Joseph Prince - None Of Us, All Of Christ
Friends, turn to your neighbors, smile, and say, "We are in for an exciting ride". Praise God? Ready for the Word? I wanna start off by sharing a panoramic view, all right, of the purposes and plans of God and you can find this from Genesis all the way down to the time Jesus came, but I'm gonna go real fast and touch on points that are important because I think once a while it's always good for us to step back from the Bible and have a panoramic view, all right? Because sometimes you can do a micro study until you get lost and you forget the overall plan and purpose of God, okay?
So I wanna help you understand the plans and purpose of God. How many of you have noticed that this world is not perfect? That it is a fallen earth, is a fallen world. Sometimes you hear a tsunami is here, you hear of earthquakes there, you hear of wars and rumors of wars that Jesus predicted is gonna happen before he comes again. But it's definitely a fallen world. But only when Jesus returns will it be a perfect world, all right? After the seven years. And the Bible tells us that this earth that we are in, is not the earth that God made it to be.
The Father's dream was for a family on earth, living in paradise, living in abundance and supply all around. Men never sick, men never feeling tired, men never falling asleep during preaching. Oh, what did I say? Men never even feeling bored. Feeling bored is part of the Fall. God never even meant for men to feel bored, all right? God's dream is that men would never die, amen. God never even dreamed for men to have a pimple on their face, let alone grow old and die. And that's why the Bible calls death in God's estimation, death is an enemy.
In 1 Corinthians 15, we find the Bible clearly telling us that the last enemy that'll be put under the feet of Jesus is death. In other words, it is an enemy. God hates death. And that's why we cry at funerals, because we know that somehow inside us thousands of years have come and gone and people still cry at funerals because they know that this is not supposed to be. Something in us, the image of God on the inside of us, realized that this is not what it's supposed to be.
And I'm here to tell you that if anyone comes and tell you that God wants people sick to teach them a lesson and all that, all right, that's nothing more than a lie from the pit of hell. Because, if that is true, then you know, when you go to heaven one day, there should not be streets of gold. There should not be healthy people. Hell is gonna be a lot of people who are sick. And there should be a heavenly hospital somewhere, all right? But we know there is none. Even those who are against teaching on divine healing, for example, they are for the fact in heaven there is no sickness. That much they are agreed on.
So isn't it funny when Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth. God, whatever you will for men. Whatever your plans and purposes are, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". As it is in heaven. As it is in heaven right now. What does that mean? That means health there, health here, amen? Abundance there, abundance here. Blessings there, blessings here. Peace there, peace here, amen. So are we there yet? No, but you know what? Ha, "Are we there yet"? Sound like a kid, all right. But we can live our lives where we are in the world but not of the world, amen?
So why is it that this earth is fallen? Why did, "Then, Pastor Prince, why did God make this earth fallen"? No, God didn't make this earth fallen. God made this earth good, all right? God made everything in the first five days and the Bible tells us that God made man on the sixth day, all right? On the seventh day, he rested, not because he's tired. God doesn't get tired. Because his work is finished.
All right, when God made everything the first few days, all right, the Bible says God saw what he had made and God pronounced it good. But when God made man on the sixth day, God said it was very good, amen? And then the next chapter, God says, "It's not good for man to be alone". And then God made woman, the revised standard version of man, okay? Not the revised standard version, okay? Different, different. And when God made man, God said it was very good. The rest, he says, is good. But man, very good. So, God made man last for two reasons. Number one, so that man can enjoy everything that he has created. Number two, so that man cannot say that he had a part in creation.
You know how men like to boast? You know, "Actually, I was telling God that flowers would be nicer here. You know, put yellow here and dashes of white here, and I told God how to make the orchid, you know? I was telling God, 'There are many varieties, God.'" "Who do you think you are," you know? And men like to take pride, you know, so God put men last so that men can do nothing but enjoy all that he has done, okay? Then what happened? Why is it the earth is still, so God made everything on this earth and, think about it, some people say that God supplies our needs, not our wants.
That's human theology because my Bible says not only he supplies our needs; the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. There are many places there is no want, "no lack to them that," all right? Now, he will not give you something that belongs to another person, of course, all right? That's common sense, all right? At least, that should be common sense. But the thing is that he will supply what you want as well. Tell him about it, amen? When Peter says, "Lord, let me step on the water". He saw Jesus walking on the water. "Let me step on the water". It wasn't, trust me, it wasn't a need. And yet, Jesus says, "Come," all right? The rest didn't say, "Lord, let me". So the rest were in the boat.
Now, don't criticize Peter just because he walked. He asked the Lord for something, you know, he just, like, "I would like to, you know, Lord, I would love to go to Disneyland. I know I'm 40 years old now but I would love to go to Disneyland". And just tell God that. Just tell God, amen, amen. And the more you know his loving heart, the more you will tell him, amen? And then, God made everything on this earth, all the good food, all the fruits of the trees, all right, was for man's consumption. And there was only one man and one woman, so God gave an oversupply, amen, c'mon.
God gave an oversupply so, "Pastor Prince, God was anticipating more people would come and all that". Then shall make more trees later. He can do it that way also, but no, God gave an oversupply. He's always, always a super-abundant God. I should say, "super-abounding God," all right? A God of super-abundance. And he over-supplies. He's a good God. And he told man, "Of every tree you may freely eat". You see the goodness and the generosity of God? "But of one tree you shall not eat of it, for in the day you eat of it you shall surely die," all right? And what did man do, all right? He went for that one tree that God says, "Don't eat of it".
Now, why did God put that tree there? Someone asked the question, "Pastor Prince, why did God put the tree there"? Number one, God created that tree. When God said he saw everything, that include that tree. When God said everything was good, include that tree. It was good but it's not good for man to eat. It's like, you know, why did God then create one tree that man is not supposed to eat? Because God gave man free choice. If everything is good, and God says, "I give you free choice, but you are surrounded with everything good, now use your free choice," there is no chance for man to show his love and obedience to God. Are you with me?
So because God has given a free choice to man, there must be a gesture, all right, a demonstration of that free choice, so God made one tree and God says, "This tree is not for you to eat". It's like the tithe. You know, God says, "To show that I am the source of your blessing, so that all the world will know that I am the one, even though I am your senior partner," and there's no senior partner that asks for this, okay, only God. "Although I'm your senior partner, all right, give me 10% of your income to show that you recognize I am the source of your blessings and I'll bless your 90% more than your 100% can do," amen?
And that's the secret of the tithe, that the world cannot understand. How come people who tithe get richer and richer, amen? And I use that word purposefully. Richer and richer, amen. Their 90% goes farther, longer, amen, than their 100% can. So that tree was like a tithe to acknowledge God's sovereignty, all right, God's lordship over our lives. But Adam and Eve took from that tree, disrespecting God.
Another question people will ask is this: "Well, God could have stopped the Fall of the earth and the Fall of man and the curse from coming to earth, if God only stopped Adam from eating that tree. God can, right, Pastor Prince? God has all the power". Yes, he can. If God stopped Adam, it'd be like this. Adam's hand is about to take that forbidden fruit and then God's hands stop him. Then God making his fingers into a karate chop and then he karated that serpent from the street, aghhh. And then he takes the serpent by the tail and he swings it around and around, and smash it against the rock, and that's the end of the serpent.
