Purpose For Your Life
We’re in Revelation, how it all ends, and we’re doing an expositional study of Revelation, which means we’re looking at the factors that help us interpret the Bible. The geography, the history, the culture that surrounds it, and the context within the Bible. We’re going to do all that today. What we’re looking at today is a question. With every one of these chapters, I asked myself a question. Do you, I’m asking myself, do you know God’s purpose for you? That takes me to Acts 17.
Get your Bibles, and look at Acts 17 with me, because I want to show you how the Apostle Paul shared the Gospel. When Paul shared the Gospel in Acts 17, he’s sharing it with pagan, unchurched, philosophical, genius people that lived in Athens and lived around the Parthenon and lived around the Acropolis and lived around the Agoura and the Roman forum and all the stuff that’s in Athens to this day. It’s still like the cradle of Western civilization and you all know that. How do you share the Gospel with those kinds of really smart people? They live around all those carved statues, and they don’t believe in your God. They don’t even know Him or care. How do you address them? See, that’s why Acts 17 is so beautiful.
It says in verse 22, “Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, ‘Men of Athens'” and goes through that whole unknown God thing. Look at verse 24. “God, who made the world.” When Paul shared the Gospel, he shared it with three points. He starts telling people that believed in evolutionary thought. Evolution did not start with Darwin; it is underlying all the ancient Greek thought. They believed that everything spontaneously came from something. They didn’t believe in a creator. There’s nothing new under the sun, Solomon said in Ecclesiastes and it’s true. Paul just flat out confronts them with the Creator and that’s what he starts with. The “God, who made the world and everything in it.”
Then he goes to verse 27 and look in the middle. He talks about this Savior Redeemer. Verse 27, “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” He says all of you need to reach out and seek, grope, look for your Savior. You need a Savior. He told them they needed a Savior. Why? Look at the last thing he says. Verse 30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world.” There’s the last point. You have a Creator. Your Creator came down and He is an arm’s length away.
That verse about groping. Do you know what grope means? It means you reach out and you try and touch. God is close enough to each one of us. If I’m going to grope this pulpit, I have to be, see I’m that close I can get it. God is an arm’s length away from every human on Earth, including the Peruvian lady that was scared of the war that cut my hair and asked me if I knew God. God was that close to her. He was knocking. She said I ask Him to help me know Him. To send me someone. It’s wonderful when the person says He sent me you. I thought, wow, she connected the dots and she’s reaching out for the Lord.
If they don’t reach out, He’s going to be the judge. Look how this affects our purpose. Did you know, first of all, that those three points Paul uses are the outline of the whole Bible? The first two chapters of the Bible introduces the Creator. As soon as humanity falls into sin in the third chapter of the Bible, He starts revealing Himself, not just as the Creator, but the Creator that’s walking around trying to rescue them. Remember, where art thou God said to Adam and Eve in the garden. That’s the Savior Redeemer. That’s what all of the Bible is about until you get to Revelation 5. It’s about Jesus coming to seek and save the lost and that He is the Savior. The Creator just two chapters, but boy, that Savior Redeemer is a massive part of the Bible.
In Revelation 5, it switches to the judge and that’s starting in chapter 6 to the end. That’s the outline of the Bible, but if we know who the Creator is, that means we were designed by Him. See this is the ultimate series of answers to the questions that people have all over this world. Everyone’s asking, how did I get here? Why am I here? Where am I going? Those are called the fundamental basic questions. No matter what culture you’re from, whether you live up in the steppes of Mongolia or whether you’re in the Amazon basin, you wonder how you got here. It’s more than yeah, that’s my tribe and my parents, but I’m talking about how did my existence begin and why am I even here? Especially if you live somewhere where life is very cheap and people around you are dying and starving or being blown up. You wonder, why am I even here? Then everybody wonders where they’re going.
