Jentezen Franklin - This Is Not Your Final Chapter
Open your Bibles with me to the Book of Jeremiah 36. Jeremiah 36. In Verse 2, he said take a scroll and a book and write. Write it. All the words that I have spoke unto you against Israel. And then in Verse 16, or let's go down to Verse 22 for the sake of time. "Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month with fire burning in the hearth before him, and it happened when Jehudi had read three or four columns, or chapters, that the king cut it out with the scribe's knife and cast it into the fire". I wanna talk to you today on this subject, "This Is Not Your Final Chapter". This Is Not Your Final Chapter.
God is still writing your story. The story is still being written. All is not done. Many people become perusers of history instead of making history. Many people begin to live in what God used to do in their life and what he used to do in the Bible, and they fail to understand He's still writing. He is writing the next chapter of your life. I don't know what kind of chapter you're in, but God says don't put a period where I put a comma. I want you to trust me that this is not the final chapter, that what I have ahead of you is greater than what is behind you. There's this group of people that I'm gonna talk about today in the Bible called scribes. You read of them constantly in the Old and New Testaments.
Ezra, for example, one of the Books of the Bible, is Ezra, and Ezra was a scribe. The scribe had a specific job of grabbing the pen and a scroll or a piece of paper and writing down what the king said or what the prophet said and recording it and making it a permanent record. Many times scribes would be allowed to go where no one else could go like into the throne room, and they would record every word that the king would say in his conversations with people who would come and meet with him, and then they would chronicle those words and keep them in a special place. The scribe had a specific role to record history and when you read in the Bible over and over, you'll read of how kings, certain kings, for example, in the Old Testament the Bible said in the days of Esther that the king couldn't sleep one night, and he called for the scribes to bring the books, the record books, and read to him just randomly what had been discussed in previous conversations in the throne room.
And it just so happened that where they opened the book, there was the story of a man by the name of Mordecai, and the king is kind of sleepy and he starts listening, and there was as little footnote that on this day Mordecai heard of an assassination attempt on the king, and he reported it to the palace guards, and the king woke up and came out of his stupor, and he said, "What, this man saved my life, saved my kingdom? I was not assassinated because of this man named Mordecai? Has he ever been rewarded"? And they said, "Sir, we're searching the records, and no one ever rewarded him". And you know I don't have time to tell that whole story, but he got his reward because someone wrote it down. Here's a good thing to remember. The scribe was someone who reminded the king of his obligations. He had the ability to remind the king of what had happened and what had been done for his kingdom.
Take good notes when the king talks to you personally. Write down things when God speaks to your heart. When you read the Bible, when you hear sermons, you shouldn't just assume that if God really speaks to you... have you ever had a sermon or a preacher preach, and it's like they were eavesdropping in on your house all week long, that they were listening secretly to you in your bed chamber or in your living room as something happened in your life? When God speaks to you that specifically, one of the most powerful things you should do is when the king talks, take good notes. Write down what the king said and remind yourself constantly of it.
When I think about this ministry, I think about all that God has done. It's so easy for us to talk about the past, but I want a pen in my hand. I wanna believe that Jesus is just as powerful in the midst of a pandemic and troubling times. I believe the greatest chapter of the history of this church is yet to be written. We're about to see revival on a level we have never seen it before in America and the world, and I don't care if you believe it because it's written, but it's not enough to have head knowledge. It's not enough to know God healed the leper and God did this and God did signs and wonders and miracles and saves the lost, but you have to not only have to be able to recite the old stories, but what happens is when it becomes more than letter. The Bible says the letter kills, but the spirit makes alive, and there has to come a point where you push away from reading just the stories and you begin to get a fresh page and an ink pen, and you start writing believing what God said He's saying again. When I'm fighting hell, I don't need an old story. I need a pen. I need to change the period to a comma.
