THIS WEEKS MESSAGE
to by Pastor
John S. Torell
Your responses and comments are always welcome.
This message is available on audio Cassette from our Book Store
2 October 1997
HOW TO GIVE GOD'S LOVE
Good Morning. This morning we are going to start our teaching in the book of Matthew.
Thank you, Jesus, for opening the word to us. We ask you, Father God, for total understanding of what you are telling us. In Jesus name, Amen.
This is the next message that God has given me on HOW TO GIVE GODS LOVE. We have been speaking about the love of God for a number of weeks now. Today we're going to study how we can give God's love: how we can give it to others. The great spiritual law given to believers in Christ we find in Matthew chapter 22 verse 36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Jesus told us that this is the foundation of everything that we have, to love the Lord our God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. Everything hangs on these two commandments.
I want your attention this morning because we're going to do some deep studying. We mix up what is salvation, what is our responsibility to God, and what it is our Lord wants us to do in our lives. I will have to spend 15 minutes at least on the salvation foundations to emphasize that salvation is by faith in Christ alone, through repentance. Nothing else can give a person eternal life.
Please turn to the book of Romans chapter 3 verse 20. [The Roman Catholic Church is teaching that salvation is a process. Anytime you hear the word process, open up your ears; begin to think and pray. What was the reformation all about? When Martin Luther, about 1495, stood up and proclaimed a message, the message was salvation is in the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone. BY FAITH ALONE! Through repentance not through works. The following groups are together on this. The Roman Catholic church, the Seventh-day Adventist, and a large group of Pentecostal churches are lumping together repentance through works. Their statement is that Jesus Christ died on the cross so that you can join the church. That is what the Roman Catholic church preachers. The Mormons also preach this, the Seventh-day Adventist and a lot of other denominations. Martin Luther stood up and said, "Salvation is by faith alone, not by works." Billy Graham is now preaching salvation through works. He used to preach instant salvation when you repented of your sins. Now he's talking about the process. There is no process. You are born at that instant and given eternal life.] Romans chapter 3 verse 20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. [In the Roman Catholic Church they teach that salvation is through the sacraments, which is water baptism, the weekly communion, praying to the saints, putting money into the church fund, burning candles, and then when a person dies, the rest of the saints have to pray them out of purgatory. This is called a process. The Pentecostals are saying that yes, you are saved by grace; all the sins from the moment of birth till the moment of salvation are forgiven. Then from the moment of salvation till you die you have to make your own atonement. If you don't do the right things in life you'll not make it to heaven. The Seventh-day Adventists talk about the great justification, sanctification in the work of the holy spirit in that you will not be able to know that you are saved until the moment you die. This appeals to the flesh. It appeals to the flesh because now we have some kind of working religion. What does the new Testament say?] But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
We read again in verse 26, To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. When you and I stand before God someday, will not be able to stand and say, "I have done some great works. I kept this and that commandment. I did all these things in the name of Jesus." Instead we will have to stand and say, "We stand here covered by the blood of the lamb, Jesus Christ. We are standing here in His righteousness, not ours."
Please turn to Romans chapter 10 verse 9. That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The confession with our mouth, believing in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Does that mean that we can live a lawless life? Paul said, "God forbid." Instead we establish the law through our faith.
Please turn to Ephesians chapter 2 verse 8. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
For by Grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. We have spoken on salvation many times, about the new birth that is supernatural. If you do not understand this, here is what is going to happen us. We're going to live in bondage. We're going to be living in fear. If you and I are going to be totally honest today, we must say that a day does not go by that we do not sin. You may not rob a bank anymore or shoot people anymore. You might not commit fornication or adultery anymore. You may have a number of things handled: the sins of the heart or attitude, such as anger, gossip, resentment, and pettiness. These are a number of things that we all have struggled with over the years. These are things that we have to contend with. If I am going to have to live a life that is absolutely perfect, that means that I can never lose my temper. It means I can never again be irritated. I can never again have an unkind thought. I can never again speak negatively. The moment I slipped in one of these areas, just one. I have sinned. The Bible says in James that if you break one part of law you have broken the whole law. The freedom we have is that we can ask God for forgiveness. When we are born again Christ paid for our sins. The old ones, our current ones, and the ones in the future are all under the blood. Please understand that. This is what gives us the liberty to say and to sing what a Saviour we have, what a friend we have in Jesus Christ.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 7 verse 13. [Having said all this we're now going to get into how to give God's love.]Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. [Jesus said, "By their fruits you shell know them." There are a lot of people that say, "I have received Christ," but they have never been born again. They never were born again.] Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [What is the will of the Father? The will of the Father is that you and I shall repent and receive Jesus Christ.]