The Bible says we were designed by Him, that’s our Creator. Those who reach out to the Savior are bought by Him. The judge means we’re answerable to Him so that answers the question of my origin. How did I get here, my purpose, why am I here? My destiny. That goes back to why we’re even in this class. We’re in this class to study Revelation. Revelation is asking us a question. Do you know your purpose? Do you know your purpose while you’re here? That’s what we’re looking at because of the book of Revelation. It was written to a specific targeted group of people that extends to us to this day because we’re part of them. If you’re a Christian, you’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ that He bought.
When Revelation says “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” that’s the local gatherings of the body of Christ. The book of Revelation is the most directly written to us book in the Bible. All the other ones were written to the people of Galatia or the people that were living in Pontus, Cappadocia, and Bithynia, Peter’s audience. Revelation was written to those in the churches. That’s all of us anywhere, always. It tells us Jesus is looking for something.
This is very important for your quiz. For your quiz, which will be the first thing Thursday morning. What day is today? This is Wednesday so tomorrow morning. I don’t know how you do quizzes here. I sent it off and they’re going to get it to you. I think it comes on your computer, I don’t know, but this is very important. This is the outline of the book of Revelation. I’ve shown it to you in an animated way and I’ve shown it to you in a chart way, but just in your mind, think about the fact that the first three chapters are all about Christ’s Church on Earth. Jesus is visiting the Church; He’s walking around the Church. In the first three chapters, the Church is on Earth.
Then all of a sudden, there’s this dramatic shift in everything. We go from these churches struggling with sin and everything else and all of a sudden, we see this rainbow encircled throne that looks like one of those fair exhibits where they have the electric sparks coming out of the ball. That’s what the throne looks like. There’s lightning proceeding out of the throne and rumbles of thunder and there’s fire. Pillars, seven of them, burning like giant torches in front of this throne. Then we see the majesty on high. Things have changed and that’s the second part. Revelation 4 and 5 show the Church in Heaven and they’re actually getting down on their faces and bowing down.
I shouldn’t say them, it’s we. When you get to chapters 4 and 5 you’re looking at the future. How do we know that? Because Jesus said it in verse 19 of chapter 1. He said I’m going to show you things which will come in the future. We’re seeing ourselves in the future. Do you want to know what you’re going to be doing in Heaven? One of the clear things we’re going to be doing is bowing in wonder in front of our Creator and Redeemer and Judge and worshiping Him. That’s the second part.
Then all of a sudden, the anvil, boom, hits. The Tribulation events. That’s the biggest part of the book from chapters 6 to 18. In the second event did you notice it says Revelation 4 and 5 under Christ’s Church in Heaven. Then it says 19:1-10. All of a sudden, the Church shows up again in chapter 19, getting dressed and ready to go on a trip to Jerusalem. Jesus, in chapter 19, gets everybody at the banquet and gets them all already. It’s the only time Heaven is emptied. How do we know that? Because Jesus said it in Matthew. He says when the Son of Man comes and all the holy angels with Him. It’s the only time He empties Heaven. That’s His Second Coming. He brings all the angels with Him and all the saints. Jude saw this, remember, quoting Enoch. “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints” in the book of Jude quoting Enoch. We see the Church twice, in chapters 4 and 5 and 19:1-10.
At the end of the Tribulation, the fourth event starts, that’s Christ’s Second Coming. That’s the second half of chapter 19. Then we have the earthly millennial rule. Everybody, I want to show you something. I met someone that told me they were from Holland, Michigan. I thought, wow, you need to mark this in your Bible because that’s like the Christian Reformed Church capital of the world. One thing that 1/2 of all Christianity believes is there’s not a millennium. They’re sure of that. Isn’t that Interesting? Let me show you something, what it says in chapter 20. It says in verse 2, “He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for,” does anybody have your Bible open? What are the last three words of verse 2? Read it out loud. Does anybody have verse 2 of Revelation 20? Does anybody have a Bible in the room? There we go. Good. Don’t forget what you just saw. Look at verse 3. “And he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” Very good, that’s the second time. Thank you.
