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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - Why Did Jesus Come?

Skip Heitzig - Why Did Jesus Come?

Skip Heitzig - Why Did Jesus Come?
Skip Heitzig - Why Did Jesus Come?
TOPICS: Against All Odds, Bible Prophecy

The dominant figure in Western culture for the last 20 centuries has been none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. His coming divided time. And people to this day still mark their calendars according to his coming, BC and AD. The Encyclopedia Britannica uses 20,000 words in describing the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. 20,000 words. That's more words than the same encyclopedia uses in writing about Aristotle, Alexander the Great, Buddha, Caesar, Cicero, Confucius, and Mohammad put together. That's because that venerable encyclopedia realizes the influence that Christ has had on our culture. No one has influenced the world like Jesus. Think of it this way. Socrates taught for 40 years. Plato taught for 50 years. Aristotle taught for another 40 years. That's a 130 combined years of Greek philosophical learning that was given. Jesus came and his ministry only lasted 3 and 1/2 years. But the impact and influence He has had on history far exceeds any of those thinkers put together.

I've always loved James Hefley's little article called, "One Solitary Life," where he notes, "Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He worked in a carpenter shop till he was 30. For three years, he was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place he was born. He never did any one of the things that usually accompany greatness. But today, He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader in the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built, all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as this one solitary life."

I grew up hearing about Him. I grew up knowing facts about Jesus. But when I was 18, I met Him. And I was changed because of that. We've been looking at that one solitary life through the lens of the prophets of the Old Testament. And we have seen in this series called "Against All Odds," how Jesus came and fulfilled so many of the predictions made by those Old Testament prophets concerning what this Messiah, this king, this deliverer, would be like. And we've done that because the apostles in the New Testament appealed to two areas to authenticate that Jesus was the Messiah. The first is the bodily resurrection of Christ. And second is fulfilled prophecy.

And it wasn't just one or two or three predictions thrown out there. There were hundreds of predictions made over 1,500 years that pointed to Jesus Christ. And because they were written so far in advance, hundreds of years before, we can look at them and say well, this is far more than just a good guess. This is far more than just some logical deduction.

Prophecy lends itself to statistical analysis, as we have noted, that there is a reasonable order of magnitude that can be estimated. And if you recall back to our very first study in this series, we noted that mathematicians have figured that the odds of one man in history fulfilling just eight of the predictions Jesus fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 17th power. The odds of anyone fulfilling 16 of the predictions Jesus fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 45th power. If you know your math, we're talking enormous numbers.

The odds, and by the way, there are 330, some say 332, prophecies, some more direct than others. For Jesus to fulfill 30 of the predictions he fulfilled is 1 in 10 to the 100th power. It's the same odds as one person winning the lottery 16 times in a row. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Far more wonderful is this one solitary life. And when we look at it this way, it does something for us. It shows us the reality of God. It shows us the authenticity of scripture. And we're dealing with a far different book than just another holy book. And it shows us the validity of Jesus Christ.

Now we want to take a turn. Instead of looking at His birth and His genealogical record and some of the things we've noted or over the past few weeks, we take a turn and we examine His life, the prophecies He would fulfill in His life and ministry, His adult life. Matthew does that for us in chapter 12. We're going to look at a whole section of scripture. But he quotes Isaiah chapter 42 beginning in verse 18. And what we're answering here is why Jesus came. You know, we have noted so far where Jesus came, Bethlehem. The prophets predicted that. We have noted how Jesus came, a virgin birth. Talk about against all odds. But now we are looking at why. What is the purpose that Jesus came?

Matthew, in quoting Isaiah, wants you to know there are at least four reasons why He came. He came to serve. He came to speak. He came to strengthen. And he came to save. First of all, he came as a servant. That's the word used in quoting Isaiah chapter 42. Look at verse 17. Matthew says, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying, behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased." One of the most beautiful descriptions in all of the Bible of Jesus Christ is that he would be a servant.

