CLJ E Message 161204 9AM

that invites you to open up your Bibles

with me to the book of Revelation

chapter 3 and as you know we're going

through the letters from Jesus to the

churches that begin the book of

Revelation these were specific messages

that Jesus spoke to different churches

because he knew that throughout the

centuries the devil was going to do

everything he possibly could to try to

neutralize the Church of God and Jesus

wanted to see his church be an

overcoming church until he cums so when

every letter Jesus usually starts by

introducing himself in some special way

a special vision of who he is and then

he would go on to usually save the good

things about that church and then he

would say but I have a few things

against you and then he would challenge

them to be an overcoming church and end

it with a promise but the church were

about to read about Jesus didn't have

anything good to say about them now I

know some of you are thinking okay here

we go again every time we go through one

of these letters were getting beat up

here but it's because God loves us and

he wants us to be all that we can be and

this church that we're going to read

about today from the city of Sardis is

one that was suffering one of Satan's

most creative and sneaky schemes you see

the devil had tried everything in these

other letters we read about how the

devil tried to squelch the church with

persecution he tried to intimidate them

but Jesus challenged Christians to say

be faithful even unto the point of death

and that persecution is just going to

make you stronger there were other times

where the devil would send false

teachers false apostles or maybe false

prophets like bayla more like a Jezebel

we talked about a couple weeks ago but

even then God says you're going to be

strengthened as you discern the lies

that the devil tries to throw you even

through people who seem like they're

speaking in the name of the Lord but

we're going to see

here the most insidious temptation yet

and that is the temptation that comes

with success the devil says I am going

to let them be a successful famous

Church and I'm not even going to waste

false prophets on them I'm not even

going to waste persecution because

they're going to fall fast asleep and

the devil knows how to let sleeping dogs

lie and so we're going to talk today

about the sleepy church the church that

settles for less the church that becomes

complacent and settles for reputation

over reality and that is fast asleep and

Jesus has a strong message for them in

apocalipsis apocalipsis Revelation

chapter 3 I was looking at the left side

of my Bible there Revelation chapter 3

verse 12 the Angel of the church in

Sardis right these are the words of him

who holds the seven spirits of God and

the seven stars I know your deeds that

you have a reputation for being alive

but you are dead wake up strengthen what

remains and is about to die for I have

not found your deeds complete in the

sight of my god remember therefore what

you have received and heard obey it and

repent but if you do not wake up I will

come like a thief and you will not know

at what time I will come to you yet you

have a few people in Sardis who have not

soiled their clothes they will walk with

me dressed in white for they are worthy

he who overcomes will like them be

dressed in white I will never blot out

his name from the book of life but will

acknowledge his name before my father

and his angels he who has an ear let him

hear what the Spirit says to the

churches god I thank you that you have

already begun to preach this message

among us Lord God I thank you Father

that you know how to protect

thus from the deadly poison of

complacency God we want to be awake we

want to be alive not just in name but in

reality and I pray God that is we read

this text and meditate on it together

Lord that you would minister to us that

this would be a prophetic exercise visit

us we pray Holy Spirit in the name of

Jesus amen amen complacency complacency

can be very very dangerous just ask an

electrician or a carpenter about what

happens when you get comfortable when

you get careless and you forget that

you're dealing with pretty high voltage

right the definition of complacency is a

feeling of smug or uncritical

satisfaction with oneself and one's

achievements complacency can kill you do

we have the picture of the guy reading

the newspaper yes we were you this guy's

complacent he's comfortable he decided

to sit down on a rocking chair and read

his newspaper because a train hasn't

come by here in hours I should be fine

until he dozes off and that is not the

best place to sit down and read a

newspaper complacency can kill you right

just ask King David Wright you know the

story in the Old Testament about King

David as a young man he's in the field

with his sheep he's singing Psalms he's

writing the Lord is my shepherd I shall

not want he's worshiping lord and you

can you could take the picture off now

so David is is worshiping God as a young

man fightin tigers and praying and God's

helping him out in the wilderness

remember David as a young man Goliath is

there insulting the people of god and

david says who does this guy think he is

