Articles

From Weeping to Whipping (Part 2) – Tim Conway


I want us to experience Christ
more than anything. I want us to know His presence. I want us to know His power. I want us to be familiar with
the workings of His Spirit. I want us to fall more deeply in love. I want us to know more of the cross. I want to be able to enter in
more with His heart. That’s why I wanted to set Christ
before you yesterday. That pattern. I want you to see Him. I want there to be something of the Spirit of God working
through what we see, burning in Him and have
that etched upon us. I desire that. And one of the texts
in the Scriptures that I keep coming back to in my mind over and over and over, Lord, no matter what
You give us; no matter if we see conversions; no matter if we’re
allowed to have the privilege to be able
to plant churches or go to the mission field or send guys out. If we see these young people,
and they’re coming to us and they’re burning
with a passion; I love those things! I don’t want those things to go away, but I realize in the end of it, Lord, if You don’t give us more than that, if You don’t give us
a sense of Yourself… and I come to the Scriptures and
over and over and over again I find in John 14:21 I find this promise: Christ saying, “I will manifest Myself to you.” “I will manifest Myself.” What does that speak of? It speaks of an experiential
interaction with Christ. Manifestation. There’s an appeal to the senses. Christ comes near in a way that we feel, we sense, there’s something that we’re
able to lay hold of. And I guarantee you this, when Christ comes near in a manifest expression
of glory and presence, it can’t do anything but
cause us to burn. It can’t do anything but cause passion. You cannot have Christ come near except it does something in you. It stirs you. It creates heat. It creates fire. But I’ll tell you this, Christian, I’m speaking to you that have a profession. It’s conditional. He says if you have My commandments and you keep them. It’s amazing how the church is today. Oh, we can see this shift. Are you guys going to be given up
to the providence we heard about? Well, providentially, you know
what’s happening today. Everything’s moving
away from the U.S. It’s going to China.
It’s going to Korea. Ok, are you just going to settle down and settle for a nice, slow death? And accept that providence? Man, I can tell you, when we
were taking off on that work, some brethren from the
Sovereign Grace circles that I love, I love to
hear them preach; they’d say things to me like, “The Lord’s done.” The Lord’s done. The second coming
has to be at hand. There’s no more. We don’t see anymore of the
workings of God. We might as well throw in the towel. I mean, there’s providence folks. They’re all moving to Korea. Underground church in China. Ok, do that. Just settle in. Allow that. Take that as providence. Or you can rise up and say, no, I’m going to bust
through that ceiling. Because I’ll tell you this, you say you have any desire for Christ to come near? You say you have any desire
to experience more of Him than you’ve ever
experienced in your life? You say that? Who was it? I think
it was Lloyd-Jones that said, Your desire for Christ;
your desire to know Him; your desire for Him to draw near, it’s tested by your obedience. Based on texts just like that. In John 14:21 – just like that. We say, oh, we want
Him to draw near. We say we want revival. We say we want these things. We’re like these pathetic
hyper-Calvinists. Well, these were pretty
stirring meetings, and what we’re going to do, we’re going to sit back, and we’re going to
hope God does something. You know what the basis
of hyper-Calvinism is? It’s basically saying this, whether you’re lost or
whether you’re saved, it’s saying this, I can’t do something. There’s something that spiritually, in and of myself, I don’t have the ability to carry out. And so, I’m going to sit back and I’m going to wait for God to do it. And then I’m going to
jump on the bandwagon. Those weren’t hyper-Calvinists that busted through that ceiling that day. They said be done with that. We want to get to Christ. We want to be in His presence. We’re going to press
in to the inner place. We don’t care if we
knock some dirt on the Pharisee’s foreheads. Let it fall on them. We’re getting in there. Folks, I’m going to start and
I’m going to end this by hitting on some men
that stayed at home and they were faithful. But I’ll tell you what, there was fire that burned there, and they wanted this. They wanted it. I want the missionary endeavor
for a number of reasons. But one of the things, folks,
that we have to come to grips with. Matthew 28:18-20 We have a divine imperative. And if we sit here in our nice
little safe comfortable places and we wonder why; we sit
back, we don’t do anything, we wonder why? Why are people going to sleep? Why is this happening? This is a point of obedience, folks. We want to amass the resources. We don’t love to send people away. We don’t like to separate. Folks, if we really have a good estimation of the coming
eternality of things, so be it. So what? Send them away. You know what? I don’t expect that all these young guys coming in to our church right now are going to stay there. And so be it. You say you don’t love them? No, I do. There are some of these guys I would hate to see go away, but you know what, if they
