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Why Judgement? - REVIVAL
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Towards the end of the first century AD, a white haired man knelt down on an island called Patmos in
the Mediterranean Ocean and he asked the Creator of the world to reveal to him what was going to
happen when the world ended. And the mighty God who made your hair and who made your face, and who
made your hands, came down in the power of his Spirit and revealed to this dear man John, who had
followed Jesus, what we were going to face in the final days. And this is what he wrote and it’s in
I think it’s good to fight the devil with every weapon we possess and the sword in your hand is the
most powerful so it’s good to look at. Under the inspiration of the Creator’s Spirit, John wrote
this, “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also
another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in
the books, by what they had done.” The judgment; I think it’s an uncomfortable thought to all of us
either for our own sakes or for the sake of some dear one that we love.
Now brothers and sisters, the devil is engaged in deceiving us. There is a new family springing up
especially in the church world today and it’s called the ostrich family. Like the ostrich, they put
their heads in the sand when the lion roars, or when the sand storm blows up they pretend the danger
is not there. But when the sun shines and when everything looks good, they take their heads out of
the sand and many of us are doing this kind of thing with regard to the judgment.
Many of us are pretending that this terrible thing is not there and we’re rarely looking into the
word to see whether it is there or not. Now, no one cares about ostriches in business because the
ostrich looks at the small time payment and forgets about the five years of monthly payments. He
always looks at the good side of a bargain. The ostrich looks at the shining body of the car and
doesn’t look underneath to find it’s falling to pieces in rust. He looks always at the side of the
issue or the situation that he wants to look at and no one cares about that for the ostrich’s
judgment in business.
The ostrich looks at our apparent prosperity in America today and forgets to look at the terrorists
and forgets to look at the drug addicts, and forgets to look at the riots in our cities, and the
discontent among young people. He says, “America is going better than ever.” The ostrich in
religion does the same thing. He says, “God has given us everything for our comfort. We have used
everything that he has given us to better our lives here. We have used hydroelectric power to
produce electricity. We used winds to drive our windmills years ago. We used the sea to produce
atomic energy. God loves us. He has given us everything to show us how much he loves us and he’s
given his own Son to show us that he’s ready to die for us.”
Now, God loves us and wants us to be with him. And to anything that is stern, or just, or righteous
in God, the ostrich in the church today puts his head in the sand and pretends that it isn’t there.
Now I ask you just tonight not to be an ostrich. I don’t ask you to accept anything that I say, but
to look at God’s word and don’t be an ostrich. Take your head out of the sand and look plainly at
what God says we’re going to face and if you do that he’ll work in your heart tonight in a way that
will please him and will bring you in accordance with his will.
The first ostrich that I’d like you to meet, and you may find some of him inside you, thinks of
himself as a literary critic and he says to us this evening, “Now, don’t get upset by what this
preacher is saying about judgment. They all do that to work up a little fear in you. If you go
back to the early Christian preachers you’ll find that they were always inviting people to come and
be converted but they never mentioned judgment. The New Testament is full of the preachers offering
healing and offering power in Jesus’ name but they never mentioned judgment.”
Will you look at what happened in 40 AD, you can see it in Acts 10:42. These are the words that
Peter preached when he went to Caesarea and just before he baptized Cornelius in the year 40 AD he
preached and said this. Acts 10:42, “And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify
that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.” A lot of us tend to say
today, “We’re sophisticated in America and Britain, we don’t go for that kind of primitive
Do you remember that Paul, eleven years later in 51 AD went to the center of culture in those days?
He went to the city of Athens and began to debate with the philosophers. If he wanted to tone down
this primitive message any he would have done it there in Athens. But in 51 AD he said this, “He
has fixed a day on which he will judge the world by a man whom he has appointed. And of this he has
given us assurance by raising him from the dead.”
In other words, both Peter and Paul, Peter the gruff honest open hearted man, and Paul the shrewd
studious debater of Pharisee’s both testified that on the final day there would be a great judgment
when we would face this God who made us. Now the literary critic likes to put us back so he says,
“That’s Paul’s gospel, but Paul did not originate the gospel. Jesus is the very heart of the gospel
and Jesus is continually saying, ‘Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will
give you rest.’ Jesus never mentions a thing like a judgment. He is always encouraging us to come
to him and to love him.”
But the word is straight in Matthew 7 and it’s spoken by Jesus himself. It’s in the Sermon on the
Mount and Jesus talks about that day very plainly. He says in Matthew 7:22, “On that day many will
say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do
many might works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me,
you evildoers.’” I don’t think it’s necessary to point out to you that Jesus is saying there, “On
that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord have we not marched to Alabama in your name? Have we not
done many social works in your name? Have we not done many good deeds in your name?’” And I think
Jesus is pointing very plainly to the fact that it is not enough to be outwardly like a Christian,
or outwardly humanitarian. But he’s stating plainly that on that day he will declare, “I never knew
you, you evildoers.”
I think a lot of people today try to point out that Jesus was a child of his age. They say the Jews
had already accepted this idea of the judgment and he didn’t want to offend them and so he fell in
with this to accommodate his mind to theirs. You can see that Jesus was the infinite God, being as
like himself as he possibly could in the shape of a finite man. We do violence to God when we try
to say that Jesus was accommodating himself so much to the thought of this age that he produced a
dishonest revelation of God to us.
In fact, Jesus often spoke directly of the judgment in language that was not metaphorical, in
language that was not picturesque or symbolic. He said, for instance, in Matthew 25:31, “When the
Son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a
shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” It’s very hard to say that this is just a primitive
opinion of Christianity when it’s Jesus himself that uses these words, that he will separate us as a
shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
I think if we stop being ostriches and really look into his words and examine them, we’ll see that
Jesus not only teaches that there will be a judgment, but he says that he himself will be the judge,
that it is he that will judge us on that day. You remember he says, “The Father judges no one, but
has given all judgment to the Son and has given him the authority to execute the judgment because he
is the Son of man.” In other words, on that day we will not face God the Father but we will face
Jesus the Son. The one who was despised and rejected of men, the one who is a man of sorrows and
acquainted with grief, he is the one that we will face as our judge on that day.
There was a padre in the First World War called G.Studdert Kennedy and he used to visit the men in
the trenches over in Europe. He used to minister to them and speak to them of Jesus and he wrote
poems. He wrote a poem called “Well?” and it was along this line, “When I die and go on the
judgment day to face my God, I don’t fear so much facing a great white throne and a mighty fearful
God looking down at me with flashy eyes but what I fear most of all is going up there with the
broken bits of my life in my hands and then, looking up, and looking into the eyes of one who has
holes in his hands and him looking into my eyes and saying, ‘Well? Well?’”
On that day we will face our Jesus who has repeatedly offered his life to us, and I think some of us
perhaps accept all that. We believe the Bible is God’s word and we have no trouble with that kind
of thing. But I think we have another kind of ostrich inside us and I’ve called him the foreign
diplomat because he’s always trying to find holes in the treaties that he’s just made. I’m sure
that’s unfair to the foreign diplomats, I’m sure the American ones aren’t like the Irish ones. But
dear ones, I think there’s some of this ostrich in all of us when it comes to judgment. We often
say, “Well, I know there’s going to be a judgment and you can’t get out of that.” Then we say to
ourselves, “Now, when is this judgment going to be? Many of us have in the back of our minds that
we’re going to devote the last 10 years of our life to preparing for this judgment. Or we say to
ourselves, “Well, we’ll have a little time to enter fully into the victorious life, and to grow in
grace, and walk in the Spirit, and then we’ll be all ready for the judgment.”
Now when is the judgment going to be? The Bible answers “now.” Now, at this very moment, the
judgment is taking place. Listen to Jesus’ words in John 3:18, just two verses after the famous
verse John 3:16. In John 3:18 Jesus is saying the judgment on you is taking place now, at this
moment tonight, as he says, “He who believes in him is not condemned.” Is not condemned; he who
believes in him now is not condemned. “He who does not believe is condemned already.” Not “will be
condemned” but is condemned already “Because, he has not believed in the name of the only Son of
Dear ones, you are judged up to this moment. And that last thought you had has already been judged,
and that next thought. You are already condemned, or you are already justified. This is why I’m
concerned, dear brothers and sisters, who are anxious about this business of, can a Christian sin. I
don’t see how long you can carry an unconfessed sin in your heart without being out of grace with
God, because the moment you commit it, that moment God has judged it. It requires you, the very
next moment, to appeal to the advocate.
Many of us are treating sin lightly and we’re saying again and again, “Oh well, you can commit one
sin. Now, if you commit a number of sins, or if you sin habitually then naturally you’re in
trouble.” But it seems to me that God judges you immediately and that’s why some of us talk about
losing fellowship. Some of us say, “You don’t fall from grace you just lose fellowship.” How do
you know you’ve lost fellowship? You say, “I feel guilt in my heart.”
The guilt is the other side of the penny of God’s condemnation. In other words, it’s vital for us
to be right up to date tonight with our confession and right up to date tonight with our forgiveness
in Jesus’ name. We can’t go on keeping these things in our hearts. He who does not believe, and
remember, “believe” in Anglo-Saxon “in accordance with”. If you believe, you live in accordance
with. And if you believe that your sarcasm killed Jesus through the scribes and through the
priests, and if you believe that your deception killed Jesus, and if you believe that your fear of
reputation killed Jesus through Pilot, then you put away those things and you live in accordance
with your beliefs, otherwise you don’t believe and the Bible says, “You’re condemned already.”
There’s another place where Jesus says this. He’s speaking to the Jews and he says, “Truly, truly I
say to you he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal light now at this moment.
He does not come into judgment but has already passed from death to life.” And so many of us here
are dead and many of us are alive. Many of us have the begotten life of Jesus coursing through our
own lives and body and we have the marks of that begotten life in our lives because they’re filled
with the beauty of Jesus, while others of us are filled with death and have the marks of the death
life upon us. We still have a lie that we have not made restitution for, we still have a little bit
of deception that we have never really confessed but we’re going to get around to it. But at the
moment we’re dead and we have the marks of death upon us.
Dear ones, the judgment is taking place now at this moment. We are all already ready at this
moment. If Jesus came at this very moment everything is up to date. All the books are ready and
God knows you thoroughly as you are at this moment, that’s why the Bible says, “Today is the day of
salvation.” There is no tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. It’s no use saying, “I’ll make the
decision on the final night of the conference.” There’s no use saying, “I’ll make it tomorrow.”
The death already has a greater grip on you. The cancer patient doesn’t say, “I’ll go and have the
operation tomorrow.” He says, “I want rid of it now, immediately, because I see the symptoms.”
So if you see one symptom in your life tonight, will you remember that that symptom has been judged
and has been set against you? At this very moment be up to date. Some people say, “Didn’t Paul
preach that it is appointed for me to die once and then comes the judgment?” I think the meaning of
that verse is that the judgment is sealed and ceases at death. It is appointed for men to die once
and then come to judgment.
In other words, after the moment of death there is no purgatory, there is no chance to add to or
subtract from the number of good deeds that you plant before God or the amount of faith or trust or
obedience in Jesus that you present before. Judgment ceases at death. And then I think it’s true
in the light of the verse that we quoted, that he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world.
There will come a day when there would be a great public day of judgment. When the judgment that
has ceased at death and that took place during a lifetime will be proclaimed before all people and
we will all be gathered before the great white throne and our judgment will be proclaimed to all.
And in that sense I think the judgment will take place in those three ways, but do you see that it
is being executed at this moment with you? God knows where you stand now, at this moment, and he’s
gracious; he witnesses to you where you stand, and I trust you to react to it.
Some of us may accept that, and yet we like to try to prove that the judgment will not take place
because it is impossible for it to take place fairly. I think the mind gives the devil a great deal
of scope in all of us and I think he loves to titillate our minds and we love to try to prove to
each other, or prove to him, or prove to ourselves that the judgment won’t take place because it’s
impossible for it to take place fairly. Some of us argue this way, “God can see Sirhan Sirhan
shooting (Robert) Kennedy and he deserves to die because the Bible says, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’ and
he has killed. But I have many, many half second thoughts that I know do not glorify Jesus and they
pass through my mind in a moment, in half a second. Now the judgment isn’t going to be fair because
God doesn’t know that kind of thing, he knows the big things that we’re doing. He knows the lie
that I tell, maybe, but he doesn’t know the feeling that I have that I want to tell a lie. He
doesn’t know the slightest inclination of my heart, so how is this judgment going to be fair? He’s
going to condemn all those who sin openly, what about those of us who sin secretly?”
Jesus spoke to the Pharisees on this when he said, “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed,
or hidden that will not be known. Whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light
and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the house tops.” My God sees
me. God sees your every thought tonight. God sees it as if it’s projected on a great screen in an
outdoor theater. God sees all our hearts tonight, he knows you inside out dear one, and he can see
all. The judgment will be fair.
I think some of us still say, “Well now, it won’t be fair. Look at the opportunities some of us
have had. Look at the opportunities those of us have had who have listened to this word tonight and
look at the people in Africa, or the people in China and they have not heard. Now that judgment
won’t be fair, the Bible can’t be presenting a true record of the judgment. I can’t see how you can
have a fair judgment when we’ve all had different kinds of opportunities.”
Maybe we should take the milder side of Jesus’ words to us and talk about his words, “You will be
judged by the light that is given you.” And maybe we should see that each man and woman will be
judged by the light that has been revealed to them. You can quote what Jesus said in the parable of
the two servants. In Luke 12:47 he said, “And that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not
make ready or act according to his will, shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know,
and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of
him will much be required.”
So I would remind you that Jesus says you’ll be judged by the light that is given you. In other
words, it assumes that some light will be given and one must be very straight, and one must really
face the challenge that God gives us to the mission field by seeing that the Bible says, “You’re
dead in your sins and you remain dead unless you receive the begotten life of Jesus.” And one has
to face the fact that it’s very hard to see how the dear ones in China or Russia or Africa or Brazil
or South America are going to receive that begotten life of Jesus unless someone tells him of Jesus.
And it’s very hard to see how they are going to be raised on the last day unless they have the
begotten life of Jesus within them. At this moment they are dead in their sins.
And it seems that the Bible puts the emphasis strongly on the responsibility that all of us have to
transmit the life of Jesus to every creature. In other words, we’re arguing, with the exception of
a few inferences from a few verses in Romans, we’re arguing very much from silence in this hope that
we have that people who have not heard of Jesus will enter into heaven. We’re really arguing from
silence, and even the liberal theologian is reluctant to argue from that point, so we should face
our responsibilities there.
I think some of us are content about those things but maybe the non-Christian comes up and says “You
said it’s going to be fair and some of you are going to be judged by faith and some of us are going
to be judged by our works. Well, that’s not fair. I would rather go up to Jesus on the final
judgment day and say, ‘Lord Jesus, I believe in you, I have faith in you’ and him to accept that
rather than for him to go through my whole life and look into all the works and the words that I
have done and said. Now that’s not a fair judgment if some of us are going to be judged by faith
and some of us by works.”
Dear Christians, would you listen to these words carefully, they’re words in our Bible in James 2:24
and we need to allow God’s sword to cut into our hearts. James 2:24, “You see that man is justified
by works and not by faith alone.” A man is justified by works and not by faith alone. Some of us
say, “I know I’m right with God. I know I have faith in Jesus.” But the Bible tells you how you
can know. Not because “I feel I feel a feeling that I felt I felt before.” That’s not how you
know. But the Bible says, “Hereby know that we are the children of God by the spirit of obedience
that he has given us.”
In other words, we know we have faith because we have works. They are the works that are produced
by faith as opposed to the works that are produced from fear of God, but they are works that show
that we have faith. And on that final day when we say we have faith in Jesus, Jesus will say to us,
“Let me see your works and when I see your works I will judge whether you have faith in me.” Can
you explain this: when we meet God on the final day, and we’re asked if we have Jesus in our hearts
and we say, “Yes.” and then God says, “Well, you were angry with your brother yesterday. You were
sarcastic with your dear one at home two weeks ago. You have felt envy in your heart. Now my Son
is not like that. My Son Jesus does not feel those things. If he were in you, you would not feel
Do you see that God cannot be bluffed; that a man is justified by his works and those are the things
that prove the faith within him. It’s the obedience in our lives. “If a man loves me he will keep
my words.” There’s no question of it. “Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin.” “The Spirit
of God witnesses with our spirit that we are the children of God” and the witness of our own spirit
is the witness of a clean conscience; knowing that we have not committed sin and that if we have it
was under the blood and we have turned from it. But a man is justified by works and not by faith
Paul says it at greater length in Romans 2:6-10, “For he will render to every man according to his
works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give
eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth,” not believe the truth but,
“obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every
human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for every
one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.”
We’ll need to show our lives to prove that Jesus lives within. It applies to our words, Jesus said,
“I tell you that on that day man will render account for every careless word he has uttered.” Now I
don’t want to burden the point but cynicism and sarcasm are words that will have to be rendered
account for on that day. And the white lie will have to be rendered account for on that day, and
the critical conversation will have to be given account for on that day.
Some of us may face some of that and yet we think, “Well surely in this complex world, God will draw
us all to himself at the end. Surely God loves us more than anything else. Surely it will be a
failure in his own purpose if he does not draw us all to himself at the end.” It would be an
admission of defeat. Now, you can see that I can love my wife, but unless she loves me there is no
true marriage. And God can love us so much that he gave his own Son for us, but unless we love him
back, there is no fellowship between us.
It doesn’t matter how much God loves us; if we don’t respond to that love, we will not be in heaven.
Some people feel, “Our God will keep up this bombardment of love and he will just destroy us, and
beat us because he keeps on longer than we can resist.” No, it isn’t so. That’s a mockery of God’s
love. God loves us but unless we love him back there will be no place for us in heaven. God cannot
draw to himself those who do not want to come; otherwise he’d have prisoners in heaven that would
make heaven hell by their own presence.
Jesus told a parable, he said, “Then the householder, when he has risen up and shut the door, you
will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ He will
answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’” And it seems that Jesus made it very plain to us
that there will come a day when the door will be no longer open to us.