insulting the p the god of israel I'll

take come on and then cuz I don't even

need your armor he just brings his

little slingshot remember that you know

then he's being chased by saw for all

those years he's running around he's

hiding in caves

he's praying and seeking the Lord and

God is protecting him and finally he

becomes king over all of Israel and he

wins battles and he brings the the Ark

of the Covenant into Jerusalem and

there's dancing in their celebration he

is the king of Israel he's a man of god

it's like Camelot everything is great

and he gets so comfortable that one

spring he decides when it's time for

Kings to go to war that he decides to

take a break right remember the story he

stays home right it's springtime he's

supposed to be off at war but instead

he's at home sleeping the Bible says he

got up from his bed from his nap in the

late afternoon so I don't know if he had

been up late all night partying and he

slept until late afternoon or if he just

decided to sort of have a second night

sleep but he was getting sleepy and lazy

and he goes up on the roof and he's

relaxing and he's stretching and I you

think we even have a picture of him up

there to have a picture of King David up

on the roof he's up on there and he

looks out and he sees through a window

or down below he sees a woman bathing

the wife of one of his great warriors

name Bathsheba and he had let his guard

down and he ends up committing adultery

and there he is there he is he's on his

roof and there's another one did it does

the other one where there he is that's

that's King David's Lego set of himself

on his there he is he sees something

because he's just chilling up there he's

relaxing and sleeping when he should be

fighting he became complacent and things

went sour for him now the people in this

city that received this letter thank you

my lad we can we can take poor thing

David off now that's good enough but the

people in Sardis should have known about

this because Sardis the city that

received this letter had been a powerful

successful city for centuries there was

a time when they were considered the

capital of the region and they became

complacent history says that in the year

549 bc under King Cyrus there was a

single mountain climber soldier who

scale the cliff one guy who snuck in to

a weak point of the city of Sardis and

went around and opened up the gates from

within and King Cyrus came in and

conquered that city about 200 years

later the same thing happened with a

little squad of 15 guys who snuck into

the city at night and opened up the

gates from within and again this was a

different king antiochus who conquered

Sardis by the time this letter was

written Sardis was a second-rate City it

was not so important anymore and God is

making a point he's saying as it

happened to your city it can happen to

your church be careful of complacency

complacency I was reading I found online

a little article about complacency in

the literature about business they call

this the rust out syndrome you've heard

of getting burned out and we never

struggled with getting burned out

because you're working so hard well

there's something even more dangerous

than burnout it's called rust out okay

and a guy named Richard lighter and

Steve Buckholtz that complacency is akin

to something called rust out rust out is

even scarier than burnout because while

burnout can wear down your body rust out

can wipe out your soul and spirit rust

out is the slow death that follows when

we stop making the choices that keep

life alive it's the feeling of numbness

that comes from taking the safeway never

accepting new challenges continually

surrendering to the day-to-day routine

rust out means we are no longer growing

but at best are simply maintaining rust

out is the opposite of burnout burnout

is overdoing rust out is under being

rust out and complacency means you

settle for less when our God always has

more

our God is never done with us the

beginning of this letter says that this

is what the one says who has the seven

spirits of God and the seven stars in

his hands what does that mean that God

has that Jesus as he speaking is holding

the seven spirits of God what's that all

about you ever wondered at the beginning

of Revelation it's addressed to the

people of God saying grace and peace to

you from him who is and who was and who

is to come and from the seven spirits

who were before his throne so these

seven spirits are actually in a way

writing the letter of Revelation seven

spirits of God we see it again as seven

lamps of fire that are burning before

the throne which are the seven spirits

of God so in other words the vision of

the throne you see the tabernacle you

see God seated on his throne and you see

a menorah with seven flames and the

Bible says those are the seven spirits

of God now where else in the Bible do

you read about the spirit being like

fire that divides into little pieces of

fire does that sound familiar to anyone

maybe on the day of can anyone yell it

out for me the day of on the day of

Pentecost the day of Pentecost the

Spirit comes wishing into the room and

divides into little pieces of fire on

all the Apostles it was one Holy Spirit