So many churches are reading more about their history than they're writing about their future. Too many Christians are reciting their history instead of making history, focus more on where they've been than where God is trying to take them. In the New Testament, scribes were not very popular with Jesus. I cannot find one time where he wanted to eat with them. He didn't like to hang around them. He even said, "Woe be unto you, pharisees, and woe," anytime God puts a woe on you, and Jesus said woe unto you historians who think I'm the God of yesterday who all you do is you can quote every very verse, but you don't believe it. You don't believe He can heal now. You don't believe He can deliver now. You don't believe that He can turn your situation around. You just sat in church and you've heard a lot of reading of old stories, but it doesn't do you any good until you take a pen and you say I believe, and I'm hearing the King speaking today. Some of you are living in yesterday and living in the glory days and talking about how it used to be and how God used to use you. You need to get a pen.
God told Israel. He said in the Book of Judges that there would come a group that would be known as Zebulun. It was one of the 12 tribes, and God said because they fought it, this is in Judges 4, because they fought with Deborah. You remember Deborah? She was a mighty warrior. Not a man, a woman, and Deborah led Israel's army into battle. She was an amazing girl, and she led them to victory, and the Bible said fighting with them was a tribe called Zebulun, and because they demonstrated such courage and fearlessness against all odds, God took note of it and prophesied over this tribe called Zebulun, and He said that they would be, and put it up, there it is, he said out of Zebulun will come a group of people who will handle the pen of the writer.
You read write over that and think that has no significance unless you look up Zebulun. It was a tribe that lived and to this day, Zebulun is Galilee which is the northern part of Israel which is the area of Capernaum where Jesus performed most of the miracles of His ministry. That text is saying there's gonna come a day when Jesus is going to show up in Galilee, and they're gonna need pens not just to tell old stories about Moses and Shadrach and Meshach and Abednego and Daniel and the lion's den, but when this guy shows up, there's gonna need to be a bunch of people with pens that know how to write that He's not just a God of I used to be, but He is the Great I am, and the majority of Jesus's miracles were done in that region where they had so many pens and people who were gifted in writing, but the problem was the scribes wanted to hold on to the old way, and they constantly followed Jesus around.
I mean, it should have been a scribe heyday. Jesus is opening blind eyes and healing lepers and raising dead people. They should've been writing like fire, should've been smoke coming off the page, but instead all they do is follow Him around and say did you just heal her on the Sabbath? The old history book said you can't do nothing on the Sabbath, and you just healed that woman. My God, you just broke the law. They didn't understand. You've got the pen, the guy who wrote the law, the one, the finger of fire that was on the mountain that wrote the Ten Commandments.
Here it is, and He's laying that hand on people and people are being healed, but they couldn't receive it because they had an old religious spirit like many people in the church have today that just sit back and read the stories, but it's not for our day, and we really don't need to believe, and God can't do anything in the middle of a pandemic, and we're not really gonna see revival and healing isn't real and miracles aren't real and that God can't touch this generation. They're too far gone. No, I don't believe that, and I'm pulling out the pen today, and I'm saying God's gonna write another chapter over America and the world. I know it's hard. I know it's difficult, but we need to be people of faith who say there's another chapter coming, and it's a chapter that I believe is gonna be the best. He saved the best for last.
Everybody take a five-second praise break, So guess what? Guess what? Where all the writers were in Galilee, guess what happened? This tall, lean Galilean named Jesus, after He fasted 40 days, that's how I knew He was lean. After He fasted 40 days, He showed up out of the wilderness, walked into the temple. He was a rabbi, so He had the right to get up and lead the service, and He opened the Book, the Bible said, and they had read that old, sleepy verse out of Isaiah so many times, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. For He has anointed me. He will heal the brokenhearted. He shall open the eyes of the blind," ooh, ooh, nah-nah-nah, and people snoring, people sleeping, and Jesus walked in, the Author, the Bible said, "and every eye was fastened on Him".
No sleepy people. No people who weren't expecting Him. Every eye was fastened on Him, and He closed the Book, and He said these powerful words, "This day is this fulfilled". "This day," and then what He was saying was that was good. That's the old covenant. That's the Old Testament, but this day is a new day. This day I'm gonna heal some people. This day I'm here to declare that this day you can be healed. This day you can be filled. This day you can get free from alcoholism. This day you can have your marriage restored, your family healed. I believe in the God of right now, not the great I used to be or I'm gonna be. The I Am is in the house. The pen is in the room.