What is hell like? The Bible likens it to a lake of fire. I think we admit that if it’s physical
fire then we have known something maybe worse than physical fire. Nevertheless, the Bible finds it
so difficult to describe hell to us in sufficient terrible and tragic figures that it likens it to a
lake of fire where we’ll burn forever in our own lusts against one another. It’s a place where
you’ll have great groups of people who are bound by their own selfishness, bound by their own hatred
and their sarcasm and their cynicism; bound by their own desire to consume one another and pull one
another apart. Hell will be a place where those spirits burn in their own lusts against one
The Bible likens it to an outer darkness where there is no light. To a second death which is worse
than the physical death we will endure at the end. To a second death which will continue forever,
and ever, and ever. And perhaps the worst thing about hell is spoken by Paul in Thessalonians when
he says, “They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of
the Lord and from the glory of his mind.”
The sunshine is made by God, and smiles are made by God, and understanding, and love, and gentleness
are made by God and wherever God is those things exist and wherever God is absent, those things are
not known. When we will be excluded from the presence of the Lord, we will be excluded from anyone
who understands us. No one will understand us. Everyone will detest each other. They will destroy
each other continually forever.
What is heaven like? The Bible finds equal difficulty in describing heaven. The Bible likens it to
a great marriage feast where people are rejoicing, and likens it to a great supper, or to a
beautiful garden where there is peace and calmness and beauty. But perhaps the greatest thing about
it is said by Paul again. He says, “We shall always be with the Lord, and Jesus will walk in and
out among us as it was planned he should walk in the Garden of Eden in Creation.” And the Bible
says, “We shall know him and we shall be like him for we will reflect his glory.” Jesus will see
dear ones who reflect his own beauty back into his eyes.
Perhaps the best description of it is given by John who says this, “There shall no more be anything
accursed but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it and his servants shall worship him.
They shall see his face and his name shall be on their forehead and light shall be no more. They
need no light of lamp, nor sun, for the Lord God will be their light and they shall reign forever
and ever.” And you can know you’re going there tonight — you can know that this very night. On
that day, Jesus will look for his own reflection in your life. Does he find it tonight? If he
doesn’t find it tonight, how is he ever going to find it on that day?
Dear ones, is Jesus reflecting himself in your life? Is your life free from dishonesty? Is your
life free from lying and deception? Is your life free from envy and anger? Is your life free from
irritability and jealousy? Is your life free from selfishness and covetousness? Is your life free
from impurity and unclean thoughts? Is your life filled with a great burden for souls as Jesus’ own
heart is? Is your heart filled with a great desire to love God and to do his will in every way you
can? If your life is, then you possess the begotten life of God within you and on that day Jesus
will look at you and say, “Come you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from
the foundation of the world.”
And if your life is not free from those things and not filled with the begotten life of Jesus, and
you’re still arguing about sin then Jesus will say to you, “Go to my left hand and depart to the
eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Will you examine your own heart tonight, and
here’s what I’d ask you to do; stop arguing with God tonight. Stop trying to prove that you’re
right when you’re wrong. That’s what confession means, agree with God. Stop arguing over anger,
would you? Would you stop arguing that anger is right? Would you stop arguing that envy is alright
if it’s just a flash? Would you stop arguing that a little bit of criticism is good because you
have to judge people a little? Would you stop arguing with God and admit, “Father, I have not your
begotten life in me because I have the symptoms of the old created death life in me and I am not
prepared to face you tonight should you ask me.”
Simply admit that and then look to Jesus and Jesus is ready tonight to give you the begotten life of
God. The begotten life that will produce a reflection of himself in you so on that day he will
reach down his hand and immediately he sees in your face he will say, “John, Gene, Peter, it’s good
to receive you. We’ve known each other for years and you’ve obeyed me for years, and you’ve loved
me with all your heart. Come, you’re already mine.” Dear ones, do you know you’re his tonight? Do
you? If you don’t will you come and receive him? Come and receive him. It doesn’t matter if
you’ve been a Christian for forty years, if there’s anger or envy in your life; you need the
begotten life of Jesus. You need to be able to face him with a fresh breeze blowing through your
conscience and an assurance that you’re clean and that you’re ready to be judged this very night.
I pray that God will give you grace and that you’ll do just what he tells you tonight so that glory
will be brought to him. Let us pray.
Freedom of The Will - REVIVAL
Freedom from Bondage to the Will 1
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
What I’d like to do tonight and next Sunday night is share some teachings with you about the
victorious life, because we’ll spend all of October listening to the reports from Amsterdam, France,
Germany, London, and Puerto Rico and we’ll be seeing slides and hearing the testimonies of the
brothers and sisters about the work that God was doing through them during the summer. So these
will be the two teachings that we’ll have before November so I think its better not to have a
question time during these two evenings, but to begin the question times during November.
What I’d like to share is the truth that you find in John 8:32. It is a freeing statement that God
gives us in this verse as he says through his son, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will
make you free.” Now there’s no reason at all for you at any time in your Christian life to be
anything but totally free, really. There is no reason for you to ever be anything but free and the
truth always will make you free. It is only the deception of Satan and the lies of Satan that will
ever bring you into bondage and yet why I share this tonight is because a number of us, at different
stages in our Christian lives, come into bondage and we don’t need to brothers and sisters.
It is true that the truth makes you free. And if you look down a few verses to verse 36 you see
where the truth is and how it does make you free. Verse 36 runs, “So if the Son makes you free, you
will be free indeed.” And every time you deal with the truth that is in Jesus you live free and
every time you miss that truth you come into bondage.
There are four great stages in our Christian life where you can come into bondage and they
correspond to four parts of Jesus’ life. The first one is that whole element of conscience; many of
us can come into tremendous bondage over conscience. The second one is our wills, our independent
selfish wills; many of us come into bondage over our wills. The third one is the psychological part
of us, our mind and emotions and many of us can come into bondage about our mind and emotions. And
then the fourth one refers to the inner part of us, our spirits, and many of us can come into
bondage in regard to our spirits.
Now there is a truth that is in Jesus that delivers us from bondage in each area of our lives and it
corresponds to the birth of Jesus, to the death of Jesus, to the resurrection of Jesus, and to the
ascension of Jesus. It is God’s will that we would experience the birth, the death, the
resurrection, and the ascension of Jesus completely in regard to each of those areas of our lives,
and if we don’t we come into bondage.
Now loved ones, there is only one way to experience the birth and death and resurrection and the
ascension of Jesus in reality in our own lives and that is through faith. And faith is very simple;
it consists of believing and obeying. Each time in regard to this area of our lives, all we have to
do is to believe certain things about Jesus and to obey certain things in Jesus and we come into
Let’s take the first one, the whole business of conscience. Most of us start our Christian lives by
coming into a real sense of bondage over a verse like Matthew 5:22. We read a verse like this and
immediately come into a tremendous bondage, “But I say to you that every one who is angry with his
brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and
whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” Many of us come into great bondage
in our consciences when we begin to realize that we are doing things that God has told us deserve
the penalty of eternal death and separation from him, so we come into a great bondage of guilt.
We know that the wages of sin is death, and we know that we have sin in our own lives and the way
out of that bondage is very clearly stated in the Bible and it refers to the whole business of the
new birth in the spirit. We are asked to believe a certain thing about Jesus and that certain thing
is in Romans 4:24-25 where it’s stated plainly by God, “It will be reckoned to us who believe in him
that raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our
justification.” And it’s stated plainly there that if you believe that Jesus has died for that sin
in your life, then that faith of yours will be reckoned as righteousness and you’re asked to
The second thing you’re asked to do is stated in Matthew 3:2 and you remember it’s that plain
statement of Jesus that you’re to believe, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” And dear
ones, that’s all we’re called to do to be free from the bondage of guilt, but many of us mess the
whole thing up. We begin to realize we have to repent, and we begin to come under bondage about
repentance. We have an incredible ability to turn God’s freedom into salvation by works, and some
of us will do that. We’ll look at the believing, and we’ll look at the obeying and the repenting
and we’ll say, “Well the repenting means I have to repent thoroughly.” And we get down to bringing
about a thorough repentance and many of us begin to feel, “Unless we feel a desperate sorrow for our
sins we have not truly repented.” And I know there’s a dear sister among us in these days who feels
she doesn’t repent enough, she feels, “I don’t feel repentance. I have to feel it.”
Loved ones, do you see that repentance is just what it says; you turn from your sin and if you keep
sinning, you keep turning from your sin. But repentance is “metanoia”; it’s a change of mind. You
turn from what you’re doing and you turn to Jesus, it is not a matter of feeling repentance. But
many of us have turned from the truth that sets us free and have turned to the error of Satan and
we’ve begun to think we must feel this repentance. We think, “I don’t feel it enough. God can’t
forgive me because I don’t feel it enough.” Do you see where that’s taking you? That’s taking you
into works. You’re saying, “If I don’t do this work thoroughly enough God cannot forgive me.”
You’ll never repent deeply enough to justify God forgiving you. God forgives you because you are
justified by the blood of Jesus and that is the truth that sets you free and that’s found in Romans
5:9. It isn’t the thoroughness of repentance, though certainly God asks you to repent. He says,
“If you repent and believe then the blood of my Son will justify you in my eyes.” But do you see
it’s the blood of Jesus that justifies you in God’s eyes because you’ve repented and believed, not
because of the thoroughness of your sorrow at your sin.
Now it’s very important to see it, otherwise you can begin to punish yourself and many of us have
come into that. We’ve sinned and we’ve committed a sin that we committed ten weeks before and we
know it’s wrong and we begin to sense inside ourselves, “I deserve to have a period of real
contrition before God can possibly accept me into his family again.” Therefore we impose upon
ourselves a certain time limit and we say, “Unless we go through this period of contrition, God
cannot possibly forgive us.”
Now loved ones, can you see that’s the doctrine of penance that brought so many in the Catholic
Church into bondage? That’s what penance is. It’s saying, “Unless I punish myself enough, unless I
sorrow enough, God will not forgive me.” Repentance is turning from your sin and believing that the
blood of Jesus alone will make you right with God, not the thoroughness of you repentance.
Nevertheless you have to be thorough and go through all the sins that you have and repent of them.
But you don’t have to squeeze yourself dry to get yourself sorrowful enough.
Many of us have come into the same problem over confession, which is part of repentance. Many of us
fall into the bondage of a sensitivity group. We wonder, “Have I confessed everything? I must
confess again. I didn’t make that right with that other brother so I must make it right again.” And
many of us come into a place where we think, “Have I confessed everything? Have I confessed
Dear ones have come to me and said week after week, after week, “I have something else to confess.”
Now loved ones, do you see that is bondage? You confess all that you know is wrong in your life,
you make it straight before God, you make it straight with other people, you turn from it and that’s
your confession and repentance.
Many of us come into bondage even over the believing. The believing is to believe that the blood of
Jesus justifies us before God –to believe simply that Jesus has died for our sins. But many of us
come into the old heresy of a corner on truth. We say, “We believe in the substitutionary death of
Jesus in a subtly different way than all other churches and that’s what saves us.” That just brings
you into bondage. It brings you into a preoccupation with the peccadillos of the atonement. Do you
see that God expects you to believe that Jesus has died for you — just to believe that – and that
it’s the death of Jesus that makes you right with God? It’s not your exact precise statement of the
atonement or of the way Jesus’ death saved you, it’s simply you believing that Jesus has died for
There’s such a freedom comes into your life when you reduce it all to simply repenting and
believing. Just repenting of your sins and believing that Jesus’ death satisfies your Father. Just
that, and suddenly there comes into your heart a clear assurance of God’s acceptance of you. But do
you see that the truth makes you free? It’s the errors and lies of Satan that bring you into
bondage about that.
Now maybe we won’t get through the four parts tonight, maybe we’ll get as far as the second part.
But many of us, after we’re born of the Spirit, come into this problem of the will that will not
obey Jesus and that’s what I shared with you this morning. We come into this area where we find
that our wills do not want to submit to God’s law. Indeed, they cannot submit. They just keep
acting against God in rebellion; we try to bend them in God’s direction and we cannot do anything
God has made provision for that too, you see. It is madness for us to come into that hypocritical
double life and almost go insane thinking that God has not made provision for it. Loved ones, God
has made clear provision for it and again here, the truth makes you free. The truth is very simple
and it’s stated in the Bible and just as Romans 5:9 is the truth that sets you free in the first
instance, the truth that sets you free here is Romans 6:6, “That our old self was crucified with
Christ.” God has said that that is made real in our lives just as the first one is made real in our
lives; if again we believe and obey.
This time we believe Romans 6:11, you reckon that you have been crucified with Christ and you
submit, in Romans 6:13, you submit your members to the Spirit of God. But again, it’s belief and
obey and it’s very simple, but many of us break away from the freedom that is in those words and we
come into bondage. We find this will that we can do nothing about and we start to rationalize it
and say, “Masturbation isn’t too bad. It’s kind of a human trait that many of us have to face
through the early part of our lives and marriage will clear it all up.” Or if we criticize people a
bit we say, “Well, you need to use the old critical faculty, otherwise where would you be? You have
to judge people to know who to agree with and who not to agree with.”
Or we rationalize not getting up in the morning by saying, “We just happen to be people who work
better late at night than we do early in the morning and no doubt we’ll be able to work into deep
prayer later on in the evenings.” Or we say to ourselves, “Well, witnessing – yeah, but I’m just a
different kind of person. I’m not one of these people who can run up with the four spiritual laws
and witness like that. I have to go more slowly and subtly about it. I believe in friendship
evangelism.” And you know, we believe in friendship evangelism, but it never gets to evangelism it
just gets to friendship.
Many of us forget the truth that is in these verses and instead we set about delivering ourselves
from this problem here again by works, you see. We fall into a salvation by works and the only way
we can get rid of it is to rationalize the failings of this will. And many brothers and sisters
walk in bondage to that will because they keep on rationalizing and rationalizing. Or many of us
just repress it, we just keep repressing it. The anger is coming up inside us and we repress it, we
just press it down and try to love people on the outside despite the anger. Or the irritability
comes up and we try to repress it and we keep repressing these things and repressing them.
Do you see that the truth sets you free? The truth doesn’t bring you into bondage like that. It is
not God’s will that you should walk in continual repression that shows like that great defeat in the
back of your eyes. It is God’s will that you should walk free of this, not in rationalizing and not
in repression but in a real deliverance. Some of us say, “I believe that but I have to see it for
myself.” And we start introspecting and looking inside, and we get all worked up with looking
inside and working out our motives and our attitudes and our reactions, and our desires, and again
we come into tremendous bondage.
Now brothers and sisters you know that many of us who have come into an awareness of the problem of
our selfish independent will have not walked the way of freedom at all. We have walked, rather, the
way of bondage. We have walked either in continual introspection, or in continual repression, or in
continual rationalizing. Many of us, for instance, just disagree with God and we come into total
Do you see that total despair is a frank rejection of what God has said is true about us in the
Bible? You’ll see it in Romans 7:18, “For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my
flesh.” “For I know that nothing good dwells within me.” Coming into despair is a rejection of
that truth. Do you see that you come into despair because you’re still hoping for something good
from inside you?
There’s a great peace that comes in your heart when you accept, “That’s right — there is nothing
good inside me and God sees that clearly and he expects me to accept that. But we come into bondage
of despair when we’re still hoping for something good inside us. Or the other reason we come into
despair is because we don’t really believe Romans 5:9 which says, “You’re justified by the blood of
Jesus.” We come into despair because deep down we really believe that we’re going to be justified
by our victorious life or by our good works or by our victory over sin and that’s why we come into
But again, do you see it’s the lie of Satan that brings us into bondage? The truth that is in the
Son sets us free, and the truth that is in the Son is that there is no good in you at all. The
reason you’re having such trouble with yourself is you’re still expecting some good from inside you.
Actually, what God wants you to see is that there is no good in you and in fact, to believe and to
reckon yourself dead indeed with Jesus on the cross. And the word “reckon” in Greek means to treat
yourself as really dead.
But many of us keep on rationalizing and repressing so when we come into a situation where somebody
attacks us or criticizes us in the office we don’t act as a corpse — no. We are very much alive,
we whip right back. The old corpse is lying flat on the ground; suddenly the arm lifts up and
strikes the fella back. Now do you see that’s where we’re going astray? We’re rationalizing, we’re
repressing, we’re introspecting, we’re coming into despair but we’re not reckoning ourselves into
Jesus; dead indeed unto self and alive to Jesus.
Do you see that believing is an active thing? Loved ones, a number of us are coming into bondage
because we’re thinking this is a game that you play in your thoughts. It isn’t, believing is a very
active thing. Believe in Anglo-Saxton means you be in accordance with what the truth is. The truth
is you were crucified with Christ so okay, let him tear you apart. What’s he tearing apart — an
old dead corpse? What does that matter?
But do you see you “be in accordance” with what is the truth in Jesus. Belief is not a juggling
with thoughts loved ones. It’s not introspection, it’s not repression, it’s not rationalization,
it’s not despair, it’s simply acting as if you’ve been crucified with Christ and there’s no “you” to
respond. Obedience in the same thing: a lot of us are coming into this place where we say, “I
believe I’m crucified with Christ but I still don’t feel crucified.” It doesn’t matter whether you
feel it or not. It doesn’t matter whether other people see it or not. You believe that you’ve been
crucified with Christ and you submit yourself to the Holy Spirit at each moment as he tells you
things. But brothers and sisters, do you see that the truth is in a way a very external thing. I
think a number of us come into bondage because we make it an internal juggling with thought life.
No, it isn’t. It’s believing that you’ve been crucified with Christ and acting as if that is true,
and it’s submitting to the Holy Spirit the first time he tells you to do something.
But both of those are very external things. In fact, faith in the New Testament is a very external
thing. It’s believing, treating yourself as if this is true, and as if this is true, and it’s
obeying, obeying God when he tells you to repent and obeying his Spirit when he tells you to do
things. And loved ones, those truths set you free.
I’m sure a number of you are sitting there saying, “Ah, but how does it all become real?” That’s up
to the Holy Spirit. It’s up to the Holy Spirit to make the truth of these two facts real in you.
It’s not up to you to look in and see, “Is my crucifixion with Christ real? Is my new birth real?”
It’s up to the Holy Spirit to make those things real in you as you take care of these things that
you can take care of. But brothers and sisters that is the way of freedom. Truth will always set
you free. It will never bring you into bondage.