So if God stopped Adam's hand, from Adam's hand, become a Hindi show, all right. If God stopped Adam's hand, is that free choice? If God can use his power and God says, "I give you free choice, all right? I'll use my power to influence your free choice". Is it free choice? It's no more free choice. If you make someone a free choice, there's always a risk. Are you listening? I know some guys, they wish they can just do a magic, you know, wand on their wife, ping, and their wife will obey every women's fancy. "God, I want my wife to be obedient. I don't care she's like a robot, all right"?
Just imagine, all right, some guys, they fantasize about their wife being obedient to everything. "Keep quiet," the wife keep quiet. "Get me some drink," she going. She's obedient. Some guy says, "Oh yeah, that's wonderful". But think about it. You know how long they will last? Not even years. They won't even last for days. Why? You will say, "Say you love me". "I love you". Sooner or later, you will feel dissatisfied, unfulfilled. Because you're not created to deal with a robot. You want her to say, "I love you," because you see in her eyes and she really loves you. And that's what satisfies.
And God is the same. I say God is the same. God could have created free, I mean, robots without any free will instead of free moral agents like us, all right? But when he create people with free choice, there's always that choice, amen? Now, you cannot say, "I have free choice and I can do whatever I want and now, I'm not supposed to suffer the consequence". No, you cannot. If you put your finger with your free choice, you put your finger in the fire with your free choice, you put your finger there, all right, doesn't mean your free choice stops your finger from burning. You are free to choose but you're not free to choose the consequence. Remember that, okay?
So when men sin against God, it's not God's fault. God gave men free choice. It broke God's heart, all right? Man has sinned. So man covered himself with fig leaves, salad dressing, remember that? Now, I've been, you know, in Israel, I've been to places where they have huge fig trees, not talking about small ones. Huge, and their leaves are huge. It's like a large tree petal, you know, like a Canadian maple leaf, right? It's like that kind of huge leaf, and Adam and Eve covered themselves with that, okay? How many know that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin? Okay? Understand this about God. I'm giving you a panoramic view of the Bible, all right?
God is love. Say, "God is love". Now say, "God is light, holiness," okay? Now, "God is just". There is light as well. God is light, God is just. They're the same idea, all right? But God is love. Now, because God is love, God doesn't want Adam and Eve killed, destroyed, all right? But because God is justice, somebody has to pay for their sins. If there is no justice in the universe, the whole universe will collapse. If there is no justice in Singapore, all right, there'll be no law and order, all right? You'd be afraid to walk down the streets, let alone go shopping in Orchard Road, all right? Law and order is important for love to blossom.
So God is love, but God is also justice. And sin must be punished. Let me illustrate. Like, for example, you know, you may have a baby and the baby is sick. There's a disease destroying your baby. Now, the disease is in your baby. You don't love the disease, you love your baby. Now, to what extent you hate the disease is the same extent you love your baby. If you love your baby a lot, you will hate that disease a lot. How much you hate the disease is how much you love your baby. Your baby is suffering, crying all the time, and your baby should be laughing and should be smiling, should be enjoying, you know, biting stuff and enjoying his life. But he's crying all the time.
As a parent's heart, your heart is broken. Why? You hate that disease. Why do you hate that disease so much? Because you love that child. Same way, can you understand why God hates sin? Sin is in man. The moment Adam partook of the tree, sin is in his blood. But God hates sin, but God loves you. And how much does God hate sin? To the extent that God loves you because sin is destroying everything beautiful in your life. You think you're enjoying it but later on you come out with sin in your mouth. You're unfulfilled. You're looking for love in all the wrong places and God knows the deceitfulness of sin. And God hates it.
So somebody has to pay for sin. But Adam and Eve want to pay without blood. In essence, paying without blood, covering themself with salad dressing, fig leaves, is in essence saying nobody needs to die. We're just covering ourself because we know we are naked, all right? That's not the answer. Do you know that God covered them, the Bible says. Read your Bibles. God covered them with coats of skin. That means God is the first one to kill animals. God is the first one to offer sacrifices. The love of God killed an animal, probably a lamb, and covered our first parents with blood, amen. The love of God made a payment for the justice of God. And now God is righteous in making man righteous now.
Man walk everywhere with coats of skin and blood everywhere. And it was a beautiful picture of his Son that would come because God is not interested, okay, finally, the blood of bulls and goats and sheep, lambs, a thousand of them on the altar cannot cleanse you from sin. They can only cover sin. God was talking about his Son that would come, all right? The covering that Adam provided for himself is not perfect. Why? Because man provided it and there's no blood. But the covering that God gave Adam and Eve is perfect. Why? Because God provided for it. If God provides, it's perfect.
Remember when John the Baptist says of Jesus, "The Lamb of God," what is "of God"? That means the Lamb that God provides. He takes away our sin. If God provides, it is perfect. If I provide, if you provide, it's never perfect. How many are with me? Okay, so all that is a picture for us to understand that Jesus Christ is coming. And then God told the woman, or God was speaking to the snake, and God said to the snake, all right, "The woman's seed will crush your head and you will crush his heel". It was a picture of Jesus Christ coming from the woman, all right, crushing his head.
Now, when God said to the woman, the first prophecy in the Bible in the Garden, "The woman's seed will crush your head," women don't have seed. Men have seed. All right, is this deep? Woman has egg, man has the seed, all right? Why did God say, "The woman's seed"? God was prophesying the virgin birth. Why? Because from then on, Adam and Eve have sin in their blood. The moment a baby is born in this earth, the baby is born innocent but sin in the blood. Everyone that's born in this world is a sinner, not because they sin. They're all sinners because Adam sinned. Are you with me?
All right, now, you say, "It's unfair". Wait, wait a minute. God sent the last Adam, Jesus Christ, so that by his obedience at the cross, we're all made righteous. Is that unfair? It's not our good works that made us righteous. His work made us righteous. So God allowed this system so that the other side will apply wonderfully for us. Okay, now, God said, "The woman's seed". By the way, it wasn't too long ago that medical science discovered that the placenta that the woman has for her baby. They used to think that the mother's blood goes into the baby. But now they know it's not true. Only the mother's nourishment, food, goes into the baby, and then the other way around. The baby's waste goes into the mother. None of the mother's blood goes into the baby through the placenta. None. They have discovered that.
Isn't this amazing? God, why the necessity for virgin birth? None of Mary's blood went into Baby Jesus. Now, her food went into Baby Jesus, but sin is in the blood, not in the food. All of Baby Jesus's blood came from his heavenly Father and, don't forget this is a beautiful but, oh hallelujah, this is how much God loves you. God designed a human being with a blood, and his royal blood, sinless blood, eternal blood, and God meant for that blood to be shed. You know why? Because only innocent blood can forgive us, the guilty. And because his blood is divine, it is eternal. We are forgiven eternally. It's not the blood of bulls and goats. Israel's altars have blood of bulls and goats that covers sin for one year.
Next year, they have a sacrifice and then cover for one year. Some Christians today think the blood of Jesus is like that. They think, they count the blood of Christ a common thing, like the blood of bulls and goats. They bring it down to the same level. Some of them, not even one year forgiveness. They believe that in one day, you can bounce in and out of forgiveness, and you have to confess to get yourself back to forgiveness. No, my friend, the blood of Jesus is eternal and, because it is eternal, we are forgiven eternally. All our life, our entire life, even our tomorrow's sins are forgiven, amen?
Now, we know we are forgiven much, therefore we love him much. And we don't wanna sin because we love him much. We love him much because we are forgiven much. How many are with me? Okay, back to this again. So ever since Adam and Eve fell, then came poverty, then came stress, then came aging, growing old, disease, sickness, and finally, death.
