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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Derek Prince » Derek Prince - Love! For The Day Is Near

Derek Prince - Love! For The Day Is Near

Derek Prince - Love! For The Day Is Near
TOPICS: Bible Study, Book of Romans, Love

I think we have to move on. We’ve got the rest of the chapter to deal with. Now, it’s so refreshing and beautiful to come back to the theme of love. And that’s what the main teaching of this section is. I pointed out in regard to chapter 12 that it’s not a set of religious rules, it’s directions for releasing the love of God that He’s placed in your heart. If you don’t have the love of God in your heart, you won’t be able to do it anyhow. It all starts with love. So let’s read what Paul says here in chapter 13, beginning at verse 8: Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

So Paul says, I don’t want you to be in debt. Incidentally, I could preach a whole sermon on this, owe no one anything How many of you don’t owe anyone anything? You don’t owe on your car, you don’t owe on your... never mind, let’s not go into it. You don’t owe on your washing machine... Do you know what the Bible says, The borrower is servant to the lender. When we get into debt, we make ourselves servants of the person that we are borrowing from. And the United States is the great servant nation of the world today. Debtor nation number one. In slavery to the Japanese and other nations. Britain and America won the war but they’ve not won the peace. That’s by the way. Don’t let me get into that.

So, let’s talk a little bit about love. I want you to keep your finger in Romans 13 and turn to Romans 8 verse 4 where it speaks about the purpose of Christ’s death. And It says—well, we better read verse 3. For what the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh. That happened when Jesus died on the cross. In order that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. So we are set free from the law of Moses and all its ordinances, statutes and regulations and ceremonies. But in order that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us.

Now, another translation says the righteous requirement of the law. Which is a better translation because the word is directly derived from the word for righteous. The same word is used in Revelation 19 verse 8 where it says the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. It’s precisely the same word. So we are set free from the requirements of the Law of Moses, but in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be worked out in us. What is the righteous requirement of the law? This is the thousand dollar question. Because, we have to know. In one word. Love, that’s right.

Let’s look at what the Scripture says. First of all, we’ll go back to Romans 13 but we’ll look in Galatians 5:14 for a moment. Galatians 5:14 Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word in the statement, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. What is the one word? Love, that’s right. So what is the righteous requirement of the law? That’s important to be clear about that. We’re not required to follow all the details of the law of Moses but we are under obligation to love. Now, going back to our outline. In Romans chapter 13 verses 8–10: Owe no one anything except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

See, that is the fulfillment of the law. For this and he mentions the commandments You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, You shall not steal, you shall not covet, and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. All the commandments summed up in that one commandment You shall love your neighbor as yourself. So, we don’t need to be foggy or unclear about how we are to relate to the law of Moses. We’ve been set free from all its enactments and requirement but we are required to walk out its righteous requirement which is love, that’s right. Let’s look at what Jesus said.

Keeping your finger in Romans 13, turn to John 13 for a moment. John 13 and verse 34: A new commandment I give to you, And He’s deliberately, as it were, adding His P.S. to the law and to the Ten Commandments a new Commandment I give you that you love one another even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. So Moses gave them ten commandments, Judaism has 613 commandments, Jesus said, I’ll just give you one commandment. Because, in that one commandment everything is included. What’s the one commandment? Love one another. It’s so simple. I’d like to go back for a moment to a verse we looked at in the last session, because I am so fond of this verse.

1 Timothy 1:5, and especially in the New American Standard translation. I don’t like everything in this translation but this is good. 1 Timothy 1:5: But the goal of our instruction is love. The goal is love. And then he gives three conditions for maintaining love. from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. For some men straying from these things have turned aside to fruitless discussions, wanting to be teachers of the law etc. So any kind of teaching or preaching in church that does not produce love is fruitless discussion. It’s wasted, empty words. The only final goal of all teaching is love. The goal of our instruction is love. And believe me, brothers and sisters, I check on myself from time to time. I say am I really aiming at the goal? Or have I got diverted to secondary issues?

