David Jeremiah - When Jesus Would Be So Profaned
Stephen Colbert spoofed a controversial ad designed for television for the Doritos brand of corn chips. In 2010, the makers of the Doritos product created a contest to choose a video commercial that would be shown during the 2011 Super Bowl. Commercial spoofed by Colbert was one of the entries received by Doritos, though it was not chosen and therefore did not air during the Super Bowl. Nonetheless, in the commercial a priest is worried about how to boost attendance in his church. As he is praying for ideas, heaven reveals the solution: replace the bread or wafers in the Communion service with Doritos.
After the commercial was produced, Stephen Colbert decided to spoof it on his comedy show and I read this to you with the caveat in front that it almost made me cry and I'm sure it will have the same effect on some of you. Colbert begins, "Now, folks, I may be a devout Catholic," and the audience cheers and laughs. He pulls out a bag of Doritos nacho chips from beneath his desk. "I know the Eucharist is usually bread, but through transubstantiation it becomes the body of Christ. So I honestly don't understand why Jesus can't be a Dorito. Doritos are unleavened and, after all, he did snackrifice himself for our sins. And remember, at the Last Supper, according to Mark 14:20, Jesus said he would be betrayed by one of the 12 who 'dips with me in the bowl.'"
Once again, there's audience laughter and an image of the Bible and the text at Mark 14:20 appears on the screen. "They had dips," said Colbert, "therefore Jesus was a chip. Everybody knows the Catholic Church can use a little extra scratch right now. What better way than product placement? Next Wednesday, we can all get our foreheads marked with Dorito dust. For the right price, there's no reason people couldn't be baptized in Mountain Dew. That would be the most extreme baptism ever. Once and for all, we'll show Islam which religion is most radical". End of quote.
Unless you saw Colbert's spoof on the commercial, or saw it on another website, probably didn't hear much about it, about equating Jesus with a corn chip, about saying he snackrificed himself for our sins. Indeed, incorporating Jesus Christ into profane and demeaning situations is so common in America that it hardly gains any attention anymore. Never before has the biblical portrait of Christ been so foreign to our culture. In fashion, he appears on Urban Outfitters as "Jesus is my homeboy" T-shirts. On television, he often appears in the animated episodes of the Simpsons and South Park. On the big screen, he's been the subject of "The Da Vinci Code".
In a 2010 interview, Elton John provocatively stated that Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems. Renowned atheist Richard Dawkins claimed that a reborn Jesus would gladly wear an "Atheist for Jesus" T-shirt today and we owe Jesus, he said, "the honor of separating the genuinely original and radical ethics that he held from the supernatural nonsense which he espoused as a man of his time". End of quote.
In their book, "Dethroning Jesus," exposing popular culture's quest to unseat the biblical Christ, scholars Darrell Bock and Daniel Wallace explain that "the popular view of Jesus today is not biblical Christianity, it's Jesus-anity. Jesus-anity is a coined term for the alternative story about Jesus Christ. Here, the center of the story is still Jesus but Jesus as a prophet or a teacher of religious wisdom. His role is primarily one of teacher and guide and example. Jesus' special status involves his insight into the human condition and the enlightenment he brings to it. In this story, the key is that Jesus inspires others but there's no throne for Jesus. He is one among many. The best, perhaps, and certainly one we can learn from and follow".
I never thought I'd see the day in America when Jesus Christ was fair game for comedians and commercial entrepreneurs, especially those who profess to believe in him, like the self-confessed devout Roman Catholic, Stephen Colbert. My point is not necessarily to pick him out and criticize him above others because he's actually one of the more tellable stories in this report. Some of the material that I gained in my research, I would never ever speak of in public because it's so profane and vile. The point is how easy it is for us as Christians to get squeezed into the mold of this world if we're not constantly filtering what we find entertaining and at whose expense. The Jesus that we need to know will not be found in the secular media.
John Piper said, "The degree to which the church is trained to distrust the Jesus of the Gospels and to look for ever-new human creations of Christ, the real Jesus will be blurred and his power to break free from the unbiblical traditions that bind him will be blunted". Some of you know what Muzak is. It's really elevator music. It's the music they play in elevators that you don't even know about until you stop and think, if you're in an elevator alone, "Oh, there's some music playing". It's background music. It plays in elevators and shopping malls and department stores and it just sort of gets into your consciousness without your invitation. Elevator music is always there so we don't pay much attention to it, yet our subconscious mind takes it in.