Please turn to the book of Acts chapter 3 verse 19. Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Matthew chapter 7 verse 21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. [It is the will the Father that we do repent.] Many will say to me in that today, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name cast out devils? and in you name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. [Notice in this verse that Jesus is not saying, you were saved and lost it. He said, "I never knew you. You were never born again." There has to be the new birth. We have spoken of this before. How can a person get saved? A person cannot get saved until they have received the gift of repentance. THERE IS A GIFT OF REPENTANCE. The gift of repentance brings conviction to the person that receives it. We cry out, Oh God forgive me; saved me, for Jesus sake. It is that crying out, the gift of repentance that brings the new birth. Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them." I remember praying at home in front of a television set, my wife on one side of the room and I on the other. We were not communicating. I did not even pray out loud. I prayed silently. I cried out for repentance. I cried out for salvation. I did not have any physical feelings at that moment. I noticed the next day my cursing was gone. I did not plan to not curse anymore. I was really proud that having learned English I was very efficient in cursing. I could out-curse any American anytime. I learned all your filthy words over here. I even added a few Swedish ones for good measure. I thought it was great that I could curse so tremendously. I noticed the next day after a few hours on the job, that it was strange that I had not used any words of profanity. I never again used them. They never rolled off my lips again. That is the first thing that Jesus Christ took away. It was the first fruit in my life where He showed me there had been a change on the inside of me. The next change that I noticed was I was beginning to love people. Before I used people. Hear me now, this is what we do in the world. We use people. We tell them that we love them, but we massage them and use them. I began to love people for their own sake, that is who they are. By their fruits you shall know them. This is what Jesus said, you look upon people and we will see their fruit. If you see a man or woman who claim to be a Christian, but they live like hell and the live a terrible life, my fruit inspection skills would tell me that they never were born again. I would counsel those people to drop to their knees and ask for the gift of repentance.]
I've been doing a deep study because we're coming out with a new Dove. I have been spending between 20 and 30 hours a week studying the false anointing. There will be many more hours of study. The first time that I dug into the Seventh-day Adventist, I studied their theology and their development. I could see the parallel between a number of different denominations, how they are really very close in theology and yet each one claims they are supreme. They add a lot of things.
Water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and good works have nothing to do with our salvation. It is the work of Christ that gives us salvation.
Please turn to first Corinthians chapter 3 verse 11. For other foundation can no man lay then that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. [No other foundation can be laid, which is Jesus Christ. I don't have time this morning to go through the book Galatians, but you read the book of Galatians. What was the big beef between the Judaizers and the apostles? The beef was this; the Judaizers said it is impossible to be saved by faith alone. It cannot be done. There has to be circumcision. There has to be the sacrifices. They have to do all these different things. The reason Jesus was rejected is this-LISTEN NOW WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL EARS! The reason Jesus was rejected by the religious leaders was this; He told them Judaism does not save. What was Judaism? Circumcision of the man, water baptism like John the Baptist did, daily sacrifices, the day of atonement every year, Yon Kipper, keeping all of the feasts and the ordinances. What did they call Jesus? Beelzebub! You know what that word means? It means King of the fly, which is another name for Satan that they had. That is why the early church fought so hard to say Jesus Christ on Calvary paid for everything, PERIOD. The foot washing, the communion, water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit have nothing to do with salvation. We do these things because we are saved, not to be saved. You do not want to go back and be a Judaizer again. Read the new Testament from Matthew to Revelation and see what the teaching is.] Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. [We can build upon the foundation. We can build upon our salvation but, we cannot work for our salvation.]
