Greatest Preaching You Will Ever Hear!
It is an honor to be able to stand before you here in Times Square of New York City.
A privilege that I am undeserving and unworthy of. But my friends, each of us though we may come from a different place and location, speaking different languages, growing up in different cultures, identifying with different things and being led to believe and be deceived by different lies that are offered to us by this world. There is one truth that is an anchor for our feet, a foundation that will never be shaken.
The Lord is God sovereign over all of creation in every nation, throughout each generation.
God is above time, space and matter. The God who has no need for anyone or anything, but in love chose to make you and I.
He created us for a perfect and personal relationship with Him. We have been made in the image of a God who is everlasting. We have been created in the likeness of a being that is eternal.
Because of that our souls and our spirits will spend eternity somewhere.
We were created not just to believe in God, to acknowledge his existence. We were created to believe God, to trust in and depend upon his character, to hang on every word that he has spoken. But all of us, like sheep have turned away. We have all walked in our own strength.
My friends, there are consequences for our actions, repercussions for our rebellion, death and disease and destruction that was not part of God’s design or his desire for us to endure for our sin. It has brought suffering and sickness and sadness.
That was not what he wanted on this earth. And yet, in his deep and unfailing love God chose to make a way and he stepped in when he had every right to step back. And he is offering you the greatest invitation, the most important offering. That 2023 years ago was a pinnacle point of all creation the very culmination of all history and the crux of humanity. God fulfilled what he had foretold. He had provided for his promise. And he sent the Savior, this Messiah, the Anointed One whose coming into the world was no accident. It was not a happenstance or coincidence, but it was promised before the foundations of the earth. God sent Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the only one in whom we could put our hope.
He is not just a religious man that died for a good cause or this historical figure that laid down his life for something he believed in, but the Promised One, the one in whom God was pleased that Jesus Christ reigns as the visible image of the invisible God. And he said when you have seen me, you have seen the Father. He said, I and the Father are the one that you can put your trust in. Not religion.
No religion will ever save us. For the word religion in Latin, it means to bind.
Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, will never be a solution because they all offer the same foundation. Five Pillars of Faith, Four Noble Truths, Eight Full Paths and the Ten Commandments,…works. But nothing you and I could ever do could undo or out do the wrong we have done. No amount of money we could put in an offering plate, hours that we could serve in a temple, or prayers that we could bow down and pray in the mosque, can save our soul unless it is to the name that is above every other name. The path that God has paved, the way that he has made through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus came and said, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. So for religion in Latin, it means to bind. Jesus did not come to establish a religion, but to restore a relationship, to bring back what God had burned. That is an ember within our soul and our spirit. That the Commandments did not come to bring condemnation, but to bring revelation as a magnifying glass for our soul and our spirit, to recognize that every human being has turned away from the heart of God.
And my friends, whether our sin that we have become enslaved to, the addiction that we have developed is socially acceptable or unacceptable. In God’s eyes it’s detestable, because no loving parent approves of anything that divides them from their child. And my soul implores. And I plead and I beg you, and I cry out if you have not turned your heart to the heart of the living God. If you have not surrendered your soul to the one who has filled our lungs with breath and has graciously granted us to receive life. I cry out to you!
My friends hell is a reality.
And someone that loves us is going to be willing to warn us of what is up ahead.They’re going to be willing to speak about the truth and tell you what we need to hear, not just what we want to hear.
Jesus said, there is a broad road, the wide gate that leads to destruction, and many are on it. But he said, there is a narrow gate with a narrow path that leads to life, and only a few find it.
When they came, the disciples, they asked Jesus, Lord, master, teacher, will many people be in the kingdom of heaven? And it is then that the Savior of the world and Son of God made one of the most saddening, sobering statements in all of scripture. He said, no, truly, I tell you that many people would try to get into the kingdom of heaven, but would not be able.
It is not as though God was trying to make the path to heaven exclusionary.
For a certain amount of people know God’s desire. The Lord of all creation, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the Maker of the Universe and the Creator of Heaven and Earth. The Lord over Asia, Africa, Antarctica, North and South America, of Australia and Europe. His desire is that every human being would repent and come to be saved.