There's an interesting story that we just read in pieces of in Jeremiah 36 because here's what was taking place. I didn't have time to read it, but you should go read that whole chapter if you really wanna understand this message because in Jeremiah 36, God gave Jeremiah a word from the Lord for the temple and for the king, for the church and for the king. And the Bible said that Jeremiah had been banned from going to the temple 'cause he wouldn't preach any good sermons. Every time he got up and preached they wanted to hear something that would tickle their little ears and bless them and tell them and every time he'd just let it rip. And they banned him, the preacher, from the temple and brought them in some little guys who would come in and just tell them what they wanted to hear.
And the Bible said Jeremiah, "Take a scroll," Jeremiah 36:2, "and write all the words that I have spoken to you, and he called in a scribe," this is in Verse 16, "and when he had heard and the scribe wrote down and then he said now they banned me from the temple". I don't have time to go into all of it, but Jeremiah said they banned me, but write down everything I tell you to the scribe, and he said, and go to the outskirts of the gate of the temple and stand here and scream to the top of your voice the words that I've given you. They won't let us in, so we're gonna preach out on the street. And they did it. He did it. The scribe did it, and when he did, the people inside got more interested in what he was saying than that old, boring preacher up there sitting on a stool drinking a diet Snapple. Amen. He had a word from the Lord. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. He had a word from the Lord, and the Bible said even the false priests said oh, my God. That's a word from the Lord. We've gotta go tell the king.
This is where the story gets interesting. And the Bible said that the king was at his winter palace sitting by the fire, and they came in and they read him the words of the prophet. And some of the words were good that if you would do this and if you'll be willing and obedient, God will do this and God will bless you and God will fight for you and God will provide, but some of the words were really, really strong, "If you don't obey the Lord your God," and so here's what the king did.
Your Bible, you just read it. He took something called a pen knife, and he starts cutting out the parts of the message he doesn't like and throws them into the fire, and he says, now, I really like this part. Leave it. But I don't like that part. Cut it out and throw it into the fire. I like that part about mercy and grace and forgiveness. I don't like that part about forgive your enemies, and I don't like that part about living holy, and I don't like... cut that out. Cut that out. Cut that out. He started cutting out parts, grabbing his pen knife and cutting out the parts that he didn't like.
And I'm telling you, I believe that some people, all they want is a ticket to heaven, and they've decided they're just gonna cut out parts of the book that they don't wanna live that encroach upon their life. But that's not the true Gospel. There's more to the Gospel I felt like calling this sermon "Write Your Next Chapter" because we want God to do everything, but Psalms 45:1 gives the secret. It says this, "My heart is full of good things. I speak things which I've made from touching the King". Watch. "My tongue is the pen". Everybody say "My tongue is the pen". Say it again. My tongue is the pen. "Of a ready writer". My tongue is the pen that writes the next chapter. Change what you're saying. If He could do it then, He can do it now. If He could provide and heal and do miracles and signs and wonders, I'm not cutting that out of the book. I'm proclaiming, and that's why praise is so powerful. That's why songs like we've been singing this morning are so powerful because your pen is writing those into your next chapter. Prayer is your pen.
"The pen of my tongue is the pen of a ready writer". Prayer is that pen. Praise is that pen. Confession is that pen. In the Book of Revelation it said in the 12th chapter that we overcome Him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Derek Prince, a man who was a great preacher who has gone on to be with the Lord, put it like this, the greatest definition in Revelation I've ever heard on that is this, "We overcome when we make our confession what the word says the Blood does when we begin to say with our mouth what the word says the New Testament Blood does we begin to overcome," and my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ thou shalt be saved in Thy house. Hallelujah!
You know what I just did? I wrote the next chapter regardless of what you're seeing now, write the next chapter. Lord, I praise you that you're my healer. Someone may be in the intensive care unit that you love very much maybe in critical condition, but you can sit here today and God's looking for a people that'll take the pen of faith and say my tongue is the pen of a ready writer, and God I heard this sermon for a reason, and I claim your healing power. Today like you cleansed lepers and like you raised the dead, you can do it today, God.