go off to the mission field; if they go off somewhere even if they ended
up like the Stam’s. Just in a few short months
after arriving out there, they lost their heads. Glory be to God. You know what happened when
those two got their heads cut off? It moved among the young
people in this country. I think they had like
700 people after that apply to the China Inland Mission. I’ll tell you what, if Jonathan Diaz or one
of these other guys put their head on the block and it costs them their head to have 700 more like him to
come along behind, I’ll take it. Where is Jonathan? That’s not to say you’re the
expendable one, brother. Matthew 28:18 “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, ‘All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you alway.'” Let that sink in. Lo, I am with you alway,
even to the end of the world. One of the greatest indications this is not for the first century
apostles only is right there. I am with you to the end of the world. I am with you to the end of the ages. Amen. Now yesterday, I attempted to show you and convince you that
the Lord Jesus Christ was sent from heaven by the Father to this earth. Not as some disinterested stoic. He is that great missionary. The apostle. The sent one. Sent of His Father. Sent from heaven. Sent here full of passion
for the Father’s honor. Full of passion for
the souls of men. He came from heaven. He didn’t leave His passions there when He came. He came with them. He came with His tears. He came with His
bowels of compassion. He came full of a zeal for His Father’s honor and glory. He didn’t leave those things behind. He didn’t walk around like some monotone robot on this world. He brought those tears.
He brought that zeal. He brought those bowels of love. And He went right to where sinners were. And the case I’m trying to make is that if we don’t likewise
possess something of the heart and the soul of Jesus Christ burning in our own souls, we can ever forget about missions. It’s not going to happen. But the thing is
we can’t forget about it. Because we have what we have right there in Matthew 28. Folks, He said this: “As the Father hath sent Me, even so I am sending you.” Here’s the thing. Lo, I am with you always. And this is the thing I want you to see. He’s promised to be with us even to the end of the world. He walks at our side. Though I can’t see Him. Though I can’t physically lay
my fingers right now where Thomas laid his. He’s promised. Think about it. He hasn’t changed. Does Christ change? The very passions He came
to this earth with burn in His heart now. And He’s promised,
“I’m with you.” He’s promised to walk at our side still with Him burning; all this intensity, all this fervor, bidding us onward in the
missionary endeavor. Our Lord says go. Go to the nations. Go teach them.
Go disciple them. Go baptize them. Give the nations My commandments. And I’m convinced, it’s only those gripped by this heart, by this heat of Christ, who are going to pull this off. Here’s Spurgeon. He stayed at home. But listen to the heart of
this man that stayed at home. I don’t even know what number, what percentage of men, would have been sent out of
the Metropolitan Tabernacle. I didn’t look into that. I’ll tell you another man who sits at home. Not doing nothing sitting; Maybe I should say
he stands at home. He runs at home. Look at a guy like John Piper. I can remember sitting in a meeting over in Owensboro, and having a man bring up this fact. That Bethlehem sent out 80 missionaries in one summer. More than the collective group of churches being represented in that place
at that time in their 35 year history. What is it that burns in
a man like Piper? What is it that burns in a
man like Spurgeon? I’m wondering that, because I’m seeking to pastor a church and keep that fire alive at home. Here’s what he says, Spurgeon meditating on
Matthew 28:18, 19 He says, “While I
was meditating in private upon this text, I felt myself carried away by its power. I was quite unable calmly to
consider its terms, or to investigate its argument. The command with which
the text concludes repeated itself again
and again and again in my ears, till I found it
impossible to study, for my thoughts were running
hither and thither asking a thousand questions, all of them intended to help me in answering for myself the
solemn inquiry. How am I to go and teach
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost? My ears seemed to hear it as if Christ were then speaking it to me. I could realize His presence by my side. I thought I could see Him
lifted His peirced hand, and hear Him speak as
He was wont to speak with authority blended with meekness. Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the all glorious God. Oh, I would that the church
could hear the Savior addressing these words to her now. For the words of Christ
are living words. Not having power in them
yesterday alone, but today also. The injunctions of the Savior are perpetual in their obligation. They were not binding
on apostles merely, but upon us also. And upon every Christian does