I don’t want to be negative about the church, but I would say that there are relatively few congregations that really specifically make love their primary aim. We’ve somehow got diverted into lots of things that are important but they’re secondary and they don’t work without love. Love is the motivating power that makes all the rest work. It’s the force that releases the water through the hose. Without that, you’ve got a hose, you’ve got a garden but you’ve got no water. You can wander around with the hose in your hand and look active but you’re not making anything grow, you see? Keep your finger in Romans 13, let’s turn to James chapter 1. Some people claim that I require them to have too many fingers, but I don’t think that’s true. James chapter 1.

Now, James, if ever anybody was, as it were, dedicated to the Lord, it’s James. But James says in chapter 1, verse 25: But He who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does. Now, he doesn’t specifically state what is the perfect law, the law of liberty but you go on to James chapter 2 and verse 8 and he says: If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well. So this is the royal law, the perfect law, the law of liberty. What is it? Love your neighbor as yourself.

That’s something to think about. When you are motivated by that, you live like a king. Nobody orders you about, nobody can force you to do anything because you always want to do the right thing. You’re never made to do anything against your will. It’s the law of perfection, it’s the law of liberty, it’s the law that’s kingly. Why should we waste our time on a lot of things? I tell you who diverts us, the enemy of our souls. He’s afraid of Christians who really love one another. Because, they have power, they have authority. And furthermore, they challenge the world. Do you remember what Jesus said in regard to that commandment we read, By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.

I think it was Francis Schaeffer who said, The Lord gave the world the right to judge the church. Because if the world sees us not loving one another, the world has got the right, on the basis of Jesus’ own words, to say they are not His disciples. Amen. Let’s go back to Romans 13. You’ll get to know your way to Romans 13 after awhile. Now we’re going on to what I’ve headed Live in anticipation of Christ’s return. Are you living in anticipation of Christ’s return? Are you excited about the fact that Jesus is coming back? And furthermore, you don’t know when? Just to avoid a few possible pitfalls.

All right. Verse 11 This do... Do all that Paul has been talking about; that is, subjection to authority and love for one another. This do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now our salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. That’s a sort of puzzling statement in a way, isn’t it? The time factor in this age is difficult to comprehend because Paul wrote as if the coming of the Lord was very close. I’ll give you my personal understanding. This is not doctrine, this is just Brother Prince. And if it helps you, praise God. If it doesn’t, don’t get angry with me. But you see, there are some benefits of having been a philosopher.

One of the things that philosophers always ponder about is time. And time remains a mystery, even in spite of Einstein. Nobody has really plumbed the depths of what time is. But I want to suggest to you that when a true believer dies and passes out of this life, he passes into a timeless existence. Eternity is not subject to the laws of time. We’re no longer having elapsed time. There are no clocks in that world that we go to. And his body is laid in the tomb and decomposes. So he closes his eyes in death, moves out into a timeless existence and his eyes are not going to open until when? The resurrection. This blesses me so much; I hope it will bless you. And when he opens those eyes in his resurrected body, what’s the first thing he’ll see? The Lord coming in power. So, you are never further from the Lord’s coming in time than you are from your point of death.

Do you see what I’m saying? Because after that there’s no time for you. This excites me. I don’t know whether it excites you. I’ve pondered on it a lot. It also excites me that when I open these eyes with a resurrected, glorified body, the first thing my eyes are going to look at is Jesus in His glory, in His power. If you’re not excited about that, you should be a Britisher! You know how excitable we are! And I was, after all, brought up an Anglican, let me tell you that, too, an Episcopalian. But I get excited when I think about the Lord’s return. And that really is the thing that motivates me to live the Christian life. I’m going to see Jesus in His glory, I’m going to see His kingdom established on earth.

That’s the only solution to the innumerable problems of humanity. We can do a little bit of good, we can open hospitals, we can start schools. But evil actually seems to outrun good in this present age. I’m not sure whether humanity is better off in the 20th century than it was in the 1st. If you measure all the different problems that confront us today. I am naive enough to believe that the only solution to humanity’s problems is the establishment of God’s kingdom on earth. And that was the thing that Jesus taught us to pray for every time we pray, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Where? On earth. A lot of Christians have got the attitude that our aim is to get to heaven. Well, I have to say it’s a tremendous privilege to believe that you’re going to go to heaven when you die. But that isn’t my aim. And it wasn’t Paul’s aim.