Cultural messages like the one I have told you that continues to be tolerated is like background music. Little by little, it slips into the consciousness of Christian Americans. It's like cultural noise, whether it's in our lives through a late-night comedian or maybe a Sunday morning mega church pastor or a news interview with the leader of a mainline denomination or a thousand other sources. Messages about Jesus are always streaming into our heads. And if we are not careful, those messages like a silently stored song subconsciously change the way we think about the Jesus who is our Savior. In the midst of this sordid picture of Jesus Christ in our culture, we have the Bible.
And in the Bible, we have the New Testament. And in the New Testament we have the Book of Hebrews. And I don't know if you know that but there's more about Jesus in the Book of Hebrews than in any book in the New Testament except the four gospels. If you wanna know about Jesus, obviously read the four gospels. If you wanna know more about Jesus, read the Book of Hebrews, for the Book of Hebrews is all about Jesus Christ. Hebrews was written to a group of first century Christians, most of whom had been saved out of Judaism. Many of them had been exposed to the danger of giving up. They were under great pressure, being ridiculed and persecuted by their families for having turned from Judaism to Jesus Christ. Many had accepted this adversity joyfully, but others were ready to quit.
So the letter of Hebrews appeals to these believers to keep their faith anchored in truth and confident in Christ and the writer of Hebrews, whose identity we do not know, teaches us that no believer can cope with adversity unless Christ fills his horizons and sharpens his priorities and dominates his experience. And more importantly, from a theological perspective, Hebrews is the only book that begins with the word God. Did you know that? It's the only one. Now, in the Greek, it's not like that but, for some reason, God caused the book to be translated into English so that the first word in the Book of Hebrews is God. Most other books begin with the name of the human writer, Paul or Peter or John. But we don't know who the writer of the Book of Hebrews is, so it begins with God.
So I guess we'll have to let him be the writer, right? God is the writer of Hebrews, as he is of all of the other books. And the theme of Hebrews, as I've mentioned, is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one that these young Hebrew Christians need to know. He's the one they needed to wrap their lives around. Only Jesus Christ and a full orbed understanding of who he was could get them through the difficulties they were facing. And my friends, I believe that is true in our world today. I believe that as Christians, we get our thoughts and our minds on a lot of other things and we turn away from Christ and then we wonder why we're having such a difficult time.
Jesus Christ is the one who has promised to be closer to us than our brother and keep us in the midst of every situation and just as the Hebrew Christians needed Christ in the Book of Hebrews, we today need Christ in our lives. Not just as our Savior but as the constant friend and companion in our lives. Not every book is so up front about what it's about, but if you turn to the 8th chapter of the Book of Hebrews, you'll discover what this book is about. This is what it says in 8:1, "Now this is the main point of the things we are saying".
That's pretty clear, isn't it? You don't wanna know what Hebrews is about? Well, here it is. "Now this is the main point about the things we are saying: We have a high priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heavens". That's what the Book of Hebrews is about. It's about Jesus. In the Book of Hebrews, we learn that Jesus is better. He's better than everything. He's better than the angels. He's better than Moses. He's better than Joshua. He's better than the old covenant. He's better than the priests. In fact, the word better is in Hebrews 13 times. Jesus is better.
I remember reading a book some years ago by Max Lucado and he was talking about Hebrews and he said, "The best just got better". It's a favorite slogan with advertisers. It's not that our previous product was poor; it's just that the current one is superior. The Book of Hebrews might well use the same slogan. The best just got better. Here in the first few pages of the Book of Hebrews is the real Jesus, and I think instead of spending our whole time railing on the world's comprehension of who Jesus is, we'd do well to focus our attention on what the Bible says about him.
You know, there's an old adage that when you're trying to figure out whether a bill is counterfeit, don't study the counterfeit bill, study the real bill. When you know what that looks like, you'll spot a counterfeit bill whenever you go. It's easy. So we need to get back to knowing who Jesus is, according to the Scripture. Now, in the first two or three chapters of Hebrews, we learn several things about him. And I'm just gonna take you through this because I'm so excited about preaching Hebrews 'cause I get to preach Jesus straight on. You know, I preach about Jesus all the time, but sometimes he's kind of in the places between other things. But when you teach Hebrews, Jesus is the focus of every lesson.