this yoke fall. We’re not exempt today from the service of the first followers
of the Lamb. Our marching orders are the
same as theirs. And our Captain requires from
us obedience, as prompt and perfect as from them. Oh, that His message may not
fall upon…” now listen to this! “Oh, that His message may not fall upon deaf ears, or be heard by stolid souls.” Do you know what that word is? Indifferent, stupid, dense,
dry, dull. Spurgeon continuing, “Brethren, the heathen are perishing. Shall we let them perish? His name is blasphemed. Shall we be quiet and still? The honor of Christ is cast into the dust. His foes revile His person
and resist His throne. Shall we, His soldiers, suffer this and not find our hands feeling
for the hilt of our sword? The Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Our Lord delayeth His coming. Shall we begin to sleep? To eat? To be drunken? Shall we not rather gird up
the loins of our mind and cry unto Him, ‘Come, Lord Jesus,
come quickly!’ The scoffing skeptics of these last days have said that the anticipated conquest of the world for Christ is but a dream. It is asserted by some that the superstitions of the heathens are too strong to be battered down by our teachings. And that the strongholds of Satan are utterly impregnable
against our attacks. Shall it be so? Shall we be content
foolishly to sit still?” And he continues, “Oh, that there were might in some human lip to move the thousands of our Isreal to advance at once, unanimously and irresistably to the world’s conquest. Like one tremendous tide rising from the depths of the ocean to sweep over the sands,
the barren sands, which are now given up to
desolation and death. Oh that once again the voice
of thunder could be heard.” And right here – this is
the point I’m driving at. “And that the lightning spirit
could penetrate each heart. And as one man the entire church might take the marching orders of her Lord and go teach all nations, baptizing them in the
name of Israel’s God. Oh, Lord, if we fail to speak, fail not Thou to speak. And if we know not how to
bear Thy burden, or express Thine awful thoughts, yet speak that with Thou
all-constraining silent voice which well trained ears can hear. And make Thy servants obedient to Thee now for Christ’s sake. Folks, that’s it. It’s the lightning spirit
penetrating each heart. And my point is this, you can try to evade this if you want. But you show me an individual, you show me a church,
a collective group of churches that is raising up men and women for far away places, sending them forth, planting churches, experiencing the saving power of God, and I’ll tell you what, somebody there has lightning spirit. Someone’s excited.
Someone’s impassioned. You show me your great resources. Show me all your money. Show me your brilliant scholars
with their high IQ’s. And you know what? I’ll in turn show you the guy who has the gut level,
unstoppable lightning and desire. I remember some years ago, I think it was right after I
was first saved. I listened to a lot of John
MacArthur in those days. I can remember a message that
he did in 2 Thessalonians. And I looked that up because I thought it had something particularly applicable to what I wanted to say today. Here’s MacArthur speaking,
and I quote to you, “I remember standing with Russ Hodge on the infield at the
University of Oregon watching the triangular decathlon meet between the USSR, Poland, and
The United States. Russ was the coach of the
American team. He was the former world record holder in the decathlon. And I was standing
there with him watching the greatest
athletes in the world preparing to begin the meet.” MacArthur says, “there were
some great Russian athletes. There was one who was
a massive giant of a man. Just an awesome human specimen. There was a great Polish athlete. There were some tremendous Americans. I said to Russ, ‘Who is the greatest athlete here?’ He pointed to a rather
slender live young man. He said, ‘he’s the greatest athlete here.’ He, by the way, is an
outstanding Christian. I said, ‘that’s wonderful
to know. Will he win?’ He said, ‘No, he won’t win.’ I said, ‘What do you mean
he won’t win? If he’s the greatest athlete here, who will win?’ He said, ‘See that guy running
around the track? That rather short guy over there
with the blonde wife? You’ve never heard of him. His name is Bruce Jenner. He’ll win.’ I said, ‘Well, why will he win it
if he’s not the greatest athlete?’ He says, ‘Because though he doesn’t
have the greatest sheer talent, he’s the most mentally tough competitor I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Sure enough, the second day
in the twilight as he finished the distance event, number 10 event in the decathlon, he came through the winner. And two years later, the whole world knew who he was as he
circled the track in Montreal with a flag in his hand. He had won the gold
medal in the Olympics. He was named the greatest
athlete in the world.” I’ll tell you what – here’s the thing. It wasn’t the greatest sheer talent
that took the day. It was the greatest passion. The greatest gut-level intensity. That’s where the drive;
that’s where the determination; that’s where the obsession
