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James Merritt - Philadelphia, Forever Faithful

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    James Merritt - Philadelphia, Forever Faithful
TOPICS: This is Your Captain Speaking, Seven Churches of Revelation, Faithfulness

2000 years ago, there was a church in a city in Turkey called Philadelphia. And this song could have been their theme song, because in the midst of all that church was going through and all that church was under, that church stood like a rock. If you're a guest of ours today, or this is your first time tuning in, we've been in a series we've been calling "This is Your Captain Speaking". 2000 years ago, Jesus sent seven letters to seven churches in Asia Minor. And these churches are just as relevant now as they were then, because it's amazing. And people have said this to me in this series, it's amazing that what Jesus said to the church then, he could easily say to the church today, they face the same problems, they had the same weaknesses, they had the same defects that churches have today. And it's also relevant not just to the church, it's relevant to people in the chairs, to you and me, because the church is just made up of individual Christians.

So what Jesus said to the church, Jesus was saying to you and to me, so lemme tell you about Philadelphia, this Philadelphia, it was a city that was surrounded by paganism, sexual immorality and spiritual idolatry blanketed the city. They were under tremendous opposition, they were under great oppression because they were faithful to the gospel. They were faithful to God's word. As a matter of fact, the opposition was so strong to this church and the oppression was so, so burdensome, Jesus even called this city "The synagogue of Satan". He said, "I know where your ministry, I know where your church is located. It's located in the synagogue of Satan". Yet when you read this letter, Jesus was so proud of this church. He was so thrilled with this church. He was bursting at the seams. And I really believe this, of the seven letters that Jesus wrote, he enjoyed this one the most. He really loved writing this letter the most.

As a matter of fact, I'll tell you for me, of all the seven churches that we're studying, and we're gonna continue, so we've got one more to go, of all the seven churches, if you said, "Okay, which church would you join"? Not even a second thought, this would be the church I would join. I would be a part of the church at Philadelphia. Now, to be sure, it was not a perfect church, but it was a blameless church. It's the only, it was one of the two churches. Jesus didn't have one negative thing to say about this church. And when you look at this church, it was kind of like a rose between two thorns, because where it was located geographically, on one side there was Sardis, that's the dead church we talked about. On the other side, there was Laodicea, we'll talk about that in our next message. That was a disengaged church.

So you had a dead church on one side of them. You had a disengaged church on the other side. And then right in the middle is this dedicated church, standing like a rock. So the church at Philadelphia teaches us this lesson. This is my sermon today in a sentence, you ready? "When you stand true to God, God will come through for you. When you stand true to God, God will come through for you". Now, this church stood like a rock, what happens, what does God do for someone when he looks at you and he says, "You'll stand for me. You won't compromise, you won't give in, you won't give out, you won't give up. You will stay by the stuff".

Three things happen, number one, now watch this, God gives opportunity to our faithfulness. God gives opportunity to our faithfulness. Now listen what he says in verse 7, "To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David". Now watch this. "What he opens, no one can shut, and what he shuts, no one can open". Jesus is the Messiah, he's the king, he's the Lord. He holds the keys to every important door we can imagine. For example, he said, "I hold the keys to life and death". Whether you live, whether you die, it all depends on the key he holds. He holds those the keys to heaven and hell, heaven or hell, it's all up to him and the door he chooses to open, he holds the keys into who gets into God's kingdom and who doesn't.

And he said, "Listen, when I open a door, nobody can shut it. And when I shut a door, nobody can open it". Then he says this in verse 8, "I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you and open door that no one can shut". Now, to understand what Jesus is saying in his letter, you ought understand what doors represent in the Bible. Jesus one time said, "I am the door, I am the gate". Well, in the Bible, doors almost always refer to opportunities, for ministry, for service, for preaching, for witnessing, to enlarge the kingdom. For example, Paul, earlier than this letter was written, Paul had been in Ephesus for a while, and he was gonna leave but he made a decision, he said, "I think I'm gonna stay for a while".

Here's why he said, "I'm gonna stay," listen to this. "I will stay on an Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me". He was gonna leave, but he said, "You know what, I see this opportunity," there's this door. And Paul being Paul he was, he said, "Look, anytime God opens a door, I'll go through it. Anytime there's a door of opportunity, I'm going to walk through it. I wanna go where God is at work and what God is doing".