but multiplied over the entire group I

think the seven spirits are of God are

the one spirit of god that spreads out

around all the people on earth there's

another really weird vision in the book

of Revelation where the Apostle John has

a vision of a lamb looking as if it's

been slaying who's the lamb that looks

as if he's been slain right that's Jesus

the Lamb of God and he said he had seven

horns and seven eyes weird that is one

weird lamb okay which are the seven

spirits of God sent out into all the

earth the symbolic language the horns

the power of God the eyes are the

presence of God and the seventh Spirit

is the Spirit of God that goes out from

Jesus to cover the whole earth the Holy

Spirit is everywhere God pours him out

he is the Horn of Jesus the power of

Jesus and the eyes of Jesus among us the

Holy Spirit and the number seven in the

Bible is the number of fullness that he

is full he goes out everywhere and there

is no limit to what God can pour out in

His Holy Spirit it's like a bottomless

cup you know we've we read last year

about when Jesus turned the water into

wine and the Bible says he filled the

jugs big jugs to the brim six of them

big jugs of water turned into wine and

the man who tasted says you saved the

best wine for last where our God pours

out his spirit as the seven spirits of

God and he saves the best for last

there's always more of the Holy Spirit

to be poured out for a thirsty church do

not be drunk on wine but be filled with

the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit is one

but we can be filled with the Holy

Spirit more or less depending on what we

desire in other words we can have less

filling of the Holy Spirit or more and

it depends on you there's an interesting

story about a neighbor right remember

when Jesus said which of you you have

company who comes in the night you go to

a neighbor at night and you don't have

any food to put before them so you go to

a friend of yours your neighbor you

knock at the door and say hey I got

company can you lend me some bread to

feed them because I don't have anything

to give them and your friend says I'm

tucked into bed with my kids leave me

alone don't bother me and you keep

knocking jesus says I tell you the truth

he will not get up and give you what you

ask for because he's your friend

but because you're so annoying he will

get up and give you everything you asked

for in the Greek you're shameless

audacity and then Jesus says I want you

to be annoying with me okay he says ask

and you'll receive seek and you will

find knock and the door will be open to

you because everyone who asks receives

the one who seeks find the one who

knocks the door will be open he says

which of you fathers or mothers if you

have a son who asks you for a fish would

give him a scorpion or if he asked you

for bread will give him a stone if you

though you are evil know how to give

good gifts to your children how much

more will your heavenly Father give the

Holy Spirit to those who ask him we have

as much or as little of the Holy Spirit

as we want I want to pause there if

we're a Christian you have the Holy

Spirit inside you but if we are

satisfied with what we have then God

will leave us there he says I want you

to be unsatisfied and seeking more and

more and more and be filled every day

with more of the Holy Spirit he has the

seven spirits of God in his hand and

those seven stars represent the pastor's

of the churches and there is no limit to

the spirit he will pour out the question

is are we hungry for more the complacent

church has ceased to be thirsty they're

not thirsty anymore they're good they're

satisfied there's a lack of hunger and

when we do that we start starving to

death now the church in Sardis had

settled for success it says I know your

works jesus said that you have a name

that you are alive but you are dead they

had a reputation for being alive they

were famous but in reality they were

already falling asleep and there was

death setting in and I think of that for

us as a church right I'm so grateful

that our that password Roberto is never

her satisfied he's always going to push

us because complacency can kill us cuz

amen you can you can you can yeah yeah

cuz Lion of Judah you know what I don't

want to make too much out of us but you

people know about us especially in

Spanish circles right the mayor like

wants to come and hang out with us on

thanksgiving that's nice the governor's

come senator Warren came the governor

you know all these people want to come

right so where we have a name that were

alive if you visit cities around the

country and you talk about lyon dick

without especially in spanish-speaking

circles people have heard about us they

listened to the sermons on the internet

they're using the discipleship you can

go anywhere in the world and there are

people that you can find to know about

line of Judah we have a name for being

alive now here's the question are we are

we really you know the challenge in this

is a church that is alive is going to

want to constantly get drunk on the Holy

Spirit and I thought of this cool little

phrase instead of drinking the kool aid

of their own reputation right we want to