I am amazed as I see the different religions. I want to speak a little here about deception and false anointing. In 1840 a man by the name of William Miller, a Baptist minister, Worked in the New York area. He had a vision in the year 1844. He made a statement: In September, in the fall of 1844 Jesus Christ was going to return. They called his followers the Millerites. He got thousands and thousands of people to follow him and to believe that Jesus Christ was coming back in 1844. People sold all that they had. People went into debt. They did all kinds of things. On the day that Jesus was going to come back they gathered on hill-tops and all different kinds of places. They waited for 24 hours. You and I know that Jesus did not come in 1844. If he did, we blew it. We are lost. The tribulation is supposed to only last for seven years. We must be in the millennium now. Do you think that the Millerites will go way? No way! There was young lady there by the name of Ellen G. White. She had another vision. She said, "Brother Miller made a mistake." As a matter of fact they reset the date to October 22, to the great feast. That date came and went. They said it was a mistake: here's what happened. We missed the boat, yes, Jesus Christ moved, but he moved in heaven. He moved to the sanctuary. Jesus has been cleaning the Sanctuary since 1844. He must not have a very good vacuum cleaner or broom. Whatever He is doing up there, that is a long time to clean the sanctuary, if thousands bought in the Miller's message. There goes the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We would think that people would not fall for this type of deception. Then in comes Harold Camping, family radio Harold Camping, studying with his deep voice. He said, "Harold Camping alone has received information that Jesus Christ is coming in September 1994." He got on family radio. He printed a huge book, "1994". I bought a copy for one dollar in a used bookstore. I wanted to see what he said in his book. Would you believe that he simply copied the same old lie of William Miller? The same feast of trumpets and all that went with it. He had Jesus coming on the same day as Miller did, it was just the year was different, 1844 moved to 1994. What did Harold Camping say? He told people, "I am sure I calculated this." Here is the rottenness of people. While Camping was pushing Jesus coming in 1994, his staff was raising money. They never stopped raising a dollar. They kept saying, "We have to have more money." I personally called down to their station. I talked to a staff member. I said, "If Jesus is coming back why are you raising money?" They said, "We cannot comment on that." I said, "Do you understand what this man is doing?" The lady said, "I do not want to talk about it." The day came; Jesus did not come. Harold Camping came on the air. Was he ashamed? Not at all. He said, "We have made a miss calculation. I am just a human being. I just calculated wrong. I'm off seven days." He said, "He is coming." Camping was wrong the second time. Is Camping off the air? No! He is pushing his stuff now bigger than ever. What did Camping do with Jesus? He simply is having Him stay a little longer in heaven, saying that Jesus has changed His mind. He wants a few more folks to be saved. Thank you for buying my book. Let's now raise more money, folks; we have to keep going. Do you understand what I'm sharing with you today? The deception, the lying is so tremendous and people are buying into all these lies, saying, "That must be God." What did Jesus say? That of that hour and day, no man will know, not even the Son of man, but the Father. We do not know. But we know Jesus is coming back. It is amazing; the crazier the doctrine, the more disciples you can gather around you. Water baptism, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and good works have nothing to do with our salvation. It is the work of Christ that gives us our salvation.
Turn to first Corinthians chapter 10 verse 1. Moreover, brethren, I would not that you should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
Jesus is the Rock. A wise man will build upon a rock, which is Jesus Christ.
Please turn to Matthew 7 verse 24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. [Re-read these verses. In one of the latest magazines The Marders they did a historical background review from all countries. I did not know that Christianity came to Japan as early as 1500. The people had been born again. There were thousands of people at that time that had accepted Christ. The persecutions started. They would round up the Christians. The sentence was death by crucifixion. They rounded up a group of people, including families about 100 of them. There was set in a field about 100 crosses. In the group that was being taken to be crucified, was a young little boy who was about ten years old. The guards said to him, "All you need to do is renounce Jesus and curse him and you won't have to die. The little boy looked up at the guard and said, "Sir, how can I renounce my savior, my redeemer, my all? I will not do that." He was excited. He said, "Mr. Guard, show me my cross." The guards were astonished and shocked. They said, "Your cross is the smallest one in the field." The boy ran to the cross knelt down and embraced it and thanked God that he was worthy to die for Jesus. He said, "Today I'm going to go and be with Jesus. Don't weep over me."