When you find a brother or sister coming into bondage over their crucifixion with Christ, it’s not
because they’re coming into the truth, it’s because they’re coming into one of these subtle lies or
errors of Satan. But the truth itself will always set you free. Now loved ones, do you see tonight
that all I can do is present those truths briefly to you and give you the scripture verses? You,
yourself, need to go to the Holy Spirit and ask, “Holy Spirit, am I coming into bondage to some
deception of Satan in these areas of my life? Is it because I’ve accepted some of Satan’s lies that
I’m in bondage about my forgiveness of my sins or about my victory over sin? Am I really dwelling
in the truth?” And loved ones, the truth is a joyful thing to live in. And the truth is those two
things — actually entering into those in actuality and that sets you free, it really does.
Next Sunday evening I’d like to talk a little about these areas that we’ve talked of before at
times, the mind and emotions, and how they’re connected with the resurrection of Jesus, and the
Spirit and how it’s connected with the ascension of Jesus. Some of you may find that you’ve come as
far as the first two and you are having victory there and yet you’re coming into bondage here in
these areas. But loved ones, do you see that it’s really a very simple thing, and we should see it
as that. It’s an active thing you see, it’s not a feeling thing, it’s not an internal juggling of
thoughts thing, it’s an active believing and obeying.
So will you go to the Holy Spirit and ask him, “Holy Spirit, have I come into unnecessary bondage in
these areas” and really get clear and walk free, walk free each day. It is the Father’s will. Let
Lord Jesus, we thank you that your way is a way of freedom. Savior, we know that Satan is in among
us trying to internalize this whole business until it’s all a psychological game. But Lord Jesus,
we know it’s a very sure appropriation of what has happened to us in you on Calvary. Lord Jesus, we
know that it is the Holy Spirit that makes these things real in us, it isn’t us by all our emotions,
and all our introspection, it is the Holy Spirit. We thank you that if we do our part you will do
yours and we thank you that our part is so clear and so obvious.
In order to come into a real forgiveness of our sins, and a real freedom from guilt in our
consciences, we’ve simply to repent, turn from our sins and believe that you have died for us. And
in regard to that old selfish independent will inside us that is making a mess of our Christian
lives, we’ve simply to accept that we were crucified with you and to live as if that is really true
by submitting to your Holy Spirit each time he speaks.
Lord Jesus, we thank you that it is such a joyous way. We thank you that it is such a way of
freedom and liberty. Now I trust you Savior, by your Holy Spirit, to apply these to each brother
and sister here tonight so that if there is anyone here walking in bondage in regard to their
conscience or their wills, they will come into real freedom in you. Lord, we thank you that you
have told us that we are to rejoice and again you said to us to rejoice. We thank you that we can
walk in continual joy because all of this has been done already in you and we’ve simply to accept it
into our own lives.
We commit ourselves to you for this purpose. Now Lord Jesus, in the coming week we trust you to
find it easy to live freely in us and we commit ourselves to living for you, to put you first. We
commit ourselves to turning from our own selves and all our self-concern — wondering what people
are thinking of us, wondering how we’re doing, and we commit ourselves to looking to you and being
concerned about you this week, not us. Savior, we trust you to give us a Christ centered life as we
do this so that you will, in every way, be able to live your life again through us wherever we go
these next days. Now we commit ourselves to you and trust you to fill us with your Spirit for this
Now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with
each one of us now and ever more. Amen.
Freedom From The Will - REVIVAL
Freedom from Bondage to the Will 2
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
You remember, last Sunday evening I was sharing that verse in John 8:32 if you would like to look at
it. And it runs like this, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Then
further down in 36, you remember, it runs, “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
And I shared that if you are really dwelling in truth, that truth will make you free. And that is
effective right throughout the Christian life and throughout every stage in the Christian life.
But if you’re not believing the truth or dwelling in the truth then you will come into all kinds of
bondage. You remember, I suggested that there seemed to be four difference stages or areas in our
Christian lives where many of us managed to come into bondage. And they really related to four
different events in Christ’s life. And the answer to this bondage was allowing the Holy Spirit to
apply each of the four stages of Christ’s life to us. But if we didn’t do that we could come into
And you remember, I suggested that one of them was conscience. That at the very beginning of our
Christian lives we have trouble with a guilty conscience and many of us could come into bondage
through trying to work out the guilt. Trying to be good church-goers, or trying to be moral people,
or doing our best to work out our own salvation. And really the answer was to come into the meaning
of Romans 5:9, that we’re justified by the blood of Jesus.
Whatever our lives are like, however miserable they are, God accepts us because Jesus’ blood has
been shed for our rebellious lives. And the way to enter into that was through a death, and
experiencing the birth of Jesus inside us. And the only way for that to come about is by the action
of God. And where the Holy Spirit brings Jesus alive inside us – we become free of that guilty
conscience. And the way to come into that is to believe and obey. And the way to come into all of
these freedoms, these four freedoms in these four areas of our lives is really to come into belief
and obedience about certain facts in Jesus’ life and death.
And here you know, it’s Romans 4:24, that we are justified by the blood of Jesus, that because of
Jesus’ death, God forgives us. And we’re called to believe that and we’re called to obey, and
we’re called to repent. It says, “Unless you repent you will have no place in the kingdom of
heaven. Unless you repent you will perish.” And so in coming into the new birth of Jesus you’ve to
believe that he died for you and that his blood satisfies God, and you’ve to repent and turn from
the things that you’ve been doing wrong.
You remember, that many of us thought about a salvation by works. Many of us turned repentance
into, “I must feel repentance. Unless I feel it, unless I work out this repentance so that I feel
pain and sorrow God will not forgive me.” And so many of us wait days, and days after we’ve sin
against God trying to work up enough repentance. In fact, all we’re trying to do is penance. We’re
trying to punish ourselves to make us feel that God ought to forgive us now that we have justified
him by punishing ourselves.
And we do the same, you know, with believing. Many of us say, “Oh, we know you have to believe but
you have to believe in a certain way. You have to believe a certain theory of the atonement, or you
have to believe a certain corner on truth about Jesus and then God will forgive you.” And we come
into bondage and salvation by works instead of doing two simple things, brother and sisters,
believing and obeying. Believing that Jesus has died for us and repenting of our sins and stop
doing them. And really, becoming a Christian is as easy as that.
I know many of us go along in the Christian life and we find we have trouble with this old selfish
will. And it’s just a will that wants to go its own way, and it wants to do its own thing at its
own time in its own way for its own glory. And many of us find that working inside us, even after
we’ve been born of the spirit. And the only answer to that – is really coming into an experience of
the fact that we were crucified with Christ. Coming into a place where we’re ready to die to self
and be crucified with Jesus.
Many of us don’t tackle that answer. We work the old salvation by works business. We try to
repress the selfish will. We try to rationalize it away and say, “All Christians get angry.” Or,
we try in some way to get rid of this stuff underneath. But we try to get rid of it by works of all
kinds. Now the only answer really is to allow the Holy Spirit to make this death of Christ real in
us. And the only way we can do it is by believing and obeying. By believing that we were crucified
with Christ and then by submitting to his Holy Spirit each moment of the day so that the Holy Spirit
is then able to bring this about.
Brothers and sisters, what I’m really trying to say is the Holy Spirit works the miracle on the left
hand of that line. If we do the things that are on the right hand of the line. Now that’s true.
The Holy Spirit makes the new birth real miraculously in us if we will simply believe that Jesus has
died for us and repent of our sins. The Holy Spirit makes the death of Jesus real in us and gives
us victory over anger, and jealousy, and envy, and pride, and lust if we simply believe that we were
crucified with Christ, that we have no right to our own lives, or no right to our own way and we
yield moment-by-moment instant obedience to the Holy Spirit.
Now it is true loved ones, God works the miracle on the left hand side of that double line if we do
the things on the right hand side of the line. And brothers and sisters, every one of us who are
coming into bondage about our guilty consciences, or about our selfish wills, are coming into
bondage because we won’t do one of these two things. Either we won’t believe that Jesus is risen
with God, or we won’t turn from all our sins, or we won’t believe that we’ve been crucified with
Christ. We keep on saying, “No, I’m not crucified I get angry every day. I’m obviously not
crucified.” But God’s word says you were crucified.
Either you don’t believe that, you won’t accept it, you keep looking to your experience to disprove
what God’s word says is true, or you won’t submit to the Holy Spirit when he says, “Shut up. Just
don’t answer. Okay, that took you apart now shut up. Just keep quiet and leave it to me.” And
either we won’t believe that we’re crucified with Christ or we won’t simply submit to the Holy
Spirit. Now brothers and sisters, that’s it honestly.
Loved ones, if I could take each of you and say really if you’re having trouble with either guilty
conscience or selfish will it’s because you’re not doing one of these two things. Brothers and
sisters, it’s not because you alone have managed to defeat the infinite plan of the infinite Creator
of the universe. It is not true. It is not true that you’re so different from everybody else in
the universe that God has not made a plan that works with you. It works with you, all you really
need to do is give up the salvation by works and come into believing and obeying.
Now brothers and sisters, here’s something that we come into after maybe coming into some victory
about a guilty conscience and a selfish will. And I say some victory because many of us find we
have to walk in this daily in order to experience the victory. But many of us come into a different
area completely and it’s this area to do with the mind and the emotions. Here we find that the will
is selfish, here we find that we have independent mind and emotions that go their own way at times
in spite of the fact that Jesus is with us.
Now here’s the kind of expression that took in Paul in Galatians 2:11-14 you’ll find it. Galatians
2:11-14, you remember that they had a whole discussion, Peter and Paul, about the business of
whether ordinary people, gentiles, should become Jews before they become Christians. And you
remember, they decided no, they shouldn’t. They shouldn’t have to submit to all the regulations
that the Jews have to submit to, they should be able to become Christians right away and Jesus
coming in wiped out and superseded all those ritual laws of the Jews, though not the moral laws.
This is Galatians 2:11, “But when Cephas came to Antioch,” Paul says, “I opposed him to his face,
because he stood condemned. For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but
when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. And with him the
rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity.
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas
before them all, ‘If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel
the Gentiles to live like Jews?’”
Now do you see, that you can’t accuse Peter who already fought the battle of reputation in the
courtyard with the little maid. You can’t accuse Peter who already laid himself, his life down on
the day of Pentecost by accusing the murderers of Jesus of that very murder. You can’t accuse Peter
of sinful selfish will but want him to go his own way and protect himself. You can’t brothers and
sisters. You have to face the fact that old Peter’s mind had been running like a Jew’s mind for
years, and years, and years. And when he came into this situation he felt, “Well, well, no I better
do it. I better withdraw for the sake of my Jewish friends.” And he made a mistake because his
mind had been brought up as Jew for years and years.
Now brothers and sisters, that’s what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the fact that
many of us have minds, and emotions that have been programmed by a selfish will for week in and week
out and month in and month out. And whenever we’re filled with the Holy Spirit here, and crucified
with Christ, we often find that our minds and our emotions are still independent of our spirits,
still go in ways that we don’t really want them to go.
Another example of it for instances, is Matthew 26 and I know none of you will come into this
problem with sleep but the disciples did. But let’s look at it just to see how some poor souls have
to suffer. Matthew 26:38, “Then he said to them, ‘My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain
here, and watch with me.” Then Verse 40, “And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and
he said to Peter, ‘So, could you not watch with me one hour?’” And do you see that the disciples
wanted to watch with Jesus but the old mind was used to sleeping at midnight and as midnight came
off it went.
Now do you see there are times when we get up in the morning, or the alarm goes off at six o’clock
and we settled it, “Six o’clock we’ll get up and we’ll start the day with the Father.” And we’re
willing to die to our own comfort and we’re willing to put Jesus first, but we get up, slam down on
the knee and then, ah it’s beautiful, it’s just beautiful and that time of prayer went so fast.
Really, it’s 11 o’clock already, I didn’t know it was gone. Then somebody says, “You know, you
slept thru the morning. And you say, “Well, I was higher than that, you know. I was just up there
in the heavenlies, I didn’t know a thing. Just went a quick hour like that, never knew a thing.”
Now you know you didn’t do much praying at all. You went to sleep, or you dosed, or you didn’t
pray. Now do you see that’s the soul, that’s the old mind and emotions that still are not
submissive servants to the Spirit. Another example is this, and it comes – you can see it, you can
see it in the evenings, you can see it in all our singing. We all used to be great singers, ah we’d
get into that church, strum the old guitars, and clap the old hands, and away we’d go. We weren’t
very sure whether it was emotion or spirit but we were going, and we were really up there.
Now you can see the old problem, we come together again and again as a body and boy, the old
emotions are used to going that way. And as some fella gets the whole hand clapping going you’re
not quite sure whether you want a tambourine to tap or whether you want to get up and dance, and
you’re not quite sure whether it is Jesus you’re preoccupied with, or the beat of the music, but
it’s really going.
In other words, it’s difficult at times isn’t it, to worship continually in the spirit. It isn’t
that the spirit possesses no emotion, but it’s that often our emotions run away independent of our
spirits. Or, you meet somebody new, they come into the theater or they come to church, and you
really want to be real, you really do want to love them. You don’t want to come over as one of those
gushy people who make a lot of small talk to make everybody feel comfortable. You really want to be
straight. You really want to be Jesus to them and really love them honestly, and look into their
eyes, and let them know that you’re not just turning the stuff on.
But the old mind and emotions have been programmed for years and before you know it you’re into –
what did they do? what did they study? and you never get beyond that. You just get lost in what
course are you studying? “Oh yeah, I studied that last year. Yeah, well it’s quite good here.”
“Yeah, do you like the singing?” “Yes, it’s good.” “Well, we met so and so.” And little spirit
goes over you know. It’s the old emotions gushing out and you’re making a big impression of
friendliness on them but there’s no quietness of spirit coming in. Or, it happens in the houses,
really – it’s very hard to live in a Christian house with other Christians. In fact, it’s very hard
to live in any house with other people without really being dead to self. It really is.
Without being dead to self you’re always coming up against little strains and little pieces of
friction. Now, many of us have found that we have really died to self. We’ve really been filled
with the Holy Spirit but in our houses we come up against the problem that our mind has been
programmed for years to regard that piece of clothing as ours. And this fella comes in and picks it
up and you know, really the clothing doesn’t matter much, you’re dead to that, you know that God
will give you whatever clothes are needed but the old mind is programmed and you think, “What’s he
doing?” And before you know it the mind is out with some comment.
I’m not backing the fact that he’s taking your clothing, no I’m not for that. But it’s the problem
of the old response coming out not from the level of a selfish will so much as from independent mind
and emotions that are just beginning to walk in the old selfish way. And many of us brothers and
sisters, have found that if we don’t deal with this independent mind and emotions it begins to drag
us back into ourselves.
What many of us have found is we’ve committed our whole self to Jesus, we’ve decided to walk with
him, we’ve decided to die to our own careers, to the right to success, to social security, to life
insurance, and we walk that way but the old mind and emotions we don’t allow them to be dealt with
by the cross and so they flip back onto the old way of thinking. And so we’re in a worse state than
people who never started on the Calvary road. We’re half way out there, we’re working for Fish for
$120 miserable dollars a month and we’re way out there and the mind is going back to the brothers
and sisters at home, to the family, we’re listening to what our parents want us to be, we’re
listening to what we should be in our careers and we begin to come into real conflict.
Now brothers and sisters, do you see that if you don’t deal with the independent mind and emotions,
you can minister no life. If we don’t come into a real freedom from the bondage of our minds and
emotions, we will minister no life in our meetings, we’ll minister just emotion. We’ll minister no
life in our witnessing, we’ll minister just a very persuasive convincing logical argument. Or,
we’ll impress people with our emotion of love, but unless we come into a place where we begin to
allow the cross to deal with these parts of us and not wipe them out but discipline them and bring
them under the control of our spirits, we’ll really be useless for ministering life and we’ll
eventually fall back into our selfish will.
Now here is the very problem, many of us when we see that we begin to realize we have to do
something about it. The verse that you find it in is 2 Corinthians 4:7 which would express this
truth – it runs like this, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the
transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.” Many of us would come to that conclusion, “That’s
right the Spirit of Jesus inside me but my old earthly mind and emotions are around it and they’re
not submissive to it and they’re not expressing it purely and cleanly.” And so we say, “Yeah, well
this old earthen vessel, I’ll have to do something about it.”
Now, here are the two approaches that most people take to deliver themselves from this. By works,
and it only brings them into more bondage. Some people say, “Well, pastor what you said tonight is
true, my old emotions whip away off at times when I shouldn’t be emotional at all. And I know that
I should be ministering the quietness of Jesus in a quiet emotional love, but I’m out gushing away.
My emotions are out of control and I know that. Now I realize that what you say is true, that a
real Christian who is walking in the spirit is one who has his emotions controlled by his spirit. I
am going to control those miserable emotions.” And that’s the first wrong step we take.
And many of us get into the business of annihilating the emotions. And we say to ourselves, “That’s
right – a Christian is not an emotional person, he’s a spiritual person so I must annihilate these
emotions. Nobody will get a smile out of me, nope. Very interesting brother, I’m glad that your
wife had a baby,” but thinks, “I mustn’t get too excited about it least he think I’m not a spiritual
Christian.” Now brothers and sisters you know that in many so-called spirit filled circles you meet
those dear, dear souls and you must be loving and kind to them because all of us have made the
mistake, who think that a Christian is one who has no emotions at all. Or, there are some people
that say, “That’s right brother, a Christian is one who walks in the spirit not in his mind.”
And so they come into this problem of becoming passive in their minds, and they just give up the use
of their minds. And there are many dear ones who have good minds, and they come to making a
decision and they just won’t think about it, they won’t think about it at all. They won’t use their
mind to gather the information that God wants them to gather, they just say, “No, no, I’ll wait for
the spirit to tell me.” And these are dear ones, you know, you meet them and you ask them, “Do you
know what you’re going to do tomorrow?” And they say, “No, no I’m waiting for the Lord to tell me.”
And they’re still waiting tomorrow, and they’re still waiting the next day, and they’re just
wandering around in a kind of blankness because they’ve started to annihilate their minds.
They’re the people, you know, who read books and won’t judge the book, or criticize the book,
they’ll just read the book and accept everything that comes in from the book. Anybody that appears
to have a spiritual smile on their faces they’ll say, “Ah, they’re spiritual people.” They give up
using their minds completely and they come – most people like that come into a tremendous passivity,
you know, where they just join a bless me club where they just worship, as they say, in the spirit
night and day and they are not used by God to transmit any life to anyone else.
