Peter Tan-Chi - Succeed In Passing a Godly Legacy
Today we conclude our series on life goals, be successful at the things that really matter. Why is this so important? Whether you like it or not, you are pursuing something. For some people, their goals in life are so superficial, so superficial, just getting through today, I want to enjoy life, I want to travel, that's my bucket list, that's superficial. Life is too precious to waste. There is another group of people who have goals, but they are wrong goals, and that is also regrettable. It's like climbing a corporate ladder. You keep going up, and when you get to the top, you realize the ladder is on the wrong side of the fence. Okay, today we're wrapping up our series. But before I get into today's message, I want to encourage all of you, next week we're starting a new series.
Our new series starting next week is about a book in the Old Testament called Haggai. That book talks about true success. If you want to be really successful, you come next Sunday, which is a series on the book of Haggai. How many of you have read the book of Haggai? Please raise your hand. Some of you don’t even know that there is a book called Haggai. Am I right? So I recommend starting to read Haggai this week. We've been talking about life goals these past few weeks. Do you remember this quote? Our biggest fear shouldn't be failure, but success at something that doesn't really matter. I don't know if you remember this quote, but I keep reminding everyone that this is so important. I tell my children that some teachings like this are just in a different way. I tell my kids, don’t be afraid of failure. Because if you fail, you will know that you have failed, and you can recover and make amends.
What is more dangerous is not failing, but succeeding at something. I tell my children that I worry about you succeeding at the wrong things in life. I'm not afraid of failure, but if you succeed in the wrong things in life, in the things that don't matter... what is true success? Let’s do a quick review. Real success, mind you, is being everything God wants you to be, doing everything He wants you to do, and hearing Him say, Well done! A good and faithful servant. Please note that there are two basic elements to true success, 1. Become everything God wants you to be. Be... True success has to do with your character. Be everything God wants you to be. You and I focus on doing things, I like to do this, do that, we like to achieve certain things, but may I suggest that more important than doing things is to be the right person first. Let God change your character. Success without character is dangerous.
So what is true success? Everyone tells me: Become everything God wants you to be, be... be the right person, because God cares more about your character, please believe me. But I don’t pay that much attention to your behavior. Why? Because what you do will be a by-product of your character. So what is true success? Here you go: Be everything God wants you to be and do everything He wants you to do. Pay attention, do... There are many things in life right now that you should do. People become burned out and burned out because a lot of the things they are doing are not what God wants them to do. Let me repeat, you are burnt out, you are exhausted, why? Because you are doing what you like, not what God wants you to do. I will have enough time and I will have enough energy to do what God wants me to do. But I won't have enough time, I won't have enough energy to do everything I want to do. There are certain things in life that I need to say I won't do.
So what is true success? Folks, it's about being everything God wants you to be, letting God transform your life, and then doing everything He wants you to do, not what you want to do, if you do both of those things faithfully, because What is the ultimate outcome of your desire to please God? The final result of true success, please read: Hear Him say, hear Jesus say: Well done! Good and faithful servant, that is what I pray for you all and for me. I pray for you and you pray for me. May I have a good ending, may I hear Jesus say: Well done! A good and faithful servant. Today, our topic is about leaving a legacy. Let’s read this together: Today, what are we going to talk about? Be successful in leaving a godly legacy. Whether you want it to or not, you will leave a legacy, for better or for worse.
When you think of the word heritage, what comes to mind? For most people, it's money. For most people, it's material things. There's nothing wrong with that. For most people, it might be a company, it might be a building, it might be something. Material things. Can I mention something to help you think about, well, when you think about the word legacy, I suggest you think about what is most important to you? Please share with me, what is most important? Because the most important thing should be your legacy. If you think money is the most important thing, then you will leave your children with a love of money. If you believe kindness and generosity are most important, you will pass these qualities on to your children. It's up to you to decide what's most important to you.
Second, if I think of the word legacy, you know what comes into my mind? I have to decide to be careful. If I don't be careful, I won't be able to leave something precious to me. So what’s the next word that comes to mind? Be careful. Another word that comes to mind is the word "future". Legacy is about your future. It has to do with future tense, it has to do with consequences. For example, remember this quote about legacy. Your legacy is the life you live, and the life you live becomes your legacy. Do it again and the life you live becomes the legacy you leave behind. In other words, when I pass away, there is no guarantee that the people around me, my children, my grandchildren, will do certain things that have anything to do with my legacy or have nothing to do with my legacy. This is in the future tense, how will my life impact their lives?
So my friends, can I give you an example, about people, about legacy... Well, I'll give you five names. Tell me, what do they have in common, OK? Don't talk about money, because these are super, super rich people. Gordon Ramsey Gordon Ramsey is a famous chef with a net worth of hundreds of millions. George Lucas George Lucas, film producer, Star Wars, Bill Gates, you know him. Elton John Elton John, these are billionaires. Mike Bloomberg Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, very rich, billionaire. What do they have in common? Except having money. It will surprise you, they all agree that they will not leave money to their children. ha! They all (made this decision) alone, without consulting each other, they all said: money is not good for children, ha, how could this be? See what they said? Some of them say: Giving a child a silver spoon will ruin their life.