Now, the devil does not know when Jesus would come. The devil does not know how Jesus will look like. So the moment Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel, and the Bible said that Abel brought the Lamb to kill on the sacrificial altar, and God showed favor to Abel, straightaway Cain murdered Abel. Who do you think is behind Cain's hatred? Satan. And he thought that it was Jesus, Abel was Jesus. The one that would crush his head, because the prophecy that a woman's seed will crush your head, God told Satan. And he realized the woman's seed, the woman's seed, the woman's seed, all right? And that tortured him. A woman's seed is gonna come and will crush your head. The dragon slayer's gonna come, hallelujah. The champion is gonna come.
So he doesn't know when. He does not know when. And you can see the history of the Old Testament is all about the devil not knowing when he's coming. He thought Moses was the one when Moses's mother put him in the little ark of bullrushes and push him down the River Nile, trusting God, amen. And he thought, "That was the one". And the devil had, you know, during the time of Moses, the devil had a lot of babies killed, thinking that one of them must be his champion, the dragon-slayer, the bruiser of the serpent's head. He did not know which one, until Jesus came, okay? He tried to stop, even Jesus when Jesus came, the devil had King Herod at the time kill all the babies under two years of age. But Jesus was preserved, amen.
Now, the whole thing is that the devil wants Jesus to prevent him from going to the cross to shed his blood. But has that happened, folks? All right, I cannot show you everything so real fast, c'mon. Has that happened? Has the blood been shed? Did the devil succeed? So which means what? We are all forgiven eternally. All right, now the effects of the curse, the fall of man, is still on this earth, okay? Now, God wants us to walk in the grace of God, in the favor of God, in the blessings of God in the world, but not of the world. God wants us to walk in health, or else why do you think when Jesus came into this earth he went about making sick people well? He unstopped deaf ears. He opened the eyes of the blind. He cleansed the lepers. He raised the dead. Hallelujah.
Not one time, not one time, you would have thought that if some people are sick because it's God's will, maybe Jesus in his earthly ministry in Matthew Mark, Luke, and John should have not healed at least one person that came to him. At least there must be an account where he left a few people, all right, in their state, but there's none of that. He went about doing good, healing all that were oppressed of the devil. This is God's will for us.
Does that mean that we walk in the fullness of God's will? No. Does that mean that everybody accept Jesus? No. Free choice is still here today. Right now you have a free choice to get up and walk out through the exit door. No one will stop you, amen? God will not force his blessings on you. God will not force his love on you. God will not force his goodness on you. God will not force healing on you. God will not force prosperity on you. God will not force a good righteous life on you. God will not do that, amen. God offers, you receive. Are you with me, church?
But here is the problem, all right? In between God's grace, God's grace came with Jesus Christ, grace and truth came with Jesus Christ and Adam's fall, in between, there is the law given on Mount Sinai. Now, if you look up here in Romans 5, it says, "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound". The law entered. Look at this word "entered" in the Greek. Any Greek scholar will tell you this word "entered" is the Greek word pareiserchomai, all right, pareiserchomai, and it means come alongside. It's not the main feature. It is not the highlight. It is something that comes alongside. It is not God's dream. It is something that came alongside. Another meaning is, it came my stealth. You know stealth? Came by privately, secretly. It came on the side secretly. It was not God's dream. It is not God's main agenda.
So, what happened? Y'all know the story. Those who follow my ministry, I've preached on this many times again and again how man came to the foot of Mount Sinai. Man is proud. Not having even heard the Ten Commandments yet, man said what? "All that God can command us". They have not heard yet. God has not spoken the Ten Commandments yet. "All that God can command us, we can do it. We can do it". All right, that's pride. And God knew that if God saved man, if God brought grace at Mount Sinai straightaway when man is proud and then God brought Jesus then at that point in time, man will never see his need for Jesus.
If you say, you're a thief. What's a thief? I just take whatever I like. You're an adulterer, what is adulterer, amen. You dishonor your parents, what's that? They won't understand that they are sinners. So, in between in parentheses, the law came as a parentheses. The law came on the side. It's not God's main agenda, all right? God gave the law because man was proud so that man will be brought to the end of himself. The law was not given for us to obey. Look at this, "The law came in that the offense might abound". Wow. You don't hear that in Bible schools often.
All right, why did God give the law? That sin might increase. Out of this class. How many know that that's why the Bible says? God gave the law so that sin will increase. Come on. The law is like a mirror. When you look at the mirror, it tells you who you are, amen. But the mirror cannot clean. If you see a blotch somewhere, you see blemish somewhere, you cannot use the mirror to clean it. The mirror just tells you who you are. So, at the end of the Ten Commandments, in Exodus 20 for the first time, God gave the Ten Commandments and then at the end God says, "And you will make an altar of earth and there you will bring your burnt offerings and your peace offerings". God predicted that man cannot keep the Ten Commandments, so God provided for them to bring, what? Sacrificial animals.
So, let me tell you this, all right, Abraham was blessed because he offered burnt offerings. David was blessed because he offered burnt offerings and all of them have sinned. Solomon was blessed because he offered burnt offerings. All the kings of Israel are blessed because they offered burnt offerings. The only time God allowed their nation to go into captivity is when the king of Israel, or the king of Judah, worshiped idols. When they worshiped idols, guess what. They stopped offering burnt offerings. There's no more covering. That's the time they are delivered to another nation.
So, I want you to tell you this, every one, all the heros of the Bible you read about, all have sinned, all right, but the reason the blessings keep on keeping on in their life is because they offered burnt offering. And as long as we offer burnt offering, the blessings keep on keeping on. Can I have a good amen? Are you with me so far? Are you seeing the panoramic view of the Bible here? Okay, are you with me? But you know that all these burnt offerings is only temporal until the real final offering would come. "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world," not covers sin, takes away. Are you with me?
So, now man knows he has sinned, okay? Every time he has sinned, he knows he has sinned. By the way, church, how much sin do you think that Jesus saved you from? Do you think that you need grace completely, or do you think you need a lot of grace? Do you think that some parts of your life you are quite good? When Jesus saved you (I'm talking to Christians now), when Jesus saved you, do you think that you actually brought to God, at that time when you were saved, think back when you were saved, do you think you brought to God, "You know, I feel like I'm actually 30% quite good, actually 30% in my heart. Okay, it's not majority, lah, Pastor Prince, but 30% I'm quite cool. I'm quite okay guy, you know? My mother likes me. She tells me I'm a good boy compared to my brothers. So, actually in my heart, I think that when I came to Jesus, I was 40% good, Jesus supplied grace 60%".
Now, don't have to put up your hands. I'm just telling you how dangerous our belief is. Most likely if you believe that, you're not saved. Now, someone will say, "Well, Pastor Prince, 40% is too much. For me it's only 20%. Honestly, I feel I'm 20% good. You know, I cannot say I'm totally bad, you know, I feel I'm lying. I'm 20% good, honestly. But you know, Pastor Prince, I'm 80% bad. I really believe I'm 80% bad. When I accept Jesus Jesus saved me, all right, 80% because honestly I had the 20% going for me already". Really? If that's what you think, all right, most likely you're not saved, okay?