grabs hold of a man. That’s what takes the day. That’s how it is in the
Christian missionary endeavor. It’s the raw passion that tends
to take the day. It’s not always the greatest gifts,
the greatest talents, the greatest wealth,
the greatest intellect that comes through in the end. You know what? I thought as I was preparing this about Peter. I can imagine this. The Lord sends away the disciples. They jump in the boat. You know, we find them on
various occasions in the Gospels. They’re out there on the waters; Sea of Galilee. And was wont to happen, the wind whips up,
the waves get big. They get out there in the middle. Sometimes they had
the Lord with them; sometimes they didn’t. On this one occasion, they’re out there. The Lord had stayed behind. And you know they’re out
there on the water. And they saw something you
typically don’t see. There’s a guy walking
across the water. And they were terrified. They thought they saw a ghost. But here’s the thing. Think with me about Peter. Because I think what happened right there, it’s the perfect picture of the missionary endeavor. It’s the perfect picture
of what I want to see in our church. And I think would probably want to be seen here as well. And in the other churches. You know, the thing about
people with passion, all you’ve got to do is give it
an opportunity to run loose, and it goes. And the one thing you
can’t say about Peter is that he lacked passion. He’s in the boat. They’re out there,
terrified at first. The Lord identifies Himself. The King James says it was a ship. It was probably not so much
what we think of as a ship. You’ve probably seen
some of the pictures of some of the fishing crafts that they had over there
in the Sea of Galilee. I don’t know what it would take to have gotten out of that. I don’t know if a
hand on the side and a jump over the side? But here’s the Lord. “Come.” I’ll tell you what,
Peter’s out of there! That’s what passion does. It’s looking for opportunity. And somebody’s going
to come along and say, yeah, but Peter sunk. Hey, Peter also walked
on the water. The people who jump out of the boat, typically do sink at times. But they’re the ones that jump
out of the boat. And that’s what passion does. His affection. Why do you think he
was out of the boat? Not because it was such a
neat thing to walk on the water. He had his eyes
set on Christ – at first. Yeah, he got sidetracked a
little bit there, but there’s passion. There’s passion for Christ. “Come!” He’s out of there! Isn’t that “come” a
whole lot like “go?” He’s out of there! Give him a chance – he’s out of there. What’ve you got the other
guys doing? They’re sitting tight where it’s safe. You know, we’ve got to
analyze this thing. We might step out of that boat, and we may not
have the resources. We may go to the bottom. That’s what the overanalyzers are doing. They’re over there. They’re trying to
figure this out. Hm… we’re not really certain
if this is going to work out. People with passion,
they’re out there. They at times will definitely sink. But it’s people with the passion, it’s people with the daring, it’s people with the believing. Yes, they do tend to fail at times. But they’re the ones doing something. We need that. The ones with passion;
the ones that run; The ones that step out on faith; they’re the ones typically
that see the miracles. We have come to the point in this country especially among the Calvinistic brethren, where even the sound of miracles just grates in the ears of people. But I guarantee you people like Lloyd-Jones saw them; people like Tozer saw them; people like Duncan Campbell saw them. Why? It may have a lot more to do with faith than the fact that they were wild-eyed
charismatics who didn’t know their Bibles. And I’ll tell you what, it’s typically the people with passion; it’s people that are willing
to jump out of the boat; it’s people willing to trust the Lord; it’s people that are willing to
go when they’re beckoned. You know what? Every one of them could have jumped out of that boat in faith, and they would have walked on that water. It takes just a little faith. Folks, you can cast a whole
mountain into the ocean. That goes for everybody. We have this problem today. Everybody’s so worried about
being presumptuous. Everybody wants to be cautious. Overanalyzing. But I’ll tell you what, the overly cautious,
the overly analyzing; they’re back in the boat. In fact, a whole lot of those folks are back on the shore. They’re not even in the boat. They didn’t even come that far. There’s old William Carey. We’ve heard about him;
talked about him. Some of his contemporaries
told him, sit down! They told him he was an enthusiast. Those nice high Calvinists; they told him he was certain to fail. Those are the guys
sitting back in the boat. And you don’t even know
most of their names. And you won’t find them unless you go read about Carey and find about the guys who resisted him. They’re forgotten. The boat sitters are forgotten. I’m not saying this to make
yourself popular. I’m saying it because it’s reality. History forgets those guys. They don’t have anything to offer us. Carey does. There was some faith there. There was some fire there. There’s something to learn. Carey jumped out of that boat. Or rather, down into the well, as we would say. Did he make mistakes? Certainly he did. Did he receive criticism from others? You better believe it. Even Calvinistic Baptists, absolutely. But who is it that turned the