I have decided that my children should not have financial security and not have to work or make money, it would be destructive. Oh my god, this is so different. We love giving our kids money, don’t we? Now listen to me, giving money to children is not a bad thing. If they don't know how to handle money, that becomes a bad thing. For example, the Bible talks about a good man who leaves an inheritance to his descendants, and a sinner who lays up wealth for the righteous. There's nothing wrong with money, eh! So what's wrong? Let me tell you what's wrong? If there is money without God, money becomes poison. If you teach your children the importance of Christ in their lives, and they put God first, and you bless them with financial blessings, that's dynamite, that's going to help them tremendously, because you're giving them a head start. step. Lordly people work hard and they are not spoiled by money. So I'm not saying that money is bad, but I am saying that if all you think about is the legacy of material blessings, you are in deep trouble.
You see, the legacy of spiritual blessings is not automatic. For example, in 1 Samuel chapter 1, verse 3, it talks about a priest. There were two sons of Eli, Eli, the chief priest. For example, the chief priests at that time, Hophni and Phinehas were the sons of Eli, and they were priests. In other words, Eli inherited this position and he inherited this business. What is the career of his sons? Like father, like son. Priest. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that this next verse will blow your mind. One chapter later, the Bible says, in 1 Samuel 2, verse 12, the two sons of Eli... what were their names? Hophni and Phinehas. He is an evil person (a person with no value), why is he worthless? The Bible says they do not know the Lord. Sorry, how can you be a priest and not know the Lord?
For example, Filipinos, the Philippines is one of the most religious countries in Asia. Our people, every Sunday, strive to go to places like this, right? They pray, they attend religious services, right? But if you look at our country, we are one of the few countries where AIDS is on the rise, pornography is rampant, premarital sex is on the rise, and teenage pregnancies are on the rise. Worst of all, graft and corruption, we rank number one. Ladies and gentlemen, how can this be a Christian country? The answer is this: We are not a Christian nation, we are a religious nation. You can have religion but not know the Lord. You can come here every Sunday. Your parents brought you here. Your parents brought you here. You sing, you look religious, but your life, according to the Bible, is worthless because you don't know the Lord, and that's bad. You can be religious and not know the Lord, my friend, what must you do? To ensure that the spiritual inheritance is passed on.
Can I share with you an example of an obituary? Legacy... Legacy can be described as something like, When others think of you, what do they think of? Let me give you an example, on this trip to the Holy Land, I met a friend of mine and I asked him, you know, you are such a good person, this person is so helpful and so kind. At that time, when we were together, I wasn't even sure he knew the Lord, but praise God, he was baptized during this journey. I said, why are you so good? He is a businessman, a successful businessman. Do you know what he told me? I think it's because of my father. I said, your father? He said that my father was very kind, very generous and helpful. When people were in trouble, my father was there to help. I believe that I am like this because of my father. I also enjoy helping others. I love helping others and I praise God that his father's influence helped him become generous.
What about you now? What did your father or mother leave you? What do they leave behind for you? Think about it. Second question, what kind of legacy do you want to leave? Now, when I say legacy, I don't mean you have to be married, I don't mean you have to have children, but you will leave a legacy, whether you like it or not, can you tell your neighbor that you want to be What aspect do you remember? Now tell your neighbor, don't look at me. Tell your neighbor, what would you like to be remembered for? What a legacy, haha, let me tell you why, I'm forcing you to think. The time to prepare your legacy is not when you are dying. You need to prepare your legacy now. When you are young, when the future is in front of you, you have to think about, what do you need to leave behind you? That’s why legacy is such an important topic for me.
Today I want to share with you why you need to hear this message. Because it prepares you for the future. What's this? It is empty. One day, some words will be written on this. Depends on where you're buried and how you're buried. When I was in seminary, my professor asked me to bring my tombstone. My tombstone at that time was like a piece of cartoon paper. We were all taught that in class. Ask to bring our future headstone stones. In class, I performed... Our professor said: Now imagine you died, what would people say about you? So, I closed my eyes, and now all of you close your eyes. You should all follow this ritual and close your eyes, everyone. Now imagine that you are in the funeral home. I want you to imagine that your body is in the coffin. Are you imagining it now? Are you imagining your family coming forward? They have something to say about you. Are you imagining it? Well, what would they say? Think about it, what would they say?
OK, wake up before you fall asleep. Wake up now. Listen, what they say is one thing, what you want them to say is another. But most importantly, what would God say? What would God say about you? My friend, you need to prepare for this. Because you don't know when you will meet the Lord, you don't know when you will die, no one knows. But I guarantee you, 100 years from now, none of you will be sitting in the same seat. I guarantee you, 100 years from now, none of us will be here. The way to prepare, the time to prepare, is not when you are about to die, but now. How you live your life today is the legacy you will leave behind. Are you thinking? You see many Christians don't think. Because without thinking, you don’t even know if you are a Christian. You have never examined your own life. As Plato said, a life without examination is a useless life.