Now, I told you that there are far more prophecies about his life than about his birth. And here's just a smattering of them. The prophets predicted that he would be preceded by a messenger, Malachi chapter 3 verse 1 and Isaiah chapter 40 verse 3. And who was that messenger that preceded Him? It was John the Baptist. He was predicted. Also that Christ would perform miracles, Isaiah 35 verse 4 through 6; that He would teach in parables, Psalms 78; that He would begin his ministry in Galilee, Isaiah chapter 9:1 and 2; that He would be sent to heal the broken hearted. Remember, Jesus quoted that prophetic utterance of Isaiah 61 in the synagogue. "I've come to heal the broken hearted."

He'll be praised by children, Psalms 8 verse 2. He'll enter the temple suddenly, Malachi chapter 3 verse 1. He'll come into Jerusalem riding in on a donkey, Zechariah 9:9. He'll be rejected by the Jewish nation, Isaiah 53 verse 3. He'll come at a precise timetable on a prescribed day, Isaiah chapter 9 verses 25 and 26. A few days later, the same prophecy says He will be killed. He will be betrayed by a close friend, Psalms 41 and Zechariah 11. And He will be silent when He is accused at His trial, Isaiah chapter 53 verse 7. But all of those predictions of what He would do in his life can be summed up by a single word, servant. He will be a servant to the Father.

Did you know that the Bible has roughly 150 different names for Jesus? Some of you know. He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, to name a few. Jesus referred to himself as the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd. Paul called Him the Chief Shepherd, the Messiah, the Cornerstone. The writer of Hebrews called Him our Great High Priest. There are 150 different titles. But Isaiah's favorite title for Jesus was that He would be the servant of the Lord. He would serve the Father's will.

Now, that's not an uncommon title. Abraham was called the servant of the Lord. Isaac was called the servant of the Lord. Jacob was called servant of the Lord. It's one of the titles given to Moses, the servant of God. Many of the prophets were given the title the servant of the Lord. But Isaiah uniquely has four sections of his prophetic book where he highlights the servant nature of the Messiah who is to come, Jesus, the servant of the Father.

Now, what I want to do is show you a little bit of context. I don't want to just jump into Matthew quoting Isaiah. I want you to find out why. So if you don't mind, would you go back to verse 9 of the same chapter and let's see what's happening. "When He had departed from there, He went to their synagogue. And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him saying, is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?" It's kind of a dumb question. But when is the last time they did that? But they're all worried about the narrow interpretation of the law. Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath? If I were Jesus, I would have said, try it.

But notice why. "That they might accuse Him." That's important. Then He said to them, "What man is there among you who has one sheep and if he falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath. And He said to the man, stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out. And it was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him. And He healed them all. Yet, he warned them not to make Him known that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet saying, behold my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my spirit upon Him. And he will declare justice to the Gentiles. He will not quarrel nor cry out. Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break. And smoking flax He will not quench till he sends forth justice to victory. And in His name, Gentiles will trust."

So we're seeing that there is a resistance that is building against Jesus, a rejection that is mounting. The religious people especially are looking at Him. And now they want to destroy Him. And here's why. When Jesus came on the scene and they thought he might be their Messiah, they were disappointed. Jesus must have been a terrible disappointment to them. Because they had it in their mind that when their Messiah comes, he will deliver them from the Roman oppression and set Israel up as top of the kingdom and establish his Earthly kingdom. It's wonderful that He's healing people. But He did not come and meet their expectations. So they're against Him.

But Jesus, not wanting to make a big deal out of it, is a low-key Messiah at this point. He just sort of backs out, doesn't say anything, withdraws, and tells people keep it quiet when I heal you. Don't tell people. That be very hard to do, by the way. If you've had a lifelong disease and suddenly you're cured and somebody says, don't tell anybody, that's a miracle if somebody doesn't. But because He didn't meet their expectations and they're trying to trap Him, that gives us the context for this. See, they expected the Messiah to keep their rigid interpretation of the law. The Messiah, they said, will be the servant of the law.

Matthew says, no, according to Isaiah, the Messiah will be the servant of the Lord. He's there to please the Father and fulfill the agenda of the Father, not the expectation of people. You know, when Jesus woke up every morning, there was one dominating thought in His mind. You know what it was? Pleasing the Father. Pleasing the Father. He was on a mission. There was an exact timetable. And He was there to redeem the world from sin. He knew it. And so He said in John chapter 8 verse 29, "I always do those things that please Him." Don't you wish you could say that? I wish I could. I can't say that. But Jesus could. "I always do those things that please Him."