be a people that doesn't rest on our

laurels right a people that have the

reality and not just a reputation it

doesn't matter what people think it

matters what God thinks now the church

in Sardis was famous but they had fallen

asleep they'd fallen asleep I think I

might even have some pictures of the

people in Sardis who had fallen asleep

and they had probably fought hard to get

where they were right they had their

probably been amazing visitations of the

Holy Spirit they were there that's the

church in Sardis getting said the Holy

Spirit had been poured out among them

they probably had fought hard to become

the church that they were meant to be

and they were tired it had been a long

day and they were ready to sleep they

were famous they had already had a

harvest of souls they thought they were

done when God was not done with them yet

right there's a saying in spanish come

out on in case a the wet or may we have

a lot of spanish speakers here don't we

the commot anche SE the weather may

eva la corriente the shellfish it's

gotta be locked on the rock right if it

goes to sleep the current will just wash

it away if you're staying still you're

moving backwards right they thought they

were done already I'm going to ask you a

little question here how many people

here have heard of someone a very

important person in the Bible named Tara

how many people know who Tara is okay

one two three okay Tara I'll give you

another hint he's in the book of Genesis

he's in chapter 11 of the book of

Genesis I'll give you another hint he's

Abraham's father okay I guess I didn't

give you a hint I gave it away Tara we

know that he lived in a city called or

in the southern part of Iraq probably

near basrah around there modern day and

he got up the Bible says in Genesis 11

that he took his family in all his

belongings and he started on a journey

to go to Canaan which later becomes the

Promised Land of Israel right he was on

a journey and he was going north and he

was going to go around the sea to go to

Canaan and the Bible says but when he

came to her on he stopped and settled

there and then he died but his son Abram

received a calling to go to Canaan they

God said and I will make your name great

and i will make give you descendants and

a nation and through you all nations on

earth will be blessed now I've always

wondered about Tara why did he take all

his stuff and start heading to Canaan

and why didn't he make it why did he

stop halfway and settle in this place of

her on and I almost wonder I don't know

because the Bible doesn't tell us why so

I'm just guessing but I almost wonder if

God called him first and he got

comfortable along the way and then God

called his son to finish what his father

had started I don't know all I know is

he got to her on and he stopped there

he thought he had arrived the church in

Sardis had a destiny it had a calling to

fulfill and they were going somewhere

but somewhere along the way they got

comfortable and they settled down they

stopped in her on they had not yet

arrived yet and Jesus speaks to them and

says wake up be watchful and strengthen

the things which remain and are ready to

die for I have found your deeds to be

unfinished in the sight of my god you

think you've arrived but you haven't yet

your deeds are unfinished there is more

left to do now here's the question for

us here at Lion of Judah have we arrived

is this our destination buildings right

we got the big buildings took a lot of

work to get here all right a lot of work

took a lot of sacrificial giving a lot

of Prayer we're here we're in these big

buildings we have english we have

spanish that's nice that's great we've

been praying for that for 25 years have

we arrived is this it I guess I'll you

Paso Roberto did not lose all of this

sleep for this line of Judah I have good

news for you we're not done yet there is

a lot more that God has for this church

to do their God is the God who saves the

seven spirits of God and pours them out

without limit and he saves the best wine

for last this English service might seem

like something that is very small as

we're just getting it going and it's

just beginning but this is part of the

destiny that God has called our church

to fulfill and these are these little

steps but we're just getting started God

has more for us to do we built the ark

we've compared this to building an ark

right the ark is built but now it's time

for rain right let's see how this thing

floats right let's see what God has

really made us to do everything up to

now we could say

has been a rehearsal has been

preparation for the season to which God

has called this church I am so grateful

that we have many people who come to

this service this English service who

don't even speak much English but

they've been praying for this for 20

years and they come here because they

know it's part of the fulfillment of

God's le doy gracias por la persona que

vienen aqui que casi no habla ingles

pero saben que dios esta cumpliendo algo

entre nosotros y vienen para apoyar lo

por que quiera in very apoyo y lo que

dios quiere hacer but they come and they

support this because they know that God

is doing something that we're not done

yet we could have stayed comfortable but

