Leon Fontaine - The Ultimate Game Changer
You know, it's not the historical Jesus and finding out about Him that changes lives. The historical Jesus is probably one of the most proven figures of history. If you try to disprove it and say, "He didn't exist". Then there are so many other figures in history with far less accumulated evidence in records all over. Jesus is a for sure a thing historically. But it's not the historical Jesus that changes lives. It's the Jesus from the cross to the throne, and no one saw that except God.
And so God had it written all through the Old Testament and recorded again through the New. As to why did Jesus die? Where did He go? And why? And it is from the cross to the throne that is the greatest story of history. It's not the exodus of the children of Israel. It's not David killing Goliath. It's not the historical Jesus walking on the water. The message that changes the planet is the message of Jesus from the cross. His death, His burial, His resurrection, His ascension to the right hand of the Father.
In Matthew 13:45-46, it says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant, who a man who is seeking goodly pearls. Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it". There are many people who claim today to be Christians. The term is so abused and so misused that they just think if you live in a Christian country and you're born into a Christian family, that you're a Christian. Which is way much of religion looks at this.
There are people here today just by stats that you'll give your life to Christ. You made a great decision to escape hell to make heaven. But you'll never do the work of working out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Hiding God's Word in your heart so you accurately follow Him. So that you can live in kingdom principles. You're a believer who's going to heaven when you die, but have never learned to walk in the kingdom principles that Jesus talks about in the Bible. And the very first thing we need to look at is, are you all out for Jesus? Have you in your heart sold everything to follow Him?
People all over this planet have given everything to follow Him. Risk their lives, their businesses, everything. Yet in America and Canada, okay, and kind of in the first world. Which is only about four to five percent of the world's Christians. There's not much growth, not much happening in the church of Jesus Christ. But in the other 95 to 96% of the world, there is phenomenal revival right from the Muslim countries to all across the planet. Every place that we used to think God wasn't moving and touching today is an incredible harvest, an incredible and gathering of souls. Millions upon millions upon millions of people.
And I get a chance to meet around the planet with the people who are in the countries. It's not some stats, some missions pro-guide put together in some denomination. These are talking to the men and the women who are pastoring in countries. I mean, underground pastoring in places where their very people are being beheaded. And Jesus is something they'll give their lives for. Jesus is something they'll sell it all out for. When the disciples walked the planet, they were farmers and merchants and tent makers and bakers. And I mean, clothes designers and sewers just like the world today. But everyone of them had this sold out heart for Jesus Christ. The Bible has a different word for them then Christian.
In fact, the Bible doesn't use the word Christian. It's kind of Gentile name that was first coined in Antioch. It's called disciples. Discipline followers of Jesus Christ. More than your Saviour which means that you're saved to get to go to heaven. But you're a discipline follower of the teachings of Jesus. And so you can walk in the benefits and the power of the kingdom of God. In 2 Timothy 2:15, it says, "Study to show yourself approved unto God, as a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, and rightly divide the word of truth".
Well, Leon, I thought you said salvation was free. Oh, it is. You can freely accept Jesus, once you believe on Him. But there are so many areas of revelation that are ahead of you. And things will be revealed to you layer by layer by layer as you follow and obey Jesus. Your life begins to change and grow. But if you just stay, "He's my Saviour. Praise the Lord". Then you will have the frustration of living knowing there's a kingdom and there are kingdom principles, but you actually can't get them to work. So you'll live frustrated like everybody else. When you die you go to heaven. Praise the Lord. That's good.
In Philippians 2:12, it says, "Wherefore, my beloved, as you've always obeyed, not as in My presence only, but now much more in My absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure". You see, we're so afraid of working at something that we work for our degree. We went seven years to university. We've worked 12 years apprenticing. We finally got, we will work for everything else. But when it comes to our relationship with Jesus Christ, because it's just kind of free and it's positional. We just think there's no work to do. But the word disciple means discipline followers of Jesus Christ. It says truth will set you free. Holy Spirit will guide you into truth.
In Psalm 119:11, it says, "Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee". The word sin is an interesting word. One of the most common words in the New Testament for sin, Hamartia. It means to miss the mark for God's best. You see, I don't want to miss the mark for God's best in the ministry He's called me. I don't want to miss the mark for God's best in my marriage. I don't want to miss the mark for God's best raising my kids. I don't want to miss the mark for God's best in staying alive and healthy. I don't want to miss the mark for God's best to have the finances that I'm called to have to go do the work and finance the work God's called me to finance.