But it is not enough just to feel sorry for our sin. It is not enough just to say a few simple words. We must choose to respond with our life. And God is pleading with you.
My friend, today, in this day, the problem is not the drugs. It is not the alcohol. The problem isn’t with pornography. The problem isn’t with greed or love of money. The problem is that God is not where we need Him to be in our life because we’ve not allowed him to take his place.
We have kicked the Lord off the throne of our heart, and we have decided to walk in our own strength. We have decided to define our own terms what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is evil. And see, when a child goes away from their parent, they are led to destruction.
But Jesus said, that in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, we must have faith like a little child. Just as a four year old girl believes their parents to provide and protect her, so we are called to trust God to do the same. But we are guilty of idolatry that we have put people up on a pedestal, and we have idolized an athlete that’s no better a human being than you or I.
We are guilty of adultery, that we have put other things in the place of God, and we have worshiped and served created things, not the one who created them and will be forever praised.
See, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. But if we are walking without Christ and we are living without the light, and we are being led to believe and be deceived by the lies of the world, that will never bring truth.
But Jesus is the truth. He came to bring the life. Tomorrow is not promised, and that day is not guaranteed. Death is a reality.
Just as God warned Adam and Eve of the consequences, they chose to rebel and eat off that tree. So now, all of us are subject to death because we ourselves have walked in iniquity.
Death is the biggest fear of many people on this earth, and rightly so. For the physical aspects of death can be very painful. But there is an aspect of death that is something so much more costly than what can be experienced physically. It is eternal separation from God. Our souls and our spirits will spend eternity somewhere.
One day, we will stand before the Lord and every person will give an account. Every deed done, disclosed in darkness will be brought out into light, every word that’s been whispered underneath our breath, will be proclaimed from the rooftops.
And my friends, God is calling us because he takes this seriously. This life should not be taken lightly. In a brief moment, in a single moment, it can all be gone.
If we build our life upon our family, our finances, our friends and our future, it will fail us. But if we anchor our hope and build our life upon the foundation of the promise of the Word of God, he says, I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, along with all things in the earth, the plants, the animals, and most importantly, the people.
We are the only ones made in God’s image, created in his likeness with gifts and talents and abilities, experiences and opportunities.
My friends, regardless of what brought you to New York City this afternoon. Whether it be an annual family vacation that you take each year or it is an attempt to escape your mundane life. Regardless of how far you traveled, the mistakes that you’ve made, all the baggage and the burden that the world tells you you need to bear on your own shoulders.
Jesus said, come all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Our generation, we struggle with our identity and our purpose. We wonder why we were born, where we were born, how we were born, looking to please people, and win the approval of man, to be satisfied by things of the world. But our souls and our spirits, they long for something so much more than just temporary sustenance to sustain our stomach.
Every human being in the world is longing to live for something worth dying for.
But so many people in the world are truly dying and were searching for something that was worth living for. We’re looking for purpose and hope and identity and value. We’re all searching for belonging in our place in this world. But the saddest part is that so many people spend their entire lives surrounding themselves with the crowd in an attempt to never acknowledge how lonely they really are.
I am working, too, for the kingdom of heaven, for something that will last forever.
My friends, he loves you. But my friends, true love and is love that is willing to speak about what needs to be spoken of. And I’d so much rather be hated in the world for loving someone enough to tell them the truth than to be loved in this world for hating someone enough to tell them a lie.
My friends, hell is a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth, not just where a little devil runs around with a pitchfork and horns. God does not desire that anyone should go there.
In fact, he did everything he could possibly do to make a way for each human being to be saved.
30% of the world is still without access to clean water. Every 3 seconds, someone is dying of starvation. 20 million slaves in the world still exists with human laboring sex trafficking.
Oftentimes when people see suffering, we don’t recognize that the physical condition of the world is a spiritual condition of heart. God never created any of this to occur.
And people ask how God can allow this to happen? Why doesn’t a loving God do something about it? My friends, he has. 2023 years ago, God did everything he could possibly do.
Jesus Christ did not just die on a cross to fix the water crisis or resolve hunger. Jesus Christ did not just die on the cross to fix the surface of a problem, but he came to fix the root of the problem.