An example of an obituary, 2 Chronicles, chapter 21, verse 20, that's the story of Jehoram. Do you know how the Bible describes Jehoram? Jehoram was thirty-two years old when he became king... He died with no one mourning him, no one wept when he died, and they buried him in the city of David, but not in the tombs of kings. He was king, but they thought he was not worthy to be buried among kings. He died without anyone missing him. Let me ask you, what will people say when you die? Hallelujah! Finally dead! I hope not so. But I know for a lot of politicians, that's what you pray for. Hallelujah! No I don’t know.
Now, another obituary, you ask me, not strictly an obituary, but a word from God, and I love that. David, you know why I love David's obituary, I'm telling you, David did a lot of stupid things, David committed adultery, not just committed adultery, he murdered the woman he committed adultery with. s husband. It's terrible, terrible behavior, but you know what? David repented. That's why I want you to realize that you may have made mistakes in the past. How many of you have regrets in the past? You've done something that, if you could do it over again, you wouldn't do it. If you have any regrets in your life, please raise your hand. Praise God. Please raise your hands how many people have no regrets. You know, we have a super girl this morning. There are nearly 10,000 people here, and there is a girl who took your hand. I have no regrets in my life. I need to interview her. You know why? After I interview her, she will have regrets, OK? Because the truth is I've made mistakes, have you made mistakes?
I look back on my life and there are certain things that I wish I had never done. There are certain things I wish I had done. I made mistakes because I did something. I've made mistakes because I didn't do something. David was such a man, but look how God described him. God described David this way. Read: Acts 13:22 A man after my own heart. How can this be? Do you understand what I'm saying? Your past doesn't have to define you. Your mistakes don't have to be final. All of you can change your destiny, provided you come to know the Lord. Look at what the Bible says about David: After David had served his generation according to the will of God, he fell asleep and was gathered to his fathers, and he was buried in the tombs of kings. David served the people of his generation according to God's will.
Let me ask you, are you going to be the kind of person that God will say: This person served My will... Isn't that a great obituary? I feel very good. This is a good obituary: When God said, A man after my own heart, Who will do all my will? Ladies and gentlemen, mistakes are never final. You need to understand that God is a God who gives people second chances and third chances. As Nobel once said, everyone should have the opportunity to correct their obituary and write a new one. Everyone should have the opportunity to correct their obituary. Do you know anything about his life? You see, one day, Nobel was reading the newspaper, and he saw his name on the obituary page. They described him as a wealthy businessman who invented more ways to kill people. Nobel was super rich because he invented dynamite. His lawyer told him, you should sue the newspaper because you're not dead, you're still alive. But Nobel said, don't. For him, it was a great opportunity to change his life.
Do you know who died? It was his brother, Ludwig Nobel. But Nobel realized that he needed to do something, and that's why he established the Nobel Peace Prize, right, the Nobel Foundation, for literature, for science, remember? He decided to use his money for good. So, friends, inheritance is something you need to decide well before you die, so, what are you thinking about? What decisions have you made about the most important things in your life? What's today's topic? Let’s read together: Success in Leaving a Godly Legacy. Look at your neighbor, tell your neighbor, and be successful in leaving a Godly legacy. What is a divine inheritance? God's inheritance has to do with eternal things, not temporary things. A divine legacy has to do with something that survives even after you die. That's why I believe: The greatest inheritance we have is: To know Jesus, to have Jesus, let's read this together: John 17:3 To know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus, whom you have sent.
Christ, this is eternal life. What is eternal life? If you ask me, what is the most important thing you should have? It is eternal life. If you don’t have eternal life, what’s the use of all your money, property, and title? Ladies and gentlemen, do you know where you will spend eternity? Do you know where you will go after you die? God is giving us something so precious, eternal life, how do you have eternal life, "knowing you," when the Bible uses the word "know," it's not about head knowledge, it's about intimacy, it's about experience, what am I? What does it mean? Do you know President Duterte? I know. I knew things about him, but I didn't really know him. Do you know Trump? Yes, you know about him, but do you really know him? I know things about Trump, but I don't really know him. He doesn't know me. When the Bible uses the word "know" it means "to know each other". You know Jesus and Jesus knows you. That's intimacy. The Bible says that is the most important thing. You will know Him.
Now, question, how do you leave an legacy? How do you leave a legacy of God? You only need to remember the three P's today. What is today's theme? What are the three P’s of leaving behind God’s inheritance? The first P, are you ready? You need a Personal Encounter, tell me, a personal encounter, or a personal relationship with Jesus. Next P, you must pursue intimacy (Pursue Intimacy), tell me, pursue intimacy. It is not enough to meet God, you must pursue intimacy. Third, you must pass intentionally, you must pass it on. So, how do you leave a legacy of God? First, meet the Lord personally. If you don't have Jesus, you can't pass on Jesus. You can’t pass on something you don’t have. So you have to have personal experience and meet it in person. It is not enough to meet the Lord. You need to pursue intimacy, know Him, and have a passion for Him. Finally, after you pursue intimacy, you pass it on. Be intentional about passing on. are you ready?