If this was a traditional classroom, I would give you the apple. You know how the students give the teachers the apple, I’d give you the apple. Thank you. When “the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw” verse 4, “thrones, and they sat on them… then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded…[by] the beast.” It says at the end, “they lived and reigned with Christ for,” ah, it’s the third time. We’ve found it for the third time. Verse 5, “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished.” Did you know that the word millennium is not in the Bible? Okay. That’s what the CRC says, that’s what Martin Luther said, that’s what Calvin said, that’s what the Methodists say. Do you know what I mean? That’s what the Anglicans say. That’s what the Roman Catholics say. They don’t believe in the millennium. They’re a-millennialists.
Word of Life, by the way, is called a dispensationalist school. You all know that, right? Because of the doctrinal statement, you had to sign saying that you agreed with it. Do you know what I mean? When you came here. What’s the difference between the Holland, Michigan, covenant theologians, the Reformed Church of America, and Word of Life? What is the principle difference? It’s theological that there’s a difference. One group does not believe there’s a future 1,000 year reign. We’re only on the fourth time, by the way, it says it more than four times, it’s six times in this chapter that it says a thousand years. Okay. The difference is the covenant theologian people do not believe there’s a future for Israel. The dispensational people that read the Bible just believe that a thousand years means a thousand years. Did you know that 28% of the Old Testament talks about what Israel is going to be doing during this period?
If I ask you when or where do you find the millennium in the Bible? Look on the screen and tell me what chapter and verses it would be. Everybody read aloud what’s inside the parenthesis on point number five. Chapter. Verses. If you’re ever talking to someone and they say, do you go to a school that believes in that millennium stuff, did you know that word’s not in the Bible? You go, oh, I know it’s not in the Bible. I’ve read the Bible a lot of times. I know it’s not in the Bible. First, that’s very disarming to them. They go, oh! I thought you believed in the millennium. I say, oh, I do believe in the millennium because when the Bible was translated into Vulgate, which is into Latin, by Jerome who lived in Bethlehem in the 3rd century, when he did that, he translated Greek into Latin. The word for a thousand years is Milleanum. M I L L E means a thousand and anum, A N U M in Latin means years. Just like the word rapture is not in the Bible. You’ve learned that, right? The word rapture is not in the Bible. You can use your logos. Do you guys still use logos? It’s not in the Bible. Neither is the millennium, but both of those words come from the Latin translation by Jerome of the Vulgate, which the Catholic Church still uses. That’s how they got it into our language. Okay.
What is in the Bible is harpazo. I heard Mark Strout talking about it yesterday, right? You guys were listening to him too. He used that Greek word, but when you translate harpazo in Greek, into Latin it’s rapturos. Oh, there’s the Rapture. It’s the Latin translation of the Greek word. When you translate the thousand years in Greek into Latin it’s muleannum, which is the millennium. Number six, the final rebellion. That’s the second half of the chapter and the great white throne. Then finally we get to Heaven.
I’ll give you a quiz. You can look at the board. If you’re talking about the Church on Earth, what chapters of Revelation are they? Chapters…very good. If you’re talking about the Church in Heaven, what chapters are those? Good. If you’re talking about the Tribulation, what chapters of Revelation are those? Very good. Can you do this without looking? That’s going to be the question. When you’re talking about the Second Coming of Christ, where would you find that in the book of Revelation?
Did you know that it multiplies your retention when you use multiple senses? If you see something and you say something and you hear something, it’s really stuck. Any of you that want to keep saying these things with me, you’re learning this, believe it or not. Where is the millennium in the book of Revelation? 1 to 6. Very good. Where do we find the rebellion and the great white throne? If you want to understand Heaven and see what it looks like and see what we’re going to be doing, where do you look? That’s going to be on both of your quizzes and your tests.
