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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Chris Hodges » Chris Hodges - All About Jesus

Chris Hodges - All About Jesus

Chris Hodges - All About Jesus
TOPICS: What The Bible Is All About

All right, who's glad to be in church today? Anybody, anybody? Come on, give God the greatest praise, everybody. In fact, I would go so far to say that Sunday is such a better day than Saturday. Wouldn't you agree with me, everybody? Just thought I'd throw that out there. So, help us, Jesus, all right. If you're new to our church, I went to LSU. Okay, everybody, all right. It's good to see you guys, today. Welcome to week number four and the conclusion of the series that we're in called, "What the Bible Is All About"? And I'll tell you about that in just a second, but let me look straight into the camera and say hello to all of our campuses, our locations all across Alabama and Georgia. God bless you guys. I love you. I pray for you every single day, and I want to also greet the men and women in the Alabama Department of Corrections. We have the honor of being in 22 of the 28 facilities here in the state of Alabama. What a joy it is to be with you guys today.

And then, of course, there are people that consider Highlands their home church that are watching online somewhere or watching this on demand later in the week. Grants Mill, do me a favor and say the biggest hello. Come on, everybody, yeah. God bless you guys. Hey, and before we jump into the last installment of this series, I do want to just catch you up on some things that are happening, because this is a very pivotal season of the year for us, as a church, and that is, you've already heard about this. People say, "Man, what's that movie thing all about"? Jesus actually told parables. He actually, some of them were actually true, and some of them were actually made up, where he used stories to help people understand spiritual truth. And so we take the modern-day parable, which are movies, and these are movies that have redemption built in to the story.

So, these are movies that are inspiring all by themselves, and we're going to take three of them, and I'll preach between the clips. And in fact, I've already worked on the first one, and it is spectacular, everybody, all right? Just, you'll want to be here for week number one, and I'm believing that literally thousands of people are going to give their lives to Jesus. Amen, everybody? So, if you've never thought about bringing someone far from God with you in church, this is the time to do it, okay? And so we'll have Coke and popcorn, and we'll have just a great time, but it's not gospel light, y'all. We're gonna lead them to Jesus, all right? And it's just gonna be, and I think a ton of people are gonna get saved. Amen, everybody?

All right, so invite somebody to church next three Sundays. It's gonna be awesome. And then right after that, we're stepping into what we call our Legacy Season. If you're new to our church, our Legacy Season is a time where we're gonna ramp up all of our regular serving opportunities. Let me just tell you guys, we serve people every day. I mean, there's literally not a single day of the calendar year that your church isn't represented in some way to somebody who is hurting. And so every day we do this, but we ramp it up during this season. So, we have a bunch of holiday outreaches that I would encourage you guys, that if you want to be a part of Thanksgiving or Christmas to jump into those. And you're going to be hearing more about that. Of course, get on the app. You can find out about giving hope and all the different type of holiday outreaches that we do.

And then we have Legacy Sunday, where this is the only extra offering we take once a year, where it's just an opportunity that everything we give, we're gonna give away, and we're already vetting some amazing opportunities, because the gospel is really advancing in a tremendous way, and we get to be a part of it at a time when people need it the most; and the reason why we tell you, literally, about six or seven weeks out is because we don't pressure people for things like that. On that day, you will hear nothing but, "Hey, everybody, let's give what God showed you to give". And that's gonna be the end of it, because I believe, according to 2 Corinthians, that each person should give, this is 2 Corinthians 9, that each person should give what they've decided in their hearts to give, not under compulsion. The Bible actually says that. Don't pressure people. Let them decide.

And so I like to prepare you several weeks out, and just do what the Lord shows you to do. Recently, I had a guy come up to me and say, "I'm new to the church, and I love it. You know, what do you want from me"? I said, "What do you mean what do I want from you"? He says, "How do you want me to be involved financially and with my time and all that"? And I will tell him what I tell you, because we have literally so many people that are new in our church, that if you consider this church your home church, tithe, give, all right? And be a percentage giver, and just regularly give every month. And today is the first Sunday of the month, and just give. Let your church, support your local church. And then as God speaks to you, give offerings, and let's make a difference around the world. And then I would love for you to be involved, serving on our Dream Teams.