As a matter of fact, even while he was in prison, he said the Colossians, I want you to pray this, listen what he said, "Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains". He's in prison, he can't get out, he's not going anywhere. He said, "I don't care, even though I'm in a door that no man can open, that a man has shut, that no man can open, Jesus can open that door. And even while I'm in prison, there are people here that need to hear the gospel, prisoners and guards, the warden, all these people needed to the gospel. So would you pray, even while I'm in prison, God would open an open door for my witness".

And one of the things I learned a long time ago, matter of fact, it changed my whole approach to sharing Jesus, and I can't tell you when it happened, but it was almost like, I woke up one morning and the thought just hit me. And hopefully, this will help some of you start really wanting to be a witness for Christ. Let me tell you what witnessing is. Witnessing is not forcing anything on anybody. I can look you in eye and tell you, in all my years of sharing Jesus, I have never pushed Jesus down anybody's throat. I have never forced Jesus on anybody. I have never tried to ever bully anybody, bully anybody or coerce anybody into sharing the gospel.

Here's what I finally realized. All witnessing is, is just walking through a door that God has opened. That's all it is. It's just walking through a door that God has opened. That's why I've told you, I practice what I call permission evangelism. Here's how I'll do it, here's how I engage people. When I get to talking to people. If maybe somebody I know, somebody I don't, we have a conversation. I'll eventually ask a very simple question. I'll say, "I wanna ask you a question. I think there's more to life than this life. Do you mind talking about spiritual things"? Now I get easily one of two answers. I never get, "I don't know," I'll either get, "No, I don't mind". Or they'll say, and they will say, "No, I really don't want to do that, that's kind of private. That's kind of personal. I don't really do that".

What did I just find out? If a person says, "No, I don't mind, let's do it," God just opened the door. "No, I don't wanna talk about it," God just shut the door. So that's all witness again, it's just walking through the door. I'm just looking to see, has God opened the door here or God has not opened the door. And God says to this church in Philadelphia, "I have opened a door for you to go into this city, to spread the gospel, to tell your neighbors about Jesus". Now, why did he do it for this church? Why didn't he give an open door to Ephesus or to Pergaman or to Sardis or Thyatira or Laodicea. Why did he choose this? He said, "I'm gonna open a door for you". We find out, verse 8, "I know that you have a little strength, yet you have kept my word and you have not denied my name".

Now watch this. It's really surprising that he opened door for this church, because he even admits it's a weak church. This is not a strong church, this is not a mighty church. Jesus had felt the muscle of this church. He said, "You have little strength". They were not a rich church, they didn't have a lot of big shot politicians in the church, they didn't have any influence down at City Hall. They didn't have any influence with the government. They didn't have anybody that could pull strings. They didn't have any names they could drop. It was a weak church. And so when you looked at that church, you would've said, "Now what could you give to God? How in the world could God use you"?

But here's what you learned. God doesn't need our church to give anything to him except our obedience, that's all he wants. "You just obey me, do what I want you to do". All we need to do is just be faithful. But even though they were a weak church, they were not a strong church, there were several things true about that church. First of all, he said, "You have held fast to the word of God". He says in verse 8, "You have kept my word". They believe the Bible, they preached the Bible, they taught the Bible, they lived the Bible, they promoted the Bible, they built their church around the Bible. Because what mattered to them was not human intimidation, what mattered to them was not governmental legislation, what mattered to them was divine revelation. They had a moral and a spiritual compass that was always going to point north to the truth of God's word.

When I started my ministry, and every pastor has to do this, when I look back, when I pastored my first little country church in Tick Ridge, Kentucky, you need to visit sometime, it won't take long. But my first church was in Tick Ridge, Kentucky, ran about 30 people we started, doubled it to 60 in two years. It had tremendous growth, because it wouldn't been 80 people in no community. God blessed. But that'll make up my mind about something because I was in a liberal seminary. I was in a school telling me, "You can't believe this book. It's not all real, these things didn't happen. You can't really believe some of the stuff that's in it". And I had to make up my mind and make a decision. And I finally came to a point where I realized one thing is absolutely true.