God has called us to get uncomfortable

he's called us to complicate our lives

and glorious ways and to fan the fire

and rekindle that spiritual hunger that

God has for us getting back to see

Sardis had lost the eye of the tiger

anyone know the movie reference I'm

making when I say losing the eye of the

tiger I know I'm dating myself you seen

rocky right rocky started out right if

you're just imagine a boxer in in in

Philadelphia a young man the Italian

stallion right you know and he was

hungry to fight no one knew about him

but he was good and he drink you know

raw eggs in the morning remember glug

glug and get up at five in the morn he

go running and he run up the stairs yeah

no no not him via the other guy the

white guy yeah right the the Italian

let's do another picture of rocky the el

otro sososososo a key your hunger look

at those eyes do you don't want to mess

with him right right but then he won and

he was successful it watched the movie

it's good look it up on YouTube Netflix

whatever then he gets successful and he

starts wearing you know red white and

blue shorts and getting on talk shows

and he gets comfortable and relaxed and

he loses the eye of the tiger then comes

along the other guy Joe hora ahora vamos

para el Malo ESO con el Ojo

so yeah and then we got in clubber Lang

who comes he's got that I right he's got

the eye of the tiger right he's got it

no and he's like I'm gonna mess you what

bull mania and rocky gets beat up

because less el que estan mere and ova

mohammad RSO where they looking at each

other but nada el otro ano throw and

there's another one where they look at

there you go you see clubber lang is

looking right at him where's Rocky

looking he's looking down cuz he's lost

his edge believe me things didn't go

well at this fight but eventually he got

that fire back but what he had to do he

had to wake up he had to get back to the

old gym with his old buddies right

remember he had to go to the meat

lockers and punch the rod you know meat

and chase chickens around and do all the

stuff you had to do to become a lean

mean fighter again ya vamos esta bien

gracias and at the end though he did you

attend a MOS otro klk got en el Ojo otra

vez so then eventually he comes around

and he gets that fire back he gets the

eye of the tiger back churches can lose

that fierce intensity if they're not

careful they can get comfortable they

can get polite they can get too

civilized right we can't get too

civilized but it needs to be a raw

intense energy that is waking up that

fire and bringing it to life again

getting back to the gym where you

initially learned how to fight that gym

might be sweaty it might be dirty it's

not one of those you know yuppie gyms

you know where we all go it's it's a

nasty gym but that's where it's at

remember how you have received and heard

hold it fast and repent now it's

interesting remember a couple months ago

we talked about the church in Ephesus

that had lost its first love right and

they had to get back to their first work

this is similar to that but it's a

little different in the original Greek

it says here then you need to remember

not what you have received and heard but

remember how you first received and

heard now the only translation that

translates it that way is the King James

but that's what it says in the original

and I wonder if there's an intention

behind that you see I think they

remember the gospel I think they

remembered what it means to be a

Christian but they'd forgotten how they

felt and how they were when they first

received the gospel how did you first

receive the gospel were you cautious and

conservative and as a new believer what

was your how were you I was impossible I

shared some stories last time right

stomping messages in the snow around the

school hungry for God I love being

around new believers who can't get

enough that's part of why I love hanging

out with a young adult group so much cuz

they got that hunger to like jab tumne

yeah Leviticus ah Leviticus I want to

eat Leviticus they're hungry for

anything I will throw at them they're

just like yeah I want that I was 16

years old and I remember hearing

teaching about being baptized in the

Holy Spirit right they said that as a

Christian you have the Holy Spirit when

you get saved because you receive Jesus

and the Holy Spirit comes into you but

there's more that you can be filled with

the Holy Spirit you can get baptized in

the Holy Spirit and and and people can

lay hands on you and you can start

speaking in tongues speaking in other

languages you don't even understand and

and I heard this and I thought yeah that

sounds good I want that you know reminds

me my dog it we have a dog that will eat

anything anything in its vicinity this

dog ate my computer charger recently I

mean there were sparks it was he's

glowing now is he's going to be a

superhero dog I was like that as a new

believer you give it to me at my job i

want that are hungry hungry for the Holy

Spirit and I remember they prayed for me

and I'm like yeah I want to get filled

with the Holy Spirit and so they prayed

for me and we're all yelling and I'm

squeezing I'm squinting my eyes and I

didn't feel anything at all and I