That’s one of the problems where they come into bondage by trying to annihilate the mind and
emotions. Or brothers and sisters, there’s another method that some try, they ‘over’ exercise their
minds and emotions. They read a verse, you see, there’s a verse in Romans 12:11, and it runs like
this, Romans 12:11, “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.” And they say,
“That’s right, the way to be a spiritual Christian is to be aglow with the Spirit.” And so they try
to glow with the Spirit. You can’t decide to glow with the Spirit – you know that. The Holy Spirit
glows within you as he did on the face of Moses or he doesn’t. If you’re disobedient he doesn’t, if
you’re obedient he does but you can’t say, “I’m going to glow with the Spirit.”
But many dear ones say, “Ah, that’s the way to be a spiritual Christian, I must glow with the
Spirit.” And, ah you know, you get fed up with their smiles, you know. They just smile, and smile,
and smile, and smile. You could cut their arms off and they’d still be smiling, and there’s
something a wee bit unreal about it, you know. Or, they say, “I must be aglow with the Spirit, that
means I must worship in a way that glorifies God. I must abandon myself to him.” And they abandon
themselves not spiritually, because you can’t touch your Spirit at all you see, only the Holy Spirit
can touch your spirit. But they say, “I’ll abandon myself in the Spirit,” and they misunderstand of
course the strongest part that is inside them for the Spirit, their emotions.
And so they abandon themselves emotionally, and they feel -you know – that if they’re praising God
with great expression in their voice, and I was caught in this – oh maybe four years ago – in this
same business, if you express to God with a strong emotion in your voice then you’re being very
spiritual. And you get them doing all kinds of things in their prayers, and then if they get into
the experience of tongues at all – they just lose themselves. They’re just content to pray in
tongues all the time not realizing that really that is God’s gift for a person in his infancy. That
is just uninterrupted tongues, you know, in a meeting. It’s just a gift of God to people in their
infancy and worship.
But that God wants you to come on through to the place not where you stop speaking in tongues, but
where you begin to be able to express yourself through your mind and emotions to him. And it’s
maybe good to look at that because I know some of you will have questions. It’s 1 Corinthians
14:14-15 and it would be good just to mention this for a moment or two, brothers and sisters,
because I think there is great misunderstanding about the ninth gift of the Spirit. 1 Corinthians
14:14-15, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.” And God allows
that to come about you see, because many of us have minds that are earth bound and God is gracious
and fills us with the Holy Spirit and gives us the ability to speak in an unknown tongue where our
mind is not used.
Our mind is just bypassed by the Holy Spirit and it lifts us up into the Father. But do you see
that isn’t God’s final will for us, that we’ll spend all our time in prayers doing that. Here’s his
final will in 15, “What am I to do? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind
also.” In other words, it is God’s will that we should come to a place where our spirit can express
joy and glory to Jesus and use our mind to put that into ordinary words that others can understand.
Now don’t sit there and say, “Ah, we can’t use tongues.” Yes, yes you can use tongues but don’t
remain in tongues alone for the rest of your life. See that the Father wants to bring your mind
under the control of your spirit so that you can speak that forth in beautiful words that others
will understand so that they can say amen, so that a stranger comes in he’s not baffled as if you’re
speaking in a foreign language.
Now there are other uses for tongues, you know, but I’m talking about the one where we glorify the
Father. You see it’s the same, many people go into meetings where they speak in tongues and worship
God in tongues, and then the meeting closes and the strange thing is they’re no closer to each other
than when they first went into the meeting because the Spirit has not brought their minds and
emotions into submission to him and so they are not able to express that love to each other after
the meeting is over.
The only way they can really feel one with each other is to blot out all their minds and bypass all
their minds, and go straight up in an unknown tongue to God. Now it’s the Father’s will you see,
that we should come to a place where we can really express love to each other not only in tongues
but really using the words and our minds. Now these are some of the reasons why God wants us to
avoid this business of either annihilating the minds and emotions or over exercising the minds and
emotion thinking that they’re the spirit.
Alright, how do you come into freedom here? It’s the same truth dear ones, it’s through
experiencing the resurrection of Jesus and that resurrection is experienced particularly through the
verse that you read in 2 Corinthians 4:10. 2 Corinthians 4:10, you might like to look at that and
this is the progressive experience of Christ’s death in our own lives. 2 Corinthians 4:10, “Always
carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our
In other words, there is a daily experiencing of Jesus’ death that is specifically planned to deal
with these independent mind and emotions. There’s a once and all experience of Christ’s death to
experience with our selfish will but there is a daily experience of Christ’s death to deal with
these independent minds and emotions. And that’s the experience that the Holy Spirit wants to make
real in us.
How does he do it? Through our believing and obeying two truths that are there in scripture. First
– the believing, believe Hebrews 4:12 and that will save us from all our attempts at annihilation of
our minds and emotions or ‘over’ exercising of them. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living
and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit. The word
of God will divide between our souls and our spirits, “Of joints and marrow, and discerning the
thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
In other words, the first step in dealing with these problems here is to believe God’s word,
“Father, I believe that you by your word will distinguish between my soul and my spirit. You will
gradually bring about through revelation a knowledge of when I’m using my soul and when I’m using my
spirit.” That’s the first step just to take.
The second step is found there in 2 Corinthians 4:8, it’s the way God deals with this and makes this
real in us. It’s obedience to this truth that enables the Holy Spirit to separate our souls, our
minds and emotions from our spirits and to bring them under the control of the spirit. And it’s 2
Corinthians 4:8, and it isn’t an easy way but it is God’s way. 2 Corinthians 4:8, breaking
experiences, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death
of Jesus.” And then what happens when you do that? Verse 16, “So we do not lose heart. Though our
outer nature,” our soul, our minds, and emotions, their independent strength, “Is wasting away, our
inner nature,” our spirits, “Is being renewed every day.” And that God brings about inside you.
What does it mean? I remember going home in the car one morning after service about maybe three or
four years ago and it had been a good service, it was at Bethany Presbyterian and Jesus was just
very really there and I was going home down the River Road, I lived in Bloomington and was going
down the River Road, and was just singing away. And I was really enjoying it and really just glad
that Jesus had done such a work in the service. And I got home, sat down at lunch and just went
down like that and I didn’t know what was wrong. And then I began to seek God and God showed me,
“You were high on emotion and what you’re now experiencing is just a breaking experience. I have to
break you from that kind of emotionalism because if you will go high on sheer emotion, Satan can
bring you low in emotion the next moment.”
Now that’s the kind of thing that God will bring to you. You’ll gush out to somebody that comes
into service on a Sunday and they’ll just turn you off. In fact, you’ll hear in a roundabout way
from some friend that they were utterly put off the body and utterly put off Christianity by the way
you dealt with them. That’s a breaking experience. And God, brothers and sisters, will bring you
daily into breaking experiences that break the independent power of that mind and emotions until
eventually the Holy Spirit brings them under his control.
Now if you say, “When does that finish?” Probably when we see Jesus face-to-face. That goes on
throughout this life. But you can tell loved ones, you can tell the people, you know, by
discernment of the Spirit, the people who are beginning to come into this kind of experience.
They’re people who seem to transmit a hidden quiet life to you without dissipating you emotionally.
Whereas there are other people who just wear you out. They talk far too much, they tell you the
thing and then they tell you it over again, and they tell you it five times more and the original
truth was good and exciting but you’re worn out with it.
Now people who have been broken in their soulish powers transmit just a pure life of Jesus to you
and you transmit it to them. Now loved ones, there is much more really in connection with that but
maybe that will help you at least introduce you to it. Those of you who have been to the seminars
know we deal with that particularly in the seminar walking in the Spirit and Watchman Nee deals with
it particularly in his book Release of the Spirit. So maybe you’d just remember that what I’m
trying to do is just give you the skeleton of the way God deals with us in the life.
Maybe I should just deal very quickly with the last one. Many of us come into this problem where we
find, yes we’re free from the emotionalism but our spirits are often irresponsible. Often we get up
in the morning and our spirit will not rise up to God, it just will not rise up. It seems to have a
heaviness about it. We come into a meeting of some kind and our spirit just sinks down low. Or, we
begin to find that after a while of walking in the Spirit our spirit begins to ebb, or it begins to
be blocked inside us, it can’t get out somehow and we find that our spirit is irresponsible. Where
the Holy Spirit of Jesus is rising up to the Father and glorifying him, our spirits are sinking down
Now really, many of us try to get over that by all kinds of exercises and we try to fight Satan, we
try to fight Satan by our own exertions. We come into a situation in the home where Satan has just
turned the atmosphere sour and we get in there with our sleeves up and we set about analyzing
everybody. Analyze dad, analyze mom, analyze the brother and the sister, put everybody right and
then it should be beautiful. And the whole place falls apart. Or, we come into a situation in the
office and Satan has just got in there and he’s brought about an impossible situation, two people
have talked about us and we know about it. And we get in there and we start tackling Satan on our
own and we decided what we need here is a tea group or sensitivity group and we get everybody to
confess all that they said to everybody else and then we sort the whole thing out and it’s just
agony. It’s just miserable.
In other words, we’re fighting Satan now with our spirits but we’re fighting him as if we’re
fighting flesh and blood. Now brothers and sisters there is only one way to fight Satan and that is
really on the basis of Ephesians 2:6 and I think it was mentioned earlier tonight. Ephesians 2:6,
and you remember it simply states that we who were dead in our trespasses and sins have been raised
up and made to sit with God in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. And that position is there in
Ephesians 1:21, “Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that
is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” And really brothers and sisters,
that’s the position we have to come into.
In order to fight Satan, in order to have a spirit that is responsible to the Holy Spirit, we need
to come into a position of Jesus’ ascension and that is a miracle that the Holy Spirit works in us.
Now I know that tonight maybe, you know, we’re already passed where a lot of us are and yet I just
want to share it so you at least know where to go. It’s necessary not only to come into
resurrection as far as your mind and emotions are concerned, but it’s necessary to share with Jesus
his ascension. That is, to come into that place by revelation of the Holy Spirit where you sit with
Jesus at the right hand of the Father.
Now that’s a miracle loved ones. You can’t bring that about, you know. You can’t bring it about by
saying, “Oh yeah, I’m raised with Jesus at the right hand of the Father. I’m with Jesus at the
right hand of the Father. Yeah, you can do what you like with me I’m with Jesus at the right hand
of the Father.” That’s autosuggestion, deals with the mind, gives you a soulish experience but not
a spiritual experience of ascension with Jesus. There is only really one way to come into it and
that is to allow God to crucify you and bury you completely with Jesus and then in his good time, as
you set your eyes on this fact of your resurrection with Jesus, to allow the Holy Spirit to make it
real in you. And the way is, to believe Colossians 3:2, you know, really just to believe it.
To believe that what God said is true, that you’ve been raised with Jesus to the right hand of the
Father. Set your mind on things that are above not on things that are on earth, and to begin to
deal with life as if you really are at the right hand of the Father there, and to allow the Holy
Spirit to make that real in you. And then to obey him, he says in James 4:7, “Resist Satan and he
will flee from you.”
In other words, the way to experience real victory in spiritual warfare is to believe that position
that you’re in with Christ. You’re above all rule, and authority, and dominion, and power and to
resist Satan down here on this earth. And that is the way God brings about spiritual victory in
situations such as I described in the office and the home.
Now brothers and sisters, that’s just a very skeleton outline but I think it’s important for you to
realize that God has a liberty and a freedom for you to come into in each of those areas and really
the complete man or woman in Jesus is one who is beginning to come into these things, you know.
Now, don’t set it up as one, two, three, and four, God will deal with you in his own way in his own
time, you know. And he’ll continue to deal with all of us presumably in three and four. And really
he’ll continually – we’ll continually have to start the day on the cross with him for victory in
regard to selfish will and again, and again as God reveals to us sins that we didn’t realize we had.
We’ll have to come into a real experience of Romans 5:9.
But do you see brothers and sisters that there is a way of freedom to walk in and it is through
experiencing fully the birth, and death, and resurrection, and ascension of Jesus through the power
of the Holy Spirit making these things real in our lives. And really it comes through believing and
obeying. Now really, one of the reasons I shared these things with you at all tonight before we
start the series in October with the brothers and sisters who are back from Europe and Puerto Rico
is it is God’s will for us to walk in liberty and victory.
Brothers and sisters, whenever you’re in bondage, whenever you’re down about something it is not
because you’re experiencing truth, it is because you’re believing some lie, or some deception of
Satan. And really, the way into victory are these words, these words that God has given us. So I
really do pray that even though it’s just a skeleton production that you will seek the Holy Spirit.
Forget now everything that has been said, you know. Forget the old overhead, forget all the little
illustrations that we used and go to the Holy Spirit and say, “Holy Spirit, only you can keep me in
liberty and freedom. I trust you to do it. I trust you to bring the right truth and apply it to me
and show me what I’ve to believe and to obey at each stage of my life in Jesus.” And then it is
possible to walk really continually in victory.
You know, I say that, I’m 38 so I’ve been honored for maybe 21 years I suppose, and been in victory
of the Holy Spirit for seven or eight years, and loved ones, it is not necessary, it is not
necessary to spend hours or days in depression and despondency. It just is not. It is possible to
walk in continual victory, it really is and certainly there is warfare but it is a peace inside that
passes all understanding. So I really do covet that for you, you know, and pray for that experience
to be your own, that you live life in the heavenly place.
Truth Frees - REVIVAL
The Truth Frees
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
So I’d like to share this morning the whole fact that the truth does make you free. And if you’re
not being made free then what you’re looking at is not the truth. And it’s very important I think,
to see the truth as it really is. So let’s go to Lake Calhoun and two little guys in a boat, eight
year olds, can’t swim. And they’re messing about in the boat and of course it tips and they’re both
thrown into the water. And they start yelling and shouting for help and two lifeguards on the shore
see the immediately dive right in and are beside them in a moment. And the lifeguards tell them
what to do, “Okay, just lay back, lay back, and let me get a hold of you and just rest there. Just
relax and I’ll take you right back.” And one of them does it. He’s just used to doing what
somebody older than him tells him so he just does it, just lays back and lets the lifeguard drag him
right back, doesn’t move a limb.
The other wee mate, he hears too and he knows he’s in good hands, and he knows the lifeguard looks
strong, but he’s just so used to helping himself all the time that he decided, “Yeah, but I better
kick a little just to help him.” And he keeps splashing and thrashing around, and he thrashes the
whole way back to shore. Now, both of them get back to shore it’s just that one did it effortlessly
and the other thrashed, and kicked, and splashed the whole way trying to help himself the best he
could. One is a carnal Christian and the other is a spiritual Christian.
I think the first truth that God wants us all to see this morning is they both get back to shore.
Now not as easily, but they do both get back to shore. And loved ones, it’s important to see that,
that Paul never talks about a carnal Christian, that is one who is struggling, and struggling in the
defeat of Romans 7, “The good that I would I cannot do and the evil I want to avoid that’s the very
thing I do,” Paul never talks about the carnal Christian that is described there as anything but a
Now maybe it’s good to look at that because I see some of you wondering. So maybe look at 1
Corinthians 3:1 dear ones and just check his actual words there because they’re God’s words to us
about this and I believe a lot of us come under bondage because we don’t realize this truth. We get
so caught up with realizing we’re carnal Christians that we forget, “Yeah, but we are Christians.”
1 Corinthians 3:1, “But I, brethren, could not address you as spiritual men, but as men of the
flesh,” or it’s “sarkikos” you remember, as carnal men, “As babes in Christ.” So Paul’s saying, “I
couldn’t treat you as spiritual Christians, I had to treat you as carnal Christians, as babes in
So the two little fellows acted completely differently and one of them was experiencing all the
benefits of having a strong lifeguard towing him back to shore and the other wasn’t. But, they both
were in the hands of a lifeguard. And really it’s important to see that whether you’re a spiritual
Christian or a carnal Christian that is your situation and you are in that sense saved. In a sense,
they were saved from the moment they started to shout for help. The moment they realized their
predicament they really were saved from that moment on because the lifeguards saw them and got to
Now, they responded differently to what the lifeguard told them to do but still the lifeguard was
able to save them once they realized their predicament. It’s the same with us, once you realize
your predicament, once you realize that you cannot get out of it yourself, that you need someone
bigger than yourself to help you and to rescue you, then in that sense you are saved. Once you
realize that you, because you’re living your own life, for your own glory, by your own power,
according to the directions of your own will and have rejected the life of God’s Holy Spirit, once
you realize that because of that God is committed unavoidably to condemning you to death. And once
you realize that instead of killing you on the spot and taking your life from you at this moment, he
has put you into Jesus and crucified you there with Christ and therefore has nothing else against
you and is now willing to give you the Holy Spirit.
And once you go to him and say, “Lord, I know that’s my predicament and I thank you that crucified
me in Jesus and have allowed me to stay alive in this life in order to receive the Holy Spirit. I
thank you. I accept the Holy Spirit and I give myself into Jesus’ hands.” Once you do that loved
ones, you’re saved if you want to use that term, or you’re rescued, or you’re forgiven, or you’re
justified. But you are a Christian the moment you receive the life of God’s Holy Spirit into you
and put yourself into Jesus’ hands.
And it’s very important to see that because I think a lot of us say, “Oh but pastor, if you knew me.
I’m struggling against all of the attitudes of anger, and resentment, and inward sin, and
rebellion, and jealousy that you talk about and that Paul talks about in Romans 7.” It doesn’t
matter, as far as God is concerned he regards you as crucified with Christ. As far as the Father is
concerned, you’re in his Son’s arms and he regards you as a child of his and as on your way back to
Now loved ones, you can see how important it is to see that. If you don’t see that, then as the
Holy Spirit begins to convict you of inward sin, of jealousy and pettiness, and of resentments, and
of anger and bad temper, then you’ll begin to treat yourself as if you weren’t a Christian very
easily and say, “I’m not a Christian at all.” Loved ones, you’re a Christian if you’ve committed
your life into Jesus’ hands and have accepted his Spirit into you. Now you may be like that little
fellow, you’re wiggling, and splashing, and thrashing like mad and saying, “No, no Lord, I can do it
myself. I can do it myself.” But Jesus still has his arms around you and is still trying to get
you to lay back and relax and let him take you the way he wants to, to the shore. Now God’s truth
about that always makes you free.