Let’s jump in. I’m going to be in Revelation 1 starting in verse 14. Remember to do an expositional study. We have to decide who is the intended original target, even though it still is very applicable to us. Who did God write this to originally? He sent it to John to deliver to these seven churches. Why? Because most likely those seven churches were planted out of Ephesus. Ephesus was the megachurch. We’ll see that as we study.
Look what it says in our little passage we’re looking at from 14 to the end. Jesus starts introducing Himself. Let me open my Bible to chapter 1. I want to read to you what He says in 1:17. “When I saw Him,” John’s giving his testimony, “I fell at His feet as dead.” Wow. That should make you pause. This old man is one of Jesus’ earthly best friends, when he saw Jesus it just paralyzed him. It’s like he had a stroke. He felt like he was dead. That means you don’t even move. “He laid His right hand on me.” That’s really neat. The Gospels record that Jesus was always touching people. He is the One who was in touch. You talk about being in touch. Jesus touched the lepers. Jesus touched dead people. Jesus touched people from the street that were defiled. The Jews believed if you touch someone that their wickedness entered you. For those that had faith, did you know, that’s the best description of the biblical doctrine of imputation and justification? Jesus imputes to us His righteousness, but He justifies us because when He touches us, He absorbs our sin and takes the punishment that our sin deserved and the record that we even sinned. However, I’m not teaching through the Pauline doctrines of salvation so I will just stop right there, and you can study justification on your own. He touches people as a picture that He takes their sins and their sorrows, as the hymn writer says, and He makes them His very own.
God punished Jesus on the cross like He committed every one of my sins. The instant that my sins were laid on Christ, God didn’t have a record anymore that I did them. That’s why God calls us today, sitting in this auditorium, saints. If the Lord was writing a letter today to you, He would say to the saints that are gathered in the JWC, is this JWC? You guys use initials for everything. Is this called JWC? To the Saint gathered in the JWC. What are you called in God’s estimation? Saints. How does God look at every one of you sitting in these chairs right now? If He was to describe you with one word, His word is you’re a Saint. Do you guys feel like saints? Kobe. Do you feel like a Saint? Does God think you’re a Saint? No, none of this, shaking your head no. God says, if you have called on the name of the Lord if you have received Jesus Christ, all of your sins past, present, and future are all on Christ. Jesus was punished by God like He committed every sin that I ever committed. Once it’s punished the record that I did anything to merit that punishment all goes onto Christ.
God sees me as if I’ve never sinned. God will never, even in the future, point His, now He doesn’t really have fingers, but God the Father will not point His finger at you and say, do you remember what you did? He doesn’t do that. He says, I put all your sins on Christ. That’s why we’re saints. When you see the One that did that, it’s overwhelming. John saw Him and fell down like he was dead, but then look what he said in verse 17. “Do not be afraid, I am the First and Last.” We start going into all these I Am’s and note the sequence. John fell down and Jesus laid His hands on him, which reminds him of that whole process of Jesus’ compassion and love and how He took our sins. John, who already had recorded seven I Am’s in the Gospel by John records, eight I Am’s in Revelation. As you’re reading, you can find these.
Remember I told you that I’ve read the Bible through. I read it once a month for years until I got to a hundred. For eight years, I read the Bible through once a month until I got to my 100th time. It took eight years, and one month. Every time I look for something. This is one of the things I look for. Every name, title, and description of God. He is the rock. I marked every one of those with a blue highlighter, and all of the other titles and descriptions and everything. Then He goes through a lot more. Verse 18. “I am He who lives and was dead.” There’s my list. I just found these as I was reading through.
What chapter 1 is all about is God wanted John to see Jesus clearly. He wanted him to see Him as the One that the Bible reveals. We already know that in Genesis 1 and 2 say He’s what? Creator. Jesus is your Creator. It’s amazing to think about. In chapters 2 and 3, when He walks around the Church, He’s committed to making us useful in our days. Why? Because He said you were bought at a price. I’m your Redeemer. See the One who bought us has a plan for us. You go to Walmart and buy something. You don’t usually buy it just because you want to waste your money. You have a plan. You’re going to either drink it or eat it or use it or wear it or listen to it. You’re buying stuff with a purpose. God bought us. That’s what Redeemer means.