There is something about living out God's best that is important for us. But it's going to require you to know the Jesus in the Word. You can't just know the historical Jesus. You can't just read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Which by the way, are records of the historical Jesus. But when you understand what He did on the cross. When you understand what He did in the grave. When you understand that what happened when He arose again. When you understand what happened when He ascended and sat at the right hand of the Father.
Something happens inside of you, and you begin to fall in love with this Jesus. For others it's a legal issue. For others it's just an issue of escaping hell and we're wise enough to make heaven. But for those who have gone into God's Word and studied and asked Holy Spirit, "Show me. Reveal to me". Something takes place on the inside of you. And listen to me close to you mature Christians that are here. If you do not know the love of Jesus in the Word and then experience the love of Jesus every day. You'll never walk out your destiny because you'll never deal with your self-worth in a correct way. It is knowing the love of God. It is experiencing the love of God.
Some of you, "Leon, I don't need to feel God's love. I'm not moved by my emotions". Oh, I'm glad. God has emotions but He doesn't make up His mind based on His emotions. Lucky for us. He has emotions but He lives by integrity. He lives by honour. He lives by the character of the words that He has spoken. Lucky for us. We should be the same. We have emotions but they don't change us living with character and dignity and integrity. God's got emotions. He made you with emotions. You don't think that you can have with Him an emotional relationship?
How many women want to marry an unemotional man? Every woman thinks they did by the way. Just so you know in marriage counseling, every woman thinks she's married an unemotional man. Not realizing that men run just as deep as you emotionally. They just don't express it outwardly. God has emotions and He loves you, and He wants you to know His love, and He wants you to experience His love. The other day someone said, "Well, Leon, how does that work"? I can't explain to you how because I can't explain to each of you couples here, when it was and why it was you feel in love with the person that you're married to.
Now, you think you know. But yet it's a mystery. And God compares the kingdom of God to a man and a wife. You know, when I have to go somewhere and teach or preach or equip pastors or leaders somewhere on the planet. If I go and Sally doesn't come. I find it there're certain moments where I just feel a little lonely and I'll start to think about her. And it's amazing the things that take place in my heart as I think about that little blonde that gave me five children, raised them by my side for the last 35 years.
We've been through deaths. We've been through victories. We've been through attacks and losses and attempts on our lives, sickness. She stood with, I just start thinking about her and my heart just swells, as I just feel this love. And if I could see her right now, I'd pick her, and I just kiss her. It just thinking about her. Thinking about how she's lived with me. What she's done for me. How she's been by my side.
The same is true when you begin to go into God's Word and you begin to recognize that this Jesus, that He died on a cross and He took your sin and my sin. And as soon as the sin came upon Him, the curse was next, and the curse killed Him. When He cried out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me"? He wasn't just making it up with a cute thing to say. Something was going on in the Spirit realm as He became sin, as He took sin. And as He became sin and took the sin of the world, the curse that accompany sin came upon Him and He died on that cross.
You know that darkness was came upon the face of the earth at that time when He died. And many scholars believed when you go to the prophesy in Psalm 22, that as He took the curse which death, sickness, disease, poverty. That His body warped out of shape as it took everything from Myelopathytus to bones to tumors to you name it. And His body just, the Bible says it didn't look like a man. He took the curse. He died in our place and He spent three and a half days in the grave.
What was He doing there? Well, we can know through scripture that He was believing to rise again. We can know through scripture that He was speaking the Word because He was innocent. And when He arose again. And when He arose again, there's a new life that is yours. See, it's one thing to be forgiven. It's another thing to have new life. And then this Jesus that rose again, He went and ascended at the right hand of the Father where He is today in a position of authority. When we think about Good Friday, about Easter. We've got to remember, do you know the truth about the cross?
You know, it's interesting that 300 years after Christ when Christianity became the state religion. It was the downfall for all them as they simply painted the cross on shields and started taking over the then known world by force. And yes, they defended the cross and Christian countries. Absolutely history will tell us and thank God for that. But this discipleship, these followers of Jesus who knew truth and who walked in the power and in the love of God began to wane.
As the church comes through the dark ages, the centuries that go by. The last 2000 years, the church of Jesus Christ hasn't done real great. Yet, He's always had a people. He's always had a people who knew Him, who would spend time in the scriptures, who would understand from the cross to the throne. The price that was paid. And they would love this Jesus, lay down their lives for this Jesus. In Colossians 2:20, it says that we were crucified with Christ. We died with Him. In Colossians 3:1, it teaches us that when He rose from the dead, we were raised with Him. In Ephesians 2:6 when it says, He's seated at the right hand of the Father. You and I are seated with Him. When you begin to look at the inheritance in Romans 8:17 that Jesus has, we share in that inheritance in Him.