And today is step one of the Growth Track. I only need three Sundays, okay, not 30, not 300, just three for you to decide if this is your home church. You can come to step one today, and then you can actually let us help you find your spiritual gift, and then we're gonna help you get on a team, so that you're not just a spectator. You're a participator, everybody, all right? You're in the game, and that's what I would love. Now, if you're visiting our church, we don't want anything from you. We only want something for you. Sit back, relax, and watch the miracle of the local church. And everybody said a good, all right, you've got it, you've got it.

All right, and then right during all of that, this is something people have already been asking about, we're doing a bazillion services between December 18th and 24th, okay? We really are. Christmas, our Christmas has become people's favorite thing that Highlands does. And it's going to be as spectacular as it has ever been. We've working on it for three months already. It is gonna be spectacular, okay? And we usually have over 100,000 people come to our Christmas services, and every service is free, but you have to have priority seating, so we make sure everybody doesn't show up in the same service. So, on December 1st and on the app first, all right, and we're doing it on the app, because we want you guys to use this tool, all right? So, if you want to reserve a spot or get priority seating at one of these services, we're gonna release it first, so you can write it down. On December 1st and on the app first, okay? And we'll tell you more about that.

And here's the last thing, that even if you're not participating in, I want you to pray for us, all right? And that is Highlands College is sponsoring, this coming Saturday, the very first annual, something we're going to do every year, and that is have a day where we honor veterans. Can I hear a good amen, everybody, all right? Yeah, as Chancellor of the school, I'm leading our college to be better at really reaching into our city and to citywide events, and this is going to be our first. And we already have more than, we have a lot of people registered already, and you need to register. If you're a veteran, I'm personally inviting you to come to a breakfast at 8 o'clock and then to a service at 9. Then we'll end just past 10 o'clock. It's just about a hour or so service, but it's gonna be patriotic, special.

I brought in a POW from California. It's one of the best speakers in the country to speak to us. We have dignitaries, politicians. We've invited every politician in our state to join us. It's going to be a special time, but I need you to register, okay, so we make sure you're there, because we only have 1300 seats, and we're getting pretty close to that being full. But if you have served our country, first of all, we honor you, and then we'd also love for you to be a part of that. All right, everybody, I'm gonna jump into this final installment of "What the Bible Is All About". If you're new to our church today, let me tell you where this series came from. Every Easter, we do a survey. So, what I mean by that is we ask you some questions that we actually really need from you, and it's just because that's the Sunday everybody comes to church on the same Sunday, so you're all here, and we get some answers from you.

And one of the questions I asked this past Easter are, "What are topics that you need me to talk about in my messages"? And so we covered a bunch of those. And one of those, in fact, it was the second most asked question, and look at me. I couldn't have been more proud of you to ask this question. It made me so happy that you said, "Help me understand my Bible more," which means you want to read it, and enjoy it, and know it. And I want you to know it, too. It's hard to love something if you don't understand something, though, and I want to help you understand the Bible. And so this is a very practical series. Of course, Charlotte put a little preach in it last Sunday, all right? I'm gonna get back to the practical today, all right? I've got a little preach for you the next week. She can't help it. I laughed, and I enjoyed it. It was spectacular in every way.

Of course, Pastor Mark pretty much did the same thing. He preached through the gospels. But in week number one, I taught you what the Old Testament is all about. And then in week two, Pastor Mark did what the four gospels were all about. And then Charlotte came last week and covered the history of the New Testament church, the book of Acts. And today I'm gonna kind of cover what the rest of the New Testament is all about. To give you an overview of the New Testament, there are four gospels is what Pastor Mark covered: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. And I'm not trying to insult anybody's intelligence; but if you're new to faith or the Bible, you would need to know that this is four people's account of the exact same story. I had some guy came up to me recently and said, "Hey, I was reading Matthew, you know, and they just buried Jesus, and he rose again, and then he was born again. What happened"?