Then, as we get into the future, which starts in chapter 4, God wants us to know His kingdom rules in Heaven and on Earth. That’s why it keeps fluctuating back and forth. God says I’m ruling over everything, even though it doesn’t look like it, from your perspective. It looks like the Russians right now are butchering people in that one city that’s in the news all the time, where they’re digging up more people and finding them in the basements and horribly tortured and mutilated. That’s on the news. There are a lot of people that are saying where’s God? He hasn’t moved. He’s still on the throne and is still reigning. He is working all things together for the good of those who know Him and love Him. He is letting other people see how horrible sin is because that’s what causes war. Satan came to kill, John 10 says, and steal, John 10 says, and destroy. Jesus said I didn’t come for that. I came to give you abundant life. That’s what the outline of Revelation was, Jesus was revealing it.
When I’m studying in my half hour of each chapter, I thought what are those I Am’s in the Gospel by John? I wrote them down. Jesus said I Am the bread of life in 6:35, and the light of the world and the door of the sheep and the good shepherd and the resurrection, the way, the truth, and the life and the true vine. Then I started thinking about what does that mean? You know a lot of times we just think of the facts, and we don’t think of the implications or the application. I wrote if Jesus is the bread of life, He sustains us, but without Him, we only are hungering all the time. Do you know what one of the most deeply felt things is? It’s hunger. When you’re hungry, you feel it was your whole body. Do you know what Jesus says? If you don’t have Me, your whole world is hungry. You are living a constant unsatisfied hunger. If you don’t have Me as the light of the world, you’re impenetrable darkness. You don’t know what’s going on. If you don’t have Me, if you don’t come in and let Me admit you to life, you are excluded forever. Have you ever been going somewhere and they shut the door? Going to visit someone in their room and they shut it, or everyone got in the car and shut the door, and drove away, and left you outside. That’s being excluded. Jesus said apart from Me is hopeless exclusion, I’m the good shepherd. You don’t follow Me and let Me care for you that you’ll be wandering for life. Do you understand? I just wrote down all the implications of these.
Here’s another thing, quiz time. Everybody sit up. Some of you need to sit up. Do I need to start doing my youth pastor thing and walk down the rows to wake some of you up? Should I walk down the rows and stand by the rows of those of you who, as soon as I start talking, go to sleep? Would that help? You’re very kind in the front row or should I really do that to them? No. Okay.
Did you know I was a bad professor? When I taught at the Master’s Seminary with John MacArthur in 1987, the first class coming in were so excited, there were a hundred of them. Men moved to Los Angeles to become pastors and be like John MacArthur. They all were so excited. They were in the seminary, and I was teaching. They used to fall asleep all the time because they had families and most of them went to class at 8:00 AM. They had worked all night as a security guard to earn enough money so they could afford their family being in Los Angeles. It was just horribly expensive. I started noticing all these people falling asleep in class. In a very calm voice that wouldn’t wake up anybody that was falling asleep, I would say, okay, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to look at you. If you’re sitting right next to someone that’s sleeping, I’m going to look at you and point to you. What you do is you lean over to them lightly, bump them a little bit and say, he asked you to close in prayer. I said, would you do that for me? Everyone awake agreed. I would be teaching along and after about 45 minutes they’d bump into the person sleeping and say he asked you to close in prayer and right in the middle of my lecture this poor fellow would stand up and say, Lord, we’re so thankful. This is such a wonderful class. He would go through this great prayer, and everyone would be snickering. He would say, I was sleeping… wasn’t I? He’d sit back down. About the third one I did like that, guess what? Everyone stayed awake the whole class because everyone was pinching themselves. They didn’t want to be asked to pray and know if they were supposed to or not.