Now, I'm not putting doubt in you, I'm just telling you, we need to have a total Jesus to receive total grace. Even if you say by the sleeve of your hair, if you say, "Zero point zero zero five percent I'm still good," okay, you're not ready to accept Jesus. And to the extent that you say 20% you're good, 10% you're good, that's why you're still struggling today. You always come out with something that you think you are good, bang, you never expect you will do that. You never expect that you will lose your temper like this. You never expect you will think that you will resort to that. And no one knows who you are because who you are...
You see, you cannot command, laws, let me explain it like this, we still need laws to govern nations, but how many know that it's only governing their outside, their performance? It cannot transform their heart, okay? The moment the police breaks down in a country... Have you seen before? The moment anarchy reigns, guess what. All the malls and all that, people go through it and they start stealing and all that, all the while it's in their heart. Women are being raped along the street and all that, why? When there's no more law, there's no more order, it shows what's in man's heart. All the while they don't steal because they're afraid of the law. They don't commit adultery because they're afraid of the consequence of the law. Even Singapore, it operates by the principle that adultery is wrong. A woman has a case, amen. Stealing is wrong. Murder is wrong. Come on, church.
So, we need the Ten Commandments for outward rule. But, believers, you're not under the Ten Commandments because you're under grace. Grace gives you the desire to fulfill what the law demands and even more. Let me explain. If you have to command, if you have to put a law, a command on someone not to tell a lie, most likely that person is a dishonest person if you have to command him to be truthful all the time. If you have to command your husband not to commit adultery, you got a big problem with your husband. If you have to command someone, all right, that means the person doesn't have it in their heart. God is not interested in that kind of outward modification. God is interested in heart transformation and that's where grace comes in. Are you listening, church, amen?
God wants you to not commit adultery because you love your wife, amen, and you love God. God wants you not to steal because you trust God, amen. The reason you steal is because you don't trust God to provide for you, amen, all right? And that's what happened Adam and Eve were deluded into thinking that the devil said, "God is holding back on you. God doesn't want you to eat from this tree because God knows that when you eat of it, you'll be wise". All right, he's trying to make God appear against them and he for them, when all the while he hates them. They are made in God's image, and the root of all sin is that you don't trust God because you don't believe God loves you.
There is an amazing verse of Scripture in Deuteronomy 1 that gives us the reason why the children of Israel cannot enter the Promised Land. We thought it's just unbelief, but the root cause of the unbelief is revealed in Deuteronomy 1 where it says Moses rehearsed to them what they said. Moses says, "You murmured in your tents and said because God hates us, he brought us out of Egypt to die here. Because God hates us". That's the root, they don't believe God loves them.
You know, when it comes to logic, do you know how stupid is the logic of unbelief? And do you know how wonderful is the logic of child-like faith? Look at the logic of unbelief. "God hates us. He brought us out of Egypt to kill us here". If God want to kill you, he'll just leave you in Egypt, yo. In Egypt, you don't have enough food. In Egypt, you are under the cruel, hard taskmasters, under their whip. You are working, back-breaking work building bricks. People are dying before their time. Diseases have no hospitals that can be cured, all right? God would have left you there. How stupid is the logic of unbelief? But many of us, we don't stop and think about it, we just let go our murmuring. And how wonderful is the logic of child-like faith? Are you with me, church, okay?
So, all the while, all the while, all right, God's main agenda is that God wants to save man from their fallen state. Is it God's fault that man fell? No. Don't forget, man's free choice. But you know what God did? God gave us his Son. This is how much God loved us. Jesus came and said, "For God so loved the"... People forget John 3:16 is what Jesus said. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life". That deals a death blow to the lie of Satan in the garden that says, "God is holding back on you". That deals a death blow to what Israel thought in their tents, murmuring "God hates us". "For God so loved the world, God gave his Son".
God did not give up Michael the archangel. He could have. God did not give up Gabriel. God gave us the very best heaven has. What are you? Who are you? How precious you must be that God would give up his on Son. Ladies, if you're willing to give up $500 for that dress, all right, that means you must value that dress. God gave up his Son for you, wow. Turn to your neighbor and say, "I don't know about you, that makes you very precious. That makes you very valuable". Okay, and turn to somebody else say, "God loves you". Say, "God loves you".
Okay, I think you are ready for what I'm gonna teach you. More or less, we are finished our panoramic view and now... no, today's verses I'm gonna use will only be a few, okay, and that's why part of my sermon, half of my sermon is on the panoramic view because you need to understand, all right, this is where we are right now. When Jesus came, Israel still believed that they are, you know, they keep the law, all right, but they are still very good, okay?
Then comes the question that begs an answer. "Why do the good suffer, Pastor Prince? Why do the good suffer"? Okay, and I'm here to tell you the good don't suffer. Say, "Job, what about Job in the Bible? Job suffered". Okay, one more time, what is your question? "My question is, why do the good suffer"? I'm here to tell you there's no good one that suffered, there's only one that suffered. "How can you say that"? I'll tell you this, no matter how good people are, how you think they are good, number one, people do things even for society, for the poor or whatever, we don't want to judge. No man can judge.
You know, there are people who do good things for the wrong reasons. You never know. There are people who give even generously for the wrong reasons. We do not know. We cannot judge who is really good. Now, if you want to go by who is good, Jesus himself says, "There's none good". All right, Jesus is the only good one that suffered. So, when you think about it, about Job, for example, the question is from the wrong premise already. When you ask that question, "Why do the good suffer"? The question is that the very fact you ask that question, you still believe there are people that are good. And I'm telling you, there is no one good. Jesus himself says, "There is none good". When Jesus came to this earth, let me tell you this, all right, everybody's dead spiritually. Do you understand?
Now, if today I bring you to the mortuary where dead people are, let's go at midnight. All right, let's say I bring you to the mortuary, okay? And the door of the mortuary open and it opens with a creak. And you see Pastor Lawrence inside, "Velcome". So, okay, let's say we go to the mortuary, all right, we see the dead bodies there. And I tell you, "Hey, this one here just died last night," hmm? "This lady here died two days ago". Then you say, "Oh, Pastor Prince, this one is more dead". Can I tell you something? They are both dead. Do you understand this? There are no degrees of goodness. Jesus didn't come to make bad people good. Jesus came to make dead people live. The Bible says we are all dead in our sins, all of us. There are no degrees.
You see, in our mind, we still hanker after self. We are hankering after some works. We are still hankering that, you know, where there's some good in us. And some Christian, when they're saved, they still believe that and because they believe that, that's the reason you are struggling through some things doing things that you never expect you would do. And that's like a lesson to telling you, "Do you really believe that when I saved you, you were all that good"? We can never appreciate God's grace until we see we are thoroughly done for. Only when you're thoroughly done for, you cannot save a drowning man as long as he still has strength. As long a drowning person still has strength, when you try to save him, he'll pull you down as well. A drowning man is only ready to be saved when he gives up and then the Savior can come. Are you with me?
Some movies they drop, they knock them unconscious, you know, right? So, the thing is this, even for those who are saved, we are still hankering after self. So, we interpret events in life. Very interestingly, the way we interpret events like, why do the righteous suffer? And I'm here to tell you how we like to think and how Jesus answered these problems, okay? Now, in Luke 13, "There were present at that season some who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices". Now, during that time, there was some Jewish people from Galilee, Galileans. Now, don't forget, Jesus is a Galilean and most of his disciples were Galileans.