In fact, He said in John 4, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work." So He came to serve the Father. But He also came to serve His followers. We know that from looking at the ministry of Christ. He washed their feet. He taught them truth. He fed them food. He multiplied food. But even the apostles themselves had expectations that Jesus did not fulfill. Now, I want you to hear this. Jesus wants to serve you as well. He came to serve you. That doesn't mean He'll give you everything you want. He'll give you everything you need. But that doesn't mean everything you want. He came to serve you. That doesn't mean He'll always make you comfortable, He'll heal you of every toe ache you have, or He'll find you a parking space in the mall during Christmas time. He tells us how He came to serve. This is what He said. "The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life, a ransom for many."

Now hear this. Jesus Christ did not come to fulfill your expectation. Jesus Christ came to end your condemnation. That's how He serves us best is by giving his life, a ransom for many. It's what God sent him to do. And it's why He said He was so pleased with His son. He came to serve. There's a second reason He came. He came with a message. He came to speak. You'll notice in verse 18, the second part, quoting the prophet, "I will put my spirit upon Him", and look at this word, "He will declare, He will declare justice to the Gentiles." That word "declare," apangelo, means to proclaim, to tell, to preach, to teach. What Isaiah is saying is, when my servant comes, He will have a message of truth that people need to hear.

Now, Jesus did a lot of things. He walked on water. That was cool. He healed people who were sick. Awesome. He raised people who are dead. Unheard of. He held little children in his arms to bless them. The parents loved that. But he didn't come to just do some tricks and make people feel good. And I'm still amazed at how many people think Jesus came to just be a great example and to live a wonderful life and show us what it's like to live to our full potential. No. He came with a message He wanted people to hear. And so He declared. He preached. He taught.

In Luke chapter 20 verse 1, he enters the temple. It says, "He taught the people in the temple and preached the gospel." He taught and He preached. Then He went into the synagogue. And we are told He taught them. Then He went out in the Sea of Galilee and sat on a boat. And people gathered around on the shore. And He taught them. He went to the temple again. And He taught them. The multitudes came to Him on the mountain. And what do you think He did? He taught them. That's exactly right.

One of the most astonishing stories is when our Lord is in Capernaum living at Peter's house. And He comes to the house. And we are told, "Many gathered together so there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door." That's a big party. That's a lot of people at your house. It's so many people that they're looking through the windows and spilling out into the courtyard. "So many gathered together there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door." And listen to what He did. "And He preached the word to them." What? What do you do with a group full of people, many are diseased, many have maladies, there's a lot of needs in that group?

What's the most important thing that Jesus thought He ought to do? Preach the word to them. Preach the word to them. Not heal them, but to preach to them. Why? Because hearing truth for your soul is more important than getting healing for your body. You can be living in perfect health and die without Christ and you'll be hopeless for eternity. What good is that? So He wanted to make sure while He has them, the first thing He does is He preaches the word to them. In the Gospels, Jesus is said to teach the word. That's what used 36 times. He's one who teaches. He's called a teacher 47 times. And we know why. Our Lord himself said, "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

That's why. You will know the truth. And it will be the truth that will set you free. Jesus came to speak God's truth to people in bondage to their own lies. And there's a lot of those lies. It's why I believe in the exposition of scripture. It's why when you come here, we're going to say open your Bible to. It's why we're going to say, notice that word and notice the context. It's because we believe that the exposition of scripture unleashes God's truth in your life. I've always been concerned, and more so as time goes on, that evangelical churches are moving away from the teaching, the expositional teaching of scripture. It seems that some preachers think that what they have to say is more important than what the scripture already has said. And they live for that.

And so what you do is you produce a congregation that is long on zeal but short on facts. It's very, very shallow. And the prophet Hosea said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Jesus taught them truth. Jesus preached and proclaimed a message. The Bible is the one miracle you can hold in your hand. You want to know what God has to say? Open your Bible and you'll find out. What He has to say to you today is what He had to say back then. And now you apply that to your life. But notice something else. He not only has a message, but it says that He will declare justice to who? What is that word? It says the Gentiles.