If you have built your life upon the Rock, nothing can shake you. NOTHING!
If it is calamities, divorce, prison, they might be going to kill you, whatever the persecution, if you have built your life upon the Rock, nothing can shake you because you know that the moment you leave this body you'll be present with the Lord. If you are not sure about your salvation, then some people will begin to sweat it. Build your Christian life upon the Rock.] In verse 26 Jesus said, "And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
How are you building your life? Is it built upon the Rock? This is my introduction folks.
Please turn to the gospel of John chapter 4 verse 23. [How do we give God's love? We can show God our love by worshipping Him in spirit and in truth.] But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
I noticed something here this morning. We sang a little song a few times. Some of you got excited. Some of you were less excited. And some of you reminded me of a tombstone in a cemetery. A tomb stone just stands there, cold in the wintertime, cold in the summertime. You standing there, here lies such and such a person, rest in peace. I am a stone. Maybe you were worshipping inside; I don't know. If we are not living in spirit and in truth, we cannot worship. It cannot be done. If I could use an illustration, it would be about a husband and wife. They have a juicy, terrible argument. They throw food, pots and pans at each other. After they are through fighting around the kitchen table, the husband doesn't say, "Honey, can we have some sex?" Instead he is going to get the number 12 frying pan alongside his head. She's going to say, "What do you mean-sex? We have just had an argument. We are not fellowshipping."
That is how most of us are with God. We are far away from God. We cannot worship him.
God wants us to worship him in spirit and in truth. Secondly, we worship God by obeying him.
Turn to the gospel of John chapter 14 verse 15. [Jesus is speaking here.] If you love me, keep my commandments.
We worship God by obeying him. By being obedient, by serving Him.
Turn to Joshua chapter 24 verse 14. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the Lord. And if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom you well serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Worship is to praise Him, to obey Him, to serve Him and worship is to surrender to Him.
Turn to Isaiah chapter 6 verse 8. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
If you want to worship the Lord; if you want to give Him something, give Him your worship, give Him your obedience, serve Him and surrender to Him. These are the only things that we can give to God the Father, to God the Son, to God the Holy Spirit. When it comes to earthly, physical possessions there is nothing we can send to heaven and give to our heavenly Father. Jesus instructed us, that we can use our physical possessions as a gift to the Lord by giving and helping those who are hurting on this earth.
Turn to Matthew chapter 25 verse 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with them, then shall he set upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the Kings say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of mine Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and you gave me meet: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was imprisoned, and you came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? Or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, then took thee in? Or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or imprisoned, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil in his Angels: For I was an hungred, and you gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you clothed me not: sick, and imprisoned, and you visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or imprisoned, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Notice now that salvation is not by works. That is the reason why I spent time to begin with on this. THOSE WHO ARE RIGHTEOUS WILL HAVE FRUIT! Having read this we are going to turn to the gospel of John chapter 21 verse 14. [We have been asking ourselves for a long time, show us Lord, anything that is wrong with our ministry. Show us, Lord. We are willing to change. We wanted change. As a matter of fact, last week and the week before, as we were praying here, we prayed, "Father God, pour out Your love upon us. Help us to love genuine Agape love." That has been our prayer. For years we have been saying this;we're tired of messing around with Christians. We're always messing around with Christians. We want to see people saved. We want new babies. I want to show you something here today. Babies grow into children. Children grow into teenagers. Teenagers are everything but lovely at times. How many times have you said this, "I wish the baby would stay a baby." They would go from baby to grown-up overnight. That doesn't happen.] This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yes, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. [Jesus used the word here Agape. He said, "Simon do you love me with a divine love?" Simon answered saying, "Lord, I love you as a brother." Peter did not have the Agape love; he had the Phileo love which means brotherly love. Jesus said unto him, "Feed my lambs." Do you love Jesus? Then feed his lambs. Who are his lambs? The children of God.] He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [Agape] thou me? He saith unto him, Yes, Lord; thou knowest that I love [brotherly love] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. [If you go the Greek text it says, shepherd my little sheep. First he said, "Feed my lambs." The babies. Then He says in the Greek text, shepherd my little sheep. The older ones. The third time Jesus speaks to Peter.] He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [with a brotherly love] thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love [brotherly love] thee. Jesus saith unto him, [in the Greek] Feed my sheep.