Okay, let's look at the life of a single man, his name is the apostle Paul. How many of you are single? Please raise your hand. Wave your hands, single people, be higher, be higher, don't let it go, do you know why? Singles, no, no, no, still hold it up. Because single people feel like something is wrong with them, why are they still single? Please listen to me. If God's will is for you to get married, you will get married. If God's will was not for you to get married, you wouldn't get married. But at the same time, don't waste your time waiting for marriage, cherish the time. Now, for those of you who are married, you have more privileges to pass on an inheritance because you have a family and you have children. Are we ready?
If we look at Paul's life, what kind of principles can you find? You'll notice three principles. First, meet the Lord in person. Let's read this. Paul said, Philippians 3:7 But whatever gain I had, I now count as loss for the sake of Christ. Notice here that for the apostle Paul, he uses accounting terms, he uses words like this, as if they were derogatory. The word "as" is a very important word in Philippians. Because he used this word many times. As the word means I have considered, I have evaluated, I have studied the pros and cons, and here is my conclusion: So what Paul is saying is: What were those things that I thought were good for me? If you read verses 5 and 6, if you read the previous verses, what is Paul talking about? Paul is saying, I was a religious man, I was a leader, Paul is saying, in terms of zeal for God, I was zealous, in terms of position, I was a Pharisee, Paul had all these advantages.
But Paul said, you know what? I take these as a loss. In other words, many times, in order to gain something, you have to give something up. He said, for the sake of Christ, many people, including you, including me, don't understand that the Christian life is not about addition, sometimes you need to do subtraction. Now listen to me, in the Christian life, sometimes in order to gain something, you need to lose (let go of) something.
I remember a story about a very famous man who lived in Chicago. He was a gangster and he told his pastor that one day he came forward and when he came forward and accepted Jesus, he began his discipleship process. So he asked the pastor: Pastor, you have Christian doctors, you have dentists, you call them Christian dentists. You have police, you have Christian police, why are there no Christian gangsters? He doesn't want to give up. Some of you cannot come to Christ because you want to hold on to something. It might be a relationship with someone, it might be a certain religion, it might be a certain tradition. Paul is saying, I have considered all these things, and I have counted them as loss. For the sake of Christ I am willing to... Read the next verse. Not only that, I count all things as loss...
Now, he's moving on to the next level, not just what was before, but his religious zeal, his position as a leader of the church, and he's saying, I'll count all things as loss. As a loss, as... I have considered, calculated, analyzed, everything... What is he talking about? Including power, prestige, success, money, all the other things, I have considered, what do I regard them as? Nothing. For I value the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Notice this word: treasure, in Greek, is the word hyper. There is nothing higher than that. In other words, to leave a legacy, you need to know what is most precious in your life. What is the most precious is what you want to pass on. To the apostle Paul, Jesus was the most important thing, and you need to meet Jesus. I count them loss for the sake of the surpassing worth of all: Pay attention to the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ our Lord.
My friend, the Bible is not against money, the Bible is not against your family, the Bible is not against success. These are all good, but the enemies of the Christian life are not necessarily bad. The enemies of the Christian life are good things, and the cost is the loss of the best. What's wrong with relationships? What's wrong with my boyfriend? Nothing wrong with that. Unless they become your God in your life. When something good becomes ultimate, it's very bad. So Paul is saying, I've thought about all of these, anything that's getting in the way of my intimacy with God, anything that's slowing you down, anything that's stopping you from growing in the Lord, anything that's slowing you down in serving the Lord.
Ladies and gentlemen, you are all willing to part with them, because they are worth nothing compared to the most precious treasures. If you don’t know Jesus, you don’t know He is the One of supreme worth. Now you begin to understand why some Christians are like fanatics. I don't know of any true Christian who is not a fanatic. When people look at your life, do they know that you truly love the Lord? If they can't see that, something is wrong. You have not discovered the supreme value of Jesus. You can never discover the supreme value of something, especially the value of Christ, until you have lost everything. Have you ever realized that many times God allows us to have problems so that you can appreciate and appreciate all that He has.
Think about this. Look at this scripture: For I value the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I had given up everything for him... He really suffered the loss, but he didn't care. Count it as dung so that you may gain Christ. Do you know what he is talking about? The word dung actually comes from the Greek word "dung". What is "dung" in Tagalog? That's what Paul is talking about. Considering the supreme value of Jesus, all of these things, fame, power, status, all of it, I treat them as dung, as garbage, as rotten food, as manure. What would make a person do this? What would make a person willing to lose everything, to suffer all losses, is good for him, not bad, and is for someone who knows Jesus. The difference is, many of you have false satisfaction and you have false gods in your life.