All right, I taught on that recently, on the 12 tribes of Israel, all right? They were all Galileans with the exception of two or three, all right? Now, Jesus answered... now by the way, during that time, Josephus apparently made allusion to this as well. During the time of Jesus, there were some Galileans that went against Pilate, against the Roman rule. You know, Pilate, Pontius Pilate, is a Roman governor, so they secretly went against Pilate and Pilate heard about the plot. So, Pilate told his soldiers to stand by, stand by. "During the feast of Passover, let them come up". So, when they came up with their lambs, all right, Pilate had them slaughtered. The Roman soldiers destroyed them, and their blood spilled with the blood of the lambs. That's what it means, mingle with their sacrifices. Are you with me?
So, apparently it's a tragedy, it's a bad thing, isn't it? So, what do you think when you see people dying before their time, especially violent death, a violent death? I'll tell you this, how you think of it betrays your heart. Whether you, some people think, "Well, this person died a terrible death before his time. He must be a greatest sinner". All right, and I believe that these people, that came to tell Jesus about the Galileans, were actually the Pharisees, all right. The context bears it out. I believe it's the Pharisees coming to Jesus threatening Jesus because Jesus and his disciples were Galileans telling them in Jerusalem, "Hey, have you about Galileans who were destroyed"?
In other words, watch it. Then Jesus answered them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffer these things, such things? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish". Now, the word "repent" here is the word change your mind, metanoia. "Believe that I came to save you, believe that this world is fallen, believe that you are beared through and through, and I'm your Savior. I can cause you to be born again. Your old self can never be improved, but your new self cannot be condemned when I give you a new self. Your old self cannot be improved. Stop trying to improve your old self. It cannot be improved, all right, but I'll give you a new self".
You can be born again, hallelujah. Once upon a time you, were born of your mother's womb. When you're born of your mother's womb, you are born into the sickness, born into the curse, born into the fallen world. I will cause you to be born in the womb of the Holy Spirit, and you have a new self. Your old self cannot be improved, your new self cannot be condemned, ever. So Nicodemus, you must be born again. And what he says to Nicodemus, he says to all: You must be born again, all right?
Now, I'm talking to believers as well, okay, because we have this idea when someone has a tragic, violent, premature death, must be greater sinner than us and Jesus is saying, "Look, unless you believe that I am the Messiah, I am the one that came to protect you, you will all likewise perish". 'Cause you know why? At the end of this chapter, Luke 13, you find Jesus crying over Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how I wish I would have gathered you under my wings like a mother hen will gather her chicks and you would not have me and now you are left to yourself".
There's a sad thing about the Jewish history. You know, God has a love affair with Israel until today. And his love affair with Israel will never end. And yes, one day, all Israel will be saved. But listen to what I'm gonna say here. Church, listen, all right? When the King of Israel came, they rejected him, right in front of Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate examined Jesus and he's a hardcore unbeliever. And he looked at Jesus and he said, "Why you wanna crucify him? I find no fault in him". The one that betrayed him, Judas, threw down the money and says, "I have betrayed innocent blood". Are you listening?
Pontius Pilate's wife had a dream and told her husband, "Have nothing to do with a righteous man". When he was crucified, at the foot of his cross, but after he cried, "It is finished," there was an earthquake and he died. The strong, robust centurion at the foot of the cross, looked up and this guy, doesn't believe in God, he looked up there, "Certainly, this is the Son of God". These are witnesses that it's not bias and they all testified. And Pontius Pilate brought Jesus out, all right, and told the Jewish leaders, all right, all the religious leaders of Israel, say that "I find no fault in him". "Well, if you let him go, you're not a friend of Caesar". And he says, "Do you want me to crucify your King"? Probably in that tone. And they shouted, "We have no King, but Caesar".
That was a very sad statement. For 2000 years, because of what their leaders said, the Jewish people have been scattered around the world. You know why? They said, "We have no King," literally pushing away the mother hen with the wings to protect them. They are a nation hated by Satan because God chose them to bring the Savior of the world, yet they refuse to have the Savior to cover them, to protect them, all right? And now they say, "We reject this King. We take any Caesar," and for 2000 years Jewish people have been under one Caesar after another Caesar after another Caesar, Gentile rule. Are you listening?
Until 1948 and God brought them back in grace and mercy. Are you listening, church? God has not finished with them yet. They are still blinded. They don't see what you see, all right? But one of these days, their eyes will open and then they'll see more than we see 'cause they know their Hebrew Bible. You know what I'm saying? All right, church, so I'm not teaching replacement theology, all right? I'm telling you what is happening. We cannot be sentimental over Israel. We must see what happened to understand the full panoramic scope of God's plan, okay? Are you with me?
All right, watch this. Jesus came to be the covering. Just like individually now. Forget about Israel for a while. Look at you. He wants to come into your life to cover you from all that's happening in the world. To cover you from all the curses in the world. To cover you from all the things that's in the world because this world is a fallen world, right? Don't forget, it's a fallen world. You try to improve as much as you can. It's still a fallen world. We can have a place of refuge in the storm, a hiding place in the tempest. His name is Jesus. And then, Jesus throw back the question at them. He told them this: "Unless you all repent, you shall all likewise," what? Say, "likewise". "Perish". Likewise means these Galileans, they suffered at the hands of Romans.
All of you standing down here. If you refuse to believe that I am the one that God sent, you refuse to change your mind about that, you refuse to repent, you will all suffer under the hands of the Romans. After Jesus died and rose again, 40 years after that, AD70, the Romans came in, laid a siege around Jerusalem, destroyed Jerusalem, leveled her, and Jesus prophesied not one stone would be left upon another. They threw down all the stones of the temple. Many of you have been with me to Israel. You have seen those large rocks, those stones, at the bottom of the street, 2000-year-old street. It is still there. Jesus prophesied that would happen, okay? And they were all scattered around the world for 2000 years. We are witnesses that they came back in our generation, or my father's generation. Amazing. Are you with me?
"You think that these people are greater sinners. If you don't accept me as your protection, you will all likewise perish". You know why? Because there are no degrees of deadness. There are no degrees of sins. You see, I point out this person's mistake to you, this person's sin to you, so that I appear better in your eyes. That's why we like to read newspapers. That's why we like to watch news. The more scandalous, the better we can say, "Hiyah! Hiyah"! But you know something? Without Jesus, without the grace of God in our lives, that person can be you. You must be humble enough to say, "There but the grace of God go I. There but the grace". You see a prostitute walk into a nightclub. You say, "Hiyah"! You can also say, "There but the grace of God go I".
Had it not been for the grace of God, had you been raised in the same environment, the same family, and mother left you, your father dumped you, abused you when you were young, you might end up the same way. Before we judge and start, you know, criticizing people, just remember there's no degrees of deadness. Dead is dead, and we all need a Savior. Then Jesus threw back the question, since they said, "Watch it now, the Galileans, Pontius Pilate killed them". Jesus said, "You think that they are greater sinners than you are? Unless you change your mind about who I am, you will all likewise perish". And they did in AD70. Many of them are still alive.
All right, watch this. Jesus threw back the question now and, "Or those 18". Now Jesus is talking, Jesus: "Those 18 on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish".
Now, listen. During that time, there was an event that happened, just like we all talk about the most recent event, right? Let's say there's an earthquake and we talk about the earthquake now. Jesus had an experience at that time of a recent experience where there's a pool of Siloam. Now, I've been there. They have uncovered the pool of Siloam where the blind man, you know, Jesus healed the blind man by putting clay on his eyes and told him to go to the pool of Siloam, wash away the mud. When the guy washed away the mud, he came back seeing, all right? So that's the same pool of Siloam. And obviously, during that time, there's a high tower and what happened is that the tower fell and killed 18 people.
