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04040


Pastor Rev. Robert Celeste ACP/MCAC the pastor who obeyed and obeys Christ command in Luke 22:36

Mr. Steve Burzlaff, Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Special Guest Pastor Rev. Jim Marstaller, Pastor of The CornerStone Gospel Church in Naples, Maine



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What must I do to be Saved???

Well, today marks the beginning of the last official week end of summer 2000, and for this weekend I had planned to do a sermon on Why bad things happen to "good" people. But, as so often happens, my plans are not God's plans and God lets me know that He would have me do a different topic.

As I was driving through Saco, Maine yesterday afternoon, I saw a sign offering an oil change, complete with filter, lubrication and a washing of the car for only $9.95. Too good a deal for me to pass up. And I guess to good a deal for many others as well, for it was a 90 minute wait. And that wait tipped me off to the fact that God had something for me to do. Biding my time, a conversation between a young 26 year old man and I began, now, it is not this man I thought God had sent me there to talk to, I really thought it was the young woman waiting for her car watching cartoons on television, but alas when she left, I was still sitting there and no opportunity had opened to discuss the gospel of God with her. But as time went on, this young man I and started talking and it turns out that he had just gotten out of the hospital. This brought up the subject of life and death and of course salvation. And in this weekends sermon we will take a closer look at John 3:1-21 and pray that the Lord will help you, me and the young man to understand, if God leads him to read this sermon.

John 3:1-21
1. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9. Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be?

10. Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15. That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19. And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Now, without changing any meaning what so ever, let us look at those 21 verses of John 3 again. We are simply going to put names and some commentary within the lines for clarity.

1&2. There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto Him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3. Jesus answered and said unto Nicodemus, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
(When you see the words Verily Verily together, it is the way in which the Lord is telling us this is very grave and very very important. Like saying Listen Listen. So What Jesus is saying here is Nicodemus, listen carefully, for what I am about to tell you is of the utmost importance, Unless a man is born again, he can not even see the inside of heaven. Well, if a man can not even see the inside of heaven, how could that man ever expect to spend eternity in heaven? He can't. You might bear in mind that when the Lord says man, He is referring to both men and women, for it takes both to make up mankind.)

4. Nicodemus saith unto Him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
(Here Nicodemus is sounds a bit confused and asking what is really a logical question, for Jesus has just told him that in order to get into heaven, a man must be born again, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." and this must have confused Nicodemus to no end, so he asked the Lord, how? How can a man be born again? Can a grown man climb back into his mother's womb? He is showing the Lord, respectfully I might add, that what Jesus had just said sounds impossible.)

5. Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
( Ah, notice the Verily verily again? Once again the Lord says, Nicodemus, listen carefully and I will explain it to you for this is very important. How important is it? Well, remember, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Unless you're Born Again, you cannot get into heaven and if you're not spending eternity in heaven, there is only one other place to go, and that place is hell, so Jesus is telling Nicodemus and us that this explanation is of the utmost importance so listen and read carefully.

"Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
(Born of water and the Spirt, well water is the earthly birth, can not very well be a man till after you are a baby and you can not be a baby till you are born and when you are born, it is in a sack of water, that is the earthly birth of water, then comes the rebirth, the birth of the Spirit and that is the Born Again birth, the birth the Lord will get into more detail about in the following verses.)

7. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Here Jesus is telling Nicodemus and us, not to worry if we don't totally understand, for we hear the wind, yet we don't totally understand where it comes from or how it get's started or where it will go next exactly., the important thing is that we know it is wind. And that is the way it is with those who are Born Again of the Spirit, they may not be able to absolutely explain or totally understand it, but the know it has happened to them.

9&10. Nicodemus answered and said unto Him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?

Now here, Jesus is a bit surprised it seems that Nicodemus has become so filled with the writings of religion and so ignorant of the Word of God, that he doesn't have any understanding of what the Lord is telling him and that is still the truth today, many so called religious leaders have so filled themselves with what the books written by man that they have totally lost focus on what God Himself tells us clearly and plainly in His book.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Look, Nicodemus. I and my Apostles and those who have been with me have told you clearly of what they have seen, heard and learned, we have witnessed to you, yet you turn a deaf ear. The Lord is not just referring to Nicodemus here, but all of the Jews who were witness to Him on earth, yet for one reason or another rationalized and ignored the obvious truth that Jesus was in fact God in the form of man on earth, that He did indeed fulfill the prophecies of what the Messiah had to do.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Look, Nicodemus, if you won't believe the things that we and others have told you about the miracles that I have done on earth, how are you ever going to believe the things I would tell you about heaven?
And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Now look carefully at what Jesus is telling us here - no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
No man has gone up to heaven except that man who came down from heaven, Jesus, who while here on earth is also in heaven at the same time, Jesus is very clearly telling us that He is God, He and God the Father are one, while He, Jesus is here on earth, He is also in heaven as God the Father. Jesus often refers to Himself as the some of man, that is because He was born by a woman called Mary.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Jesus is telling Nicodemus that He, Jesus, will be hung on a cross, just as Moses hung. the image of a snake on a cross and that as all who looked up at the snake on the cross were healed in the desert, so will all those who put their faith in the Man on the cross, Jesus, be healed of all their sins.