I just got a question. Do you know these things? Can you find these things in the Word? Or are you just, "Jesus is your Saviour". That's wonderful. He's the Saviour of the world for those who will believe on Him. But then He goes on to say in Matthew chapter 6 that if you will seek first the kingdom of God, all these things will be added. And most of us have something else that we seek first. Our career. Our pleasure. The joy of our lives with homes and cars and houses and clothes and all the beautiful things that God has freely given us, but we are never to seek first.
I pray that this Easter Sunday, you would make a decision. That He's the pearl of great price. He is worth everything that I do, puts Him first. My business puts Him first. My marriage puts Him first. My family puts Him first. Everything that I do puts Him first. I'll teach my children Jesus before I'll teach them mathematics. Mathematics won't get them to heaven. Mathematics will help them in business. I'll teach my children Jesus literally. Until we give our lives to Christ, we are walking around two-thirds of a human being from the way God designed you. He designed you to be incredible with all three of your parts. Body, soul, and spirit. You're a three-part being.
When Adam and Eve sin, and God's presence left them. They literally began to function as two-thirds the way God designed them. Which is why so many people try so many things. Some try sex. Some try alcohol. Some try drugs. Some try relationship after relationship. Some try wisdom. Some try success. Some of you smarter than everybody else. Whatever it is you think is going to help you to feel like you're better, that you're special, that you're significant. Which is why God wants you to feel. None of it is going to do that except the love of God. The value of God.
You see, if I get my value from preaching, then I'm handing you my self-worth. And if I had a bad day, then I feel really low. If I had a good day and everyone loves it. But your self-worth can't be attached to what you do to your skillset. It can't be attached to what you think is your calling. It can't be attached to your looks because gravity happens to us all. Wherever you attached your self-worth, it will be a rocky road. But if you attach your self-worth, that God loves me. God made me. I'm designed in heaven made by God.
And it doesn't matter how many human test I fail. It doesn't diminish one bit how special I am to Him. When you begin to anchor yourself in that, all of a sudden, there's a peace. Others can succeed around you. You can go, "High five man. Good for you". Whereas in the past it was, "Oh, you think you're something special now". But your self-worth is no longer in your performance, your looks, or any of your skills. It's in Jesus.
I can explain to you the phenomenal peace. The incredible joy. The sense of identity that becomes yours when you disconnect from the approval of everybody else and you only care about one guy's approval, God. Now, you can turn as a new creation and appreciate others, love others, relationship work better. When everything is not about you feeling good about you. You feel good because of Jesus.
The Bible teaches us that when you give your life to Christ, you must learn what took place from the cross to the throne. It's God's view of the days that Jesus was dead. You know, when Jesus died on the cross for three and a half days. It says He was dead. The Bible says that as Jonah was three days in the belly of the whale, so the Son of man was in the center of the earth. Basically saying that He was dead.
You know, the Bible talks a lot of things that went on. But when Jesus came back to life, He rose triumphant over every sin, over the curse of the law. Because when Jesus was on the cross, and He took my sin and He took your sin. The next thing that follow sin was the curse. The curse always follow sin. And so here's Jesus. He became sin for the mankind. The next thing that hit Him was the curse which means He died. When He died pretty quick on the cross, they were surprised He died so fast.
I used to think, "Well, wasn't Jesus even man enough to like last longer than most guys"? No, they were surprised how quickly He died. They didn't have to break His legs when He was crucified because He was dead. Oh, what killed Him? It wasn't the cross anyway. What killed Him was the curse that comes with sin. And the curse was poured out on Jesus and there's no curse left to give you. When you hear preacher's talk about you're going to be cursed. That's baloney. Jesus took the curse of the law. Jesus died in your place. There's no curse left to give you.
If something bad happens, stop blaming God. Like the insurance company. Sir, we can't give you anything for the flood. That's an act of God. Oh, really? Where's that? It's an easy way to get out of it. No, God doesn't do bad things to you and I. Now, life will. There's stuff on this planet. There's death. There's anger. There's hatred. There's a lot of stuff that you and I have to walk through in our lives. But He'll be with us. He'll never leave us. He'll never forsake us. And the miraculous power of God becomes ours when we begin to identify with Jesus.