First of all, Jesus is the final word from God. Did you know that? It says in chapter 1, verse 2, "God who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers through the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son". Now, watch carefully what that says. That says that in the Old Testament God spoke in various ways and in various times. He spoke to Adam a little bit. He spoke to Moses a little bit. He spoke to Abraham a little bit. He spoke to David and to Solomon a little bit here and there. He spoke in various seasons, from Moses in the Pentateuch all the way through the prophets, ending with the Book of Malachi.
But listen, he never spoke at all to any one person or at any one time so it was here a little and there a little and we are blessed 'cause we have the collection of what he said to all of them but there was never a time in the Old Testament where there was a full-orbed, final word from God. But when you come to the New Testament, we are told, but "in these last days God has spoken unto us through his Son". Did you know that one of the titles for Jesus is he is the Word. He is the Word. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God".
That's Jesus. Jesus is God's last word to man. When Jesus came into his place on this earth, he was simply God walking around in a body. When God wanted to communicate who he was to us, he took deity and poured it into humanity and said, "This is who I am," and Jesus walked upon this earth. So Jesus is God's final word to man. If you're looking for another word from God beside Jesus, you're gonna wait a long time. He has spoken finally and Jesus is the message. Jesus is God's final word to man. When he spoke in Christ he said everything he meant to say. If you wanna know who God is, study Jesus. If you wanna know what God is like, the Bible says God is a spirit. How do we understand a spirit? We cannot. So God incarnated himself and put himself in a human body so that now we can know how God is through watching Jesus. Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus is the final word from God. But if you keep reading in the Book of Hebrews you find secondly that Jesus is the first cause of creation.
Now, a lot of people read Genesis 1:1 and say, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". We all believe that, but when you get to the New Testament, you discover that the part of the Trinity that was involved in the Creation process was Jesus Christ. Did you know that Jesus Christ is the Creator God? You say "Jeremiah, where did you find that"? Well, I'm glad you ask. Here's what it says, "Through whom," Jesus, "he also made the worlds". If you didn't get that, listen to John 1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God". And watch this. "All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made".
Now, that's about as clear as you can get. I mean, I wanna say to people who say they don't believe Jesus is the Creator God, "What part of that don't you get"? Colossians 1:16 says it again, "For by him," Jesus, "all things were created that are in heaven, that are on earth, visible, invisible, thrones, dominions, principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him". So we're building a little picture of Jesus. He is the last word from God and he's the first cause of creation. Then the Bible tells us that Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead. In verse 3 we read, "Who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person".
Colossians 1:19 says, "It pleased the Father that in Christ all the fullness should dwell". That means that Jesus Christ is exactly the same as God for he is God. This is one of the clearest statements in the Bible concerning the deity of Jesus Christ. "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him". We can't see God. He's a spirit. You cannot see God. Bible says you can't see God and live but you can see Jesus in the pages of the New Testament and, in seeing Jesus, the Bible says you see God. In his letter to Timothy, Paul expressed his amazement at this. He said, "Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God manifest in the flesh". And Jesus himself said, "If you have seen me you've seen the Father".
I wanna be clear about this because one of the great debates about Jesus Christ today, as I read to you in the Jesus-anity quote, is that he is a good man but he's not God. You cannot believe that and call yourself a biblical Christian because the Bible teaches that Jesus is not just a good man. He is the God-man. And if we don't understand that, we cannot understand Christianity. Here in the first chapter of Hebrews in the 8th verse is one of the clearest proof texts for the deity of Jesus Christ. And this is what it says in Hebrews 1:8, "But to the Son he," which means God the Father. "But to the Son the Father says, 'Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.'" Here is God the Father calling Jesus his Son God.
You say, "I don't believe Jesus is God". Well, you and God don't agree. God says he is God and if you don't think he's God, then you have a problem with the Father because the Father said, "Your throne, O God," speaking of Jesus, "is forever and forever".