thought

man and then a couple weeks later we

tried it again and people are singing in

jean de la bata bata you know they're

praying and you know pushing me and

nothing happened to me and I'm like come

on I'm hungry I'm knocking at the door I

want more of your spirit and I won't let

go and then I remember 16 years old some

people prayed for me there were some

adults in the room this time maybe God

was waiting for some you know adults to

be in the circle and they gave me

prophetic messages and and I went home

that night as I'm driving home I know I

shared this story halfway home I start

speaking words that I didn't even know

and I thought maybe I'm just making this

up you know it feels so normal so

natural I'm supposed to be in a trance

right I don't know I don't know but it

felt really natural but I'm speaking

another language and I get home and I

and it's flowing by the time I get home

and my mother looks at me funny and says

what are you doing at those meetings

over there huh apparently I had a look

of some sort and I told her I said mom I

now speak in tongues my mother right

little Italian mother now I've told you

guys this story before literal words

I'll tell you again she said don't tell

your father he'll call the child

psychologist those are her literal words

I've never forget that she might be

seeing this on the internet I'm sure she

hasn't forgotten either I was hungry you

know I never forget the day it was

december fifth nineteen eighty-four

right that's tomorrow the anniversaries

of that sets tomorrow december fifth

nineteen eighty-four but that was you

know but wait a minute before you clap

that was 32 years ago has anything

happened since yeah that night I mean I

couldn't sleep I was awake all night it

was like I was in love with Jesus I was

preaching to people in the library

people thought I was drunk that was 32

years ago though anything since then I

don't want to look back to 32 years ago

when you asked me when you were you

filled with the Holy Spirit I don't want

to say December fifth nineteen

eighty-four I want to say this morning

when I was worshiping God right because

there is always more

or there is always where God is the God

who has the seven spirits that he is

pouring out we need to never stop hungry

for more of God never stop growing as a

Christian the day we stop growing is the

day we start dying God's mercies are new

every morning and the best wine is still

cooking I don't know what you do to wine

fermenting now i'm not encouraging us

just to get busy okay although sometimes

the problem is we're not active enough

but i don't want you to just to start

running around and getting busy again

sometimes the best way to renew our

spiritual passion is to begin observing

something very ancient in the Bible all

the way back Genesis chapter 1 every

seven days rest in the presence of God

you see our God doesn't want us just to

be frenetically busy all the time God

wants us to rest when we should be

resting so will work when we should be

working the problem is if we don't rest

when God wants us to rest then we might

be rest resting when we should be

working i think i just talked to myself

in a circle do you get the message that

all those times where you just have a

date night with god so god I've just got

to get alone with you I'm just going to

rest with you again i'm going to read

your word and just be in your presence

and listen to worship music i'm going to

take a deep breath and let you renew my

strength and those who wait on the Lord

will renew their strength and if we do

that then we are more likely to stay

awake and do what God has called us to

do the board says therefore if you will

not watch I will come upon you as a

thief and you will not know at what hour

I am coming upon you now this is meant

to be a little bit scary I think I don't

wanna I don't want to water that down

the whole idea of a thief in the night

that if you know when the burglar is

coming you're more likely to be awake

and to keep that from

benning right and I think this is meant

to shake us up a little bit and I love

it the word for watchfulness is the word

one of my favorite Greek words Gregorio

Gregorio you can guess why it's one of

my favorite Greek words right and we

need to be watching it's a word that is

used of security guards right it just so

happens I was a security guard for many

years I know you don't believe it but I

was no mess with my insurance building

in the suburbs I i got the corporate

america was safe under my watch but we

need to be your only responsibility as a

figure your main responsibility is

simply don't fall asleep that's your

main responsibility very few of us did

it but and we got to beware of

complacency first Thessalonians says the

day of the Lord will come like a thief

in the night while people are saying

peace and safety destruction will come

on them suddenly we need to beware of

business as usual that can be hypnotic

almost to us jesus said two men will be

in the field one will be taken the other

left two women will be grinding with a

hand mill one will be taken and the

other left therefore you keep watch

because you do not know on what day your