Now, I get excited about this because I am one. I'm not a Jewish person. I'm not under the covenant of Israel. I'm not part of that whole old covenant Jewish thing that God has preserved throughout history. I am an outsider. If you and I, and most of you are as well. If you and I lived in the New Testament, the closest we could come would be the court of the Gentiles. We couldn't go any further than that. We might hear about how cool it is in there. But we couldn't see for ourselves because we're not Jewish people. We have to stay in the outer court. So He came to proclaim truth to not just the Jews, but to embrace the world. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son." God said to the father of Judaism, Abram or Abraham, "In you, all the families of the earth will be "blessed." And that includes your family because of Jesus Christ.

Isn't it interesting that the first worshippers of Jesus were Gentiles? The Magi, they came from hundreds of miles away to find Jesus and worship him. The Jewish leaders couldn't even walk five miles to see if it was true. But the Gentiles worshipped him. And isn't it also interesting that our Lord said to a Gentile centurion, a Roman soldier, a servant of Rome, you know, I have not found as great a faith in all Israel as I find in you. And isn't it interesting that the first person Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah to was a woman of Samaria in John chapter 4.

So one of the most important things you need to know about Jesus Christ is that he has a message for you. He has truth He wants you to hear. He came to serve. He came to speak. Here's the third thing He came to do. He came to strengthen. Verse 19, "He will not quarrel nor cry out. Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. A bruised reed He will not break. And smoking flax He will not quench."

Now let's unpack some of these truths. In verse 19, you see the word quarrel? It means annoy, harass or annoy. Ever meet an annoying person? One is coming to mind right now. You may be looking at him. Who knows?

I remember when I was a young believer, I was kind of getting my evangelism legs on and trying to share with people. But we had this acquaintance, I'd say a friend, but he was more of an acquaintance, who his boldness was turned up to 11. And he was annoying. I mean, he would get in your face. And he would stand up in restaurants when we'd be eating. And he'd stand up to pray. But he would make sure that the person on the other end of the restaurant was hearing him pray. It was that loud. And we're all like, oh man. We're just so embarrassed. And then he turned to us and goes, what, are you ashamed of the Lord, brother? I said, no. But you're annoying everybody right now. I love it. Jesus didn't come to annoy people.

And notice the words also in that verse, "or cry out." That means to shout or scream excitedly. It is used of a dog barking in ancient times. Do you have that neighbor who has those dogs? You may be the neighbor who has those dogs. It was your dog last night that made all that noise. He will not quarrel, annoy. He will not shout or scream excitedly. In other words, the prophet is saying when the Messiah comes, he's not going to come to meet your expectations of some political rabble rouser, somebody who comes in and pushes himself on people or stirs up trouble. He will not berate people with the gospel. He will not scold people with the gospel. And you'll notice that Jesus always spoke with control, poise, dignity. Ecclesiastes 9 tells us, "The quiet words of a wise person are better than the shouts of the foolish."

Now, verse 20 is the key. "A bruised reed He will not break. Smoking flax He will not quench." Did you know that in ancient times, reeds, you know, those things that grow by the river, they were used practically every day. They were used to make mats. You could lie on them at night. Or you could put them on your dirt floors of your house so you had carpeting, so to speak, a mat on it. It was used also for making a pen so you can write. And it was also used, if it was the right shape, to make a little flute out of a reed to make music. But after a while, they become brittle and they break off. And when they break off, you throw them away. You discard them. They're of no value at all.

Then you'll notice what when says, "a smoldering flax," you know that is? That's a wick. You put a wick in an oil lamp. And then it would burn and burn until pretty soon there's no wick left. And when there's no wick, what happens? It smolders, right? And when it does, you pick it up and you toss it out. This is referring to people who have broken lives, who feel worn out, the kind of people the world would say you're not really valuable. We'll discard you. The Romans did that. Even the Pharisees did that. They would count certain people as not being valuable. They would be discarded.