world upside down? It was the enthusiast! That’s exactly who it was. And his enthusiastic
friends who stayed at home. The critics are forgotten. Peter’s such an excellent
example of all this. It’s passion, brethren. It really is that. It’s just that raw power of God let loose in people’s lives. And you can read about it. It burned in the men like the Hudson Taylors and the
Adoniram Judson’s, the William Carey’s. We need that, brethren,
we need that. As I thought about this, I thought about, ok,
let’s come around at this from the other end. Let’s supposed you’re out there, and you don’t like passion. In fact, my message has just
been grating on you. Ok, what I’m going to do
is I’m going to help you now. I’d like to show you how to kill passion in your people,
in your churches, and in yourself. If you don’t like it; if you see it to be dangerous, upsetting, unhealthy. I’m going to give you a
four-step remedy to the infectious disease of passionate radicals in your church. And this will take care of
all the enthusiasts. Here it is. First, just hate passion. In other words, whenever anybody in
the church gets excited; any unusual fervor,
any extraordinary weeping, and indication of some
Spirit-blown, God-endued intensity, make certain that you always and forever question the sincerity of it. Always. I mean they’ve got
to be hypocrites, right? Nobody can be like that. If somebody raises a hand, somebody shouts a hallelujah, be sure to stare at them with that dooming
glare of disapproval. A pastor friend of mine, Bob Jennings. The guy gets worked up. He was at a Banner of Truth conference. Halfway through it, he shouted
out a hallelujah. They called him down on that! They told him, enough. You close your mouth. You’re going to be here,
we don’t want any of that. Yeah, make sure you do that. Anytime that kind of thing breaks out,
you better shut it down. Anytime some uncontrolled weeping
breaks out, you better have somebody stand up
in the church and say enough! We don’t want anymore of that. We need to shut this thing down. Second, you want to get the passion out? Just regulate the worship so tightly, be so ordered, so mechanical in the church that any spontaneous outworking of the Spirit of God can never be entertained. Avoid at all costs any opportunity for something supernatural or unusual. Try every imaginable way to
quench the Spirit. You certainly don’t want the living, fiery influences of the Spirit of God
blowing through the place. He and passion live together. If you want the zealots
and fanatics gone, you better really grieve the Spirit. Third, overanalyze everything. Make certain that whenever some opportunity for outreach or missions or radical, sacrificial
giving comes along. Make certain you examine it, re-examine it, and when you’ve done, you’ve got to start
that all over again. Make certain to delay, draw out, pray for things indefinitely. Just disregard the command
that says, “Go.” That’s not enough. You’ve got to look for at least 30 or 40 other reasons first. Make sure you do that. That’s where the guys are left
back in the boat. Where Peter walked on the water. Christ said, “Come!” He was out of there. But you’ve got to do that. You’ve got to
overanalyze everything. You’ve got to look at it;
you’ve got to question it. Till everybody in the church that had any passion are asleep. See, if we do that, we’re
likely to make some mistakes. Some bad mistakes. You know what?
You’re going to. Get over that. People with passion do
make mistakes. So what? They also walk on water. Fourth, You want to kill it? Just keep on laying a good soil for hyper-Calvinism. Oh, we would never admit to it. But, I’ll tell you what, all you’ve got to do
is look at Matthew 25. What is it? Faith working through love. I expressed to you out of Galatians 5. And you see it worked out in
Matthew 25. You know what? There you have people who are giving themselves to the needs of others. Just be content in your church to have people be on time on Sundays, be on time on Wednesdays; get to where the prayer meetings are about Aunt Tilda’s toe, and everything is about all of our physical needs and breakdowns
and sicknesses and illness. Nobody ever prays for souls anymore. Just be content. Yeah, they’re at church twice a week. They’re faithful to do that. They’re on time. They have their little
daily devotional deal. Just be content with that. They never reach out. They never really touch sinners. They never do any of that. Be content with that. You may call it what you want. But there’s practical
hyper-Calvinism there. Just let that breed;
let that live; be content with that. Never get in somebody’s face and really expect them, encourage them, stir them up to faith, to good works, to zeal, to love. Just leave them alone. Tell them it’s ok. I’m happy you’re on time. That’s good. I’m happy your life is all
well-ordered, and you don’t run around in
the brothels anymore. Just be content with that. You’ve missed the heart. Get out there. Visit the widow.