Now, Jesus is now sharing this story. They brought him Galilean story. You see, the people of Jerusalem, they despised people from Galilee. They think the people at Galilee is not taught, not educated in holy Scripture, you know? They despise them. And Galilee, by the way, is very low. You know, the Lake of Galilee, all right, is lower than the sea level, okay? It's low ground. Jerusalem, on the other hand, is high ground. So when Jesus came, John the Baptist prophesied this will happen. Let every valley be exalted and let every mountain be laid low. When Jesus come, he equalizes the ground. Everybody can be saved. Everybody can have him as their righteousness. As God's lovely Son is their new identity, the new self, they cannot be condemned, hallelujah, okay?
So Jesus throw them a question now. Jesus says, "Those people that died in Siloam," by the way, they are Jerusalemites, not Galileans, all right? And Jesus says, "Do you think they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem, than all of you"? Many of us, it uncovers our hearts. And we think of it this way. We think that, "Yeah, some people, you know". You know, in our heart. We don't say it. "What a tragic death, violent death, umm, I tell you, they are worse sinners". And Jesus is saying this: "Had it not been for me, you would end up the same way". So can you understand, church, the question is not, "Why did Job, a good man, suffer"? The question is, "Why is there not more suffering when there is so much sin"?
I tell you why. There's still mercy. I'm telling there's still mercy. You know why you're able to pray and accept Jesus Christ today? You could have died last year, you could have died early this year. You know why? Mercy. God keeps you long. You know how many powers of darkness there are that wants you dead? Because when you're dead you get no option to receive Jesus. You have no more chance. You know why? You know why you're still alive? Mercy. God's mercy. So instead of asking that self-righteous question, "Why do the good people suffer"? Namely themself, all right? Ask yourself the question, "Why is there not more suffering," okay? Are you with me?
"Then Jesus"... By the way, he says, "You shall all, if you, I tell you, no; but unless you repent," "you repent" is what? Believe on him, change your mind, all right? Look at me. God sent me to die for your sins, to be your protection. Unless you change your mind about this, "you will all likewise perish". Now, how is this likewise? This 18 die what? Under the rubble, during the AD70. Those people that Jesus spoke to who didn't believe in Jesus, they all died in the rubble when the Romans came in. Likewise. Are you listening?
But Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that not a single Christian died in the AD70 slaughter. Why? They remembered the prophecy of Jesus. Jesus says, "When you see Jerusalem surrounded with armies, flee to the mountains". And the mountains there is Petra, the area of Petra in Jordan, and that's where they fled, hallelujah. Church, we need the grace of God all the time. Stop comparing yourself. You know, we try to find worse things in others to make ourself feel good. Stop that nonsense. You're still hankering after some good in you. To be disappointed with yourself is to have trusted in yourself. So all of us, we need the grace of God.
Then Jesus shared a parable. It's all in the context. He shares a parable. I'm bringing this to a close. "He also spoke this parable: 'A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard.'" Now, because of time, I'm going to tell you straightaway, okay? This certain man is a picture of his Father, and God the Father has a vineyard. The vineyard is full of grapes. Grapes are for blessing. Intoxication with God's love. Wine is a picture of God's love, all right? To be intoxicated with God's love. Now, don't go out here and say, "I wanna be intoxicated, God". I'm talking about the real thing, you know, not the, "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard". Strange, it is a vineyard but he had a fig tree planted.
Now, the word "planted" here, notice it doesn't say that this man planted a fig tree. Doesn't say that he's the one planting, because the word "planted" in the Greek verb is passive. That means this man had a tree planted in his vineyard by somebody. What was his vineyard? Grapes, but somebody planted a fig tree in his vineyard. Not supposed to. Based on the law of Moses, go back to Deuteronomy 22, all right, "You shall not sow your vineyard," verse 9, "with different kinds of seed". See, vineyard again. Example, perfect example, vineyard. "You will not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled".
So here you have, go back to the story of Jesus: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard". Who planted a fig tree? No one knows but I submit to you, fig tree. Remember the story of figs, the first time I mentioned, Adam and Eve clothed themself with fig leaves. It's a picture of self-righteousness. It's a picture of life under the law.
Now, remember the story of Jesus, how Jesus taught, Mark 11, how to release the faith of God in your life? He cursed the fig tree and then he taught about the favor of God. In other words, the favor of God cannot be released until you curse the fig leaves of self-righteousness in your life. Self-righteousness comes out by you saying, you know, "I think that guy is a worse sinner than I am". Self-righteousness. It comes about when you say, "Why do good people suffer"? Self-righteousness. Instead of justifying God, you will justify yourself. You'd rather find fault with God than find fault with yourself. That's what self-righteousness is. Are you with me, people?
Okay, now, this man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard. So the right thing to do is what? If he's rich and all that, just have it removed. So the fig tree is a picture of the law came in by the side. The law came in by stealth. So God never meant for men to live life under self-righteousness. But God say, "Okay, you're gonna live under self-righteousness, let's see, is there any fruit from this fig tree," all right? "So he came seeking fruit on it and found none". Next. By the way, what's God's main agenda? Vineyard. Remember, Jesus came to his disciples and said, "I am the vine. You are the branches," okay?
So fig tree is a picture of life under the law. So here, he said to the keeper of his vineyard, now, because of time, the keeper, here is Jesus himself. So the Father look at the Son, and the Father says, "Look, for three years", stop. How long was Jesus's ministry? Three years. Slightly more than three years. So somewhere along the way when he was teaching, he was talking about, at this point, three years already. "For three years," God says, "I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground"? All right? Then "Jesus answered and said to the Father," all right, the keeper said to the owner, "Sir, let it alone this year. Let it alone this year also". That means what? The fourth year. "Until I dig around it and I fertilize it".
Now, why do you fertilize a tree? To make it more fruitful. I remember when I grew up in Malaysia. Now, I was born in Singapore in Kandang Kerbau Hospital. My mother is over there and I was in a hurry to come out and I was born in the wheelchair 'cause, man, after nine months in darkness, it was too long. The doctor was a bit, you know, late, all right? So I came sliding out, man, shouting, "Hallelujah"! No, no, I cried like any other baby, okay?
But for eight years I grew up in Malaysia and we grew some trees in our garden, all right? My mom used to use those trees, the plants and all that for cooking. We grew our own trees. And I noticed that one of the best ways to grow a tree from young was that you must dig around it. You don't just plant a tree. You must dig around it and fertilize it. It's the fertilization part that is the most challenging. Behind your house. Because you know how you fertilize it? Use dung. You put cow dung, all right?
The word "fertilize" actually, this is the New King James. Let me show you the Old King James. It says what? "Dung". "Dung it". So the master of the vineyard says, "Hey, cut down this fig tree. All these years I come looking for fruit, I find none, not a single one. Not one". And the keeper says, "Leave it alone this year. I will dig around it and I'll dung it," all right? "And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down".
Okay, now watch this. What is dung? What is dung? In Philippians Paul says this. Paul talk about his achievements, his accomplishments. "I'm a Hebrew of Hebrews, sat at the feet of Gamaliel. I am the stock of Israel. I'm of the tribe of Benjamin. Concerning the law, blameless". He didn't say sinless. Blameless. Cannot blame him, all right? By men. And then he says, "Concerning zeal, I persecuted the church". He talk about all his accomplishments and then he said this, all right? Philippians please. "Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ".