And society today has many people they regard as weak and helpless and sick and elderly, whether it's an unguarded child in a womb that can't fend for itself or an old person who, well, let's put that person out to pasture and get rid of that person. Not Jesus Christ. He won't break off that reed and toss it out. He'll make it sing again. He'll put music back in that person again. He'll strengthen that weak person that the world would discard. Jesus said, "I've come to bind up the broken hearted." And He comes along when your flame is just about out. And He doesn't go... He stokes it up. He gets it going. He won't put your fire out. He'll stoke your fire up. He won't discard your life. He'll deliver your life.

I love how Jesus described Himself. He said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and lowly in heart. And you will find rest for your souls." Jesus Christ will respond to your weakness with his meekness. He will come alongside of you. He'll pick you up. He'll give you his strength. He'll move you long. That's the idea. He came to strengthen. And I've discovered something over the years. I've discovered that of all the reasons that people make decisions to follow Christ, more people than anyone else do it at a time of crisis, when they feel rejected, broken, cast out. Now, some people will come to Christ because they're intellectually satisfied with the answers that are provided. But very few.

Some will do it because they're not satisfied. And they have a hole in their soul. And there's the promise of God to fix that. And they'll come. But more than not, people who have been beat up by a bad relationship or a financial crisis or a disease, they are broken. And they come. It's a good time to come. Never underestimate the value of broken things to God. Broken pots, in Judges 7, won a battle. Broken bread, in Matthew 14, fed a multitude. A broken flask, in Mark 14, gave a beautiful scent to everyone who was in the house. The broken body of Jesus Christ brought salvation.

Now, you've got a broken heart. You know what you should do with that? You worship God with that. The sacrifices of God, the Psalmist said, are a broken spirit. "A broken and contrite heart you will not despise." You come with that broken heart and you plop that down and watch how He will come alongside of you and strengthen you in your weakness. Well, that's why He came. He came to serve, to speak, and to strengthen. But there's a fourth. He came to save. If you finish out verse 20, it says "Till he sends forth justice to victory. And in His name, the Gentiles will trust." Look at that again. Look at that again. "Till he sends forth justice to victory. And in his name, Gentiles will trust."

There's a translation called "The Message" by Eugene Peterson. He renders it this way. "Before you know it, His justice will triumph. The mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far off unbelievers." I love that. Just the name, the sound of his name, the name of Jesus, will signal hope to far off unbelievers. And you might be someone who feels far off. He's after you. He wants your life. And you get the victory by simple faith the Gentiles will trust in His name. That's where the victory comes. For by grace, you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It's just a simple trust. 1 John chapter 5 he says and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Even our faith. So you triumphed by trusting. You place your trust in Jesus. You place your trust in Him.

You don't say well, one day, I'm going to get really good. And I'm going to get really cleaned up inside. And when I feel really good about myself, then I'm going to come to church and give my life to Christ. You've got it all wrong. This is what makes Jesus different from all those religions. Religion says, work your way, earn your way, sweat your way, make a pilgrimage to show God that you're serious. The gospel says, trust your way to God. Just trust Him. Just trust Him. Romans 10, "If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." That's why He came. He came for you. He came for all. That one solitary life can heal your one solitary life. The one who came to fulfill all of those prophecies can fill your heart. He came for you. Question is, will you come to Him?

Father, thank you that we can look at a text of scripture like this. It's like an oasis in the midst of volatility. Wherever Jesus went, He was not meeting people's desired expectations. And a rejection and a resistance is mounting. And in the midst of that plot right there, is a quote from Isaiah that says that He is going to do exactly what the Father sent him to do. He's going to be a servant of the Father. And He's going to speak truth to people. And people who respond, He will strengthen them. He won't put out their fire. He'll light a fire under them. And He'll save them, if they'll trust him. What a simple message. What a beautiful message. So, Father, I just pray for anyone who might be with us this morning who needs to just trust in Jesus, who needs to lean on Him, those who feel broken, those who feel scarred and beat up, been told that they're of little value or they feel they're of little value, they've been through a relational crisis or a financial crisis, they're in the midst of disease, but something has gotten their attention. And they're at a point where they want to trust You. They're willing to trust You. Help them, Lord, to trust You. To just do that, to say yes to You, to open the door of their heart to You, to invite You in, to follow You today and every day. I also pray, Lord, for some who may look back to a time when they felt really good and had some experience somewhere, somehow, at a crusade or a concert or a camp or at a church meeting, but the truth is today, they're not walking with You. They're not living in obedience to You. They feel far from You. They need to come back to You. I pray You'd bring them to Yourself.