So will you look with me just at a few different truths about that experience? The first one is one
you know of by heart but let’s just look at it anyway, Romans 6:6. Romans 6:6, “We know that our
old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer
be enslaved to sin.” Every time you really see that truth it sets you free. It sets you free from
self condemnation. Every time you see a sign of the old self springing up in your life and you
remember that truth, you look up to God and say, “Lord, I thank you that you have crucified that old
self with Jesus. I thank you Lord, that you have destroyed it with your Son on the cross and that
you’ve removed it far from me. I thank you Father that that has been dealt with.” Every time you
see a sign of the old self life and you really believe that truth, that’s what you say, you believe
God’s word that that has been crucified with Christ, it sets you free from condemnation.
It sets you free loved ones from depression and resentment every time anyone speaks to you or writes
about death to self. It sets you free from that old depression and resentment that used to hit you.
They talk about death to self and they mention anger and you remember you lost your temper last
week, “I’m gone again.” It sets you free from that kind of resentment against the speaker, or the
writer, or depression and self-defeat and enables you to say, “Lord, I thank you that that has been
crucified with Jesus. Father, I’m not experiencing all the benefits of that crucifixion yet but I
thank you that your word is sure, that that old self has been crucified with Christ. I thank you
for that because that is all that is worth doing with it. And I thank you for that Lord, and I
thank you for this dear brother or this dear sister who keeps on telling me that I don’t need to
keep struggling any longer. And Lord, I ask you to give them strength to keep telling me that until
I eventually lay still in your arms.”
But loved ones, it changes your attitude to it you see. But if you don’t believe that your old self
was crucified, if you believe it you have to do an old Martin Luther on it and back yourself up
against the wall and beat yourself with chains, then it will irk you like anything and it will bring
condemnation to you every time you hear the gospel of crucifixion with Christ preached. But loved
ones, if you really believe that our old self was crucified with Christ then you’ll say, “Thank you
Father, I know that. I know in your eyes it’s dead. In your eyes Father, you don’t attack that old
self that produces all this anger, and bad temper, and unclean thoughts to me. Thank you Lord.
Thank you that it’s dead and thank you that you’re trying to get me to enter into the freedom that
Loved ones, it just makes a tremendous difference. The truth really makes you free. It sets you
free from trying to justify yourself by the works of your own experience. If you really believe
that our old self was crucified with Christ, then you’re saved from checking yourself up on last
week’s performance. “Well, I didn’t get so angry with her last week. It wasn’t just as wild as it
used to be. And, I haven’t had an unclean thought for two weeks, and yeah – but, but I still have
some selfishness. Yeah, I’m still not crucified. Okay, back to it.” And you get back and you
start beating yourself again.
Loved ones, it’s not the way. Do you see it, it’s not the way? It’s the little mate saying, “I’m
not in the arms of the lifeguard. I’m not in the arm of the lifeguard.” Well, he can kick as he
wants but he knows there are arms around him and he has to accept them. And he’s trying to save
himself but he knows whether he saves himself or not he’s going to be saved anyway because of the
lifeguard. Loved ones, do you see there’s a complete difference in the approach? If you really
believe the truth that our old self was crucified with Christ because of God’s word instead of
giving attention to the remaining works of the flesh that are making themselves known in your life
because you’re still believing the lie of Satan that everything is not crucified.
So loved ones, you don’t look at your experience to see that you’re right with God. You look at the
fact that your old self has been crucified with Christ as far as God is concerned. And if he
believes that then you better believe it or you have a bigger controversy on your hands than you
thought you would have if you’re going to disagree with the maker of the whole universe.
So the first truth that really I think it’s important to really grasp is that our old self was
crucified with Christ. And accept it, and don’t fall into a defeated resentment – don’t fall into
Satan’s successful brainwashing technique, “No, no it isn’t. No it isn’t.” You replay, “Yeah it
is. God’s word says it. I believe it. I don’t believe you and I don’t believe in my own miserable
experience. I’ll believe God’s word. I won’t argue with God.”
Loved ones, it really saves you from just a lot of grief, you know. And unless you do that – see,
unless you believe God’s word the Holy Spirit can’t do anything in your life. Do you see that the
Holy Spirit only applies to you the benefits of Jesus’ resurrection and his death and his ascension
if you believe God’s word? The Holy Spirit can only work in your life on the basis of your
acceptance of God’s word. But if you’ll never accept God’s word, if you keep doing a double take
and say, “No, no, my experience says, ‘No, I’m not crucified.’ No, I don’t believe your word Lord.”
Then the Holy Spirit has nothing to work on at all.
So really, the truth makes you free if you see it. Loved ones, if you’re not free you’re not seeing
the truth you’re seeing some heresy that Satan has put over on you and you should turn from it and
see the truth. Would you look at another truth because I think it is important? It’s John 16:18,
in relationship to the actualization of this victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection in our own
personal lives. John 16:18, “And when he comes,” that’s the Holy Spirit, “And when he comes, he
will convince the world concerning sin.”
That truth really frees you from introspection if you see it completely and accept it. It frees you
from all those sickening times of self-pity and introspection in prayer. It saves you from going to
prayer and instead of looking up to God and seeing him, instead of looking up to Jesus and seeing
him in all his beauty, looking into yourself and saying, “Okay, let me open it all up and get it all
out. Let me see what I did wrong last week.” And your eyes immediately go on yourself and your own
experience and worst of all they go on sin. And so you become more and more fascinated by sin and
as you become more mesmerized by it you become more and more defeated by it.
But loved ones, if you really believe that the Holy Spirit will convict you of sin and that that is
his job, then you’re freed from all that self-pitying introspection and you’re able to say, “Holy
Spirit, I trust you to convict me of sin. And not to convict me of all the little bits of things
that I look at, my anger and my jealousy, but to convict me of inner sin, of self deified that I
cannot see clearly. Convict me of sin of my independence of God, of my rebellion against him,
convict me of sin. What I find when I look in with introspection is just the symptoms of sin and I
get all downhearted about those. But Holy Spirit, I trust you to convict me of sin and I’m going to
stop this introspection. I’m going to stop this thrashing around to see if I can find what is
preventing me experiencing resurrection with Jesus.”
Loved ones, if you really believe that truth it sets you free from all that. Sets you free from
self application of truth. Sets you free from coming to church on a Sunday, or from reading Andrew
Murray or Watchman Nee and applying the truth to yourself. I think a lot of us do that. I think a
lot of us come and we hear someone speaking under God’s anointing and they mention some things that
are present in certain people’s lives. We take over the whole operation. We forget that the Holy
Spirit is there to apply God’s word to each of us as he wants. We grab the truth. We say, “He
talked about jealous this morning, jealousy must be my problem. Okay, I’ll look over my jealousy.”
And we get the whole list.
Loved ones, do you see that the only reason you’re all prepared to gather here and listen to me is
because we really do believe that it is God that is able to speak through me, not as me. There are
some things that I say that aren’t for you at all. But we believe that the Holy Spirit is able to
say some things through the preacher, that he is able to make real to you. Maybe it’s only one
thing, maybe it’s something that he doesn’t say at all. But loved ones, do you see that when you
really accept the truth that the Holy Spirit’s job is to show you in what way you’re not
experiencing the full benefits of your crucifixion with Christ and your resurrection with him, then
you’re freed from all that miserable self application of truth which is really masochism, isn’t it?
I mean, it’s really going to church, collecting all of the works of the flesh that were mentioned
that Sunday and then beating yourself with those. Now loved ones, the Holy Spirit will convict you
of sin, you don’t need to do that, you can rest in his arms. It frees you also from that hesitant,
self-conscience, paranoid kind of prayer and speaking in the body of Christ lest your slip show.
You know the way you say, “Well, I want them to think I’m crucified with Christ. I know really I’m
not, but I certainly want them to think that. Now, if I pray – if I pray too often without due
preparation they’ll see that huge self just sticking out like a sore thumb – so no. Alright,
alright I won’t pray. I won’t pray. That’s it. And if I speak, if I go up there and speak pastor
will know immediately that I’m soulish, or I’m carnal, so okay, okay I’m not going to let anyone see
Loved ones, when you really believe that the Holy Spirit will convict you of sin, then you’re free
to walk boldly and confidently towards Jesus saying, “Lord, I haven’t experienced all the benefits
of your crucifixion but I want to experience them and I want to do what you tell me to do. And I
may speak, and my slip may show, and everybody may see just what a mess I am but Lord, but I’m going
to do it because I’m more anxious to see what’s wrong in me so I can get that on the cross than I am
to make everybody else think I’m right.”
Loved ones, it just changes that whole paranoia. It gives you freedom to walk confidently towards
Jesus trusting the Holy Spirit to convict you. I think you see, some of us feel, “Well, pastor do
you think he will? I mean, do you think he will? Does he not convict me if I get involved in
introspection and start examining myself, and psychoanalyzing myself?” Loved ones, introspection
for a Christian is sin. That’s it. Introspection is sin because it’s the Christian trying to save
himself again. Trying to deliver himself from the old self on his own by his own insights. So it’s
always wrong to introspect. It’s always right to believe the truth that God tells us, that the Holy
Spirit will convict you of sin.
Loved ones, really don’t be uncertain about it. The Holy Spirit is more anxious to get you
completely into resurrection than you are to get completely into resurrection and he hasn’t
forgotten about you, and he’ll bash you now and again, and he’ll give you a faithful wound of a
friend if you will trust him. But if you’re trying to do it yourself, you only really work yourself
more and more into a neurotic state. The truth frees you from all that, the truth of the conviction
of the Holy Spirit.
Just one more truth loved ones, I’d like to share because I think it will help, it’s John 16:14.
John 16:14, “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” Those of you
who can read Greek will be able to check that the word declare actually means impart, communicate to
you. In other words, the Holy Spirit will take what is Jesus, what belongs to Jesus, all that Jesus
experienced the Holy Spirit will take and he will impart it to us, he will make it real to us. That
truth sets you free.
It sets you free from all the mental contortion acts and thought juggling acts you go through to try
to make your crucifixion with Christ real. “I’m dead, I’m dead, I’m dead. I’m dead, I’m dead. No,
I’m dead. I’m dead. No, I’m dead I have died. No, I’m thinking of it wrongly I’ll go back and
listen to pastor and I’ll get it right. Okay. No, if I could get the right phrase, if I could read
the right phrase in a book I’d get it right, I know I would. No, if I could sing the right song I’d
get it. No, if I could really surrender I’d get it. No.” I mean, you’re a mess. Worse than you
were before you started.
Loved ones, you don’t need it. The Holy Spirit will make real to you your death and resurrection
with Jesus if you will trust him and listen to him. Give up all the mental juggling act, all the
contortion acts and trust the Holy Spirit. Say, “Holy Spirit, I know you alone can impart to me and
make real to me all that I’ve experienced in Jesus on the cross. Holy Spirit, I trust you to do
that.” And loved ones, suddenly instead of trying to brainwash yourself into something you become
more interested in obeying the Holy Spirit in the little gentle impressions that he gives you
through the week knowing that in relationship to your obedience to the little things he is showing
you he is going to be faithful and through sheer grace make your crucifixion and real in a moment,
in an instant by a cosmic miracle from God.
And loved ones, that’s the way it takes place. Not by trying to persuade yourself, not by trying to
get the phrases right or trying to think about it in the right way, but by really believing what
God’s word says that the Holy Spirit will take of the things of Jesus and will make them real in
you. It frees you from trying to suppress your bad temper and your anger to persuade yourself that
you’re actually crucified with Christ, in order to try to autosuggest yourself into that experience.
It saves you from all of that and enables you to be yourself and yet say, “Holy Spirit, show me.
Show me what way you want me to lay in the lifeguard’s arms. Show me in what way you want me to
relax. Holy Spirit, I’ll listen to you just show me and then it’s up to you to make it real to me
and I’ll receive it when you want to give it to me.”
It frees you loved ones, from that schizophrenic experience of trying to walk with your eyes on
Jesus and your eyes on self at the same time. Trying to walk free from justification by works and
yet walking in the midst of a preoccupation with the works in your own experience. It saves you
from that. It frees you from that trying to keep your eyes on Jesus and eyes on self, eyes on
Jesus, eyes on self, eyes away from the bad things I’m doing yet eyes on the bad things I’m doing.
It enables you to look to the Holy Spirit and look to Jesus and praise God in your prayer times, and
walk obediently as the Holy Spirit is showing you giving the whole burden of the actualization of
your death and resurrection with Jesus into the Holy Spirit’s hands. The truth sets you free.
So if you say to me, “Well, do you not have some hard times?” Yeah, yeah, I think you’ll wriggle
under it at times, and you’ll resist the Holy Spirit and some of the things that he’s asking you to
do. But that’s not the normal experience as you walk into this deliverance. The normal experience
is you walk into the deliverance, his eyes on Jesus thanking the Father that you’ve been crucified
with Christ, he’s responding to the Holy Spirit as he shows you things. If you say to me, “Oh, no
pastor as you were walking into it were you not miserable?” No, I wasn’t. No. And if I was I kept
my misery to myself, but no I wasn’t. I had some hard times when I disagreed with the Holy Spirit
over what he wanted me to do career wise or what he wanted me to be prepared to face reputation
wise. But no, the normal walk was one of joy.
Loved ones, if you’re not walking normally with your eyes on Jesus, accepting that you’ve been
crucified with Christ and responding to the Holy Spirit as he shows you other things in your life
and just giving them over to him, then you’re not walking in the truth you’re walking in some lie,
some heresy that Satan has really sold you. Any questions loved ones? Anybody still have questions
about that? At the end of the day, you know, man cannot explain it. Okay, I hope you walk free.
Gospel – Simple - REVIVAL
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O (cid:25)Neill
Many of us are Christians who come Sunday-after-Sunday, but I think a number of us are a little
uncertain of whether we are Christians or not. And so we listen to a lot of this heavy stuff that
we study Sunday morning after Sunday morning and some of us have a feeling at times, (cid:28)Well, we (cid:25)re
really not quite at that stage yet and what we need is something just a little plainer and
straighter so that we can get into the right position with God ourselves.
So really, God has at different times just told me to stop expounding Romans and just to preach a
very simple gospel so that anyone who is not a Christian can settle it with Jesus this morning. And
so that (cid:25)s what I (cid:25)d like to do. The gospel dear ones, really is a person, Jesus, who lived in the
first century and whose life we have examined and found to be different from every other life.
He has a perfect humanity about him that is just different from Mohammad, or Buddha, or Confucius.
There is a seamlessness in his life that is attested to by his enemies, that is utterly different
from any of the great religious leaders that we hear about in Hinduism. And above all, he has not
only a power over sickness and over nature, which other great religious leaders haven (cid:25)t had, but he
himself had the power over death in his own life. So that even though there was no question that it
was not a coma, it was not a swoon, but that it was real death, yet he was able to come back alive
and to appear alive again over a period of 40 days. Because of this, we believe that this man is
really the Son of the Creator of our universe and that He is, at this moment, with our Creator and
that he came to earth to do something for us that nobody else could have done.
Now how did he explain it? Very simply, he explained to his followers and they explained to us that
the first part of the gospel is bad news for us, because it is that – all of us here, in this place,
have sinned. All of us. And we (cid:25)ve fallen short of God (cid:25)s glory. That is, we (cid:25)ve fallen short of
what our Creator intended us to be. So all of us have sinned. So there (cid:25)s something inside each
one of us that says, (cid:28)That (cid:25)s right pastor, you give it to them. All of them have sinned. (cid:29) And
there (cid:25)s something in us that says, (cid:28)That (cid:25)s right, all the Lutherans have sinned, all the
Presbyterians have sinned, all the Methodists have sinned. All those people in all those other
liberal churches, they have all sinned. All those miserable people lying in their dormitory rooms
today, they (cid:25)ve sinned. (cid:29)
But loved ones, don (cid:25)t you see that the only way we can become recipients of God (cid:25)s grace and his
forgiveness is if we see it (cid:25)s us. It (cid:25)s all of us who have sinned. All of us. Now sin is not a
moral concept so if you look along the row and say, (cid:28)Oh, I (cid:25)m sure they haven (cid:25)t done many immoral
things. (cid:29) They may have not done one immoral thing in their life but sin is a concept about our
relationship with God. It means we have lived independent of him even though we may have lived very
morally independent of him.
So it (cid:25)s not a moral concept. I think many of us say, (cid:28)Oh, we haven (cid:25)t sinned because we are very
moral people. (cid:29) You could be a very moral person and still sin because sin is simply living your
life independent of God (cid:25)s live and living it apart from the way he wanted you to do it. So it (cid:25)s
something between you and him. It (cid:25)s not a legal concept. A lot of us look along the row and say,
(cid:28)I (cid:25)m sure they were never in jail. I (cid:25)m sure they never did anything that got them in trouble with
the law. (cid:29)
Loved ones, it is not all have committed crimes. It is that all of us have sinned, every one of us
here and God states that through his intuitive knowledge of us, not through his empirical objective
observation of us. But he states that because he knows it (cid:25)s true, all of us have lived independent
of him and that (cid:25)s the basic meaning of sin, you see. All of us have tried to plan our own lives
without any worry about how he wanted us to plan them. All of us have tried to plan vacations
without any question of how the Creator of the universe wanted us to spend our vacation. All of us
have run our own home lives, our own academic lives, our own business lives independent of him.
That (cid:25)s the basic meaning of sin.
In other words, you could sit in your chair and sin like mad. That (cid:25)s really it. You don (cid:25)t need
to be doing things, sin is just an attitude towards God where you automatically say, (cid:28)Okay, you don
(cid:25)t have anything to do with my life. My life is my life, I decide it my way. (cid:29) Sin is just a tacit
attitude to God that he is not to have any right to control your life at all so you can just sit,
and sit, because sin is an attitude to God. It (cid:25)s a bit like an attitude to each other, you know
when things aren (cid:25)t right with somebody else. You know you can have that attitude and you don (cid:25)t
need to say a thing to them. You can just feel utterly distant from them.
Think of the attitude you (cid:25)ve often felt to your dad or your mum when they were just getting in on
you a bit too much and you just said, (cid:28)Well, they can do what they like but they (cid:25)re not going to
have anything to do with it. (cid:29) Well, that (cid:25)s it sin is an attitude and God says all of us have
sinned in that sense. All of us have lived independent of him and independent of his Holy Spirit.