So you know where you find dung? Everything that you do that thinks you are scoring brownie points with God. Those are dung. That's what Paul says. "I count all my accomplishments, the fact I'm an Israeli, I'm a Hebrew of Hebrews". Then he says this: "I'm a Pharisee of Pharisees," you know? It's like he's saying, "I'm the purest. I'm the this. All this that people are proud of in the natural, I count them but dung, that I may win Christ. And be found in him, not having my own righteousness," none of me, all of Christ, amen? "Not having my own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith," amen.
So all these things and sometime we all say things like, "You know, Pastor Prince, I count my past life as dung". Actually, many of us, our past life is dung. Paul had great things going on. It's like saying today, "I graduate from Harvard. I got master's in this, master's in that. I sit on the directorship of this and this company, this company. At the end, I thought by doing all these things I would be scoring points with God, but I count them now all dung. And I want nothing of self, all of Christ". Paul arrived to that place, hm? Are you with me?
So go back to the story again. The son says, "Let me dung it". So I ask the Lord, "What happened here? Why it didn't bear fruit". You know, what God said to me? "I couldn't find enough dung". That one extra year of mercy, Jesus could not find enough dung. What does that mean? A lot of people are still holding on to their self-righteousness. They're not throwing down their self-righteousness as dung. If they threw down their self-righteousness, Jerusalem would have been protected. Jesus Christ would be their righteousness. Are you with me?
He said to me, when I read this, I said, "Lord, what's the meaning here"? The Lord says, "I could not find enough dung to save Jerusalem". In other words, if only Jerusalem would stop getting their pride from the law, "I keep the law". You know, some of you are still hankering of the self. Let me tell you this. You say, "Pastor Prince, I really wasn't bad. I know people who murdered three people, receive a presidential pardon, and sitting in church today. I'm telling you, pastor, I've yet murdered one person". So you say that 40% bad, "I can't help it. I've not murdered. How can I be that bad"? This is what you think.
Let me show you, okay, the Ten Commandments. "Pastor Prince, I never commit adultery". Jesus says if you undress a woman mentally... don't put up your hands, all right? If you lust for a woman in your heart and mind, you have committed adultery. "Well, I've never murdered". Jesus said if you have hate in your heart, this is what God meant. When God gave the law, he didn't mean it outward. He meant it inward where it all begins, you know. And I'm here to tell you don't think those people broke all the ten, they broke it outwardly. We all broke all the ten. Jesus didn't just save, "I'm just a sinner, but I'm not a great sinner". All of us here under the sound of my voice and everyone watching are all great sinners that Jesus saved when Jesus saved us.
Have you murdered? Not only murdered, if the truth was known, your thoughts are taken and put on the screen, every time somebody cuts you in order, imagine the car with the boom, boom, boom, or hit into a tree. You imagine all kinds of things. Thank God the thoughts of your head don't come to pass. You want to bring to pass all your visualization. Thank God many of them don't come to pass. You know what God calls that? Murder. You are jealous, envious; murder. That's the purity of God's law. So actually Jesus saved all of us. We were all great sinners. Turn to your neighbor and smile. "That's me". See, y'all can laugh. You know why? That makes you enjoy what? All of him. All of his protection. All of his righteousness. All of his love. All of his goodness. Because if you say that "I'm 30% good," only 70% grace can touch your life.
Okay? "If it bears fruit, well. If not, cut it down". One more year. You know what that year, by the way? Three and a half years came, Jesus died on the cross. All right? Look at men. The most wicked thing that men ever did was to take the loveliest person that ever walked on earth and put him on the cross. It's almost like saying to God, "Okay, God, this is what we think of your son". Now, poom on the cross. We beat him. We mocked him. We spat on him. All right? We scratched his back. And if that's not enough, we crucified him, hanging between heaven and earth, and we laughed. We gambled. We jeered. We slandered. We blasphemed.
And he hung there, and God says, "Yes, that's what you do, and this is what I'll do. The cross will become the means by which I'll save you. I'll take all your sins and put it on my son, and I'll take all his righteousness and study it to your account". Amen. Who can understand this love? In our greatest act, God turned it into his greatest love. Amen? And shut the devil's mouth for all time.
Jesus died. He rose again on the third day, went back to the Father, always remember. When God raised Jesus from the dead, don't forget he did not rise from the dead for himself. When he died on the cross, he didn't die for himself. He had no sin to die for. So whose sins did he die for? Ours. So when he died, he was buried, and then God raised him from the third day. Do you know that if our sins were not put aside he would not be raised? The fact that he was raised means our sins are put aside forever, okay? And now our old self was finished at the cross. All that Adam brought into his seed all came to an end at the cross, and what came out from the resurrection, all of us are in Christ, is a new self that cannot be condemned. Are you with me?
Now, that doesn't mean that we are perfect, but it means our standing before God cannot be touched. We cannot be condemned forever, okay? We still have the flesh to deal with, all right? Wanting to do wrong, but doing wrong cannot change the fact that we are in Christ-risen forever. Just like when you are in the old self sometimes you do good, but doing good cannot change your old self. Likewise, now you're born again in Christ-risen, all right? Your new identity is in Christ-risen, and your wrong thing that you do cannot undo your new self in Christ. Are you with me?
You are secure forever. I want to bring this to a close. That final year was the year of the Acts of the Apostles, their final year of grace. God went around looking for people to throw down their self-righteousness as dung, if only there was enough dung, but he could not find enough dung. You know what they did? Peter preached, 3,000 only got saved. Remnant of them. The rulers, many of them, they still reject Jesus Christ. God still gave them chance. The Romans haven't come in yet. Then finally preaching after preaching after preaching, Stephen was the last one.
Stephen stood up and preached, and you know what? The Bible literally says that the Pharisees, the religious leaders, they did this to the ears like children. "I don't want to hear anymore". Literally the cupped their ears. The Bible says like children. "We don't want to hear it anymore". They rather have, you know, law because law promotes their self-righteousness than to hear they are all sinners and they need Jesus to be their Savior, to be their righteousness. The cup it, all right, and they stoned Stephen to death. Before Stephen dies, Stephen look up in heaven and saw Jesus standing. Jesus was getting ready.
If they had listened to the preaching of Stephen and the nation turns around and say, "Baruch Haba, Hashem Adonai, blessed is he," Jesus would have written, Jesus would have written and roof in Jerusalem. But no, they reject, there's a final straw. That was the final year. You know what? Did God's grace stop? No. One of the young Pharisees there who approved of Stephen's stoning was a young man called Saul, and God looked down and God says, "That one that is approving of Stephen's death, I'm going to make him the greatest apostle of grace".
What grace there is? So while Israel, there was a final straw, final chance given. They will still refuse, then the Romans came in at AD 70 and destroyed their temples and scattered the people, and one day 300,000 Jews died, all right? Many of them were scattered. Many of them taken as slaves. Not a single believer was killed. Jesus said, "You shall all likewise perish if you don't believe I am he". And they just turned their back and forgot those words. The Romans came in. Those Galileans that were killed, "You shall all likewise". It was the Romans that killed. It was with rocks falling like the tower of Siloam.
Let me close by saying this. How much of God's grace do you need? Is it, "I do the best I can. The rest is God's grace". Some people think that way, you know. "Well, Pastor Prince, God does his part. We must do our part". Your part is to realize you have no part. And when you realize you have no part, that's the best part that you have played. It's all of Christ. Stop hankering after self. Stop trying to improve self. You know how difficult, how depressing it is to look at your feelings, to look at your thoughts, and some Christians are still doing that. Even right now, even today when they come to church, they'll sit down there. "Why is my feeling like this? Why are my thoughts like that? Why do you still have bad thoughts? During worship I can feel this way, I can think that way".