Lord will come stay awake stay awake and

this is meant to be sobering but I

believe that is also meant to be a

joyful image we stay awake because we

are waiting for a thief that is a good

thief we are waiting not just for anyone

we're waiting for our Lord Jesus to come

back and I don't want to be sleeping

through that moment to you christmas is

coming soon right now in many cultures

you celebrate christmas on the

twenty-fourth on christmas eve in my

culture my mom is Italian so we did

Christmas Eve but we also did Christmas

morning and the way the lie goes is

Santa Claus will come in the night and

bring you your presence now did anyone

grow up you know believing that that

even some of us about half of us might

have done the Santa Claus that you can

admit it it's been many years I know but

you could

minute now here's another we have the

three kings to los tres reyes an LDS ice

de enero right do they come at night to

or do they sneak in while your way at

school they come in at night okay cool

same idea then right has anybody ever

tried staying awake to catch Santa Claus

were the three kings I don't anyone ever

never you think did anyone ever catch

them anyone know you tried staying awake

for that one now was that a horrible

burden to stay know you like you just

couldn't go to sleep because he's think

he's coming tonight I think that's

supposed to be our attitude towards

Jesus he is coming and I want to be

dressed and ready jesus said be dressed

and ready because it's not just the

three kings coming this time this is the

king that is on his way right the King

of Kings is coming back this is the one

you're really waiting for Santa Claus is

nothing compared to this right and Jesus

said be dressed and ready for service

and keep your lamps burning like

servants waiting for their master to

return from wedding banquet so that when

he comes and knocks they can immediately

open the door for him it will be good

for those servants whose master finds

them watching when he comes truly I tell

you he will dress himself to serve and

we'll have them recline at the table and

he will come and wait on them do you

want to sleep through that no that's a

good thing that's a happy thing that is

worth waiting up for now I want to take

some moments as we bring this as we sort

of bring this to a head here that part

of this means keeping our uniform ready

for the king who is coming Jesus says

you have a few names even in Sardis who

have not defiled their garments and they

shall walk with me in white for they are

worthy the uniform of heaven when Jesus

was transfigured on the Mount of

Transfiguration his clothes started

glowing with miraculous white light

shining exceedingly white the Bible says

likes no such as no laundry on earth can

whiten them you can't put enough bleach

on the clothes to make

them shine like that you need sunglasses

even to look the Angels when Jesus rose

from the dead and ascended were clothed

in white it's the uniform of heaven

Bible says that before the throne there

will be a great multitude which no one

can number of every nation tribe people

and tongue standing before the throne

and before the lamb clothed in white

robes white robes that they were wearing

before the throne of God now there were

a few people in Sardis who were dressed

appropriately for heaven in other words

their clothing had not been stained or

defiled they were wearing white now in

the Old Testament what people wore white

all the time not a bride I don't want to

send Bridewell the bride was white right

now can anyone know who were the people

who would wear white linen everyday

there John the priests the people who

serve in the the tabernacle with the

Shekinah glory would wear white linen

all in white now the high priest had all

kinds of fancy stuff he would put on but

a normal priest would just wear white

the white garment but in order for them

to serve their garment had to be clean

okay now that doesn't mean literal clean

for them in the Old Testament it meant

that they had to be ceremonially clean

if you want to go in and serve in the

presence of God you had to observe a

whole collection of laws to keep

yourself ceremonially clean you could

become unclean in a thousand ways by

touching a dead body on the on the

street when you're with there's a dead

animal or or your morning a dead person

you could become unclean by eating

unclean foods you had to be very

vigilant to be sure that you remain

ceremonially clean so that your garments

were appropriate for entering the

presence of God and inevitably your

garment would get defiled because every

II would become unclean at some point

but there were rituals that they would

go through to go through ceremonial

cleansing with offerings and cleanse

ease cleansing so that they were ready

to serve in the temple it was possible

to be a priest who was called to be a

priest who had priestly garments but who

had become careless in keeping their

uniform ceremonially clean and they

would be disqualified from entering into

the tabernacle or the temple to serve so

Jesus is saying that many of you have

become careless and you have not been

keeping yourself fit and ready to enter

in to the presence and do what you're