Look for a moment in Philippians chapter 3, beginning at verse 8: Philippians 3, beginning at verse 8: More than that, I count all things to be lost in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ; and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection We all say amen to that, don’t we? What about the next words? and the fellowship of His suffering, being conformed to His death, in order that I may get to heaven, is that what he says? in order that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead.

The resurrection is our goal, not heaven. When we are in heaven, our spirits will be there but our bodies will be decomposed. That’s not the end of salvation. Jesus has purchased spirit, soul and body. And Paul says, I pray that your whole spirit, soul and body may be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. So, you could say Paul was naive or Peter was naive. I say no. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit showed them that they’d have that much time and then they’d see the Lord. And while we spend centuries here on earth, they’re in a timeless existence. It’s hard for the human mind to conceive that but I believe it’s established fact.

So now, in the light of that, let’s go back to Romans 13 Romans 13 verse 11 and following. This do that is keep all these instructions, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep, for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, and not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, and not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. That’s a picture of people who are living in excited anticipation of the lord’s return.

The motivation for holy living is not a set of rules, it’s the fact we’re going to meet Jesus and we need to be ready. We’re going to stand before His judgment seat and He’s going to weigh every word we’ve spoken, every thought that’s passed through our minds, every action, with those eyes that penetrate to the very core of our being. I was reading—in fact, it’s a little later on in Romans every tongue shall confess to God. And I got interested in the Greek word, because it’s translated in various ways. And I came to the conclusion it means confess to the uttermost, confess everything, keep nothing back. You’ll be able to hide nothing in that day. Everything will be transparent in the eyes of the Lord Jesus. That’s the main motivation for holiness in the New Testament church.

Turn for a moment to—you’re getting good at turning, aren’t you? Turn for a moment to Titus chapter 2 and verse 11, starting there. Titus chapter 2 verse 11: For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men Now, many people think about grace as something that lets you do anything and get away with it. But that’s not the New Testament picture, because the next thing it says about grace is it instructs us. Are you aware that grace instructs us? For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age; looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus, who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works.

So what is the real motivation for holy living? It’s anticipating the Lord’s return. And my personal conviction, and I think I have seen it in observation, is that the standard of New Testament holiness will never be found in a church that isn’t anticipating the Lord’s return. It does something for people. It motivates them, it makes them excited. Ruth and I travel around a lot and we meet Christians, wonderful Christians from many different backgrounds, different denominations, different movements. God has got wonderful people all over the place. Some are tucked away in little corners you wouldn’t ever think to find them.

But two things motivate Ruth and me, I think I could say. One is Matthew 24:14. Do you know what that says? This gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come. The other motivation, the other excitement in our life is we are looking for the Lord’s return. We’re excited. He’s coming back. I have a brother in the Lord who is a minister who has been very close to me for years. And He was commenting on the lack of excitement in the church about the Lord’s return. And he said, I suppose when the bridegroom comes back, the bride is expected to say something more than Nice to have you back. If I’d been away for a week and I found Ruth waiting for me at the door, which I would find, when I came back, and she just said, Nice to have you back, I would be a little disappointed.

Jesus, I’ll say it again, He loves us passionately, He wants to be loved passionately. But what I was saying is where we meet people who have these two motivations, first of all, we’ve got to get the gospel to every nation, and second, the Lord is coming soon. We find that it’s like we’ve known them all our lives after ten minutes. We’re just on the same wavelength. I believe that’s how we should be living. Do you see? If the Christian life is getting boring for you, well, try going to Albania! Do something. I mean, just step out. You may sink but the Lord will pick you up. But the Christian life is not down.

I often say to Ruth, At least one thing you can’t complain, I haven’t led you into a dull life. And thank God, I don’t want a dull life. It’s not an easy life. There are times the pressures become so intense I think can we hold out? And this is just one of those times. In fact, it’s been going on for a long while now. But, thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Why don’t we all say that to close this rather unorthodox teaching session. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, you look so wonderful saying that, turn to a neighbor and say it to your neighbor, "Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ". Amen and Amen. God bless you.
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