For young people, the most famous things are pornography, boyfriends, girlfriends, and various relationships. You think these relationships make you happy, but those relationships never satisfy you. The best men and the best girls will not satisfy your deepest desires. You know for the apostle Paul, this was his conclusion: Philippians 1:21 For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. The highest value is Jesus. Can you honestly say: Because my living is Christ, that is all I live for, and my dying is beneficial. If your equation is like this: Because I live for money, I will lose money when I die. Because I live to please others, and there will be losses if I die. Because I live for relationships, and there will be losses if I die. If your equation is different, mathematically speaking, if you understand Paul's mathematics, to live is to be in Christ. As long as I have Christ, no matter what, everything is positive, everything is gain.
So my friend, it depends on you, what do you want most in life? For the apostle Paul, his encounter with Jesus opened his eyes and changed his values. Jesus is not the most important thing, this is how you should leave your inheritance. It's up to you to decide what's most important. I love my children, I have five wonderful children. I thought about what I would leave them as a legacy, a business? money? There is nothing wrong with any of the above. But the most important thing to me is Jesus. If my kids love Jesus Christ and they know Jesus Christ loves them, they'll be OK. No matter what, they'll be OK. But if they have everything but Jesus, they won't be OK. So do you want to leave a legacy of God? First, meet Jesus personally. You must realize that Jesus is the most precious and your greatest treasure. Not only that, but you have to pursue Him.
Do you know why? You must understand this principle: Those who give up what they cannot hold and gain what they cannot lose are not fools. People, pursue Jesus, let us pursue Him. It 's one thing to know Him, but you have to really know Him intimately. What does it mean to know Him intimately? This means your salvation is secure, look at the next verse: Philippians 3:9 And you are found in him, not having a righteousness of your own that comes from the law, but a righteousness that is through faith in Christ, that is, The righteousness that comes by faith in God. For the apostle Paul, he discovered that there are two kinds of righteousness. Why is he speaking about righteousness? Because Paul knew that apart from righteousness, you can never enter heaven. Justification means going to heaven, and he discovered that there are two kinds of righteousness. One is based on the law, in Tagalog, the equation of self-effort. I keep the law, keep the Ten Commandments, Paul said, not on my own account righteousness from the law.
You see, at one point, if you read Philippians 3:4-6, Paul is saying, as far as the Ten Commandments are concerned, I kept them all. Wow! Paul said, As far as the law is concerned, I am blameless! What is Paul talking about? Paul is saying, outwardly, by human standards, I kept the law, but in terms of God's righteousness, I found out that I was a sinner. Why? The Ten Commandments say, Thou shalt not commit adultery. Jesus said, if you look at a woman and lust after her, you have committed adultery in your heart. The Ten Commandments say, Thou shalt not kill. Jesus said, if you hate people, if you are unforgiving, if you are bitter, you are guilty of murder. In other words, the apostle Paul discovered that human standards are different from God’s standards.
So human righteousness is one thing, but God's righteousness is a completely different thing. Paul had enough righteousness to stay out of trouble, but he didn't have enough righteousness to get into heaven. Let me repeat, Paul had enough righteousness to escape any scandal, but he did not have enough righteousness to enter heaven. Because to get into heaven, the righteousness you need is perfection. He discovered that it was only through Jesus. So, let us read together: It is the righteousness that is through faith in Christ. Now everyone read: It is the righteousness that comes from God through faith. So, there is a righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith.
The first kind of righteousness is my own righteousness and my own efforts. That comes from the law, from external formalism. There is nothing wrong with obeying the law. You must obey the law. But you can’t get into heaven by keeping the law. Because this righteousness is not good enough, you need a righteousness that is beyond the law. That's the righteousness of God. Now let me ask you, how righteous are you today? My friend, believe me, you are just like Christ. The moment you ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, the Bible says, His righteousness is already given to you. What about your sinful nature? My sinful nature was transferred to Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, He took my place. When He died on the cross, He gave me His righteousness. That's what Paul discovered. Jesus is of supreme value. Because He is my righteousness, can you tell your neighbor, Jesus is my righteousness. How righteous are you? The answer is? Just like Jesus.
Second question, will you go to heaven? Will it? Louder please! If you have Jesus, if your answer is: No, you're not sure, do you know why? Because until today, you don’t understand the gospel, you don’t understand the good news of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, He took my place. Jesus said, apart from Him, you can never enter heaven, you can never earn heaven, because you will never be righteous enough, you will never be good enough, but if you come to Jesus, Jesus said, I am the way truth, life, I am your righteousness. This is why to the apostle Paul, the most precious thing is the righteousness of Jesus, Jesus. Please look at his wishes. Do you want to leave the legacy behind? You have to pursue intimacy, Paul said, everyone read, Philippians 3:10 that I may know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings and become conformed to his death.