Jesus recognized that Peter did not have the capacity for Agape love. It was not in him. He could only go to a brotherly love. That is all Peter could muster at this time. The reason being is he was not yet baptized in the Holy Spirit. If you are not baptized in the Holy Spirit, you do not have the power for the Agape love. Agape love is a divine love that goes beyond the human capacity. It cannot be whipped into people. You cannot force them to have it. If they don't have it, they cannot give it. Notice the commands that Jesus gave him. [It is not brought out in the King James version.] First, feed my lambs. These are the babies. Second, shepherd my little sheep. This means to tend, guide my little sheep-the older ones. Thirdly, feed my little sheep. God showed this to me when I was preparing this message, that I grieved the Holy Spirit by saying I'm sick and tired of always having to change diapers on Christians, always having to pamper them and do all kinds of things. We have to mature the lambs and the sheep into full grown sheep. Jesus said, "If you love Me, feed My lambs, shepherd My little sheep and feed My little sheep." You have to give yourself.
I have an illustration. Michael and his wife are not here in church today. They are in the hospital in Roseville. Michael called me while we were in prayer this morning, requesting more prayer. He said, "We are exhausted." They have a little daughter who is 19 months-old. They had to take her to the hospital. One of the parents has to stay with her. They are exhausted. When you have a baby, it is not just the fun times. When the baby gets sick you cannot say, "I did not bargain for this sick baby. I want a healthy baby and a happy baby. I want to play with happy babies. Sick babies we put in the back room." No! As parents they have to give up their sleep. They have to give up meals. They will give up everything to hover over that little girl, to pray and comfort her, to make sure that little baby will grow up and one day be a beautiful young lady that will walk with Jesus Christ. How many of you had parents that did not give everything for you when you were sick, that nursed you back to health? We forget the many times they were there for us when we were growing up. This is what we have to do as a church. We have to have the attitude of loving one another. Where does the love start? It starts here. You may say, "Brother John, there are some people here in this church that I do not care for. Brother John, I have my mission field, but not here. There are some people here that I simply do not want to get involved with because I just don't like their attitude." WELL, YOU JUST MISSED THE BOAT! If you cannot love someone that is unloving, you do not have the Agape love.
I told you this story before and I will tell it to you again. There was a young lady who was in the seminary. She was training to be a missionary. Her dream was to go to Africa. She wanted to be a great missionary for God. At the seminary she was told that she was going to receive some training. She was to go into the inner city and work with the black community. She said, "Absolutely not." They said to her, "How can you go to Africa and minister if you cannot minister to blacks here?" She said, "Professor, you have to understand folks here are different. Africa is Africa; I can go there. Blacks here, I do not like them." She never did become a missionary. We're always saying to God, "I hate the city, the people around me, my neighbor; Lord give me someone else I can love." God says, "You are not going anywhere. This is your sandpaper. This is the one I want you to love and this is where you're going to graduate, to love that person with a sharp tongue. Do you know how hard it is to love someone with a sharp tongue? They just rip you apart. And you say, "I want to get as far from them as possible." Jesus said, "Go and love that person. Take that tongue and embrace it with the love of God. Let it melt in the love of God. The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us the power to give love to a dying world and to people who are unkind to us.