You know, and he really didn't understand that this doesn't read like a book reads. The Bible is not chronological. It's compiled in sections of books, so you have this first section called the gospels, and it's four people's account of the exact same story. And then last week, Charlotte covered the book of Acts, and this is the historical record of the first century early church, the first church. And if you were to insert the rest of the New Testament into the Bible chronologically, it would fit all throughout the book of Acts. So, there actually are chronological Bibles where you could actually read it in the order that it was written, and so you'd be reading through the book of Acts; and all of a sudden, you'd get one of these letters that I'm going to talk about that the Bible calls epistles, okay?

An epistle is not the wife of an apostle. Okay, everybody? It was funnier in my head than in yours, obviously. I think that's hilarious. I won't use it next service now. But anyway, but an epistle just simply means it's a letter. And so an apostle is a church planter. So, the early apostles, the 12 disciples, Paul, and others were considered apostles or church planters. So, they didn't stay in one church and pastor it. They would actually raise up leadership, set doctrine, install government, and go do it again in another place, okay? To check on these churches, they wrote letters. There are 21 of them, letters that were either written to pastors or to the church.

So, some of them are named after a person, like Timothy is one of the books of the New Testament, and that's Timothy was a pastor of one of the churches. Or you have books like Ephesians, and that's because it was written to the church in Ephesus, which is a city that still exists today in modern-day Turkey. Okay, so the gospel is spreading outside of Israel, going to the Gentiles, which basically that word means the non-Jews. Everybody else is going to the whole world, because the gospel is for everybody, and you have all these letters. And in these letters, what you're getting is encouragement, training, correction. In fact, the Corinthians, the books of Corinthians are very corrective in nature, because the church was trying hard, but they were messing up on some things. And so Paul would write these letters as letters of correction. Thirteen of the 21, some say 14... 13 of the 21 were written by the Apostle Paul, so he writes most of them.

And then you have the book of Hebrews, that many attribute to the Apostle Paul, which nobody really knows for sure who the author of the book of Hebrews is. And then you have one letter written by the brother of Jesus, not the disciple of Jesus, the brother of Jesus named James, and then you have two from the disciple Peter, and then three from the disciple John, and then you have this little bitty book named Jude, and then you get this final book. So, that's your 21 epistles. And then you get the final book. So, it's in the fourth groupings: gospels, Acts, epistles, and then Revelation stands on its own. So, the word Revelation is Apokalypsis in the original translation. Yeah, that's where we get the word "apocalypse," okay? Which simply means unveiling, honestly, is what the word means. It doesn't mean total destruction of everything, which is what we think of when we hear the word apocalypse, but it's the unveiling.

God revealed to John the disciple, while he was exiled on an island called Patmos, revealed to him, showed him what the end times would look like. And so it's very hard to read, because you've gotta imagine John is seeing the end of time. So, he's seeing helicopters, nuclear bombs. And can you imagine what a first century person, who had never even seen anything manmade fly, how they might describe that as a dragon or some kind of ball of fire. So, it's kind of hard to understand. And I've done many series on the book of Revelation, if you want to go back, including last year. We did a whole series on the second coming of Christ, and I kind of went through the book of Revelation.

So, your church website has archived messages, if you want to go back and read any of those things. But that's pretty much what your New Testament is all about, and I do encourage you to read the whole Bible, but especially dive into the New Testaments, the gospels, the life of Jesus, the history of the early church, and then all of this good doctrine and instruction and encouragement to the church today, which is us. Okay, but I want, I thought, I was thinking very hard about what do you really need to know about the Bible? If you want to know what the Bible is all about, what do you really need to know? And I've come down to one big principle, three practices, and then I've got a little fun ending that I think you're gonna enjoy, that's really going to speak to your heart today.

And here's the big principle that I would want you to know, and that is the Bible is alive. Like, it's alive. This is not a normal book. Can I get a better amen, somebody, all right? Like, this book is, it's alive. You can say, "Chris, what do you mean by that, like, it's alive"? I mean it's alive. Jesus said in John 6, not on the screen or in your notes, John 6:33, he said, oh, John 6:63, excuse me. He said, "The words I've spoken to you are spirit and life". And the word "spirit" in there is the word "breath," that when you read it, you'll feel something. Something will hit you. It'll speak to you. It'll impact you. Like, it's gonna, it's gonna mess with you in ways no other book has ever done. Why? Because the Bible is, say it out loud, the Bible is? It's alive. You say it, I'll show you a verse that actually says that. "For the word of God is," there's the word again, "it's alive, and it's powerful".