The greed, the selfishness, the pride, the hatred that is at the heart of every human being.
See, we have all lied before, that makes us a liar.
We have stolen things, that makes us a thief.
We have misused the name of God, it makes us a blasphemer.
But Jesus said, even thinking another hateful thought, harboring any hatred towards another human being within our soul is like committing murder in the Father’s eyes.
He said that looking at another woman with lust towards her in our heart is like committing adultery.
That means any bit of pornography is just as bad as cheating on your wife.
So we are guilty of breaking God’s commands.
And my friends, I will be the first one to admit it, that I have fallen short and I have missed the mark. I have such desperate need for the grace of God.
God knew when we were completely undeserving and unworthy, when you and I were dead in our sin and our transgressions and our iniquities, it is then that God chose to demonstrate his love. God said, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
God sent an initiative, that he gave a gift, a gift that we cannot earn or deserve or work for. A gift that has been freely offered and extended to every human being upon this earth.
But we judge other people. We look down upon others based on their flaws and their faults, their regrets and their past mistakes, thinking that we’re not as bad of a person.
But one day, my friends, we won’t be compared to the neighbor down the street. We won’t be compared to the person in the cubicle or office next to us. We will be compared to the Savior of the world, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who lived a perfect life. And God will uphold us to that standard of perfection.
He has every right to do so because we are made in his image and he is perfect. But Jesus said I am the vine and you are the branches.If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. But apart from me, you can do nothing. Just as a branch that becomes broken off from its vine, it withers up, it dries out, its fruit falls off and it’s thrown into a fire. So it is our life that when we become severed from our source, through our sin, all of our fruit falls off. Our life becomes purposeless and worthless. And the only thing that we’re useful for is be burned and thrown into a fire. The lake of burning sulfur, of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus Christ is coming back soon.
These times are a sign. Wars, famines, disease, pestilences, injustice among the nations, but upon the earth, every person will be given an opportunity to hear about His Word. And God is revealing himself through dreams, through signs and revelations that every person will one day be without excuse. No one will be able to say on that day, God, I didn’t know or I hadn’t heard. But God has made it publicly, plain and perfectly clear for all people to see.
He was not working in silence or in secret or behind the scenes. God made it publicly plain that Jesus Christ came and was beaten so brutally, marred beyond recognition, nailed to a tree and crucified for you. He cried out father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.
My friends, the hardness of our hearts, the arrogance of our minds, God will not be impressed by our intellect or our athleticism. God will not be surprised by the way that we impress people. He looks at someone who is willing to have a humble heart.
When we hear the word of God and become upset, it is because the truth is too close to comfort and we are uncomfortable. But when we hear the Word of God, we respond in one of two ways with hostility or with humility. When we respond with hostility, sticking up the finger or swearing.
See, the name of Jesus Christ, for so many people is only a cuss word in a time of contempt to express their frustration. But if that is the only time that we call upon the name of Jesus Christ, then whose name will we call upon in our hour of most need.
See, we have an advocate, one who is able to give an account. The innocent one who is judged guilty, so the guilty ones could walk free. That you and I, being covered in the filth and stains of all of our sin, can be washed in the blood of Jesus.
Come now let us reason with one another. Though your sin is stained as red as crimson and scarlet, the blood of Jesus can wash us as white as snow.
He can make that permanent damage and that destruction we have caused towards our soul and our spirit as though it had never happened before.
We can feel the breath in our lungs and the beat in our heart. And yet what are we doing?Gossiping about other people behind their back?
If you are willing to call upon the name of the Lord, if you are willing to lift up your voice.
My friends, let us declare with our mouth that Jesus is Lord. And believe in our heart that God raised him from the dead. When you choose to respond with genuineness in your heart, it will lead your life to change. And God will fill you with his very presence.
God will come into your heart. He will be your Lord, he’ll be your God. He will be your savior. He’ll be your very best friend.No matter where the wickedness of this world takes you, if you choose to turn away from it and walk in the way of the Lord, and in his word, you will have life everlasting. Call upon the name of Jesus. Lift up his name while he can be found!
In Jesus name. Amen.