Here’s quiz time. Everyone, look at that. See this? Close your eyes. Some of you already had them closed. How many books did John write? Say it out loud. Okay. Very good. You can open your eyes. When he wrote the last one, which is called the book of Revelation, it’s the only book in the Bible in which the first words are the title. Did you know that? What did we call the last book of the Bible? What’s the first verse say? The Revelation. It’s really neat. I told you yesterday, what’s the last line say? This is the only book in the Bible that says what? If you read it or hear it, what? Very good. You get an A, but some of you say it out loud, louder. Okay. If you read it or hear it, you’ll what? Very good. See, now you’ve seen it, you’ve heard it and you’ve said it so you should remember it.
We have exactly 10 minutes to cover 11 slides so one minute per slide. God unfolds a message about the future in three phrases. If you look at verse 19, look at verse 19 of Revelation 1. The Lord says specifically, “write the things which you have seen.” That’s chapter 1. “The things which are,” that’s the churches in chapters 2 and 3. “And the things which will take place after this.” That’s chapter 4 and on. That’s the outline. This is one of the few books that contain an outline in the book. The book of Acts has it too. You shall be my witnesses in what? Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria. Yeah. See, that’s another self outlined book. Okay. Isn’t it amazing that Jesus explains the calm around the throne before the chaos? Isn’t that interesting that the future starts in chapters 4 and 5 with Heaven and everything?
Basically this, and I’ll animate it for you. 1 through 3 is the Church on Earth. They’re raptured, the word that’s not in the Bible, but the truth is. They come before the Bema seat. I’m going to talk about that in a little while. While they’re up there the hammer strikes the anvil and it’s ended by the Second Coming of Christ who comes to rule for a thousand years. The word millennium is not in the Bible, but a thousand years is six times. I heard you say it. The rebellion, the great white throne, and Heaven.
Really what are chapters 2 and 3? 1, and then in the next few classes 2 and 3, all about? What does God want His Church to do as the Earth dies? By the way, the Earth is dying. You know that there are earthquakes in the strangest places. We can blame it on fracking in Oklahoma, they’re doing it, or Texas. It doesn’t matter what’s precipitating it. The reality is no matter what anybody says, the Earth is dying. There are fewer fish, there’s less breathable air. Did you know that birds fall out of the sky in Mexico City because the air is so polluted and they have such little lungs that if they breathe it too long while they’re flapping along, it just kills them? It’s terrible. That’s what’s going on in our world.
What are we supposed to do? Save the birds? There’s nothing wrong with taking care of your animals, but what was the mandate that our Redeemer gave us as His Church? See that’s what we’re looking at. One thing is if you belong to Jesus, He wants you to know two things. Everything is very simple with Jesus and it’s just like parenting children. I parented eight children and the kids always knew that everything was either pleasing to dad or not pleasing to dad. I didn’t have a middle ground. What they would do is they would be running off, scampering off, to do something. Every little two year old usually does this as they’re running to do something, they look at you. What does the Bible say parenting encompasses? It says that a good parent guides you, it says in Proverbs, with his eye as the Lord wants to do. Daddy would be over here and the little one would look at me and I’d shake my head no. Then you’d see their little, tiny bodies slouch down. They were going between should I please Him or please myself. You could tell that struggle was going on.
Did you know nothing has changed? You’re a Christian now and every time you’re headed to do something that God, in your conscience, is saying you shouldn’t be doing, we pause. We look at the Lord and we think about whether we want to please you or please ourselves? See, there are only two choices on the shelf, pleasing God or pleasing self, and that’s the whole Christian life. Jesus gives us seven types of believers. Did you know, in this room you are one of these seven, because these are the seven churches. Either you’re distracted like the Ephesians were, or you’re being refined by struggles like the Smyrnians, or you’re compromised like the Pergamos people that had secret sins, or you’re deceived like the Thyatirans or you’re dead, stupefied. That’s what Jesus says to the Sardians. He said you’re dead. Either you’re dedicated like the Philadelphians, or you’re uncommitted like the Laodiceans.