With heads bowed, I'd like to ask You a question. Are you willing to trust Him? If you are, I want to pray for you. But I need to know who I am praying for. I want you to raise your hand in the air as our eyes are closed. I'll keep mine open. You raise your hand, you're saying I want to trust Him, Skip. I'm going to trust Him. Keep that hand up for just a moment if you don't mind. God bless you and you and you and you to my left, and you, several of you right here in this middle section, in the middle all the way back, on the aisle right here in the middle, God bless you here and here and here, many of you on the right, in the balcony, in the back, a lot of you. Anybody in the family room? Just raise that hand. You're willing to trust Him.

Thank you, Lord. Father, I do pray. And I believe that You answer prayer. I pray for each one. Lord, You love them. You have a plan for them. And Your plan is the best plan. I pray that there will be a wholesale abandonment of these lives into your hands. And that these will experience a peace, a joy, a comfort, an assurance, a satisfaction, that they've never known before, as they simply come to trust in Jesus, to place their lives at Your disposal. I pray You'd strengthen these lives. I pray You'd stoke up these fires. I pray You'd speak truth into their lives. I pray that You'd save them and they'd know they're saved. In Jesus' name, Amen.

We're going to stand. Let's all do that right now. And as we sing this final song before we leave, I'm going to ask those of you who raised your hands now to get up from where you're standing, find the nearest aisle, stand right up here, come right up to the front where I'm going to lead you in a prayer to receive Christ as your Savior. Jesus called people so often publicly. And you're going to find that there's going to be a lot of joy, a lot of applause. We're used to this. We do this all the time.

We don't do it to embarrass you, but to encourage you. We want to welcome you into the family. So if you raised your hands and I saw a lot of hands go up, just say excuse me to the person next to you, get up, find an aisle, stand right up here in the front and come on up. Let's pray together. Let's seal this deal. I'm going to wait for you because I saw hands go up around this auditorium. You want to trust Jesus. That's what we asked you. And you said yes. And I believe you. Now, put some feet on that faith and come out of the darkness and come into the light. So this is the day you remember that you said yes to Christ. And found His salvation. Make it public.

That's good. That's so good. Welcome. You've got to come and present your life to Him like the song says. Here in the balcony, you can come down those steps. It might take you a little bit longer. But we have time. Here's my heart, Lord. We come. I'm just going to give you a little bit of time. And the reason is when I first heard the gospel, I'd listened to it. And I said, OK. And I didn't really do anything with it that time.

And I heard it again. And I heard it again. And I did receive Christ when I was alone, watching television, watching Billy Graham on TV. But then I decided I need to make it public. And I was just one of those people that it took a little bit of time for me to really process this through. You may have heard altar calls like this for months, years. Maybe you haven't responded yet. And maybe you're thinking, someday I will. Newsflash, the day has come. Today is the day of salvation, Paul said. Now is the accepted time. You'll never have an easier, better time than right here, right now.

It's an invitation to lay your life down and give it to Christ. He came for you. Will you come to Him? Anyone else? Anyone else? Good thinking. Good thinking. OK. Well, so glad to see you all up here. Now what I'm going to do is we're going to pray now. I'm going to say this prayer out loud. And I'm going to ask you to pray it out loud after me, sort of like at a wedding were vows are said publicly, right? We're your witnesses. So I'm going to pray out loud. You pray these words from your heart to the Lord. And say it out loud. Say:

Lord, I give you my life. I know that I'm a sinner. Forgive me. I believe in Jesus. That He died for me on a cross. That He shed his blood. And that He rose from the grave. I turn from my sin. I turn to Jesus as my Lord. I want to live for Him. Help me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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