I read this about a biblical scholar named Scot McKnight who took his students in class through an exercise on the opening day in his class on Jesus of Nazareth. "He gave a standardized psychological test which was divided into two parts. The results are nothing short of astounding. The first part is about Jesus. It asked students to imagine Jesus' personality, with questions such as, "Does he prefer to go his own way rather than act by the rules"? or "Is he a worrier"? The second part asks the same question of the students, but instead of "Is he a worrier"? it asks, "Are you a worrier"?
And the test is not about right or wrong answers. It is not designed to help students understand Jesus. Instead, if given to enough people, the test will reveal that we all think Jesus is like us. Introverts think Jesus is introverted and, on the basis of the same questions, extroverts think Jesus is extroverted. Spiritual formation experts would love to hear that students in my Jesus class are becoming like Jesus, but the test actually reveals the reverse: students are fashioning Jesus to be like them. If the test were given to a random sample of adults, the results would be measurably similar. To one degree or another, we all conform Jesus to our own image.
And that's where we get in trouble, isn't it? Because Jesus isn't who we want him to be. Jesus is who he is. Jesus is who the Bible says he is. The Bible tells us who Jesus is and if we would read our Bibles, we wouldn't go down that strange road. I don't know if this ever happens to you but people come up to me periodically, if I preach on hell or judgment or something, I get a letter or an email, and invariably, I've had people come up to me and say, "Doctor Jeremiah, my God would never send anybody to hell". And you know what I tell 'em? "That's exactly right 'cause your God doesn't exist. He doesn't exist, you made him up".
We love to take our faith and, when there are hard parts of it that we struggle with, we take them out. We excise them from our understanding. You don't like hell? Well, do away with it. You want everybody to go to heaven? Find a way to make it happen. Write a book about it, get on TV and everybody will think it's true. But that's not true. The Bible says, "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment". Do whatever you want to with it, but you can't take it out of the Book.
Some people think, "Well, if I don't want it to be true, then it's not true". Well, you know what? It's true, whether you want it to be true or not. So if you wanna get any place in your life, find out what's true and get on the bus. But don't go down all of these blind alleys, trying to make the Jesus you say you love be just like you are 'cause he's not. He wants you to be just like he is. When you get on that track, then something good will happen. Jesus is the final word from God. Jesus is the first cause of creation. Jesus is the fullness of the Godhead. And the Bible says in Hebrews 1:3, "He's the facilitator of all things". He "upholds all things by the word of his power".
Do you know what keeps this whole world from flying off in a different direction and go out of orbit and totally destruct? Jesus has got it in control. He was before history, he was at the beginning of history, he will be at the end of history, and he is the one who controls history. He is the sustainer and upholder of this world. This is what Paul communicated in his letter to the Colossians when he said to these believers, "He is before all things, and in him all things consist". There has never been a moment from the beginning of creation that Jesus Christ has not been performing this mighty work, holding everything together as the facilitator of the universe.
Jesus is the final word from God. He's the first cause of creation. He's the fullness of the Godhead, the facilitator of all things and here's my favorite in the list. He's the forgiveness of our sins. Listen to what it says in verse 3. It says in verse 3, "When he had by himself purged our sins". Christ is not only the revealer of God, he's the redeemer of man. This Book of Hebrews is a book about cleansing and here we are told that Christ purged our sins. He cleansed us. Please note where this phrase appears in the context of these words. "He who is before all things and in whom all things are summed up, the one who is the Father's delight and the Father's glory, the one of infinite power and infinite glory, it was he himself who purged our sins".
To what purpose did he come? He didn't come down to set up his kingdom primarily, he came to seek and to save those that are lost. The Bible says in Hebrews he came to taste death for every man. And not one of these things that people talk about when they say these wonderful things about Jesus is worth anything if he didn't come down here to purge our sins. Think of it, folks. He who created the universe is the one who died for you. The only one who could do that work on the cross was Jesus Christ and the Bible says that he, by himself, purged our sins.
Now remember, I always tell our people, I've been teaching the Book of Hebrews for a while, and I always tell 'em, about every week, the Book of Hebrews was written to the Hebrews. That's a really important thing to keep in your mind, and it's written to us, but it was written primarily to the Hebrews. Now, these Jewish Christians, they knew all about the purging of sins. They had been brought up in Judaism and they knew in Judaism that through the blood of bulls and goats and all of that that their sins were forgiven in advance of the cross.