All of us have sinned in a very obvious way too. We have sinned in act and in word. We have
actually done things that his law doesn (cid:25)t allow us to do.
Some of us have fornicated. His law says, (cid:28)Do not commit fornication. (cid:29) Some of us have slept
with people that aren (cid:25)t married to us. Some of us have been adulteress with other people, we have
committed adultery. Some of us have not done either in those things in act but we have done them in
our thought life. So in so far as we have lusted after a woman in our thought life we have committed
adultery with her. All of us have sinned in act or thought in those things.
All of us have had other Gods before God. A God is somebody that you spend your whole life trying
to fulfill and trying to satisfy. Many of us have had Gods that we set up that haven (cid:25)t been the
Father of Jesus. Many of us have determined, (cid:28)We are going to be famous, (cid:29) and that has been our
God. Many of us have determined, (cid:28)We are going to be rich, (cid:29) and that has been our God. Many of
us have determined, (cid:28)We are going to be better than everybody else at this particular subject, (cid:29)
and that has been our God.
That is what having a God is and all of us have sinned in that at some time or other we put
something before God. All of us have stolen. We (cid:25)ve stolen little things, we (cid:25)ve stolen paperclips
at times. It didn (cid:25)t matter about the paperclip but we have an attitude in our mind that we knew we
were stealing it. But worse, we (cid:25)ve stolen people (cid:25)s reputations. We (cid:25)ve run people down. We (cid:25)ve
said, (cid:28)Yeah, yeah, they (cid:25)re good singers but you should see the way they dress. (cid:29) And we (cid:25)ve just
with one stroke of a word stolen from their reputation.
Now that (cid:25)s what it means loved ones. All of us have sinned. There (cid:25)s nobody here this morning
that can say, (cid:28)No, no, all the others have sinned but I myself have not sinned. (cid:29) God says we have
all sinned and we (cid:25)ve fallen short of his glory. And the second part of the bad news is this, that
the wages of sin is death. I think some of us have the feeling, (cid:28)No, the wages of sin is only
death if you sinned big, real big. (cid:29) And we say, (cid:28)Well, well, you know, if I smoke 50 a day and it
gets the lung, okay I die young. Alright that I can see the wages of sin is death. (cid:29) Or we say,
(cid:28)Alright I (cid:25)ve been promiscuous sexually so I (cid:25)ve caught venereal disease so I (cid:25)m going to die.
Alright, I can see that. (cid:29) Or, (cid:28)A fella that drinks a lot and destroys the inside of his body,
alright the wage of sin is death. (cid:29)
Loved ones, that (cid:25)s not true. The wages of all sin is death. That (cid:25)s what God says. It doesn (cid:25)t
matter whether you have sinned a little bit or a big bit, the wages of sin is still death. And I
remember reading an illustration just very clear about this, two great 500 foot high cliffs, 35 feet
between them, and you (cid:25)re going to cross them in a rocket. No, no, but 35 feet between them and 500
foot high cliffs. And so an old, old, broken sinner, an alcoholic, he totters up, his body is
destroyed with sin, and he totters up and he decided he (cid:25)s going to try and jump so he totters back
and takes a few steps and jumps down to the bottom and is dashed on the rocks and dies.
But one of us noble young sinners, who have sinned just a little and whose bodies are in good shape,
we decided we (cid:25)re going to jump that gap and we take a massive run and we leap and it (cid:25)s 32 feet,
and it (cid:25)s a world record but it (cid:25)s three feet short and we (cid:25)re dashed. And it doesn (cid:25)t matter
because we (cid:25)ve fallen short and we (cid:25)ve fallen short of God (cid:25)s glory loved ones. None of us are what
God meant us to be. We (cid:25)re all pretty much messes compared with what the Creator intended.
And of course, he looks down on us and he sees us all living our own lives, and doing what we want
and he sees 3.5 billion people going in all kinds of different directions and he realizes, (cid:28)If
these people ever liver forever they (cid:25)ll destroy and desecrate the whole universe. They (cid:25)ll fill it
completely with their rebellion and their garbage. (cid:29) And the Father is committed to destroying us.
That (cid:25)s what it means the wages of sin is death.
And loved ones, if you have not at all dealt with Jesus, there is just no question you (cid:25)re going to
die physical, you know that but you know that already the signs of spiritual death are inside you.
Already you have real trouble finding peace, already you have experienced some of the desperate
loneliness that will come when we go into outer darkness apart from God. Already you (cid:25)ve sensed
some of those things. Already in prayer times you (cid:25)ve sensed, (cid:28)I can (cid:25)t get through, I can (cid:25)t get
through. (cid:29) The wages of sin is death and death begins to operate in us not only physically now as
our bodies grow older but inside spiritually.
And so there will come a time loved ones, and you just have to face it, that Jesus who is our best
authority on it, he (cid:25)s the only one who went through death and came back to tell us what it was
like, and his best words to us are that there is an outer darkness, there is a terrible loneliness.
Oh you remember, Sartre (cid:25)s play No Exit, maybe something like that. Maybe something like that where
you remember, two perverts and another person lived together in a room and the light bulb never went
out, never went out. And the whole play that Sartre writes is bent on showing us that they just
pick each other to death, pick each other to death, criticize, criticize.
Now loved ones, outer darkness will be something like that. Hell will be something like that. It
will be something like a place where we wear each other down, where we consume each other
continually, where God, and gentleness, and love is absent and God says, (cid:28)The wages of sin is
death. (cid:29) There is a place where all of you who refuse to the live the way God wants you to live
will have to go and that (cid:25)s the bad news of the gospel. And that (cid:25)s it.
I think one thing we don (cid:25)t realize is the penalty of sin is death. We keep thinking in our
sophisticated western way that we can substitute something else for that penalty. We don (cid:25)t really
look at it in those terms, but really that (cid:25)s what we (cid:25)re doing. A lot of us feel, (cid:28)Yeah, yeah,
but if I pray a lot, or maybe if I go to church, or if I give to the united fund, or if I maybe go
to The Peace Corps, or I (cid:25)ll do something to work out these things. (cid:29) Loved ones, God is a God of
justice, when he says, (cid:28)The wages of sin is death, (cid:29) that (cid:25)s the wages you get for sin.
You can go and ask him to allow you to pay some other wages, but the wages of sin is death and that
you have to pay. You can (cid:25)t pay anything else. So I think I shared with some of you, I (cid:25)ve been
here 12 or 13 years but about two months after I came here I was trying to learn to drive on the
right hand side of the road. And eventually I realized I couldn (cid:25)t persuade all of you and so I
started driving on the right hand side. But you know, you have those magnificent signs in
Minneapolis where you cannot turn right between four and six o (cid:25)clock. And at one of those signs, I
turned right and it was five o (cid:25)clock and one of the gallant police officers came up beside me and
said to me, (cid:28)Do you know what you did? (cid:29) And I said, (cid:28)No. (cid:29) And he said, (cid:28)Well, you turned
right here and you (cid:25)re not supposed to turn right. (cid:29) And I said, (cid:28)Well officer you can tell, I
mean, I (cid:25)m just new here, I (cid:25)m just getting to find my way around. (cid:29) He said, (cid:28)Yeah, well that (cid:25)s
good you need to do it fast because it (cid:25)ll save you money. (cid:29) And I said, (cid:28)But listen, I (cid:25)m doing
my driver (cid:25)s test next week and I (cid:25)ve been training, and I (cid:25)ll be careful next time. (cid:29) He said,
(cid:28)Well, that (cid:25)s good that (cid:25)ll save you the money next time. (cid:29) And I could offer all kinds of other
substitute penalties but eventually I had to pay that miserable fine.
Now do you see loved ones, it (cid:25)s the same with us. So Confucianism, and Hinduism, and Mohammadism,
and Mormonism, and all the other -isms try to substitute doing better yourself, or trying harder, or
adding more works that will kind of overcome the mass of bad works that you (cid:25)ve had in the past.
But loved ones, that is not what God demands, he demands your death. He either demanded the
policeman that I pay the fine or that my wife, or somebody else pay that fine, but the fine had to
be paid because of the law, and the statement and declaration had been made, and it is the same with
God. That (cid:25)s the first part of the good news.
God has commanded his love towards us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. So
Christ has died for you. Somebody has to die for you but none of the rest of us can, because we
have all our own sins to die for and we cannot die continually for them because we cannot go through
death and keep coming back. This Jesus has died for you. And you can argue with the Creator, but I
think if we (cid:25)re sensible we (cid:25)ll realize that the one who is offended has the right to set the
conditions for forgiveness and our Creator has said, (cid:28)I am prepared to regard my Son (cid:25)s death as
yours and I will not ask you any longer for your death. I am satisfied with his death. But now, if
you want really to live forever, you need to do what you refused to do at the beginning of your
life. You need to receive the life of my Holy Spirit into you. (cid:29)
And so really, the ones who become children of God and live forever are not those who simply believe
that Jesus has died for them. Now do you see that loved ones? Because I think a lot of us are
mistaken about that. Those of us who will live forever, and will become sons and daughters of the
Creator, are not those who simply believe that Jesus has died for us because there (cid:25)s a piece in the
Bible that says, (cid:28)Even the devil believes and trembles. (cid:29) You can believe that Jesus died for you,
most of us probably have a fair idea that he did. But the only ones who become the children of God
are those that are mentioned in a verse of the Bible John 1:12, (cid:28)To as many as received Him, to
them, He gave the right to become the sons of God. (cid:29)
So you have to receive Jesus or receive the Holy Spirit of Jesus in order to receive that
supernatural life within you that will enable you to live forever and will begin to drive out that
loneliness and that forsakenness, and that rebellion, and that terrible sense that you (cid:25)re on your
own. But unless you receive that Spirit of Jesus loved ones, you cannot call yourself a Christian.
Now you may say, (cid:28)Well, I come to Campus Church and I believe it all, and it (cid:25)s true, and I agree
with what he says, (cid:29) but until you receive the Spirit of Jesus, you are no different from someone
who had never heard anything except maybe that you are more responsible for refusing because you
know more. But it is to as many as received Jesus, to them, He gave the right to become the
children of God. So being born of God (cid:25)s Spirit means receiving Jesus Spirit into you.
So you may have agreed with me up to now. You may have agreed, (cid:28)I have sinned. (cid:29) You may have
agreed, (cid:28)I know that death is the penalty I have to pay and I feel the angst about it day-after-day
in my life. I know that Jesus has died for me. (cid:29) But loved ones, nothing will become real inside
you until you receive the Spirit of Jesus into yourself.
Now you don (cid:25)t need to get all worked up over all kinds of deep philosophical questions about what
the Spirit of Jesus is. The Spirit of Jesus is Jesus alive here without a physical body. And the
fact is that that Spirit will come into you if you will ask him. Here (cid:25)s how you ask, the first
time you show any interest in the Spirit of Jesus he will start pointing out in your life some
things that are sin. Some of the things that made it necessary for him to die for you, he will
begin to point those out. And that (cid:25)s pretty fair, if those very sins made his death necessary,
obviously he cannot come into a person who still practices those things, otherwise there (cid:25)ll be a
new crucifixion inside you of Jesus.
And so the first thing Jesus (cid:25) Spirit does is to point out to you some of the things that are wrong
in your life. That (cid:25)s the first step in becoming a Christian, agreeing with Jesus (cid:25) Spirit that
those things are wrong. That (cid:25)s what confession is. Confession really, in the Greek meaning of the
word, is not primarily speaking out to a priest, or speaking out to somebody else. Confession is
raising your hand and agreeing with God that those things are wrong. That (cid:25)s the first step.
Now loved ones, you don (cid:25)t go any further until you do that honestly. You just cannot experience
any supernatural new birth until you start at that point. So you know, if you (cid:25)re sitting in your
seat and you (cid:25)re saying, (cid:28)Yeah, yeah, well I agree stealing is wrong. I agree adultery is wrong.
But masturbation is not wrong, and bad thoughts aren (cid:25)t wrong, and the Playboy Magazine isn (cid:25)t
wrong. But yeah, that (cid:25)s wrong. (cid:29) And you start refusing what God is saying on some issues, you
can (cid:25)t go any further with him.
The basis for any reconciliation between two people who are alienated from one another is that they
both agree about the things they (cid:25)ve done wrong to each other. So do you see loved ones, how
important honest confession is and how you cannot go any further except into a bluff kind of auto
suggestion Christianity unless you agree with God about the things he (cid:25)s pointing out are wrong in
your life. And it doesn (cid:25)t matter, they (cid:25)ll be different for all of us you know. No point in you
looking at everybody else and say, (cid:28)Oh well, it will be like him, it will be like him. (cid:29) It (cid:25)s
not, there are certain things in your life that the Holy Spirit of Jesus sees he is not prepared to
abide with and they (cid:25)ll be different for all of us.
For some of us it will be a critical spirit towards our neighbors. For others it will be, (cid:28)Will
you stop bluffing on the assignments even if you fail the degree completely. (cid:29) For others of us, it
will be, (cid:28)Will you stop evading honesty in your business? Will you stop walking along that fine
line between truth and untruth. (cid:29) It will be different for all of us, but the first step is to
agree with God. That (cid:25)s what real confession is. Confessing your sins is agreeing with God that
the things he tells you are wrong, are wrong. That (cid:25)s a basic first step.
The second step is stop doing them. That (cid:25)s it. Repentance loved ones, is not weeping. Too many
of us can weep and keep on doing the things. In fact, we (cid:25)re really weeping because we don (cid:25)t want
to stop doing the things. And we (cid:25)re crying just in despair that we cannot get into heaven and keep
doing these things. So repentance is not weeping necessarily, it can include crying but crying
itself is not repentance. Repentance is not saying, (cid:28)I (cid:25)m sorry. (cid:29) Repentance is not even feeling
great remorse. A lot of us feel, (cid:28)Oh repentance is feeling terrible remorse. The more remorse I
feel the more I (cid:25)m forgiven. (cid:29)
Loved ones, it (cid:25)s not. That (cid:25)s trying to substitute another penalty other than death for your sins.
You (cid:25)re trying to substitute remorse. You (cid:25)re trying to say to God, (cid:28)Look, I (cid:25)ve endured three
weeks of remorse so surely you are justified in forgiving me. (cid:29) But repentance is stop doing the
thing. In other words if sin is putting a sword into Jesus (cid:25) side, repentance is pulling that sword
out and not putting it in again. Repentance is just stop doing it. Satan says to you, (cid:28)You can (cid:25)t
stop doing it. (cid:29) God says, (cid:28)I have crucified you with Christ, you can stop doing it. (cid:29)
I don (cid:25)t want to knock the psychologists here too much because I think many of you do not believe
this way but I think the main school in psychology in these years have encouraged us to feel, (cid:28)You
can (cid:25)t do it. You can (cid:25)t do it. You can (cid:25)t stop it. (cid:29) You know how in school we were encouraged
to blame everybody else, the teacher and everybody, make everybody accountable but us, but it
certainly wasn (cid:25)t us, (cid:28)I (cid:25)m a B student how could I get a C? (cid:29) (cid:28)Well, you got a C because you
didn (cid:25)t do well. (cid:29) (cid:28)Oh, no, no. (cid:29) And we were encouraged to put the blame on everyone else but
Loved ones, you can stop doing the things. I can stop talking. You can stop doing other things if
you really are determined to stop destroying Jesus in your own lives and repentance is you stop
doing the thing. If you say to me, (cid:28)What if I do it tomorrow again? (cid:29) You repent again and you
repent again, and as often as you repent God will forgive you if you (cid:25)ll seek all the time the
deliverance on the cross that he can give to provide permanent deliverance. But repentance is you
keep on (cid:19) stop doing the thing, but really there (cid:25)s no reason why you have to keep on loved ones,
you can stop doing it.
You know it, and you know it in your own life. We (cid:25)ve seen the dear ones who couldn (cid:25)t stop smoking
until their friend died of cancer. They stopped smoking. You know how often we have finally
stopped the thing when we (cid:25)ve seen where it was leading us. Repentance is stop doing those things.
Stop being critical to your wife, stop being sarcastic to your husband, stop being dishonest about
the assignments, stop bluffing in the business, stop thinking wrong thoughts. Repentance is just
And the last step in becoming a Christian is asking Jesus to come in and takeover your life. And
just ask him, (cid:28)Lord Jesus, I give my life to you. You (cid:25)ve given my life for me, I give you my
life. You gave your life up at 33, 35 for me I give you my life. I want you to take it and do
whatever you want with it. (cid:29) And from that moment on treat Jesus as the boss in your life, treat
him as a real person who is the Lord in your life. That (cid:25)s what becoming a Christian is loved ones.
So I really would urge those of you who have had perhaps been coming Sunday-after-Sunday and I think
a lot of us have been in this position, haven (cid:25)t we? Many of us have been turned off church. I
know I was turned off church and fed up with just a whole lot of the hypocrisy and I think many of
us have come with that kind of experience. And yet we know we have never really taken a definite
Now loved ones, it is necessary, Billy Graham is right in that, that it (cid:25)s necessary to make a
decision, to make a definition decision, a definite change. A definite time when you put a stake in
the ground and say, (cid:28)Here, I (cid:25)m starving Lord Jesus, to regard you as the Lord of my life. (cid:29) And
loved ones, it is necessary to make that start, you know. So I would encourage you if you really
are convinced of these facts, and you really do want to be born of God (cid:25)s Spirit, and to become a
Christian, and become a child of his, and as a matter of interest really, not only live forever but
have eternal life here and now, most of all if you want to do what your Creator wants you to do
because that (cid:25)s the real reason for doing these things, then would you honestly confess and honestly
repent of the things in your life that God has shown you are wrong? And honestly receive Jesus by
Not by feeling, but just by faith and from tomorrow on, consult him about everything and begin to
have Bible study each day, and begin to pray to Jesus each day. Really, that (cid:25)s it. And you can do
it in your seat at this moment, or when the prayer room clears after the service you can go in there
and pray, and somebody can help you if you need help, or come and see me sometime during the week
and we can pray through together in the office. But really, it (cid:25)s important to be realistic about
it, you know. It (cid:25)s important to be just down to earth and practical.