Here's what I made up my mind about. "God honors the person and the church that honors his word. God honors the person and the church that honors his word". "Do you understand everything in this book"? Nope, I sure don't. "Do you like everything in this book"? No, I don't. "Are there some things you wish weren't in this book"? Yep, there sure are, but I'll tell you what, I believe every word of it, every single word. And I honor every word of it as the word of God. And I just know, if I will honor the word, if we will honor the word, God will honor us. So they held fast to the word of God. Then they stood firm for the Son of God. He said, "You're not ashamed of my name". Everywhere they went, they were unashamed of the name of Jesus. They would not deny Jesus. They were willing to die before would ever, ever disown Jesus.

And here's what you learn. When you stand true for Jesus, he comes through for you. So now maybe you can understand, now I get it, now I know why God put before this church an open door. Because of all the churches, there was one church he knew he could trust to walk through that door. There was one church he knew, "If I open this door, they will walk through it". And I'm gonna say something here, and you'll just have to apply it to your life however it applies. The reason why so many of you have never gotten more open doors in your life than you have is because God knew you wouldn't walk through them. Sometimes I know you probably think, "I wish I could have the experience of winning somebody to Jesus. I wish I could have the experience that I brought somebody into the kingdom of God. I wonder why God doesn't bring people like that into my life".

Maybe it's because God knows you won't take the opportunity. Maybe God knows you won't walk through that door. See, God's not going to open a door for witness if you're not going to witness. God's not going to open a door for the right kind of blessing if you're not going to bless him. The country singer Rita Coolidge said this. This is so good. She said, "Too often the opportunity knocks, but by the time you disengage the chain, push back the bolt, unhooked the two locks and shut off the burglar alarms, it is too late". And that's the way so many of us are. God would wanna give us this opportunity, he knows you won't walk through it. There are many of you that think sometimes, "Well, my doors are always closed. No doors ever seem to open for me".

Have you ever thought about this? Have you ever thought about maybe the fact that you don't see any open doors in your life for doing things far beyond what you think you could do is simply because you're just not willing to check to see if that door's open. That's why I do what I do. "Hey, do you mind talking about spiritual things"? I'm just checking the door. Let me give you a great illustration. You go to a supermarket, this has been true since I was a kid. But you go to a supermarket, they have these automatic opening doors, right? And so you walk up to the door, and the door seems to be closed. Now, let's say the door's at the end of this platform, guess what, if I stand here and wait on that door to open, I'm never getting in that building.

Now I can say, "Open sesame," that door's not gonna open. I can even say, "In the name of Jesus, open up," that door's not gonna open. I have to walk up to the door, and you know something magical happens, doesn't it? You walk up to the door and somebody say, what happens? Oh, the door opens, why? You went to chase, all you did, "You know what, I'm gonna walk through, but it looks like it's closed, gimme a shot, wait a minute". And you get to the door, and all of a sudden, this magic eye sees you coming, and the door opens.

Lemme tell you something. You know what God's doing in your life. God is above you, and he's looking down on you. He's got all these doors he's ready to open. What he wants to know is are you willing to go up to that door? Are you willing to take the first step? Are you willing to show yourself faithful? "Because if you are faithful, then I will give you the opportunity". God gives opportunity to faithfulness. Now here's the second thing you'll learn, because what we're gonna learn here in a moment is, if you get what you want, you may not want what you got. Because the reason why some of you don't wanna walk through certain doors is because you know what may be on the other side, but I may have people push back, I may have people get upset, I may have somebody ask me a question I can't answer, I may get into a debate I didn't intend to get into.

Well, this is the second thing you need to learn. Not only does God give opportunity to faithfulness, now watch this, God gives authority over our opposition. He gives authority over our opposition. See, here's the way this works. God specializes in opening doors of opportunity. God loves to open doors. Satan, while God is opening the door of opportunity, Satan loves opening windows of opposition. And this is what you'll find. If some of you're sitting there right now, and hopefully, you're kind of getting fired up and you're saying board pastor, "I want God just to opening doors of opportunity for me to do this and to do that," let me just warn you of one thing, I don't wanna bait and switch you here, the bigger the door of opportunity, the harder it will be to walk through it. The bigger the door of opportunity, the harder it will be to walk through it.

You know why, think about it, it just makes sense. If God's in the opportunity business and Satan is in the opposition business, then the greater the opportunity, the greater the oppositions, that makes sense. If he's in the opposition business and God's in the opportunity business, then the bigger the door of opportunity opens, the bigger the window of opposition. So remember this, the door to the room of opportunity swings on the hinges of opposition. I mean, think about it, think about this. If every door of opportunity was easy to walk through, everybody walked through it, everybody'd be a great inventor, everybody'd be a great this, everybody'd be a great that, if the door of opportunity, nobody'd ever missed out on it.