That's why I want you to read it every day. "It's sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword". In other words, it'll do surgery on your hurts, your mistakes, your lifestyle, your marriage. And like a careful scalpel in the hand of a precise surgeon, it'll start messing with your attitude, your money, your time, how you live your life, and that's good. Why? Because the Bible is alive. You've gotta let it do its work. In fact, the way I say it is don't read the Bible. Let it read you, because it's alive. It's sharp. It'll cut between, watch this, soul, that's you, spirit, that's the God in you. And so, that's you. That's good. That's the God in you, because your soul is your emotions and your will, and we all have that. Even Jesus in the garden was like, "Lord, is there any way I don't have to go to this cross"? And then he said, "Nevertheless, not my will, my soul, but your will be done. I need your Spirit inside of me".

And the Bible will cut between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. And you ready for this? It'll expose some stuff. Like, I read it every day, and I go, "Hmph, that's not what I look like". Almost every day, I read things in there, like, "Well, yeah, that doesn't look anything like my attitude. I don't have any type of that fruit". And it leads me to, okay, "Lord, forgive me". And let it do its work on the inside of me. And that's why we never change the Bible to fit how we live. We change how we live to fit the Bible. Amen, everybody? This is the Word of God. Now, that's why it's incredibly important, okay, to have the right attitude toward the Bible. And I say this because there are so many people that do not have the right attitude about the Bible. They're picking it apart. They're taking the parts they like and rejecting the parts they don't. They're deconstructing it and saying, "Hmm, I don't think this is really, this is not right, this is right, I'm gonna change this".

You don't have that luxury; and if you do, you're going to ruin the power that's in it. The Bible is alive when you accept it, whenever you receive it, and whenever you believe it. I'm gonna show you that verse. Here we go. It says, "We also thank God continually because, when you received it..." Receive it, dechomai means welcome it like somebody coming into your house at the foyer. "Hello, come right on in". That's the word. It literally means welcome it into your home like you would welcome a stranger, who's coming over to eat. When you received it, when you accepted it not as the word of men. Like, people didn't write it. They held the pen, but God wrote the Bible, "but actually as it is, the Word of God, which is at work in you if you believe," but if you believe.

So, the right attitude toward it is so incredibly important. Listen to me. If you read your Bible every day, if you do this, and if you accept it, receive it, and believe it, I promise you it's not gonna dull your life. It's not gonna make your life boring or sterile. It's not gonna make your life less fun. It's gonna add so much value to every part of your life, because his Word, Jesus said this, is the truth. I said his Word is the truth, everybody, right? And so I just want you to receive it in that kind of way. And if you're skeptical about that, just try it and see. Just try it and see for yourself. I was over about 10 years ago, I can't go back any more because of security reasons. But I didn't even really tell you guys about it much, but I went to China every year for about 10 years, training the underground church leaders.

We literally trained millions of church leaders in China, and it was one of the thrills of my life, but it was very hard work. It was difficult. But I was once though there, and we did both the above ground, and these aren't literally underground, but that's what they call it, the above ground government-run church and then the underground church, the secret church. And but once we were talking in an above ground church, it's called the three self church, the government-run church, this man walked up to me, very well dressed, suit, tie, everything, and it turns out he was the dean of the business school at Beijing University. And I was with John Maxwell at the time, and he said, "Would you and John be willing to come teach biblical ethic, the truths of the Bible to our business leaders, but we don't want Jesus. We just want the truths of the Bible, the Judeo-Christian ethic, because we have come to the conclusion that if you follow the Judeo-Christian ethic, as presented in the Bible, that it's good for business, but we don't want Jesus. We just want the ethic".

How many know y'all can't separate it? But anyway, so I said, "Sure, oh, we'd love to". And so John and I went over to the Master's Program of the Business School of Beijing University and just taught the ethic of the Bible, and the Dean got saved. Come on, somebody. Are y'all listening to me? Yeah, so I just, but the point I'm trying to make to you is this book is good for you. Like, it'll help your life succeed, and that's why I want you to get in it as much as you can. How do you do that? Three things. Start your day by reading it. So, I want you to start your day by reading the Bible. I'm not asking for hours. In fact, I'm asking even if you only have three minutes, read the Psalm and Proverb of the day.