But loved ones, there is an immense difference between coming, and looking at the apples in the
window every Sunday and actually taking one of those apples and eating it. There is an immense
difference between believing all these things and actually receiving Jesus. Dear ones, is anybody
(cid:19) any questions so that everybody knows how they can do what God wants them to do?
If you ask forgiveness for a specific sin, is it enough to ask once?
It seems to me there is just no question of God (cid:25)s readiness to forgive us. The whole issue that
the Spirit deals with us about is, is there any attitude that produced that sin still alive in you
and are you prepared to let that go? And so there (cid:25)s just no question, yes all one has to do is you
do have to deal with each sin loved ones, because each sin expresses some different attitude of
resistance or rebellion to God (cid:25)s will in your heart and that (cid:25)s what the Holy Spirit is after and
so you have to deal with that.
But you deal with it once. Now it seems to me if that thing continues day-after-day then God is
showing you, (cid:28)Look, there (cid:25)s something deeper that you have not dealt with, (cid:29) yet he still extends
his grace and forgiveness to you because he knows your heart is bent on discovering what that is.
Do you believe you can reach a state of sinless perfection?
No, no. There (cid:25)s a good deal of perfection you can have before you come to sinless perfection.
That (cid:25)s what I think.
Can you live so you never sin again?
I think that (cid:25)s tricky too because as a plane goes up into a sound barrier it begins to shake just
before it goes through. And I think many of us as we approach that come to a lot of awareness how
we (cid:25)re not through. But loved ones, you know that we (cid:25)ve shared often I do believe that you can
live and obey God. The Bible is full of obeying God from beginning to end and I believe you can
live in perfect obedience in that sense. You can (cid:25)t live free from mistakes in your mind or
involuntary sins. But you can live free from deliberately disobeying God.
Shall we pray? Dear Father, we would deal honestly with you this morning, each of us, those of us
who are Christians and those of us who aren (cid:25)t. And Lord God, we don (cid:25)t really know what miracle
happens when we do this but we know that you have said if we confess our sins you (cid:25)re faithful and
just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And you said Lord Jesus,
that we were to repent and believe the gospel and then you said that to as many of us as received
you, you would give the right to become the sons of God.
So Lord God, we would deal with you simply and honestly in the quietness of our own hearts this
morning. And we would go over those sins one-by-one and wherever we feel the probe catching,
wherever we feel that there is some resistance there, we would look deeper and see if we (cid:25)re really
willing to agree that that thing is wrong. And then Lord, we would commit ourselves to stopping
this thing with no provisos and no qualifications. Lord, we want to have done with this thing once
and for all. We set our whole being against it now.
Now Holy Spirit, you can look in and you can see whether we (cid:25)re honest there, to what extent we are
really setting our whole beings against this thing. And Holy Spirit, if you see everything as clear
in our attitude, we ask you to come into us now. Lord Jesus, we ask you to come in now and take
possession of what you have already bought with your own blood.
Dear Lord, come into my heart, into my heart. Come into my heart Lord Jesus. Come in today, come
in to stay. Come into my heart Lord Jesus. Now Lord, as you (cid:25)ve come in we would allow you to be
the Lord of our lives. And Lord Jesus – to begin this first day of the rest of our lives in you
pleasing your Father through us, and at last fulfilling the purpose for which we were created. Lord
Jesus, we give ourselves to you and know that you are inside now and that we can communicate with
you as friend-to-friend. Amen.
Believing Repentance - REVIVAL
þÿThe Repentance of Believers
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O (cid:25)Neill
Last Sunday we discussed, you remember, in very simple terms the gospel, or what you and I have to
do to come into a right relationship with our Creator. And you remember, we said that before the
Spirit of Jesus can come into us we have to agree with God about the things that he points out as
wrong in our lives and that (cid:25)s just what confession is, agreeing with God about the things that he
points out as wrong in our lives and then we have to stop doing those things. And that (cid:25)s what
Just stop doing those things and then we need to let Jesus (cid:25) Spirit take over our lives completely
and simply say to him, (cid:28)My life is yours Lord. You run it the way you want to. (cid:29) And that is
receiving Jesus. And you know that we zeroed in very much on repentance because we pointed out that
the Spirit of Jesus will not come into our spirits to be a prisoner in us. He will only come in if
he (cid:25)s able to continue to do and say the things that he did and said in Jesus.
And so he cannot speak loving words through us as he did through Jesus if our lives are set on
speaking sarcastic words. The two obviously are contradictory and so unless we turn from our
sarcasm and stop being sarcastic the Spirit of Jesus cannot come in and fill us with the life of
God. And so you remember, we said that it was vital to come into a real repentance. And really
that (cid:25)s what that verse means in Revelation 3:20, (cid:28)Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any
man hear my voice and open the door I will come in with him and will sup with him and he with me. (cid:29)
And the Spirit of Jesus dear ones, he (cid:25)s a dear gentlemen and he will not break into a life that is
not willing to make the arrangements that will enable him to be at home. And so he always knocks at
the door and says, (cid:28)Well, will you change this in your life? And if you will I (cid:25)ll come into you
and I (cid:25)ll be with you. (cid:29)
So really, the Holy Spirit when he comes in, will drive out all that (cid:25)s wrong. So the glass is
certainly filled with air and as water goes in it drives out the air so the Holy Spirit will do
that. But loved ones, you have to be willing to be rid of that air. You have to be willing to be
rid of those things that he points out as wrong. Now I agree with you, it is the Holy Spirit who
will drive them out. The air goes out as the water fills the glass up, but you have to be willing
yourself to be rid of the air.
The Holy Spirit says to you, (cid:28)Listen, if I come into you there is an automatic result that will
take place, all the air will go out, all the evil will be driven out. Now are you willing to let it
go? (cid:29) And if we really show some unwillingness, then he will hold back and will not come in. That
(cid:25)s why many of us enter into a purely intellectual conversion. We believe that God is, we believe
that Jesus is, we believe that we could receive Jesus into our own lives, but it never actually
happens because we never are willing to let go of the things that the Holy Spirit shows us is wrong.
For most of us, it means simply stopping our swearing, stopping our back biting, stopping our
promiscuity, stopping our stealing. For most of it, it is just a down to earth business, you stop
doing the things that he (cid:25)s showing you are wrong. For many of us it involves making apology for
ways in which we (cid:25)ve hurt people in the past. For many of us it involves making restitution of
stuff we have stolen, or of things we have taken that weren (cid:25)t really our right to take. For many
of us it involves that kind of attitude and action because it shows to the Holy Spirit, (cid:28)Look, I (cid:25)m
not only sorry for what I have done, I (cid:25)m willing to put this as right as I can put it and I (cid:25)m
willing to try and cut out as many of the consequences of my wrong doing as I can. (cid:29) But for many
of us it involves a willingness for the Holy Spirit to come in and change us.
Now loved ones, not just a willingness to be made willing, because I think some of us use that as a
cop out. We say, (cid:28)I (cid:25)m not willing myself. I don (cid:25)t want to stop being a sarcastic rat but I (cid:25)m
willing for you to change me. Okay, come in, knock me down, change my sarcasm. (cid:29) Now it (cid:25)s not
just a willingness to be made willing, the Holy Spirit will never force your will, but if you mean
that phrase in the sense of a willingness to let the Holy Spirit come in and love people through
you. A willingness to come in and let the Holy Spirit forgive people within you. A willingness to
come in and let the Holy Spirit be pure and clean in your life, then that (cid:25)s right for many of us it
So it involves a real repentance. Here (cid:25)s the very point at which Christians themselves get into
difficulties because repentance is you stop doing a thing. Repentance isn (cid:25)t remorse. It isn (cid:25)t
weeping, and crying, and wishing you could stop doing it, it is stopping doing the thing. But many
of those of us who are Christians have come to some besetting sin that we couldn (cid:25)t stop doing. And
we then get into a real bind because we say, (cid:28)Well, repentance is stopping doing the thing that is
wrong and I can (cid:25)t stop doing this, so where am I? (cid:29) And the killer is that many of us not only
fail to stop doing the thing but we give up hope that we can stop doing it. In fact, we stop
thinking that we can stop doing it.
Loved ones, there is not sin, there is no habit that we cannot stop once we find God (cid:25)s way of
deliverance. But the only way to find his way of deliverance is to hold onto your absolute
determination to stop the thing. In other words, if you ever give up the idea that you might be
able to stop it, then you spoil the very condition that God requires to be able to lead you into his
way of deliverance. But that (cid:25)s really what many of us do so that (cid:25)s why I (cid:25)d like us to share for
a moment or two this morning, the whole question of repentance of believers.
The repentance that even Christians need to enter into. Could we take some of the besetting sins?
Lust, boasting, pride, bad temper, getting irritable with our friends that we live with, boiling
with anger, being resentful of others. I think those, you would agree, are some of the sins that we
here all have difficulty with at different times. We determine to stop them, we say, (cid:28)Lord, I
repent of this, (cid:29) but the next time we come into the situation the thing crops up again.
One of the English poets, John Donne, some of you have probably read him in literature courses and
he puts it this way, (cid:28)Will thou forgive the sin where I begun which is my sin though it were done
before? Will thou forgive those sins through which I run and do them still though still I do
deplore? When thou has done thou hast done for I have more. Will thou forgive that sin by which I
have won others to sin and made my sin their door? Will thou forgive that sin which I did shun a
year or two but wallowed in a score. When thou has done thou hasn (cid:25)t not done for I have more. (cid:29)
That kind of feeling.
Where you just don (cid:25)t know what to do with it, do you? You repent, and repent, and repent, but you
begin to get the feeling, (cid:28)Well, repentance is not repentance unless I stop it so I (cid:25)m repenting
but I (cid:25)m not stopping it. What on earth will I do? (cid:29) And so we back loved ones, into one of two
positions. We back away from a heart of repentance into one of two positions. One, we rationalize
the sin. We can (cid:25)t abide the contradiction of that in our minds so we have to do something with it
so we rationalize the sin. We say, (cid:28)Well, a person of my background, with my upbringing, can (cid:25)t do
other than this. (cid:29) And so we try to rationalize the sin.
We try to say, (cid:28)Yeah, but it (cid:25)s not really a sin for us, it (cid:25)s a shortcoming or it (cid:25)s a failure for
us, or it (cid:25)s a personality defect. For others it may be a sin but for me with my background, what
else could I do? With a mother like I had, what else could I be like? (cid:29) And we begin to
rationalize the sin. And so all the artists, we say, (cid:28)Well now, the artistic temperament is fiery
let (cid:25)s face it. It (cid:25)s not bad temper it (cid:25)s just fiery. That (cid:25)s it. (cid:29) And those of us who are
Swedes we say, (cid:28)We (cid:25)re not unloving, we (cid:25)re just a little incommunicative. That (cid:25)s us, we (cid:25)re not
unloving it (cid:25)s just our temperament. (cid:29) And the old married say, (cid:28)Well, we (cid:25)re not stingy with our
giving money to God, we (cid:25)re just a little prudent. (cid:29) And the young married say, (cid:28)Well, we (cid:25)re not
stingy because we don (cid:25)t tithe but you know, we (cid:25)re just starting out in life and we just have to
get a lot of necessities at this point. (cid:29) And those of us who are students say, (cid:28)Well, I (cid:25)m not
uncommitted but I (cid:25)m just transient. You know, I (cid:25)m just passing through. (cid:29) So we all have special
little ways in which we rationalize the sin and we kind of step back from it.
Now loved ones, that (cid:25)s the tragedy. It (cid:25)s strange but the tragedy is not that you don (cid:25)t stop
doing the thing, though that is bad and that is a pain in Jesus. But the real tragedy is that you
give up any hope of stopping doing it and you in fact rationalize the thing as something that is
reasonable to accept in your life. Here (cid:25)s what happens, you begin to sear your conscience. Your
conscience confirms God (cid:25)s word. God (cid:25)s word says, (cid:28)You shouldn (cid:25)t even think unclean thoughts. (cid:29)
God (cid:25)s word says, (cid:28)You are not to be angry with each other. (cid:29) God (cid:25)s word says, (cid:28)You are not to
be angry or jealous. (cid:29) Your conscience is God (cid:25)s gyrocompass. It confirms that immediately and
convicts you and says, (cid:28)Yeah, that (cid:25)s wrong. (cid:29)
Now as soon as you begin to rationalize the sin, you begin to refuse the voice of your conscience
and your conscience begins to be seared. The next step is your spirit begins to harden against the
Spirit of God. See, that (cid:25)s the real problem. That (cid:25)s what Hebrews says you know. Hebrews
actually says, (cid:28)It is impossible to renew again to repentance those who have once tasted. (cid:29) It (cid:25)s
the repentant spirit that gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to continue working in your life.
Well, the other thing we do is we justify. We justify a life of sin. We can (cid:25)t get rid of the sin
so we say, (cid:28)Yeah well, I mean, even the Bible says if we say we have no sin and some of us (cid:19) look
at that, maybe you (cid:25)d like to look at it loved ones, because it (cid:25)s good to see God (cid:25)s word and stop
resting it to our own devices.
1 John 1:8, (cid:28)If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (cid:29) And so
we look at that and say, (cid:28)There, there it is in black and white. Every Christian has sin, you can
(cid:25)t avoid it. That (cid:25)s it. And so I have sin, and I (cid:25)m justified in having sin. That (cid:25)s what the
Christian life is all about, you sin and then you ask forgiveness and God forgives you for the sake
of Jesus and that (cid:25)s it. (cid:29) In the process of course, we destroy any meaning repentance has.
Now loved ones, what (cid:25)s important to see is that the Bible distinguishes clearly between conscious
and unconscious sin. And there (cid:25)s no doubt that all of us have some unconscious sin in our lives,
sin that we (cid:25)re not aware of. Now, that (cid:25)s mentioned in Leviticus 4:13-14, (cid:28)If the whole
congregation of Israel commits a sin unwittingly and the thing is hidden from the eyes of the
assembly, and they do any one of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done and are
guilty; when the sin which they have committed becomes known, the assembly shall offer, (cid:29) and then
they go into the sacrifices.
But do you see that there is a time when the congregation does not know it (cid:25)s sinning and God does
not hold it responsible for dealing with that which it does not know. And so in the Bible it says,
(cid:28)If we say we have no sin, (cid:29) it (cid:25)s obviously stating all of us have some sins of which we (cid:25)re
unconscious, but God holds us responsible only for the ones which we (cid:25)re conscious. So you cannot
use that verse loved ones and say, (cid:28)There the Bible justifies conscious sin. (cid:29) No, God (cid:25)s word
says, (cid:28)All of us have some unconscious sin in our lives but there are none of us that should accept
and get used to conscious sin. (cid:29)
Once you become aware that you (cid:25)re getting angry, once you become aware that you (cid:25)re irritable with
your roommate, once you become aware that your thoughts are unclean, then you (cid:25)re responsible for
repenting of those things. Now do you see dear ones, that the heart of repentance is actually
deeper than the simple act of stopping doing the thing? The heart of repentance is your attitude
towards the sin and the real danger in this whole business of repentance is our growing tolerance of
the necessity of sin in our lives. That is what is unrepentant in us.
In other words, it (cid:25)s us beginning to regard sin as natural in our lives instead of unnatural.
Beginning to regard sin as normal in our lives instead of abnormal. Beginning to regard sin in our
lives as the thing we ought to expect rather than a something that is alien to us. That (cid:25)s what
prevents the Holy Spirit dealing in us and living in us. And so if we would keep on setting our
whole heart against the sin and saying, (cid:28)Lord, this thing is wrong and I (cid:25)ve fallen again, but
Father, I am determined to come through to this. (cid:29) If we could continue to set our heart against
the sin and refuse to accommodate ourselves to it, then God looks down and sees that as a repentant
heart and he sees a heart that will not accept this as natural in the life. A heart that is
striving against it with all your being, and a heart most of all, that is finally coming to the
place where it says, (cid:28)Lord, why can I not stop this? (cid:29)
Loved ones, that (cid:25)s the secret of the repentance of a believer. Coming to the point where after
they (cid:25)ve striven and striven, they continue to repent but they continue to ask, (cid:28)Lord, why can I
not stop this? (cid:29) Now brothers and sisters do you see that you are not asking that question when you
say, (cid:28)I (cid:25)ve tried, and I (cid:25)ve tried, and I (cid:25)ve tried, and I (cid:25)ve tried, and I can (cid:25)t stop it. (cid:29) You
(cid:25)re not, that (cid:25)s a silly little child crying against the whole God of the universe and saying, (cid:28)I
(cid:25)ve done my bit and you haven (cid:25)t done yours. (cid:29) Nor is it beginning to ask everybody else, (cid:28)Can you
tell me how to overcome this thing? (cid:29) The only real repentance of a believer is when that believer
begins to turn to the Holy Spirit inside and says, (cid:28)Holy Spirit, why can I not stop this? Why can
(cid:25)t I stop being angry? Why can (cid:25)t I stop being irritable? (cid:29) And that (cid:25)s the beginning really of
What the Holy Spirit begins to show us is that there (cid:25)s a whole lot in our hearts that we have never
allowed God to deal with. So it (cid:25)s really like a house in a sense. It (cid:25)s really as if the Holy
Spirit comes into the porch and deals with the guilty conscience and we receive Jesus into our
lives. We accept that God has forgiven us and we (cid:25)re born of the Spirit. And then we begin to come
up against some actions, or some attitudes, or some words that we speak that we can (cid:25)t stop speaking
or doing and we ask the Holy Spirit, (cid:28)Holy Spirit why can (cid:25)t I do this? (cid:29) And he begins to take us
into the entrance hall and he shows us that in our hearts there is just a lot of selfishness still
that never shows, but it (cid:25)s there.
There (cid:25)s a great fear of people inside us that we never express but it (cid:25)s there all the time and he
begins to show, (cid:28)Look, you (cid:25)re fearful of people because you think you are responsible for
defending yourself against those who would destroy you. You think you (cid:25)re the one that (cid:25)s
responsible for seeing your reputation right and guarding it. (cid:29) The Holy Spirit begins to show you,
in a lot of ways your heart is not resting in God at all. And he begins to take us, you know, into
the chapel and begins to show the deadness that is there, and the dryness at times that exists in
our prayers. And he begins to show, (cid:28)Look, I (cid:25)m always loving my Father. I (cid:25)m always loving
Jesus, my Savior and if you let me have my way in your heart you (cid:25)ll find yourself always doing the
same thing. But there are times in your life that you shut me out and that (cid:25)s what causes the
dryness, and that (cid:25)s what causes the lack of power when you (cid:25)re communicating Jesus to other people.