Visit the orphan. Do some things. Radically give. What is this? We’ve got too many
today in the churches that are all about this
legalistic tithing. You guys, we’re one of the richest nations ever lived in the history of mankind. And you know what makes me sick? And I don’t know if
I’ve ever even seen this, but the thought of it is sick to me. That someone would even write out a check in an off dollar amount just to get the percentage right. What are you doing? Is your heart really for people? It is for zeal for God? What are you living your life for? To give the minimal amount? You guys have more than you
know what to do with. You say, well, it’s an
economic hard time. Oh yeah, how many
cars do you have? Look at your house. Look at what you’re doing
with your money. Look at your savings accounts. Look at the things
you’re saving up for. When Christ said not to lay up treasure on this earth. Just plant that good seed for
hyper-Calvinism. Be content with it. We need to get in people’s faces and say live the real thing! Live the heart of the matter. Go out and visit the widow. Live your life this way. Visit the stranger. Give yourself radically. If it’s to stay
here in this country, then work your life away, to give the most that you possibly can. Live not equal with your means, above your means, if you’ve got neck-deep
in credit card debt, what are you doing? What are you living for? You’re living for this world. Just allow that to go on
unstopped, unchecked in the church. We’ll all be dead. Hyper-Calvinism Let me tell you this. I’m aware, most of us are going to be at home. I think, ok, what is it to really pull through at home? Keep that missionary cause
before our churches. Not just our own
church, but others. Keep our people with
some intensity. We want our people
praying for the right things. Broken over souls. You know how it is. Brother Joe’s got the sniffles. Wasn’t able to be here tonight. Got to pray for him. I’m not out there in left field. Aunt Tilda’s sore toe folks. Are we praying for the things
that really matter? And praying with some intensity like they really matter to us? If we had any aliveness to us, it would just make us shout and scream. Are we fasting? You guys find it even
within your lifestyle, even within your willingness to set aside times to fast? And give yourself to particular prayer towards the needs of
those in other places? What is it that’s going to fuel an atmosphere like this at home? I ask myself that. I look at who has sent missionaries forth and done it well. Who’s been faithful on the home front all the way to the end? What men, what churches,
stand out as having that sort of reputation? Because whoever they are,
wherever they are, I want to see what it is that makes
people like that tick. As I thought about this, it occurred to me that I don’t know that there
are any more famous – there may have been some
that have done it better, but I don’t know that there are any more famous rope holders. Men who stayed at home, serving the missionary cause, than those men who did support Carey. Now, let me tell you about these guys. You may know the names of some of these. Andrew Fuller. John Sutcliffe. Samuel Pierce. John Ryland, Jr. These are some of the guys. Let me tell you about these guys. They were a whole lot like us. They pastored little Baptist churches. It doesn’t take a big
church to be faithful. It doesn’t take enormous
resources to be faithful. I started thinking about these guys. They were faithful. Listen to Fuller’s quote, “Our undertaking to India really appeared to me on its commencement, to be somewhat like a few men who were deliberating about the importance of penetrating into a deep mine, which had never before been explored. We had no one to guide us, and while we were thus deliberating, Carey, as it were, said, ‘Well, I will go down,
if you will hold the rope.’ But before we went down, continued Fuller, he as it seemed to me took an oath from each of us at the mouth of the pit to this effect, that we, while we lived, should never let go of the rope. You understand me? There was great responsibility attached to us who began the business.” And as one has said, whether we stay at home or
whether we go, we should all have our hands burned by that rope. And folks, these men had the burn marks and the scars. I’m talking the guys
that stayed at home. Not the Marshman’s, not
the Carey’s, not the Ward’s. I’m talking these guys: the Pierce, the Ryland, the Sutcliffe, the Fuller; the men that stayed at home. They had the burn marks on their hand. And I’m thinking, ok,
what is it about these guys? I began to dig. I began to look through
some of my books, and look on the
Internet for some things. I discovered something very interesting. Before Carey went to India, listen to this, on Wednesday, April 27, 1791 a special meeting was held by the ministers of the
Northamptonshire Baptist Association. Hear this, in which both Sutcliffe and Fuller preached back-to-back. Now listen. 25 years later, the pastor of the church, there in Clipston, where
the special meeting was held, he recalled the deep
solemnity that covered the place and how the entire
congregation was overwhelmed by what it had heard. Now listen to this. John Ryland – he wasn’t one of the
guys that preached, but he was one of the
rope holders as well. Being there that day having listened to these
two moving sermons, said that he and all with
whom he talked afterwards felt a profound conviction
of their great need for zeal. That’s what they were impacted by. They realized that’s what they needed. Zeal. And they were persuaded of the evil of negligence and procrastination. I read that. I began thinking to myself, ok, wait, I’ve got to
find these two sermons. They met together
back-to-back that day. I began to look.