called to do there but thank God it's

never too late in the book of Revelation

Jesus talks about the ones who had

washed their robes and made them white

in the blood of the Lamb these are the

ones were before the throne of God and

serve Him day and night in his temple

now here's the message for us the

complacent church or a complacent

Christian stops doing the little things

to keep themselves ready before God and

then when the time comes they're caught

unprepared we need to get our uniforms

prepared because congregation line of

Judah you are not done yet we have more

to do God wants to pour out his spirit

and we are called not just to be a group

of religious people we are called to be

priests of the Living God we are called

to be a community that channels the

Shekinah glory of God on earth and that

is no small calling God calls his people

to be prepared the end of this is an

amazing scene where Jesus says I will

not blot the name of that person out of

the book of life the one who overcomes

will be clothed in white garments I

won't blot their name from the book of

life but I'll confess his name before my

father and his angels you see a merely

successful church

has a name on earth but an overcoming

church has a name in heaven has Fame in

heaven has done things that matter in

eternity now that's not a greedy kind of

Fame it means that it's a church that

has fulfilled its destiny in the

heavenly dimension in the Old Testament

there was the great prophet Daniel who

was famous he served under several kings

he was a famous man but that was nothing

compared to what an angel once said to

him they said Daniel you who are highly

esteemed see Daniel was famous in

Babylon but even more important that he

was esteemed in heaven angels talked

about Daniel God talked about Daniel

like he did with job have you seen my

servant job of course things didn't go

too well for him for a little while but

we know that being famous in heaven is a

good thing having a name that is

recognized because at the end of all

things the final evaluation of my life

and of your life and of this church is

not how successful we are numerically or

in other institutional ways the final

evaluation will come in a great assembly

at the end of all things the Bible

describes it in the Book of Daniel or

talks about Thrones that were set in

place and the Ancient of Days who takes

his seat his clothing was white as snow

his hair of his head was white like wool

his throne was flaming fire and its

wheels were all the blaze a river of

fire was flowing coming out from before

him thousands upon thousands attended

him 10,000 times 10,000 stood before him

the court was seated and the books were

open and the names were read I want my

name on that list right I want my name

in that book our names can be mentioned

in a thousand other places but that's

the only place that really counts thank

God we have a God who promises through

the blood of Jesus

that our name can be written there and

that is a graduation ceremony unlike

anyone you will ever attend right it

says you have come to Mount Zion the

city of the Living God the heavenly

Jerusalem you've come to thousands upon

thousands of angels and joyful assembly

to the Church of the firstborn whose

names are written in heaven and there in

that awesome place and there will be

surprises there will be some people

you've never even heard of and their

names will be read and there will be

thunderous applause of angels and Jesus

will confess their name before his

father and all the holy angels and he

will say well done good and faithful

servant I want my name read there I want

to have a name in heaven now as we bring

this to a close here I want to challenge

us we're going to close this time at the

Lord's Supper pastor Sam is going to

lead us in this time as a Christian it

is inevitable that our clothes get dirty

sometimes right we become careless thank

God the Lord has the best detergent in

the universe it is called the blood of

Jesus we need constantly to come to this

table not ever as a religious ritual or

routine but as a living encounter with

God where we remember his sacrifice and

we wash our robes and make them white in

the blood of the Lamb it's never too

late you're called to be a priest of the

living god you're called to fulfill a

destiny and whatever has happened in any

way you might have failed the gifts and

calling of God are irrevocable he does

not take it back he will fulfill his

purpose in you but you and I need to

come to the table and say Jesus I need

you now more than ever make me hungry

again help me remember how

I once hungered after you and Lord pours

out the wine of his spirit as we do so I

invite you to come before God with an

open heart pastor say and we'll invite

you and I'm going to pray just to

transition into this moment father in

Jesus name I thank you Lord that you are

not done with us yet God it is wonderful

to know that our deeds are unfinished

that our destiny is yet to be fulfilled

that if we are alive today it's because

there's more to do for you your father I

pray that as we come to the table right

now we would rest in knowing Lord that

it all depends on you and your cross in

Jesus name