Well, this church has a big sized opposition. Well, this is what he says in verse 9. "I will make those who of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars". Jesus says, "I know the opposition you face". In fact, they are so strong. They are so meanie, they are so vicious, they are so mean, they are so horrible, they are so relentless, he calls them the synagogue of Satan. So I'm giving you fair warning. The devil has his navy seals, the devil has his special forces, the devil has his pit bulls, and they are all always ready to pounce when the door of opportunity swings open and you decide to walk through it, because I wanna tell you something so many believers just don't understand.

When a preacher like me stands up, and I will tell you this on a regular basis, when I look at you and I say, "Listen, do you understand you're in a war? Do you understand every day when you get outta bed, you're going to war"? So many Christians blow you off. They just don't believe it. But I wanna give you a lesson here. The minute you give your life to Christ, the minute you become a disciple, the minute you become a follower of Jesus, the minute you become a part of God's kingdom, guess what, you just became an enemy combatant in the world's kingdom, 'cause keep in mind, if you're gonna hold fast to the word of God, "Okay, I'm gonna stand for the son of God," here's the good news, and here's the bad news. The good news is when you give your life to Jesus, you just made three great friends, but at the same time, you also made three big enemies.

Let me explain that. When you come into God's kingdom, you become a friend of God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. But at the moment you become a friend of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, guess what? You just became an enemy of the world, the flesh, and the devil. So I got three friends, I got three enemies. Now they are formidable foes, the world's a big enemy. Satan's a big enemy, the flesh is a big enemy. Now lemme tell you the difference, it's not an equal playing field. Because none of those enemies are immovable objects, but our friends, our irresistible forces, let me explain why. When God the Father sent the Son to die on the cross to pay for our sins, he took care of the world. When God the son was raised from the dead, he took care of the devil. And when the Holy Spirit comes into our life, he takes care of the flesh.

So sometimes you may think, "Man, I'm losing the battle". You may lose a battle here and there, but listen to your pastor, you will win the war. You will win the war, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. And your friends can easily handle your enemies. So we're not here fighting for victory, we're fighting from victory, 'cause notice what Jesus goes on to say. Now watch this, look what he says, "Don't worry about the synagogue of Satan. Don't worry about those Jews. Don't worry about those people who are lying about you. I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I've loved you".

Now, I bet you've never thought about this. You've heard me say many times, and we all believe this, one day, the Bible's very clear, every knee is going to bow, every tongue is going to confess, that Jesus Christ is what, Lord, every knee, every bow, doesn't matter, conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, black, white, doesn't matter, doesn't matter your nationality, doesn't matter your ethnicity, doesn't matter your political philosophy, doesn't matter what you believe, didn't believe, doesn't matter, every knee is going to bow. Every judge's going to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Every critic, every persecutor, every opposer of the Christian faith is going to bow down at the feet of Jesus. But look what Jesus just said, he said, "Oh, by the way, they're not just going to bow down at my feet". What's he say in that text? "They're gonna bow down at your feet".

So lemme give you some good news. One of these days, Christopher Hitchens, the new atheist, these Harvard professors, these people who deny everything we believe, even make fun of us, you know what, one day, every knee's going to bow at our feet and say, "You were right about the word of God. You were right about the Son of God. You were right about the grace of God. You were right about the sovereignty of God. You were right to put your faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and then the father of our Lord Jesus Christ". And I'll tell you why that encourages me. We are probably surrounded today by more enemies than ever in my lifetime. I wanna tell you, there is a growing hostility to Christianity in this country. There's a growing hostility to the preaching that we have in this place every single week.

There's a growing hostility to truth and what truth ought to stand for, which is why I want to tell you a story about a guy in World War II. How many of you, if you're a military, you may have heard, how many of you, just curious, how many of you ever heard the name Chesty Puller? Does that name ring a bell, anybody? Oh, okay, some of you military guys, okay. You gonna love this story, okay? He was a Marine Corps Lieutenant General. He was awarded for his bravery, not one, not two, not three, not four, he was awarded five Navy crosses for his bravery. He was in a battle, his first marine division had been cut off behind enemy lines. The army had just basically written them off as being lost. They said there's no way he'll go out because, now listen to this, they were surrounded by 22 enemy divisions. The army still couldn't believe it even if the war was over. They studied the battle, his team made it out. They inflicted the highest casualty ratio on an enemy in history. He destroyed seven entire enemy divisions in the process.