Is it even possible to find that message by Sutcliffe;
that message by Fuller? I found out that that indeed is the only full surviving sermon
of Sutcliffe available. I had it in the appendix
of one of my books. I was able to find Fuller’s sermon online. Let me tell you a little bit about these. Fuller’s sermon is called, “The Pernicious Influence of Delay
in Religious Concerns.” Fuller took his text that day from
Haggai 1:2. The Jews, you remember this, had returned from Babylonian exile and they refused to get to work on the rebuilding of the temple. The Lord accused His people of saying the time is not come. The time that the Lord’s
house should be built. And here’s the thing. Fuller, seeing the
procrastination of the Jews in delaying to rebuild the temple, thinking the time has not come, makes this point. Now hear this well. “To put off things to another time, like the task of missions, implies a lurking dislike
to the things themselves. We do not ordinarily do so, except in things wherein
we have no delight. Whatever our hearts are set upon, we’re for losing no time
till it is accomplished.” Do you guys hear what he’s saying? You don’t procrastinate
about what you love. You only put off and
are slow to accomplish the things you have no passion for. You know why the guys didn’t put off getting to Christ? When they had the palsied man? Because there was a passion there. We’ve got to get to Christ! Then, there’s Sutcliffe’s sermon. His was actually first. I hold it to last here because boy, he hit this thing
on the mark. Now remember, folks, these are the guys who stayed faithful. And they’re aware of their need of zeal. And they’re aware that you don’t procrastinate about what you have a zeal for. Sutcliffe His message was called, “Jealousy for the Lord of Hosts.” As Sutcliffe closed out his sermon, he sees each Christian as a light in this world. He sees each of these
individual lights, though somewhat small in themselves, all put together collectively and scattered in the missionary cause around the world so that like the sun, they might endeavor to enlighten the whole earth. Let them be disbursed so that the whole globe
might be illuminated. And then he says this “Nothing. Nothing will prompt you on in this way, so to act, like the divine passion;
the celestial fire that burned in the bosom and
blazed in the life of Elijah. What love! What zeal! What activity become you when thus employed. Animated with jealousy for the
Lord God of Hosts, you will be like the Son when
He goeth forth in His strength, or like an army terrible with banners. Under the divine smile,
Satan will fall before you like lightning from heaven. His power be broken. His policy confounded. While the empire of
Jesus shall advance. His Kingdom arise and
the crown flourish upon His head.” Brethren, I’m telling you, these men rose up out of the dead hyper-Calvinism of their day They sent men into the mine. They held the rope
and they knew, nothing short of God-given desire, heart, divine passion, celestial fire, love, zeal, jealousy for
the Lord God of Hosts. That’s it, brethren. That’s what I’ve been trying
to say, to prove, to show. May God help us. Our time is short. As I wanted to stress. Look, where do you get this? You’ve got to go up on the holy mountain. That’s where the fire comes from. You’ve got to go there. If you’re going to be content
to spend the rest of your life in front of the television,
and waste it away, and chasing money, it’s not happening. Look. You want to get away from
the hyper-Calvinism? You don’t say, well, what we
really need here is for God to move. You know what we find
through the Scriptures? Through history? It’s like Tozer said. God moved when and where
His people moved. Move! That’s what faith does. Faith moves. And it trusts, as I move, the resources are coming. I’m going to step out. Brethren, I can tell you
in these seven years, the folks in our church can tell you, how many times we
haven’t been able to see. It’s been black out there. And we’ve felt like certainly this is in line with the Great Commission. Let’s step. We don’t see where we’re stepping. We can’t see anything. And sometimes I’ve wondered. And I’ve always thought, Lord, if You let us fall on our face, it’s going to come back to You. But every time, you know what? Not once.