Notice what it means to know Jesus: experience, I will now experience His power, experience, I will now experience intimacy, fellowship, experience, I will become like Christ. That, my friends, is what intimacy means. Pursue intimacy with the Lord and your experiences have the amazing power to change your life. He spoke of the power of resurrection. Do you believe that the Christian life is difficult? Yes or no? The Christian life is not difficult, it is impossible. You need the life, the power of Christ. Some of you like smut, and I know, you struggle. I have good news for you, so if you are addicted to drugs, cocaine, alcohol, it doesn't matter, you have to pray to Jesus and you have to surrender your life to Him.
I read a story about a man who smoked six packs of cigarettes a day and was a devout Muslim. His goal in life was to destroy Christians and Jews. He was Arafat's right-hand man, he was a member of the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, you know? Very radical, he hates Christians, he hates Jews. One day he met Jesus and something miraculously happened. He just read a verse. In the beginning there was the Tao, and the Tao was with God, and the Tao was God. In the Qur'an, they knew that the Word referred to Jesus, and He was astonished. Long story short, he quit smoking that day. He no longer needs nicotine. From that day on, he could not believe it, he began to love the Jews. He began to love Christians. He couldn't explain it. That, my friends, is the power and significance of Christ's resurrection from the dead. God can change your life. Amen.
This gentleman, I will invite him here recently, okay? Do you want him to come? Well, here's a suspense, the power of transformation into the image of Christ, look at this scripture: Philippians 3:10 That I might know Christ, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings... Ladies and gentlemen, Many of you have not been taught correctly. You think that coming to Jesus means no suffering. My friends, if God allows suffering, He will bring intimacy. Can I tell you, in my own life it was in the midst of pain and trial that I became very close to Jesus, and it's never a good time. The times when I'm closest to the Lord, the most precious times, when I learn the most about Jesus, are when I'm in trial, never a good time. God allows problems in your life to draw you closer to Him, and you won't know that Jesus is enough until all you have is Jesus. That's why sometimes God takes away relationships. He takes away everything you depend on so that all you have is the Lord. Then you realize that having the Lord is enough.
If you don’t have a passion for Jesus, you will never want to leave a legacy of God. Because you have not experienced Him, to you Jesus is just a theory. To you, Jesus is just a religion. My friend, CCF is not doing religion. I'm not going to waste my time telling people, come join CCF, no, we want you to fall in love with Jesus, and when you fall in love with Jesus, you learn His love, and when you love Jesus, you tell others about Jesus. Amen? That's how you leave the legacy industry, you pursue intimacy. The Bible tells us, Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I do not count myself as having already received it. I only have one thing, that is to forget what is behind and what is in front of me... Do you know what Paul is talking about? Paul is humble enough. Brothers, I don't think I have it. Paul is saying, I'm not complete yet, I'm not there yet, but I'm growing. I continue to grow in knowing Jesus, but I only have one thing, notice what He said, I only have one thing.
The problem in the Christian life is not the bad things you do, but the many good things you like to do, but not the most important thing. Just look at your life, it's full of activities, they're not strictly bad, but you're neglecting the most important thing, what is the thing that you need to do? Can I tell you what you need to do? If you haven't discovered that thing in your life, how can you possibly pass it on? You have so many things, and for the apostle Paul, that thing was Jesus. To David, that thing was the Lord. Do you know what David prayed for? Let's look at David, Psalm 27:4 One thing... note, one thing, not many things, One thing I have asked the Lord, and I will still seek. Focus on one thing, living in the house of the Lord all your life, beholding his beauty, and asking questions (meditation) in his house. The most important thing is the Lord Himself.
Now let me ask you, is that your "one thing"? Jesus Christ, love Him, think about His love, grow. How can you pass on this legacy, my friend, until Jesus becomes the most important thing? You don’t love Jesus, you love yourself, you love your religion. Have you discovered your "one thing"? You know, to the apostle Paul, "I have only one thing," you have to keep getting to know Jesus. May I suggest to you that what you need to learn to do today is pursue intimacy, pursue God's inheritance, and learn to forget what's behind and what's in front of you. What does it mean? What does it mean when you learn to forget what is behind? Do you have any regrets from the past? Do you have? Have you made any mistakes in the past? Do you have. Have there been any failures in the past? May I suggest that you don't let the past hold you back? This doesn't mean you have to become forgetful. Forgetting simply means that you do not allow the past to define you, you do not allow the past to paralyze you, and you do not allow the past to harm yourself or others. Let go, let bygones be bygones, and focus on the future.
Notice what Paul said, forget what's behind and work on what's before you, you focus... One of the best examples I can think of of forgetting what's behind, which is very important, preaching about Jesus, is this famous man, but I I don’t know, to me he’s famous, you may not know him. How many of you have heard of John Newton? Please raise your hand. John Newton. Well, raise your hand if you've heard of him. John Newton, who is John Newton? John Newton had a terrible past. His first job was... He was fired. Why? He hates authority, he is lazy and unruly. They fired him. His next job, believe it or not, was as a teenager in the Royal Navy. He ran away, he didn't like obeying authority, he wanted to run away and left the Navy. They caught him, they chained him and disciplined him. This guy has a lot of problems. His third job was also full of problems.