You stop thinking of yourself. Stop it. Salvation is not... you're still hankering. "Why am I like that"? To be disappointed with yourself is to have trusted in yourself. That's why you are disappointed. That's why you are depressed. God is telling you, your self is hopeless. Find your new self in Christ. Who is your new self? Look away, outside self. Look to Christ. Your salvation begins with looking outside. Don't look at your thoughts, your feelings. Look at Christ. And all sudden God says, "From now on, I won't judge you based on your thoughts. I won't judge you based on your feelings. I'll judge you based on my son; how good he is, not how good you are". He is your new self. Can you understand now why your new self can never ever be condemned again?
"Well, Pastor Prince, you don't understand. Only the other night, I did something bad". There you go again. That is not you. And God is not looking at that person that did that thing that night, God is looking at their new self. Literally God is saying, "Start identifying. This is your new self. I don't care what you experience," God says. It's like a mirage. "That's not the real you". "But I felt that way". "That's not the real you". "You don't understand. I did that. I literally did that".
Whatever you do, whatever you feel is not the real you. The real you was crucified at the cross, and the real you is now at the Father's right hand. That's the real you. Find out his feelings, his thoughts. Be occupied with him. You know what's depression? When we're occupied with ourselves and our surroundings. You know what's happiness? Be occupied with Christ and his surroundings. Breathe the royal air of heaven. I'm telling you it's going to be a challenge. The devil always point you to you. "Look at your thoughts. Look at your feelings. Wow, you feel hatred towards that brother. You feel jealousy towards that sister? How can you? How can you"?
When you look at yourself, your feelings, they will say, "How can you? How can you"? It's very depressing. Then you try and say, "No, I will feel good. I'm not like that. I'm the"... Stop. Stop it. You're still trying to perform yourself. Stop it and tell the devil, "That's my real self at the Father's right hand. Go check him out. You can find fault with him, then I'm at fault". Because I'm telling you today, God's holy eyes is not looking at you as you. It's looking at Jesus as the real you. Once you know that, it's in your interest to find out as much as you can about Jesus. Can he ever be condemned again? Impossible. That same thought should govern your mind because God is looking at him as the real you today. No one sees reality like God.
"Pastor, you are not hearing what I'm saying". You're not hearing what I'm saying. "Pastor, I'm telling you I did something that I never dreamed I would have done". And I'm telling you Jesus has done what you never dreamed that he would do. I don't care what you have done. I don't care what you have felt. You are living in a mistaken identity. That's why you keep on doing the wrong things. Your real identity is Christ at the Father's right hand, and the moment you realize that you become Christ occupied. Then holiness is by accident, okay?
I'll close with this. How much of God's grace do you need? When God breathes, when God sends his Spirit, when God sends his grace coming your way, let me tell you this. Things will drop around you. Amen? Things will happen to you, and things will happen for you. You don't have to be jealous. You don't have to strive. You don't have to compete. You just have to look to your new identity, Jesus Christ, and the blessings will drop. We give thanks to God. After we get into a trouble, he delivers us, we say, "Thank you, Father".
We're about to have an accident, like the other day I was driving and a taxi driver just saw a customer by the side of the road, and without seeing my car just went straight away. I did not know what was happening, but instinctively I jam brake, all right? And I looked at him and he was so appalled. He never even saw my car, and he went in without signaling. I could have made an accident, all right? Who protected me? God. Okay? So we thank God for near misses because we are aware, we see the danger.
But you know something? For the most part, we don't thank God for the danger that he saw ahead of time, all right, and never let us enter into it. Or a danger that your children were about to walk into a place where somebody has coughed and there's germs, are very viral and they are very strong in disease spreading and God directed them somewhere else. We don't see the things that God protect us from. That's what my question is not why the good suffer, it is actually there is none good except Christ. And when we are in him, all right, we are good because of him. All right?
Church, listen. Every day, even the breath we breathe, we need his grace. Now, I'm not going to say this as etched in stone, but I think that what Jesus is saying; even those tragic things, if you realize how much you need him, he will spread his wings and cover you. All right? But you act like, "I've got it all fixed. I got it all together. I know what to do. I know those who fail to plan plan to fail," you know? I don't know. Even on my best planning I can't say it will succeed, but I look to the Lord. Israel didn't have a plan at the desert. "When you wake up, look at the pillar of cloud. At night, look at the pillar of fire".
As long as they looked to the Lord, food was there, covering was there, protection was there, and victory was there. Amen? Let's live life simply. Let's not worry. If there is an appointment that you have to keep this coming this coming week. Or there's something you need to do this week, don't worry. The grace will be there. "Pastor"... You plan what to say and all that. If you need to give a speech, you need to have an interview, trust God for favor. God will make you see what you need to see. God will make you feel what you need to feel at the right time. Don't worry today for next week's problem because the manna of God comes one day at a time, all right? The grace that God gives only one day at a time.
So live life carefree because you're trusting him. It's the greatest responsibility you can ever show God. By trusting him, you become carefree. Whenever you are burdened and worried, you're saying, "I must do this myself because you're not doing a good job". So learn to be carefree because you are carefreeness is a proclamation: "God is in control in my life. God is watching over me". "What about this week"? This week God will take care. He has walked ahead of this week. God has gone into Monday. He's going into Tuesday, into Wednesday, all the way, and he has prepared everything and he has removed the dangers that are there. Amen?
Doesn't mean my life is a bed of roses. It means if I get the trouble; it's a trouble that will strengthen me, not crush me. Amen. And whatever troubles I don't need, he'll remove it. Amen? So live life like that. Whatever you need to know, he will make you know. Whatever you need to say, he will make you say. Don't worry what to say, for your Father will give you the words in the same hour. Give him praise. Come on, church. Hallelujah. Amen?
So right at the end of the service, all right, and whilst I'm going to pray for all of you for this week, that you see a demonstration of God's intervention, God's favor, God's grace in your life in a greater measure than you had experienced it before. Is that okay? My friend, if you are here today, listen, there's no such thing as intellectual dead, ignorant dead, rich dead, poor dead. No. When someone is dead, they're all in the same category. The Bible says all men are dead in their sins, and God sent his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to resurrect us in our spirits from the dead.
If that is you, you have heard the gospel today. Wherever you are right now, you say, "Pastor Prince, it's time for me to renounce self and accept Christ as my Savior and Lord. It's time for me to stop performing, stop doing, and start resting in what Christ has done". If that is you, pray this prayer with me right now wherever you're watching this. If you want full forgiveness, eternal forgiveness, and the identity of righteousness in Christ forever in the eyes of God, then pray this prayer with me right now. Say:
Heavenly Father, I thank you that you sent Jesus Christ to die for me. On that cross, he died for who I am and he died for what I've done. It's all paid for. I thank you, Father, that although my old self can never be improved, in the resurrection you have given me a new self; Christ himself that can never be condemned. I confess Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and through his blood all my sins are forgiven. Thank you, Father God. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior now and forever. Thank you, Father. My sins are forgiven and my true identity, Father, is at your right hand: Christ himself. Help me keep my eyes where you are keeping your eyes: on Christ and Christ alone. In Jesus's name, amen, amen, amen.