Not once! We have stepped out there. He’s held us up. We’ve got to have these
passions of Christ etched upon us. We’ve got to have faith. We’ve got to take this step. Don’t wait. If you folks here at Community realized, yes, it’s true. There’s been a slide off in a direction we don’t like. We want to see something. You can not live on the past. You’ve got to live today. You’ve got a responsibility today. What are you going to do? I’m going to sit here an wait
until God does something. Then you’re going to wait a long time. No, what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to step out. You say, ok, if you
come to the place, you say something’s wrong. Something’s wrong in my own life. Yes, there’s a coldness. Then go get on the holy mount. And go there and keep going there. And stay there. And give yourself some time. I heard Paul Washer say before that you know he has churches that come to him and they’ve got problems or there’s weaknesses or
something’s lacking, and he tells them, what you need to
do is you need to gather the whole
church together and you guys need
to go to fasting until God breaks through. And he says they
don’t listen to him. And then they wonder
why it doesn’t work out. What’s our lives taken up with? We have a battle to fight here. And the power we need. This passion isn’t something
derived in ourselves. It comes from the Spirit of God. Till you have that image etched upon us, we need that fire
from the altar. We need this coming together. We’ve got a mission. But we’ve got to have passion to bring together with this thing. They knew it. 25 years later, they knew it. After they heard these sermons. We’ve got to have zeal. And I’ll tell you what, they were faithful. Sutcliffe was faithful to the end. Fuller. He was faithful to the end. These guys went the whole distance. What are we doing? Are we falling out of the ranks? It’s not time to fall out yet. Our journey’s not done. For some of us, we’re just
at the beginning. We don’t know how much time we’ve left. Eternity hastens. Look, it’s not how I say this. It’s not how our
brother earlier says this. You’ve got to have something that only comes from God. And unless you’re
determined to have it at all costs, or die trying to get it, I’ll tell you what, there’s got to be a resignation. If you want to experience the
manifest presence of Christ, you want to experience that power, you want to ungrieve
the Spirit of God, if that’s what’s happened; there’s got to be obedience, there’s got to be
resignation in your life. You’ve got to lay it all down. You’ve got to lay it out
there on the altar. We heard Matt say last week, what things did you give up early on in your Christian life that now you’re kind of drifting back to. What idols did you put away, that now, you’re just
kind of comfortably crawling in there with? What are the things in your life
that are eating up your time? What are your excuses for not spending the time that you
ought to be spending? You cannot just pray these little, flippant prayers and read Psalm 117 and think, yeah, we’re going to find the fire that way. We’re going to do our little thing. And then we’re just going to
get on with our life. We’re going to tag it on there. It’s going to be this nice little thing. Somehow, it’s all going
to work out in the end. Look. I’m not satisfied with that. I don’t want to be in a
church that’s dead like that. If our church dies,
if that happens sometime, I want to go. Or have God kill me. I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to walk through this life useless and burned out. We want to be the bright and shining and burning lights like John the Baptist. I realize problems come. Some of you may have
fallen out of ranks because life got too hard. Let me tell you about Fuller. He lost 8 of his 11 children, and then his wife. You think that’s harder than
what you’ve gone through? And he stayed true to the end. In fact, maybe that’s what we need. I don’t want to call down suffering on us, but maybe that is what we need. Our lives have just been too soft, too cushy. We’ve had too much. May God bring us whatever we need, whether it’s poverty,
whether it’s persecution. Just to light us on fire. Don’t. Don’t be content to let the missionary fires move away. Yes, let them go to China. But don’t let them depart here. And even if good
brethren come along and say to you, I think it’s all over. I think we’re done in this country. Don’t buy it. Don’t accept it. If you’re ok with that, well then go into your monastery, lay down in your nice, sterile reformed environment, and just let the world
go on its way to hell. But you’re not going to be the people that will be used. It’s going to be the ones that burn with Christlikeness; that take it off the altar of God and go forth in obedience to what we’ve been told to do. We’ve got a responsibility. If you’re not going in the mine, you’ve got a responsibility to hold it. That commission is to the church. It’s to us. And it’s to the end of this age. We cannot go to sleep. We cannot slumber. Brethren, God forbid that we drop the baton. Spurgeon’s dead. Carey’s dead. Sutcliffe, Fuller, Pierce, Ryland. Folks, they’re gone. This is our day. This is our generation. May God help us to be faithful. Amen.

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