In other words, this guy is a pain in the ass. He got into the shipping industry and started into the slave trade, the buying and selling of slaves, a terrible business. According to his diary, he lured people into committing crimes, he chased happiness, he seduced people, and this guy had a lot of problems. One day, on the boat, on the ship, he encountered a typhoon, a storm, and he began to pray. He had a Christian background, but he did not know Jesus. In the storms of life, you are forced to pray, right? right? I will prove to you, you will pray fervently, if you go to the doctor, and the doctor looks at your report, and the doctor says, in the X-ray, or whatever it is, the doctor says, oops! I don't like this, I saw the blood test results... You have cancer! Will you suddenly come to a prayer meeting? Will it? Will you have time to come here? Do you have? Why? Why are you so interested in praying all of a sudden?
Don’t wait until you have cancer, don’t wait until you have a problem, to seek the Lord. You need to seek the Lord now. Don't wait. He met the Lord, John Newton, and gave his life to Jesus. When he was very old, he said, my memory is failing, but I remember two things: First, I remember that I was a great sinner, but Jesus is the great Savior. He wrote the following verses, He wrote this famous hymn, "Amazing Grace". This was written by John Newton, who was a former slave trader. In fact, if you look at his epitaph, do you know what he wrote on his tombstone? What did they write? Once a sinner, a bohemian, a playboy, but saved, saved, transformed by the grace of God, now called to preach the gospel that he once wanted to destroy, this is John Newton. He wrote the following verse, "Amazing Grace:" Amazing grace (how sweet the sound) that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.
There's intimacy with the Lord in it, because you've experienced Him, and you'll want to do what? You want to pass this on. Do you know what Paul said? Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. You see, we are all in a race. For the apostle Paul, God called him to preach the gospel among the Gentiles and teach disciples. So Paul is saying, I press toward the goal. Paul is saying, I have a passion for Jesus. I want to be everything He wants to be. I will make Him known. You know that the apostle Paul's motive was to know Him and to make Him known. Get to know Jesus and let others know Jesus too. That's what John Newton did. He didn't dwell on his past, he had a gift, he encouraged people, he knew how to encourage people, he was good at letter writing, he wrote thousands of letters. He may not have been a great speaker like Billy Graham, but my God, he knew how to encourage people.
Do you know how to encourage people? He encouraged people to be everything God wanted them to be. One of them is Hannah More. Hannah became a leader in the Sunday School movement. Hannah More participated in the Sunday School and made the Sunday School popular. This is Hannah More. Do you know who else John Newton influenced? William Carey. Who is William Carey? William Carey is the father of modern missionary work. He was a missionary, the first missionary to India. I mean, this man, not the first, but in modern times, in modern times, he is the father of modern missions. He influenced many lives in India, all influenced by John Newton. But his greatest influence, if you ask me, was on William Wilberforce. William Wilberforce once engaged in politics. He was a member of the British Parliament, the youngest member of the Parliament at that time.
After William Wilberforce met Jesus, he wanted to resign. He wanted to withdraw from politics, but John Newton told him, no. You are called to politics right now. Make the most of this opportunity for Jesus. Pursue your calling. William Wilberforce devoted his life to the abolition of slavery. It was difficult to abolish slavery at that time. He opposed slave owners, opposed plantation owners, opposed businessmen, and opposed interest groups. They laughed at him, it took him 40 years, imagine, fighting in parliament. Before his death, England passed the most wonderful act, which completely abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. My friends, one person can impact the world. But you must understand this principle, you can only influence others through your life. This is why Paul said: Philippians 3:17 Brothers, imitate me together, and pay attention to those who follow our example.
Examples are extremely important and setting an example is very important. The life you live is the legacy you will leave behind. This is why Paul told us that the mission of CCF is to cultivate disciples and let disciples cultivate disciples. This is exactly what Paul said. What is the mission of CCF? What is the mission of CCF? Make Christ-Committed Followers, CCF. Make Christ-Committed Followers. That's a great mission. Raise committed followers of Christ, who in turn will raise committed followers of Christ. That's our mission. 2 Timothy 2:2 What you have heard me teach in the presence of many witnesses, entrust it to faithful men who will teach others. Paul told Timothy, what you hear from me, Timothy, entrust it to faithful men who will be able to entrust it to others. Entrust one life at a time, you will pass on the inheritance, meet Jesus, pursue Him, and pass it on, one life at a time.
I love what Warren Webster said: If I could live my life over again, I would live to change people's lives. If you can't change people's lives, you haven't changed anything. Only Christians are called to change lives. Look at this amazing quote: "To change the world, you need to change lives". If you don’t change lives, how can you change the world for more? good? Changing one life at a time, changing one family at a time. For example, in my family, I have five wonderful children. I started influencing my own family, five wonderful kids. What did you notice about them? Who do they look like? Of course, they look like another person, my wife. They were all happily married, and I began to influence my sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. We train them all as disciples. By the grace of God, we have multiplied and prospered. Do you know how many grandchildren I have? You count. So far, 19. Two weeks ago, one came into the world, so now there are 19. I obeyed God’s command: Be fruitful and multiply!