Please turn to the gospel John chapter 7 verse 37. [You know, as a pastor I am stuck here. You know that. I have to talk to everyone of you. I'm going to be honest with you. There are some of you that I enjoy immensely. Some of you I enjoy less. Some of you I am praying for. I am sure you have the same thing. I cannot do this and say, "We are going to have three kinds of membership here in this church: those that we love, those that we are working on and those unloving ones. We're going to have three sections: those we love, sit over here, those we love less, sit over there, and the rest of you sit in the back." We could even put a sign up indicating your place. We cannot do that. When you become a minister you have to love everyone. That is your job. That can be very tough. This means you have to die to yourself. A lot of people say, "I want to get into the ministry. I want to be a missionary or this that and the other." WELL, LEARN TO LOVE! Here is a good illustration: it is like having a pet skunk that has not been sanitized. You have this little skunk and you say to it, "Hi, skunk, I love you." As long as you pet him and keep him happy, he will not spray you. If you make him unhappy, he is going to spray you. If you have ever been sprayed by skunk, even your wife will not want you in the house. She will say, "You stay outside till that goes away." That is how we Christians can be at times. If we're not petted just right by our pastor or others of the church, we squirt them with poison-daggers in the back. You want to do all kinds of things to them.
WE HAVE TO LOVE THEM!] In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Jesus said out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. Where are all divorce couples coming from? People that were so happy on their wedding day, so in love, after a little while the word is D. divorce, separation. I did not bargain for this. I do not have to take this. What is wrong with you? Straighten up, MAKE ME HAPPY! If you don't make me happy, I'm going to give it to you. Now start making me happy. Of course you are going to have a spouse that is going to say, "Okay, I'm going to sing a song for you now. Be happy! Be happy!" No, what is going happened is this-the other person starts to attack you. We have to learn how to love.
Please turn to Matthew chapter 3 verse 11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I'm not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: [What is that fire? The fire is love.]
Please turn to the book of Acts chapter 1 verse 4. And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, you have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but you shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. [Verse No. 8] But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Power to pray! Power to preach! Power to love! The baptism of the Holy Spirit. If God so loves man, that He gave His only begotten Son for us, should we love less and do less with our lives? Turn to the gospel of John chapter 3 verse 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jesus came because the Father loves the world. Who did God love? The thieves, the crooks, the liars, the pimps, the prostitutes, the murderers, and who are they? Mankind. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. If God loves us so much, shouldn't you and I begin to love also? We have to begin to love the unlovely.
Please turn to the gospel of John chapter 8 verse 31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, if you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Years ago, before I was in the ministry I was a supervisor in an engineering firm. In our church in Salt Lake City at that time came a family. The husband was about 35 or 40 years old. He was an ex-preacher. He had bombed out of the ministry. He was divorced and got involved with someone else and remarried. He was trying to make a comeback. He could not find a job. I told him that I would help him find a job. I talked my supervisor, we had an opening. We hired him as a draftsman in our office. I trained him. He did not know how to do drafting. We trained him and paid him for it. For six months he learned how to do drafting and he was doing well. During this time I found out that he gossiped and badmouthed me. In less than one year everyone in that office hated me. I had to ride with him every day from Salt Lake City to where we worked. This was one hour to work and one hour back. I knew this man was a slim-ball. He would always smile at me and say, "Brother John this, Brother John that, how are you?" I knew what he was doing. I tell you what; I could not love him. I got so sick, that one day I collapsed and they took me to the hospital. They laid me out, I thought I was dying. I was dying of hate, anger, resentment, bitterness; I hated him! Of all the people who came to visit me in the hospital, guess who it was? It was the slim-ball. God showed me how to forgive him. I can say today that I have forgive him. If I see him today, I can genuinely hug him and say I love you with the love of Lord. This was part of my training for the ministry. The people that are slim balls, that are nasty and ugly, you cannot get away from them. There is only one thing to do; that is to release them. That means you have to fellowship with them on a daily basis. You have to forgive them, release them and love them through the Lord. It is through the baptism of the Holy Spirit that I could love that man and release him years later. We must die to ourselves.
Please turn to the book of Revelation chapter 12 verse 11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. [The word for love here in the Greek is Agape. They overcame him, that is Satan, by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death A new commandment Jesus gave us. To love.]