How in the world did it happen? Well, where most any other general would've surrendered, most any other general would've admitted defeat, Chesty Puller pulled all of these men together. I want you to listen to what he said, this is so good. He said, "All right, men, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. Wonderful years, they can't get away from us. Shoot in every direction". They destroyed seven divisions and won that battle. There was a church in Philadelphia. They were surrounded just like you may feel surrounded today by a culture that's against them, by media that's against them, by an entertainment world that is against them, by liberal colleges and universities that are against us, by the Intelligencia, by so many politicians who hate the name Jesus, hate the faith called Christianity.

And lemme tell you what our general's telling us today, "They're surrounding us, they can't get away from us. Let's fire the gospel in every single direction". Now give the Lord a hand. See, God gives opportunity to our faithfulness. But you're gonna walk through doors, and lemme tell you, the minute you open that, you're gonna be hit by blast, the storm, bullets are gonna be flying everywhere, fingers are gonna be pointing, mouths are gonna be condemning. But God says, "That's okay, I'm giving you authority over your opposition. I will make them bow at your feet, don't let them get away". Now watch this, to this church, he gives authority to faithfulness, opportunity to faithfulness. He gives authority over opposition. And then he gives this encouraging word. Watch this, God gives security for our future.

Now watch this, Jesus says to this church, "I'm so proud of you". He says to all these people that go to this church, "I am so thrilled with you". He says, "Look, you just keep your feet on the ground. You keep your eyes on the sky, because no matter how shaky things may look today, you can be absolutely certain of your safety and your security in the future". So here's what he says in verse 11, "I'm coming soon," "here's what I want you to do," now watch this. "Just hold onto what you have. That's all I want you to do. Hold on to what you have so that no one will take your crown". Think about those four words, "I'm coming soon, I am coming soon".

It may be in my lifetime, it may be in your lifetime, it may not be, but he's coming, sooner, later, he's coming. And when he says soon, you know why he says soon, because we think time is so long till you get to the end of it and realize how short time is. He says, "I'm coming soon. Whenever it is, I'm coming soon. And I'm not coming to take sides, I'm coming to take over. And every right will be made, every wrong will be made right. Every lie will be exposed by the truth". And then he says, "I make you a promise, if you will stand like a rock, I make you a promise," verse 12, "The one who is victorious, I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name".

Now what he said there is really interesting, but in a way it's really kind of strange. He said, "One of these days, those of us who say, I will hold fast to the word of God, I will stand firm for the son of God, I will be faithful to the opportunities that God gives me, I will persevere through the opposition that comes against me," he says, now watch this, "You will be a pillar in my temple". Now, what does that mean? Well, back in those days, a pillar was a symbol of security. When a city falls, when everything falls around you, pillars usually remain strong and direct.

As a matter of fact, in Philadelphia, if you became a distinguished citizen and you died, they would often erect a pillar in your honor, you might be a senator or a dignitary or a brilliant philosopher or a well-respected teacher. They would put a pillar up, and your name would be inscribed on that pillar, so that generation after generation would be walking down the street or walking up to a building, and they would see your name on that pillar. They may not know who you were at the time, but they would certainly remember your name, but then he goes different, he goes even beyond that. He says, "Look, I'm just not gonna write your name on the pillar, you're going to be a pillar in the temple of God".

Now I don't know all that that means, but I will tell you this, you can't be more secure than that, you can't be more stable than that, you can't be safer than that. Because a pillar is a symbol of solidarity and stability and strength. And you know what Jesus was saying, "If you will stand for me, one day in eternity, you'll stand like a rock. You'll be a pillar that can never be moved. You will have a name that will never be forgotten". And he says this, "I'm gonna write on you my name, the name of the city, and my new name".