I want to have a spiritual inheritance, amen? I asked them this morning, because they were here this morning, I asked them to come to the front, I asked their downlines to come to the front. Let me give you an example of their downline. Paul is preaching today in Dubai with his wife, and little Peter is in Arizona with his wife. My other daughter, Candy, is a neighbor of my dentist in Sacramento, and they all serve the Lord. But Edric is here, Joel and Carolyn, they're here too. I asked all their downlines to come, including my other sons, and this was an example of their downlines being reunited. This is Paul's group, not all members are in this photo. Passing on one life at a time, one family at a time, this is Paul's downline. Can you see it? One life at a time, one family at a time, passing on Jesus Christ.
Now this is Edric's downline, one family at a time, one life at a time. Example of this downline. My friends, if you want to change the world, you need to change human lives. C.T. Studd: You only live once and it passes quickly. Only what you do for Christ lasts forever. Today, I want you to consider, what industry do you want to leave behind? You only have this life, don't mess around. Life is too short and eternity is very long. How will you spend eternity? Think about it, you only live once and it passes quickly, only the things you do for Christ last forever. You never know what legacy you will leave behind you, because many times you won't see it in your lifetime, but I want you to be faithful, to be attentive, and if you need to take the initiative to lead Sunday School, you need to encourage someone, share the gospel with your neighbors and co-workers. You really have no way of knowing the legacy of your obedience and your love for Jesus, but my friend, you must have Jesus first.
So I want all of us, before we sing the closing song together, please bow your heads. Maybe there's someone here today, you've never given your life to Jesus. In other words, you have never surrendered to Him and acknowledged Him as your Lord and Savior. You're not sure you're going to go to heaven, but today you want to be sure. I want to pray for you. Will you raise your hand? Do you want to make sure today that you understand my question? The first time you want to be sure, raise your hand. Raise your hands, raise them high. You pray this prayer with me. This prayer is to surrender your life to Jesus and trust Him as your Lord. Many of you, anyone else? Please raise your hand. Let's start by praying for the first group of people who raised their hands. I want you to join me in praying this prayer. If you want to be sure that you belong to Jesus and are going to meet Jesus, please sincerely pray this prayer:
Lord Jesus, I have never been sure whether you are in my life or not. Today, I humble myself before you. , I admit that I am a sinner and I need you to forgive my sins. I invite you now, Jesus, I invite you into my life, I invite you now, Lord Jesus, to be my Lord and my Savior, Jesus, please come in. Please be my master, be my Lord.
The second challenge, when you bow your head, you commit to passing on this legacy, and you want God to help you pass on this Godly legacy by referring others to Jesus, one person at a time. Would you like me to pray for you? Please raise your hand. In fact, if you want to pass on this legacy, why don't you stand up? When I pray for you, don't stand up just because everyone else is standing up. You stand up because you are determined to pass this inheritance on to others. You're saying, Lord, starting today, I want to plan my legacy one soul at a time, one family at a time, one community at a time, in your office, at home, wherever you are, you're going to pass it on legacy.
Some of you are struggling, you are wondering if you should stand up, my friend, what I want you to do is to do it of your own free will. I want to pray for you, may God give you the opportunity and strength, if you are willing, please stand up, is there anyone else? Stand up if you will, for God is always looking for a willing heart. He is not looking for people who claim to be very strong. If you are unwilling, I want you to ask yourself this question: Why are you unwilling to share the gospel? There are only two reasons: First, you have not experienced the gospel, you have not experienced Jesus. Second, you think you have Jesus, but you don’t have Jesus. These are the only valid reasons. It's never too late to stand up.
If you feel you need to be changed, I will also pray for you. Please stand up. Don't fight the Holy Spirit. I know He is speaking to many of you right now. Every time I speak, I know God is speaking to you. It's never too late, but I want you to surrender to Jesus, to accept this call, to pass on this Godly inheritance, just like the Apostle Paul. You and I are the legacy of the Apostle Paul. How God changed him and how he affects our lives. Maybe you need to do this with your family, maybe you need to do this with your coworkers. You do nothing in your office, you do nothing in your neighborhood. Because you haven't figured it out yet, it's really not an option. Passing on this inheritance is what He commands us to do. Make disciples, make disciples who can make disciples. It is never too late to respond to Jesus. Please stand up. Just pray. This is between you and the Lord. I'm not asking you to make any promises. I just want you to be willing. If you are willing, I will pray for you. Is there anyone else? Praise God!
Lord Jesus, I thank You for this group of men and women. We have heard this call and we are willing to allow You to use us. Please help us to personally encounter, to experience personally, your saving knowledge, your saving power, Lord Jesus. We want to know you, we want to pursue intimacy, love you, feel your love, and finally pass this on. Please help all CCF members, those who watch us on TV, those who watch us on YouTube, those who watch us on satellites, today we must transform not only our lives, but our futures, There are many fates in life. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen! Amen!