Please turn to John chapter 13 verse 34. A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. [Husbands and wives, this is where you start. If you cannot love your husband or your wife with an Agape love, you cannot have a mission job. You cannot love anyone else; it all starts at home. This is where it starts with those that are close to you. A new commandment, Jesus said, "Agape love." He did not say, "Phileo." He said, "Agape love." Unconditional! If you have skunks around you, you give them your Agape love, until they stop squirting you. Jesus said, "continue to love."]
In the gospel John chapter 15 verse 12 we read, This is my commandment, That you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that you love one another.
Love is not an option; it is a command. Jesus said, "Love!" Can you say that you love all the people in this congregation or whereever you are at? Or will you say there are some people that I do not care for. Those are the ones that you need to go and tell that you love them in the Lord. Do not tell them phony words, words that you do not mean. This is what revival really means.
In the gospel of John chapter 21 Jesus said to Peter, "Feed my lambs. Tend to my little sheep. Shepherd and feed my little sheep." Are you willing to be a loving disciple of Jesus Christ?
In Revelation chapter 20 verse12 we read [The people that are the hardest to love are those that are the repeat offenders. Those that have a continually sharp tongue. Those continually hurt you. Those are the worst ones to love. We can forgive them one, two, and three times, but after that we want to take them out. We want to do something with them, send them someplace, buy them a one-way ticket on a mission trip in some far country. We have to love them.] And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was open, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the Lake fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Do you understand that you and I were slim-balls at one time. We were ugly, dirty, no good, stinking and rotten. We were destined for hell. Someone loved us enough to give us the gospel. Someone loved us enough that they gave us hope. They cared for us. Someone loved us, will you do the same? If that person that is so ugly to you on the job, in your school, in your apartment building, in your neighborhood, do you know that, that person is destined for the Lake of fire and they will burn forever? Jesus died for that person. Are you willing to say in the name of Jesus, you hurt me greatly, but I'm going to love and I'm going to give them the gospel. We know the awful truth. We cannot escape. We have it.
In Matthew chapter 28 verse 18. [Jesus told us all to go out and tell the world. If you are like me, there are some people that I would just as soon would not get saved, so that they would burn forever. Don't you know people like that? When we say that we want them in hell, that is the spirit of Satan. God loves all people. He loves them all. There was a time when I persecuted Christians. In my hometown I broke into a Christian church. I stole things. I'm sure they did not pray and say, "Dear God, take that person whoever it is and have him killed." They did not know that someday that man would get saved, become a preacher and some 20 years later preach the gospel in their church and asked them for their forgiveness. Praise God, that no one wiped me out when I was as ugly as I was then.] All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. [We are to go and teach all nations.]
Turn to Romans chapter 10 verse 13. [There are times I say to myself that I will never speak to someone in this church. I get so angry at times. I'm being honest with you. I have said to my wife, "I do not want to have anything more to do with them. I will not even speak to them anymore." Then God begins to minister to me. Before I know it, love is coming into my heart and I began to love them again. That is the love of God. On our own we will hurt each other from time to time. We must learn to love and say, "Father God help us to be reconciled. Father God, help me to be so loving that this will not happen again." There is nothing that rubs me the wrong way more than incompetence. That is my shortfall. If you mess up that is fine, but if it is incompetence, do I get upset! You may not see it in my face that I'm very upset inside. I still have to love you.] For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet [Notice our feet are beautiful when we bring glad tidings of the gospel. Do you have beautiful feet? Do people say praise God here comes brother or sister so and so, they are bringing good news. God is looking for a people that are willing to love with God's deep Agape love.] of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
How do we give God's love? That is the question I asked you at the beginning of this message. We give it through the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the power of the Holy Spirit. There's not a person here today that does not need to ask for more love. We can never get enough love. We need love everyday. Every day we need to be baptized in love. My first question to you today is this. Are you saved? Are you born again? Have you received Christ has your personal Lord and savior? Have you been baptized in His love? Come to the altars today and let Jesus fill you with His Agape love and then let it flow out of you!
May God richly bless you is my prayer.