15-18. That whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Whoever believes in Jesus will not go to hell, but to heaven, for God so loved the world and man that He sent Himself to earth to be hung on a cross to be the perfect blood sacrifice for our sins, so that any and all who trust in Him and give themselves to Him will not go to hell, but to heaven. God gave us free will and the ability to use it, He came to earth in the form of a man to fulfill all the things that he thorough His prophets of old times told us would have to be done by the one called the Christ. He has now left it up to us, we either choose Him or we go to hell. We must all make that choice for the default is hell. Look,
He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
He that believes on Jesus shall not be condemned, but any that reject the Lord, by not believing on Him are condemned, because the have not believed on and trusted in the only begotten son of God, JESUS!

19. And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the Light, neither cometh to the Light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
The Light is Jesus, And this is the condemnation, that Jesus, God in the form of a man, has come into the world, but men loved darkness, satan , evil, war, adultery, lying, drugs, cheating, etc, instead of God, because mens deeds are evil. For every one that does evil hates the Light, and rejects the Light, for fear of having of having to realize that his sins are evil and offensive to God.
But he that doeth truth cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
But, he that seeks God will come to the Lord by praying and telling the Lord that he understands that he is a sinner, and that he is sorry for his sins and his life and ask the Lord to forgive him and take control of his life. How exactly must you do it, well, I'll not go into more detail, I will tell you who will though, God the Son, through His Holy Spirit. How do you reach Him? Find a quiet place, a place where you will not be disturbed, close the door, kneel down and truthfully search your heart, are you ready to ask your Creator to fix you? To repair your soul? To take control of the mess you call your life? If you are, just close your eyes, and respectfully and honestly ask the Lord to show you the way, tell Him that you know you have sinned, and that you know you need help and ask Him if He will forgive you and help you, the rest. If you are serious, will come through the Holy Spirit.

The Lord Jesus be with you all this week end and on Monday, labor day, the question, can a Christian be an anti-Semite? Will be answered.
God bless you and yours, Amen.

Monday, September 11th, 2000 AD

Gee, God never gives me a chance to witness.

So, you just hung up on the MCI operator, soliciting your business.
Do you ever get the feeling that God keeps you in a vacuum, that He never puts you anyplace you can witness? Do you lay awake at night crying out to the Lord asking for a chance to witness, but He never has you anywhere where the opportunity to witness comes up? But how can that be, for did not God Himself tell us to preach His Word to every creature?

Mark 6:15 And Jesus said unto His eleven Apostles, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

So, if the Lord has told us to go and preach His Word to ever creature, how can it be that He never puts you anywhere you can witness? Could it be that we are not looking carefully enough, for as we learn from Paul, everytime you bump into anyone it is an opportunity to witness, even when the times just doesn't seem quite right.

Acts 21:17- Chapter 22: 30
17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when Paul had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.

20. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.

25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them. Now when the seven days were almost ended, the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on Paul, crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people, and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.)

30 And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple: and forthwith the doors were shut. And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul. They were trying to beat Paul to death.

33 Then the chief captain came near, and took Paul, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. And when Paul came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him. Even now the jews were still trying to get Paul killed.

And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? The chief captain said, Canst thou speak Greek? Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? They, the jews must have really told some wild stories about Paul and made some outlandish accusations, for the chief captain seems to think that Paul is some Egyptian rabble-rouser.

39 Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people. And when the chif captain had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying,

22:1 Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you. (And when they heard that he spake in the Hebrew tongue to them, they kept the more silence: and he saith,) I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. And I persecuted the followers of Jesus unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women.

5 As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished. And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And He said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest.

9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me. And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.

11 And when I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of them that were with me, I came into Damascus. And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him. And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw Jesus saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. And I said, Lord, they know that I imprisoned and beat in every synagogue them that believed on Thee: And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him. And He said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles

When the chief captain and his guard took Paul and Paul asked to speak, most would have said, take me to a hospital, I have been beaten so badly I can not even walk. But not Paul, He immediately called those who had beat him and started witnessing to them.

So, when you think you have no one to witness to, that you want God to arrange an opportunity for you to witness, perhaps you'd best remember how the Lord arranged times for Paul to witness, perhaps it's better to just witness to every one whose path you cross. Or I guess you could continue to wait and after the folks beat you to a pulp and the cops have you in handcuffs, but before you let them take you to the hospital, you could then witness to the ones who just got through pounding on you.

And Steve, never ever pass up the chance to witness when you get a call from a telemarketer. Get right into the Gospel of John, 3:1-18. When a salesman calls at your home, invite him in and witness, he is in your home, the telemarketer is in your home, God has brought them to you, tell them about Him.

The Lord Jesus be with you all,
Amen

God blessed America when she feared Him, now, it appears, she may face His wrath

All Scripture is quoted, in both sermons and daily thoughts, except when done by a guest, is from the authorized 1611 King James Version. The words in red are those quotes of God the Son, the Lord Jesus and the words in purple are those qoutes spoken directly by God the Father and the words in this sickly greyish color are of satan and his ilk. But all of the Bible is spoken by God and should be viewed as God's handbook for us to run our lives by.

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