, he does it.  He says to somebody whose been crippled his whole life, ‘Get up, take your bed and go home.’  The guy doesn’t say, ‘I have to go to physical therapy, I don’t have any muscle-tone.’  Jesus says, ‘Take that up, and get outa here’ and the guy goes dancing out.  The guy at the Gate Beautiful begging for silver and gold, and Peter and John look at him and say “Silver and gold have I not, but that which I have I give to you.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”  And it said he went leaping and jumping and praising God, after being crippled his whole life.  No rehabilitation.  This guy, elephantiasis, all swollen up, filled with fluid, heart struggling, lungs struggling, hard to breathe, probably his heart for years going---Baboom, baboom, baboom, struggling, and all of a sudden, zip!---Jack Lalane.  Man!  Same guy who says he’s going to change us in the twinkling of an eye (cf. 1st Corinthians 15:49-54), at the Last Trump, “this corruption will put on incorruption, this mortal shall put on immortality”, not a problem for him, no problem.  He takes the guy, heals him, sets him free. 

 

Jesus’ Answer To The Pharisees

 

“And he answered them, saying,”---the religious people again---“Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?  And they could not answer him again to these things” (verses 5-6).  He questions the religious establishment about their hypocrisy.  ‘You’ll do things that are convenient for you, you’ll do things that will take care of your own prosperity.  If you have a donkey or an ox that falls into a pit,’---which was your tractor in that day---‘you’ll run out and take care of your car, you’ll shine your Ferrari on the Sabbath, you’ll do this and do that, but what about a broken life, someone who needs something genuine?  What about someone who shouldn’t be used as bait, but someone that should be breaking your heart?  What about someone I love?’ 

 

Jesus Can Set You Free

 

I want to challenge you this evening, if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, he’ll take you, and he’ll set you free, and he’ll give you life.  And I hope, because of the religious establishment, can I have the musicians come?  I hope because of the religious establishment, you know, the Church [obviously referring to the Catholic Church], or the synagogue, or the mosque, or some religious form, and maybe problems you’ve seen there, and hypocrisy you’ve seen there, I hope you don’t take that entire lens, you know it’s like having yellow sunglasses, and you put them on, it makes everything you look at a little greener.  And if you have that predisposition because of religious hypocrisy that you’ve seen, and you put that on, then you view everything through that lens.  What I want to challenge you to do this evening is take those blinders off, and look, and see that there’s a difference between Jesus, as a person, and religious institutions.  See that there’s a difference between Jesus and somebody whose trying to shove an offering envelope down your throat.  See that there’s a difference between Jesus, who cares about your life, and cares about the poison that needs to be drained out of your system, and who begs you, and I’m sure as he said those words, he said them with a broken heart, ‘strive to enter into the narrow gate, strive to enter in, because many will not be able.  When the door is shut, when life shuts down, and you haven’t made the decision, it will be then too late.’  We have a shirt in the bookstore, it says ‘Born Once, Die Twice---Born Twice, Die Once’  Born once, your physical birth, and you never come to Jesus, you’re never born-again, it says then you’ll die twice.  You’ll die physically, and then you’ll die eternally, spiritually.  Because if you die physically, before you turn to Jesus, not to church, not to Calvary Chapel, to Jesus, if you die physically before you turn to Jesus, you will die eternally, because you don’t have a chance once that door is shut.  But it says if you’re born twice, you’ll only die once.  If you’re born physically, and you were, you’re here, and then if you’re born from above or born-again, or born anew, inside, in your spirit you’ll live eternally.  If you come with your sin and your emptiness, if you try to fill that with all of the things the world offers, and you still end up empty, and I know it, and you can’t fool anybody, but if you’re willing to say, “Lord, I want the emptiness taken away, the sin taken away, the guilt taken away, I want to enter through this gate, Lord.”  If you’re willing to say that, and to be born twice, so you only have to die once, which is physically, you’ll never die spiritually or eternally, you’ll be resurrected the Bible says.  [Comment:  Now this brings up the question of the “unsaved dead”, which is a very controversial subject within the Body of Christ, and there are various interpretations about what happens to the “unsaved dead.”  Pastor Joe is giving you one interpretation.  To view some of the differing ones, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm.  Basically, Pastor Joe is correct though, if one ultimately rejects the offer of salvation through Jesus Christ, no matter whether it is upon death, or during the period of the 2nd resurrection back to physical life, then the second death spoken of in Revelation 20 is what a person faces, as Revelation 20:14-15 shows us.]  If you want to do that this evening, as we worship and as we sing, we want you to come and to stand here, and let us pray with you, so that you might receive Christ, in front of all these witnesses, and ask Jesus to be your Saviour.  And I’m not holier than thou, the Bible says all have sinned, including me.  All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.  The Bible says that, all us, everybody in this room, every Christian has come short of the glory of God.  And it says the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life (cf. Romans 6:23), through Christ Jesus.  Free gift, the door’s open right now.  It isn’t shut.  You can walk through it, you don’t need a ticket.  Just get on board.  Just come, let’s stand and pray together.  Those of you that are believers, you pray, and pray that this evening, like the rain that we heard outside all of a sudden beating on the roof, the Bible says, God says, “My Word is like the rain that comes down from heaven and accomplishes the thing that I sent it forth to do.”  Jesus said of his Word, that it’s like seed that falls on the ground and brings forth, that his Word is seed that falls on human hearts, and when it comes in contact with the dirt of our hearts, and with the need of our hearts, that it brings forth life.  And if that’s you this evening, we want you to be saved…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Luke 13:18-35 and Luke 14:1-6, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]        

 

Related links:

 

Is Time Running Out For Entering the Strait Gate?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/mathew/Matthew24-1-31.htm

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

 

What is the Gospel we are supposed to be preaching?  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/misc/WhatIsTheGospel%20.htm

 

The Strong Correction Jesus Was Giving the Pharisees, doctors of the Law, and religious leaders about their unlawful Sabbath rules and hypocrisy.  See:

http://www.unityinchrist.com/wwcofg/Has%20the%20Sabbath%20Been%20Abrogated.htm

 

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