I'll be honest, I read a lot of stuff on this, I'm not quite sure all that that means, but I'll tell you one thing I know that it means. I have a lot of books in my library. And if you come to my home and you come to my library, you'll find that there's one thing true about every book that's in my library, and that is, when you open up the front cover, it's got my name on it. And the reason it's got my name on it is because, number one, I want people to know that I own that book and it belongs to me, and number two, there are people sometimes that ask to borrow a book and I wanna make sure I get it back. So I always have my name written in those books and it shows that they belong to me.

And what God is saying here about everything else he's saying, what God is saying here is this, "I'm gonna write my name on you because I want you to know, I want everybody to know, I want all eternity to know, you belong to me. I own you, you are secure. You're not going anywhere and neither am I. You're gonna be safe and secure in the temple of God, in the arms of Jesus". But Jesus said, it all begins with one thing, here's where it all starts, you've got to be faithful. Where you are, who you are, where you live, what you do, you've got to be faithful here and now. "So when I open a door for opportunity for your faithfulness, you be faithful to walk through it. And I promise you, not only will I give you an opportunity for your faithfulness, I'll give you authority over your opposition. If you stand like a rock, I'll give you security for your future".

So I wanna close with a true story. Didn't know this story, fascinating story, man, really fascinating, if you like art, you'll appreciate the story. But if you know anything about fine art and paintings, you know about the name Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most, absolutely one of the most famous painters in history. Here's what I found out about Vincent Van Gogh, it just blew my mind. In his lifetime, guess how many paintings he sold in his lifetime? Two, he sold two paintings. In fact, there was only one painting that was known by the name that Van Gogh sold, and it's called "The Red Vineyards". You ready for this? It sold in Brussels, Belgium. You know how much he got for that painting? 400 Belgium Franks, that might buy you a gallon of gas today. The bottom line is is that Van Gogh never received any recognition in his lifetime for his paintings.

In fact, it so affected him, he thought he was such a failure, when he was 38 years old, 37, he committed suicide, because he thought his life had been totally wasted. All these paintings that he had done. And he sells two paintings for a pitaunce, two paintings, dies in poverty, commits suicide. Well, today, he's a household name. In fact, in 1990, one of his paintings called "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" sold for what is still a record price, you ready? That one painting sold for $82 million, 82 million. Many of his works now hang in the finest museums in the world.

Now what's the point of the story? Even though Van Gogh only sold two paintings in his lifetime, he did one thing which is why we're talking about him today, he just kept painting. He just stayed at the easel. Weren't selling, but he just kept painting, just imagine, what if he had walked away from the door of opportunity that he didn't even realize God had opened? What if he said after two paintings, "This is not working out. I think I'll go sell insurance". We would've never heard a word about him, and here's my point. In your lifetime, God opens doors, and when God opens doors, you better walk through them. Sometimes, God shuts doors.

So here's what we do, when God opens the door, we work, we walk and we work. When God shuts the door, we wait. So what's our job today? What's our job when we walk out this building? What's your job when you get up in the morning? You know what it is? You look for opportunities, you look for open doors. 'Cause remember, every door is gonna look like it's shut till you walk up to it. That's why every day I say, "God, would you gimme the opportunity today to talk to somebody about Jesus? Would you gimme the opportunity today to have a gospel message with somebody"? You look for opportunities, you let him handle the opposition, you stand like a rock, and you'll find, when you stay true to him, he will come through for you.

Would you pray with me? For some of you right now, God's opening a door for you to come to know Jesus, to be saved, to come to a knowledge of the truth. You're in this building and you've never trusted in Christ. You can't stand like a rock till you know the rock of ages. That's the rock you stand on. And I just wonder who in this room, I wonder who's watching this message right now? And honestly, you've never been born again. You've never been what the Bible calls saved. You've never given your life to Christ. Would you like to do that today? Would you like to stand on the rock of ages that will last forever? If that's you, you say, "Yes, I would," well, why don't you just tell him? Why don't you just say something or pray something like this right now. Just say:

Lord Jesus, one day I'm going to die. When I do, I wanna know that your name will be written on me, that I belong to you forever. I wanna be a pillar in your temple in heaven. I wanna live a life that counts on this planet. So I believe you died for my sins. I believe God raised you from the dead. I believe you're alive right now, and I ask you to come into my heart. I ask you to save me. I ask you to forgive me. I repented my sin, turn away from my sin, and I surrender my life to you. Thank you for hearing my prayer, Lord Jesus, and gimme the power to live for you for the rest of my life.

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