If you have about 15 minutes, read a little bit of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm and Proverb. If you have about 20 minutes, read the devotional too. You say, "PC, where do I find such readings"? They're all on your app, all right? And it's called the "One Year Bible". And we didn't create this. Years ago, they spread it out into four readings: Old Testament, New Testament, a Psalm, and a Proverb. And then my pastor, Larry Stockstill, more than 30 years ago, wrote a devotional, a little, like, one paragraph that ties all those readings together into one central thought. That's how I start my day. I would love for you to do the same thing with me. I'm asking you, do the same thing with me. Let's all do it together.

Let's just, let's that when we see each other, "Hey, did you read the Proverb today? Wasn't that amazing"? Like, it makes for a great family dynamic in the family of God. Amen, everybody? David said in Psalm 119, by the way, I'm gonna pause and tell you something, find out what the Bible is all about. The biggest book of the Bible, I'm sorry, the largest chapter, well, it's the biggest book too. The biggest book of the Bible is the book of Psalms, okay? But the longest chapter in the Psalms is Psalm 119. You can see here we're already on verse 147. It's long, okay? And the whole Psalm 119, the whole thing, all verses are about the Word of God, every verse. Go read it. It's so powerful. And he says in verse 147, "I rise early before the sun is up; I cry out for help, and I put my hope in your words".

I promise you, I'm going to make a promise to you, and if you don't do this, try can find out in one week, I want you to start your day reading God's Word. Let it encourage you, let it sink into you, and especially the Psalms and the Proverbs. Just let it sink into your life. And I promise you, it'll give you hope for the week and for the day. I want you to read the Bible. Start every day reading the Bible. And we're giving the tools to you, all right? The second thing I want you to do is I want you to study it. I want you to study God's Word. You say, "Chris, how do I study it"? I'm going to show you how, but let me give you a verse first. "Study this Book", study this Book, "Meditate on it". That means think about it, read some commentaries on it. It means to, the stuff you don't understand, go find it out. For heaven's sakes, even on Google and places like that, you can actually, like, what does this verse mean? And you'll get, for the most part, for the most part, not always, but for the most part, you're going to get really good, because I've done it before.

You're going to get really good commentary to help you understand single verses of the Bible, so you're able to obey it. "And only then," I love this last line, "will you prosper". And the word "prosper" means your life can only go up to one point, and God will push you further. That's what the word means, "and succeed in all you do". And I've never met anybody that doesn't want that last line, okay? Find out if this promise is real. I'm challenging you to find out if this promise is real. So, how do you study it? Let me give you three things under point number two, okay? And that is, first of all, get a translation you like. "So, Chris, what's a translation"?

This is where they took the original text, anybody who says it's been translated down over 2000 years and been diluted doesn't know what they're talking about, because they don't translate from the last thing translated. They go all the way back to the original manuscripts in the three languages that the Bible is written in. And by the way, those original manuscripts still exist. Like, the ones that were actually written the first time, and they're translating from that. It's just a lie, it's a lie of the devil to get you not to trust the Word of God. But you get a translation you like. Let me give you three types of translations that you ought to consider, just to educate you. There's one that's called formal equivalency. And a formal equivalency translation means they literally translated word for word.

Even if the sentence structure doesn't turn out too pretty, it's just straight on word, so, if you like exact, exact, but it might be hard to understand, then formal equivalency is your translation. It would be translations like the King James Version, the New King James Version, the New American Standard Bible, the NASB, or the ESV, okay? So, these are formal equivalency, word for word. There's also what's called functional equivalency. I know this is a lot, but you asked for it. You asked, "Help me understand this thing". I'm trying to do my best, okay? And functional equivalency is still exact, but it's not exact word for word. It's the exact thought by thought, so it restructures the sentence sometime so that it fits into that particular language, because sentence structures change with language, okay? Everybody that's ever tried to speak Spanish knows they flip everything around sometimes. It's just any other language, right? It's not the same sentence structure.