In the Old Testament the purging of sins was never ever finished. Hebrews 9 says, "Not that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with the blood of another. He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now," watch this, "once in the end of the ages, he has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself".
I wanna tell you some good news. This Jesus I've been telling you about that you can tell I'm a bit excited over, this Jesus who is the final word from God and the first cause of creation and the fullness of the Godhead and the facilitator of the universe, this Jesus is the forgiveness of our sins. And when we come to know him, he not only hears our prayer for forgiveness but because of who he is, he can do something about it and forgive us from our sin. He's the final word from God. He's the first cause of creation. He's the fullness of the Godhead. He's the facilitator of all things. He's the forgiveness of our sins. And he's the finisher of our faith. Listen to what he says here, "And he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high".
In the Old Testament Tabernacle, did you know that the high priest never sat down? In fact, in all of the Tabernacle, with all of its wonderful furniture, there was a lampstand, there was a laver, there was an altar, but there was no chair. If you were an Old Testament high priest, you never could sit down 'cause your work was never done. There was always somebody who'd need forgiveness and you needed to be there. You were the priest. But when Christ entered the Holy of Holies in the heavens, the Bible says, "He sat down". Say that with me. "He sat down".
And I wanna tell you something, friends. He didn't sit down 'cause he was tired. He sat down 'cause he was finished. He sat down because what he cried on the cross was true. When he was dying on the cross, at the end of it he said, "It is finished". And he paid the price for all of our sin and when he went back to heaven and he sat down by the right hand of the Father, he sat down to signify that nothing else ever needs to be done for sin. He did it all and it's done. Hebrews 12:2 says, "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God".
You may be thinking, "Well, there's something I need to do in order for me to go to heaven. Something I need to do for my sins to be forgiven". No, there's not anything you need to do. Jesus did it all. He did it all so well that when he got done, he sat down. He's not waiting for you to do anything, except accept what he already did for you. And I'll tell you some more about that in a moment. I'm almost finished, but let me go through this list one more time. He's the final word from God. He's the first cause of creation. He's the fullness of the Godhead. He's the facilitator of all things. He's the forgiveness of our sins. He's the finisher of our faith. And here's the last one for all of us Christians. He's our faithful high priest.
Did you know that? This Jesus who created the world, this Jesus who holds it all together, this Jesus who himself purged our sins on the cross and went to heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, the Bible says he is at the right hand of the Father, always there making intercession for the saints. And over in the 2nd chapter of Hebrews, it says, "Therefore, in all things Jesus had to be made like unto his brethren," in other words, he had to become a man, "that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to aid those who are tempted".
What that means is that Jesus became for a little time a little lower than the angels, that he might be one of us and walk among us and live as we have lived on this earth. And the Bible says, over in the 4th chapter, that "we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet apart from sin". And before we go any further, let me disabuse some of the nonsense that I sometimes hear about this passage, which goes like this. Well, if Jesus couldn't sin, how could he be tempted like we are because, I mean, let's face it, I can sin. So if Jesus was not able to sin, you know, there's this big argument, was Jesus able not to sin or was he not able to sin?
Well, I believe Jesus was not able to sin. He was the sinless Son of God. Well, you say, "Well, then, how could he have been tempted like we are"? And I remember reading this in a book somewhere, somebody said, "Is a bridge tested fully when the first car drives over the bridge or is it tested fully when cars have been driving over that bridge for years and years and years"? Let me ask you this question. Is a bridge tested when it is found first not to fail or is it tested when it is found never to fail? Jesus didn't give in to any temptation so he felt the full brunt of it all. Whatever it is you think you've gone through, you haven't faced anything like Jesus faced. You know why that's true? 'Cause you gave in. And the temptation of Jesus was to the fullest extent, yet he never sinned.