Did you know, in every church from the 1st century till today and until Christ returns that’s the makeup of the congregation. Are you going into the ministry? You’re going to have seven types of people in your church. I’ve been a pastor for 3.8 decades. That’s what I had in every church, that list. Do you know what our goal is? To get them as they’re running off to do some uncommitted, distracted thing, to look back at the Lord and go, whoa, I want to please You. That’s how they turn from distracted and compromised and deceived to dedicated. That’s what the Lord wants.
Next, we’re called to reflect Christ’s light in the world. Look at verse 20. Look what it says. “The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the Angelos,” the messengers, they’re the pastor elders “of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” What’s our purpose as a church? To be a lamp in an ever darkening world.
What’s our problem? The book of Revelation tells us the seven greatest problems every believer is going to have in the last days. What are they? We could be like Ephesus, we could be coasting and not pursuing Christ. Or, we could be like Smyrna, we could be fearing our persecution. Or, we can be like Pergamos, desensitized by sin. Or, like Thyatirans, enslaved. Or, like Sardis acting like a lost person. Or, like Philadelphia. Remember He said, you’re of little strength but go through that open door. When I sat there at that Peruvian hair cutter, I had a choice. Did you know that all the other people in the barber chairs were listening to me? They all stopped talking when she said, do you know God? It got quiet and I could have said a tapered block around the ears, please, and not walked through the open door. Or, we could be like Laodicea, distracted.
Just before we go, I have two minutes and 30 seconds, let me just tell you one quick story. I got an email. I think it was maybe a year ago. This person said you don’t know me; I live in London. They said I’m probably your age because I’ve seen you. I thought what a strange email to get, someone in London has seen me. She said I went to every concert starting with the Beatles when they launched in ’64 or whatever year it was. She said the Rolling Stones and Queen, and she said I’ve been to every concert. She said I went there to get stoned, to get drunk, to get high and she said to get, I don’t know if you’re supposed to use all these words here, but to get laid. She said I was going there to find a guy and spend the weekend with him and to do drugs and to drink and to have sex and everything. She said then at the end I would buy the album and she said I had every album of every concert in England that I’d been to with the date on it. She said I had the album covers on my wall. That was the decor in my house. I thought, what an interesting note to get from someone. I’ve got a tour of somebody’s house in London. She said six months ago I was riding home from a concert. She said I’m in my 60’s and boy, you don’t get as buzzed anymore. You don’t move as fast and you stay away from a lot of that stuff, but I went to another concert hoping to have a buzz. I was on my way home riding the subway to my apartment and I started thinking, you know what? You’re old and you’re sick and you’re hopeless. She said, I typed into Google, hope. Just the word hope. She said, all of a sudden, I turned my phone sideways and I put in my earbuds, and you were talking. She said you were talking to a musical concert group. She said it was really short, just a few minutes, and I thought I’m going to watch this. She said I was watching it like this on the tube. You told all this, and then you said, bow your head. She said, I was just sitting there, and I was really into it, so I bowed my head.
Then I said, God is not far from anyone. If you grope, He’s within an arm’s length of you. Just reach out to Him. She said I reached up like this on the subway in London. If I saw someone in a seat in front of me raising their hand with their head down, I would have probably moved back a couple of seats, wondering what are they doing? She said I reached out to God. She said, do you know why I am writing to you? She said my life has utterly changed in the last six months. She said, I just came up from the bin, she called it, the dumpster. She said I took all of my things down from the wall. I don’t want to remember that sin anymore. She says, I’m watching all the classes you have online. I found a church and I’m getting people to come to Christ. Did you know, you’re surrounded by people like that every day? All we have to do is be a lamp for them.
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