So, this is thought by thought. This would be translations like the New Living Translation. I've already read from it some today. The Good News Translation, Today's English Version, the TEV translation, all right? The one I like of all the translations combines the two, and it's called the NIV. To me, it's the best balance, because they do both. Over 100 scholars have got together and translated this beautiful translation that uses both functional and formal equivalency, and since 1987 has been the best-selling translation, beating out the King James Version. It is the one I use the most, okay? The third type is what's called a paraphrase, okay? And a lot of people pick on paraphrases. They'll say, "Y'all ain't reading the Word of God". And they get nasty about it. Don't listen to people who are nasty. If they're right, the love of Jesus will shine through their hearts, okay? Just selah.

Think about that, all right? But paraphrases, I would agree, is not... I don't consider it really the Bible. Some do, but I don't, because it's taking, it's taking the Scripture and then saying it all over again the way they would say it. It's a paraphrase. I'm doing that in this entire message. I'm reading you the Bible and saying, "Here, let me tell you what that means". I'm paraphrasing. That's what these do. This is like The Living Bible and, of course, The Message, okay? And just to show you the difference, if you use a formal equivalency, that's the King James, it says something like this. "Charity suffereth long, and is kind, charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, it is not puffed up". Reading it in a NIV, it says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud".

And then if you read the same verse in a paraphrase, The Message, "Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. It doesn't want what it doesn't have. It doesn't strut, and it doesn't have a swelled head". You get the point, okay? So, get a translation. I want you to get a study Bible. You say, "What's a study Bible"? It's where it has commentary at the bottom, like the Life Application Bible or the New Spirit-Filled Life Bible. And we'll put some of our recommendations on your app this week. That's a great way. And then, lastly, get in a small group, because that's where we study the Bible at Church of the Highlands.

So, if you want to be discipled, the Sunday School classes of Church of the Highlands are called Small Groups, and it's there we're studying the Bible, and getting discipled, and having accountability, and we're right in the middle of a semester right now, so you could still get involved in a group. But at the very least, hey, everybody, I'm gonna say it again, if you're not a member of our church, at least consider us as your home church and go to our step one tonight at 6 at every location, and that's where you find out who we are as a church; and if we are your church, join it. Give to it, support it, be involved in it, get in a group, get on the Dream, make some coffee, for heaven's sakes, right? Like, help, like park some cars with us, and like love people, and go to outreach, and watch how much more fun it is to be in a church than just go to a church. Y'all receive that, everybody? Okay, thank you, all right?

And here's the third. So, I want you to start your day, I want you to study it, and then I want you to stand firm, realizing it's a weapon. And I'm running out of time. You, first service, you're always my test service to see. So, I have to tighten some things up. So, anyway, anyway, all right, so I'd better get going. The more I explain that, the more I'm losing time. All right, but the Bible says, "Put on the full armor of God, so that when," not if, "the day of evil comes, you're able to stand". How do you stand? You "Take up sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God". This is what Jesus did. Every time the devil attacked Jesus, he used the Word of God, look at me. Well, you can't use it if you don't know it, okay? So, go find you some weapons. Go look at, it's like, "Oh, the next time I'm depressed, I'm using that verse. The Lord is my light, my salvation. Whom shall I fear"?

I'm gonna use, next time, I'm using that. King David said it this way: "The word is a lamp to my feet, it's a light to my path". I make my decisions based on your word. I find a verse for every situation in my life. So, start it every day. Study it. Stand on it, okay? All right, here's my closing. I was so excited about this closing. You want to hear it? It's good, okay. Because I was thinking, I sat for hours, literally, with my study this week. When I sit there, I pray for y'all. I, sometimes, I cry. Okay, I pray for your marriages, and your mind, and your heart. I don't know if you believe it or not, but I love you so much. Maybe even your mama doesn't pray for you as much as I do. I love you. I really do pray for you, and I deeply love you. And I say, "Lord, what's the best way"? 'Cause y'all know me. I like to take complicated things and make them real simple.