And the Bible says when I go to Jesus with my trouble, I can talk to someone who knows what it's like to be a human. He became like us and he exposed himself to all the hazards and perils of life and death and he was not protected from trouble and adversity. When we find ourselves immersed in the harsh realities of human experience, where do we go? We go to Jesus. Think of the blessing of it all. Think of how he shares our labors, how he knows the dull drab drudgery of some of the common tasks we have to do, the heavy misery of back-breaking toil. He shares our trials and our limitations. He was poor, with no place to lay his head. He was hungry, grateful to the converted women who ministered to him of their substance. He was thirsty, begging water of a Samaritan woman. He was weary and exhausted and sat for rest on the well. He bore our sorrows and our heartaches.
If there was death in the home, it brought tears to his eyes. When he looked upon the cripple, the leper, the blind, and the helpless, his heart was moved to compassion. Anybody could approach the Lord Jesus and be welcome. The poor, the weak, the publican, the simple. In Jesus, God is with us in all love and infinite blessing. My favorite name for Jesus outside of Jesus is Emanuel, God with us. Yes, he's the creator of the universe. He's the one that holds it all together. He's the one who purged our sins. But he's the one who hears your prayer when you cry out to him in the darkness of the night. When you're going through that thing you thought you would never go through. When you go through what I've written about, a bend in the road, and you wonder, "Does anybody know what it's like to experience what I'm experiencing"?
I'm telling you, there is one. There's one who's felt the pressure of it all. And he is our high priest. Now, I wanna tell you something if you haven't figured this out. I'm recommending Jesus to you. I'm recommending him to you. The Book of Hebrews says that we need to do something with Jesus. The Bible says you have to receive him. You have to accept him. The Book of Hebrews says you need to consider him. You need to accept him. You need to be careful that you don't harden your heart against him. In fact, in chapters 3 and 4, on four occasions we are warned against hardening our hearts against God. And the Bible says, "Today, if you will receive him, do not harden your heart".
You know, people come to churches and they come to events like this and they've heard the gospel so many times on Christian radio, on Christian television, in their churches, in their Bible studies. They still haven't yet received him. And every time you hear the gospel and you don't receive it, another little callous forms on your heart and your heart gets harder. And the Bible warns us that now that we know who Jesus is, there's something we need to do with him. John 14:6, "Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. And no one comes to the Father except through me.'"
If you wanna go to heaven some day, if you wanna spend eternity with your creator God, if you wanna be with others of your family who are Christians and have already gone ahead, you better be sure that you have accepted Jesus into your life because he is your creator, he is your sustainer, he is the one who purged your sins. He's the one who's coming back someday and those who have received him will be caught up together with him to be with him and so shall we ever be with the Lord. I went through my Bible in these first few chapters of Hebrews and I put a circle around "today" every place I found it.
I've come to this conclusion. Today is God's word. Tomorrow is Satan's word. Let me tell you what I've been learning in studying the Book of Hebrews and also before that in a little bit of the study of the Book of Galatians. Listen carefully. When God tells us to do something and we hear his voice clearly, the space between having heard what he told us to do and understanding it and doing it does not belong to God. It belongs to the enemy. The word from God is "Do this". The enemy says, "No, you can do that tomorrow. You know, I'm gonna do that someday. I'm gonna get my affairs in order, then I'm gonna take care of Christ". But the Bible says in between the command and obedience is the waste land of the wilderness and Satan occupies that territory like no other part of your life. When you hear what God tells you to do, you should say, "Today". But if you don't say that, you will hear "Tomorrow" ringing in your ears. And one of these days, there'll be a tomorrow that's too late.
D.L. Moody was a great evangelist. When he first started to preach in Chicago, he would have 4 or 5 days of meetings and his method in preaching was he would preach the gospel with enthusiasm and passion and, at the end of the service, he would say to the people, "I want you to go home tonight and think about what I've said. And come back tomorrow night, ready to make a decision". And he did that for a number of years. And one night he did that and the Chicago fire happened. And many of the people who were in his congregation the night when he told 'em to go home and think about it and come back the next night perished in that fire and never had a next night.
From that day until he died, Moody never ever did that again. He learned the power of today. He realized that the message of the gospel that comes home to our hearts usually comes home to our hearts in a meeting something like this. Maybe a light goes on, maybe we realize, "I've known about Jesus but I've never trusted him as my Savior". When that happens and you know God is speaking to you, the time to do something about it is not tomorrow, not the next time you meet with God's people, but today.