What's the best way to help people understand the Bible? What's the best way to summarize the whole series? And I feel like the Lord spoke to me, sitting in my study, three things, that the Bible just points me to Jesus. And if you study it, I wish I had time to do this. I'll do it someday. It's so cool. You could actually find Jesus even in the Old Testament, all throughout it. It's amazing how many times that he not only shows up in what's called a Christophany, but also you can see a metaphor of who he is in different people's lives, like Joseph and others, but it's there. But Jesus said this: "You're searching the Scriptures", and by the way, at that time the only Scriptures they had was the Old Testament, "because you think that if you just search them and study them, that's how you find eternal life".

And you don't, by the way. Your Bible knowledge will not get you to heaven. He says, "But the Scriptures point to me"! "To me". I was going to read you this verse. I don't have time. Okay, here's the second one, okay. So, once it points me to Jesus, it shows me how to become like Jesus. So, in other words, it's gonna do that powerful work. I'm begging you, don't defend you. Say "God, do your work inside of me. I want to be like you". Lord, I want to be more like you. Just, God, just do your work inside of me. And it will, by the way, because the Scripture is God breathed, and it'll correct you, rebuke you, train you, but it equips you for good things. It'll do a good work inside of you. So, every time you read, say, "Lord, make me look more like that. Make me look more like", are y'all following me, everybody?

Okay so, the Bible points me to Jesus, so that I can become like Jesus, and then it instructs me to do what Jesus did. And what does God do? Like, what's the verb of the whole Bible? And some would say love. That's the motive, but it's not the verb. "God so loved the world that he gave", He did something, and that's John 3:16, supposed to be the most famous verse in the Bible, but look at 1 John 3:16. "This is how we know what love is: Christ laid his life down for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for others". And that's why I like this Legacy Season. I'm doing everything in my communication ability to woo you into the most joyous season of the year, and it's not when you receive. It's when you help others. I'm encouraging you, let's all pray. Let's all invite a lost person to "At the Movies".

Let's bring a lost person, somebody far from God to Christmas. We're gonna give you everything. We're throwing everything we have at you, okay, for this. Like, let's get involved in Thanksgiving. Let's get involved in the Christmas, giving hope. Let's give in the Legacy Offering. If you're, as God speaks to you, and that's what I like about it, because the essence of the Bible is that I meet Jesus, become like Jesus, and then do what Jesus did. And I was so excited. I have to tell you one story before I close. So, there's so much going on, obviously, in the Middle East right now, and we are very involved there, but I have to tell you, we can't say a lot, for security reasons, because we have missionaries.

In fact, just this past week, you funded more than 1000 Middle Eastern Christians, both Arab and Jew, Christians who have been deployed into Israel and Gaza. Okay, that's happening right now. In fact, one of our missionaries that you support, we can't talk much about it, but you can understand why. We don't want somebody getting to them, right? But he went into a safe house in Gaza that was filled with 100 people who, every one of them, were in that safe house because of a dream they had the night before, where this shiny-faced figure said, "Follow me," literally walked them to this place, this is their stories, then disappeared, and more than 100 people there gave their lives to Jesus.

Okay, that happened. That happened. Okay, look at me. This is what the church is all about. We need Jesus, become like Jesus, and then do what Jesus did. What's the Bible all about? This is my final statement for the whole series. It points me, so I can become, and so I can do it. And that's what we're going to be as a church. We're going to point people to Jesus. I'm gonna challenge you. Hey, we can't have that attitude. Hey, we're gonna grow. We're gonna get better. We're gonna become like Jesus, and then we are gonna be a church on mission, in Jesus' name. That's why join the church tonight. Bring a friend next week. Let's all get involved in the Legacy Season. And everybody said a good... all right, let's pray together. I'm fired up.

Father, bless these amazing people. And God, I'm asking, as they take steps to really understand your Word and grow in your Word, that you're going to speak to them and help them understand it. Reveal the Bible. God, let them see Jesus, let them become like Jesus, and let all of us commit to doing what Jesus did.

Heads bowed, eyes are closed. If you're here today, and you need to give your life to Jesus, I'm not saying be a religious person. I'm not even saying join this church. I'm just saying it's time for you to give your life to Jesus. Right there where you are, pray this prayer. Say:

Jesus, I need you, and I ask you to come into my life, and I commit my life to you. Be the Lord of my life. Make me more like you, so that I can do what you did, because I believe you're the Son of God, who rose from the dead. Today, I put my faith in you. In your name I pray, amen.

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