The Holy Spirit takes us in, you know, to where we live, into the lounge and begins to show, (cid:28)Oh,
outwardly, outwardly you (cid:25)re happy and joyous, and outwardly you seem to be loving the people around
you, but really your heart has an awful lot of jealous in it that never shows. And that jealousy is
there because you (cid:25)re all taken up with how you are in relationship to the rest of the people
whether you (cid:25)re as good as them or not as good. And of course, what I want is a willingness in you
to be like Jesus who was willing to be nothing and willing to be less than everybody else. (cid:29)
And he begins to show, you know, how we exaggerate in our conversation, and we want to make an
impression on somebody so we exaggerate a little to do it. We exaggerate the truth. And the Holy
Spirit begins to show, (cid:28)You see, you (cid:25)re really not in ease inside your heart. You (cid:25)re always
trying to make a bigger impression on people. That is strictly true. You (cid:25)re always trying to make
yourself look at little better. Don (cid:25)t you use that you (cid:25)re not at east with me. You (cid:25)re not
really ready to be whatever I want to be in you. (cid:29) And begins to show that lack of love in you for
He says, (cid:28)You know, I love people the same way as I loved them in Jesus. But really, the attitude
you have to people that won (cid:25)t let me love them through you. (cid:29) Begins to show that lack of ease
inside. (cid:28)You (cid:25)re not really content with your life. There (cid:25)s all kinds of strivings and strains,
things that you want to change, things that you want to be different but there (cid:25)s a strain and a
striving in them. It (cid:25)s good to see things that need to be changed but God will change these
through me in your life at the right time. (cid:29) And the Holy Spirit begins to show loved ones, that
there is still sin in our hearts, you see.
We (cid:25)ve got rid of a lot of the sins in our outward lives, but there (cid:25)s still a lack of contentment
with God (cid:25)s will for us at this very moment inside in our hearts. And he takes in, you know, to the
family room where we live and spend our time with other people and shows all those things, you know.
Just that anger that is in the heart. It doesn (cid:25)t show itself outwardly but there (cid:25)s anger in your
heart at time. There (cid:25)s a desire to draw attention to yourself. Now if you were really willing to
accept your place with Jesus on the cross you wouldn (cid:25)t want to draw attention to yourself, you (cid:25)d
be dead. Who wants to draw attention to a corpse? But there is a sense in which you (cid:25)re wanting
people to notice you, how brilliant that last remark was that you made, or how clever the last joke
was that you made, or you want other people to see you and if conversation is going and they (cid:25)re not
taking you into consideration you feel left out. You feel that you (cid:25)re one down. There (cid:25)s
impatience in your attitude. There (cid:25)s a touchiness in your spirit. Somebody says something that
doesn (cid:25)t apply to you at all and it sparks anew and you think you (cid:25)re paranoid, you feel they (cid:25)re
getting at you. And there (cid:25)s a criticism in your attitude to other people. (cid:29)
And loved ones, the Holy Spirit just takes you down bit-by-bit. And really, the only thing you can
do in each of these situations is to deal with him. Deal with him with each of them. Say, (cid:28)Holy
Spirit, I see the selfishness. Alright, will you show me why I (cid:25)m selfish and will you show me what
I have to do for you to free me from that? Will you show me why I (cid:25)m afraid of people? Will you
show me Holy Spirit, in what way I need to take my place on the cross with Jesus so that you can
free me from that? Will you show me why I want to draw attention to myself? Do I think I (cid:25)m wroth
drawing attention to? Yeah, I really do think I (cid:25)m pretty good, yeah, and you say that I (cid:25)m no
good. Well, I (cid:25)m some good. Well, you say I (cid:25)m no good. Well, well, that (cid:25)s agree to differ. (cid:29)
But sooner or later loved ones, you have to come to agreement with the Holy Spirit and what he (cid:25)s
showing you and all you can do is deal with each one of the things in the office where you work,
with the pride that you have in the way you do things, with the envy of somebody else because they
(cid:25)re getting a better position than you are. With the dishonesty that you have when you make a
mistake on the typewriter, or you make a mistake with the accounts and you were dishonest. Why were
you dishonest? (cid:28)Because I want to show them I (cid:25)m absolutely infallible. (cid:29) (cid:28)You (cid:25)re not
infallible. (cid:29) (cid:28)I know but I want to show – (cid:29) (cid:28)Well, you (cid:25)re not being honest, you (cid:25)re not being
The Holy Spirit, that love of praise you know, so the boss praises you and you (cid:25)re up in the air all
that day. But he doesn (cid:25)t praise you the next day so you (cid:25)re down. The Holy Spirit begins to show
you, (cid:28)Alright, are you content with what my Father gives you or do you want all this from other
people? (cid:29) And bit-by-bit you deal with each one. And in the bedroom with the laziness and with the
self-indulgence, and with the self-pity when you waken up in the morning and you (cid:25)ve that terrible
pain, and what a poor, poor creature you are. You (cid:25)re just hard done by and hard dealt with, really
and you feel that old self-pity coming up. Or, you lay in bed not wanting to get up you (cid:25)re so busy
worrying about the day ahead. You (cid:25)re worrying about it because the whole day depends on you.
Now if there was a God in the universe, it would be different. He could maybe take care of some of
those things. But you have this whole assignment to take care of yourself, or that situation in
work that isn (cid:25)t running right. And the Holy Spirit bit-by-bit deals with each one. And we are
such subtle people, we deal with all these things and we say, (cid:28)Okay Holy Spirit, you want this
cleared? Okay, I (cid:25)ll clear this. Okay, I (cid:25)ll clear this out of this room. Alright, I (cid:25)ll clear
out of this room. I (cid:25)ll clear out of this one. I (cid:25)ll clear, clear, clear. (cid:29) And then we say,
(cid:28)There Holy Spirit, the whole house is yours. (cid:29) And then he says, (cid:28)Yeah, but where did you clear
it all too? (cid:29) And we have a closet back here and we clear it in there and this is just a mess
because we (cid:25)ve said, (cid:28)Yeah, Holy Spirit, we (cid:25)ll give it up. Yeah, we (cid:25)ll give it up here, we (cid:25)ll
give it up there. (cid:29) But inside in our hearts in the deepest part of our beings we say, (cid:28)But we (cid:25)ll
take it back when we want too. And we have the right to take it back. I don (cid:25)t mind giving it up
because this Holy Spirit has told me it (cid:25)s wrong, but I have the right to it. I have the right to
be angry. I have the right to have self-pity at times. I have the right to worry. (cid:29) And loved
ones, that (cid:25)s what the Holy Spirit wants to get to.
And the deepest part of repentance of believers is when you begin to deal with that closet and begin
to deal with the Holy Spirit over your own rights, and your right to your own way in your life. And
the Holy Spirit takes you down to that and loved ones, there (cid:25)s where the cross of Jesus has to take
place. The cross of Jesus can (cid:25)t really occur up here.
These are things that give you a clue to where the trouble lays. These things, you (cid:25)ll get victory
over this one at times, over this one at times, over this one at other times. But there will be no
absolute deliverance until you deal with this old self – back here. And that (cid:25)s really the heart of
the repentance of believers. And I would testify loved ones, that I was not able to walk in
repentance as a believer and stop short of dealing with that because I would keep on repenting,
doing the thing again, repenting, doing the thing again, because deep down I felt I had the right
to. Only the Holy Spirit can take you to that place.
But that (cid:25)s the answer, real repentance is only possible if you go right to the heart of self and
let the Holy Spirit deal with that. The only way to get to it loved ones, I think is by taking the
symptoms, you know. You (cid:25)ll know, the Holy Spirit has already spoken to you about some of these
symptoms so that (cid:25)s where you start. That (cid:25)s where I started. I started with that one. Started to
ask him, (cid:28)Holy Spirit, why, why am I proud? What am I proud of? In what way is my being proud not
consistent with me being on the cross dead with Jesus? (cid:29) And bit-by-bit over weeks and months, he
at last showed me. And when you see it loved ones, then you say, (cid:28)Yes, I (cid:25)m willing to die in that
way with Christ. (cid:29) And the Holy Spirit fills you with himself and fills the whole house with a
fragrance, and a beauty and you don (cid:25)t need, you know, to maneuver him just into that room so he
doesn (cid:25)t get back into this closet and see what (cid:25)s really there. Then at last you (cid:25)re free to have
him all over the place. And that (cid:25)s what gives you that sense of freedom because there (cid:25)s nothing
Let us pray. Dear Father, we want to walk in clear repentance. Father, we do not want to
rationalize or justify our sins any longer. We want to deal with them. So Father, we see that you
will forgive us until 70 times seven, forgive even the same sin until 70 times seven. As long as we
keep getting up each time we fall and walk towards you asking with desperation and hunger, (cid:28)Holy
Spirit, why can I not stop? (cid:29) And oh Father, we know that if we have that repentant heart, then you
will continue to forgive us until you are able to deliver us.
So Father, we would now take a definite position against the sins in our lives no longer
accommodating ourselves to them or accepting them, but declaring outright war against them and
saying, (cid:28)Father, we hate these sins and we intend to keep on stopping doing them as long as we need
to until you bring us to the heart of our old selves and deliver us from our rights. (cid:29)
Lord Jesus, we would trust you to explain to each one of us what it means for us to be crucified
with you and raised with you to the right hand of our Father. We would trust you to explain that to
us during these days so that we may be delivered, and freed to love you and to obey you for your
The Heart of Communion - REVIVAL
What is Communion?
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
What is communion? What is the heart of communion? I’ll tell you a story that I think will bring
it home to our hearts, really. There was once a little man who found himself in the position that
many people do in these days when inner cities are being developed more and more. That is, he found
himself on a quarter of a city block with his own little wooden house and all the other buildings
had grown up all around him. And he was left on this quarter of a city block that he inherited from
his mum and dad with this little two bedroom house built of wood with ordinary shingles on the roof.
One day a millionaire developer came along and asked him how much he wanted for the house. And the
fellow thought he would be pretty shrewd and he said, “Well, how much will you give me for it?”
Because it was worth all of $26,000 to him and he reckoned with a little bit of shrewd dealing maybe
he’d get $30,000 for it instead. And the millionaire developer said, “I’ll give you half a million
dollars.” So the poor fella just stepped back and then stepped forward and said, “Done.”
But after the millionaire had left he felt a little guilty making all this money out of just a
hovel. So, he being an honest kind of guy went to work, went to Sears, got new shingles, took off
all the other shingles, put new ones on, got to work with aluminum siding, started to put it on over
the old wooden stuff, put new doors on, new windows, everything that he could think of to make the
house at least worth nearer the $500,000 that the developer had offered him. And so at last after
weeks and weeks of work he reckoned, “Well now, I don’t know that it’s worth $500,000 but it
certainly looks worth a lot more than it used to be.” And so he proudly handed the keys over to the
millionaire developer and he went off and bought himself a little piece of land in the suburbs.
Then he came back one day and the house was still there and he happened to meet the developer who
was there with some of his architects and he said to him, “Oh, you like what I did with the house,
do you?” And the developer said, “Yeah, yeah, I do.” And he said, “Ah, you’re going to keep it
like that?” And he said, “No, no,” and he pointed over to the side where the bulldozers were
waiting and he said, “No, no, I’m going to sweep that thing right off.” And the fella said, “You’re
going to sweep it right off?” And he was thinking of all the work he’d put into the shingles, and
the money he’d put into Sears and he couldn’t understand it. And the developer said, “Yeah, yeah.
You see, I didn’t buy this for the house I bought it for the site. I’m going to demolish that house
completely and I’m going to put up a marble, steel, and glass high rise.” And the fella just could
not believe it.
And eventually he himself had been involved in construction at one time and eventually he was taken
on the payroll of the millionaire developer and he was just amazed at what he found. He remembered
how he had tried to make his old house worth something and how he was always preoccupied when he was
putting the new doors and the new windows on, the new shingles, he was always preoccupied with the
fact that he was working on an old structure, an old building that didn’t look right and he was
trying to make do, he was trying to improve on it, but he was constantly working on the limitations
of the old structure. And he was amazed when he began to work for this developer because the
blueprints came down to him and he just read them off and he put up beautiful structure in marble,
and steel, and glass just from the blueprints and the plans that this fella brought him day after
And he asked him one day, “Look, how do you know exactly what to do here?” And the architect took
him to his own office downtown and there was a perfect scale model of this massive high rise and the
architect said, “You see, I know what this is going to look like and all you’re doing is following
out my directions and soon what you build will be exactly like this model that I have in my office
Now that’s what communion is about, because there are many of us here that think that communion is
remodeling the old structure with a bit of help from Jesus’ Spirit here in this service. And so at
communion we’re always preoccupied with the old structure, and we come in burdened with the fact
that the old structure is having trouble with temper, and the old structure is having trouble with
greed and coveting, and the old structure is having trouble with depression, and we’re always asking
God, “Lord, as I drink this wine and as I eat this bread will you help me to have victory over this
depression, and victory over this uncleanness in my life, and victory over this anxiety.”
And we’re constantly preoccupied with the old structure and we’re always working within the
limitations of the old structure. And we’re always limited by how little we can really do because
of the shortcomings of the old structure. And that’s not what communion is about at all. Communion
is a clear declaration that in that eternal infinite space/time world that Einstein pointed to, God
took you as you are and he bulldozed you right off the cross and into the grave with Jesus and he
destroyed forever that old structure. And he has a perfect model in heaven that he has already
raised up by the power of his Spirit, of you, and you, and me.
He has a prefect structure created already and what he wants you to do here in communion is to begin
to read the blueprints that his Holy Spirit gives you and he will recreate that new structure on the
site of your old structure this morning. Now loved ones, there are dear verses that say exactly
that but we always attribute them to funerals and of course, the beauty of it is that this is our
remembering a great cosmic funeral that took place.
Maybe you’d like to look at the words, it’s 2 Corinthians 5:1. 2 Corinthians 5:1, “For we know that
if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed,” and it has been in Jesus, “We have a building from
God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Here indeed we groan, and long to put on
our heavenly dwelling, so that by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still
in this tent, we sigh with anxiety; not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further
clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” Not you see, that we might patch up
what is mortal and make it look like life but what is mortal in us will be swallowed up by life.
“He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.”
I’ll tell you what I’m going to do this morning. I’m going to come to God and say, “Lord, I believe
that all that I am was demolished by you in Jesus. And I believe Lord, that you have a perfect
model of me, Ernest O’Neil in heaven, and that you intend through the Holy Spirit’s light and life
to me to recreate that model here in my body on earth in this present life. Holy Spirit, show me
what you’re going to reveal to me off the perfect Ernest O’Neil here this morning.”
Loved ones, if your name is John there’s a perfect John that already exists. It’s interesting,
those of you who studied philosophy and Plato, remember that the dear fella, even though he knew
nothing about Jesus, he hankered after the fact that somewhere in the world beyond there were
perfect forms of what is here on earth. It’s amazing isn’t it that he felt after that in some way
and writes of it in his Republic which is the basis of all our university philosophy courses. And
it’s amazing that it’s a shadow of the truth.
Loved ones, if you’re name is Mary, or Peter, or Jean, or Joan, whatever your name is, there’s a
perfect model of you that God has already created in his own presence and he has already demolished
that old structure that you keep on trying to patch. And he is able to reveal more of that perfect
structure to you this morning and if you’re willing he can make it real in your life.
Now loved ones, that perfect you has absolute victory. That’s what communion is about. So, if I
were you, I’d just ask the Holy Spirit, “Show me Holy Spirit how when Jesus died I died and that all
that I used to be was demolished in him and that God has already built a perfect person in heaven
and can erect that on the site of my life this very day.” So do you see that communion is not an in
turned thing? It’s not a preoccupation with the old structure, it’s not a patching up, it’s a
looking up and a receiving what God has already created and that’s for all of us this morning.
So I’d ask you, you know, to join me – that’s what I’m going to do and that’s what can enable God to
create a new person in you this very morning. If you’re willing to take part in that loved ones,
will you stand and receive the invitation. You that do truly and earnestly repent of your sins, and
are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life following the
commandments of God and walking from hence forth in his holy ways, draw near with faith and take
this holy sacrament to your comfort and make your humble confession unto almighty God. Let us be
seated as we pray.
Lord, we would no longer bother you with the things we were going to bring up. The things you see
in our lives that are so miserable and petty. Lord, we see that there is something underneath
those, there’s a whole self that thinks that we can somehow rectify the weaknesses and shortcomings
that we have and that’s what continues to give these weaknesses and shortcomings their life. Lord,
we would accept this morning that that very old self is flawed and has poor ideas of what you
intended us to be and Lord, that that old self with all its low poor petty ideas of what we should
be like has been crucified with Jesus.
Lord, we gladly would let it go now. All that self that wants to improve itself. All that self
that wants to grow better with a little help from you. Lord, we would let that now go. Thank you
Lord, thank you that that is what was crucified with Christ. Now blessed Holy Spirit, we would ask
you to reveal to us the beauty and the realty of the person that we have now been made in Jesus.
The beauty of the person that has been born again. Now that we have died with him, the beauty of
the person that has been born with him by the Holy Spirit.
Lord, thank you that as there was an old generation of Adam, so there is a new generation of Jesus
Christ, a new race created in beauty and that you by your Holy Spirit can enable us to be part of
that this morning. Thank you Lord. Lord, just show us what we need to let go of so that you can
create anew, the person that you have in mind. Thank you Lord, that we’re not without direction.
Thank you that there’s a perfect model that you have already before you. Thank you. We do not
presume to come to this thy table most merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness but in thy
manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy table
but thou art the same Lord whose property is always to have mercy.
Grant us therefore gracious Lord, so by faith to receive thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ that the
bread which we break may be unto us the communion of his body, and the cup of blessing which we
bless may be the communion of his blood and that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us. The
Lord Jesus, on the night in which he was betrayed took bread and broke it and said, “This is my body
which is broken for you. This do in remembrance of me.” In like manner he took the cup after
supper saying, “This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. This do as often as you drink it
for as often as you eat the bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.”
[Audio ends abruptly 18:34]
A Spirit of Revived Living - REVIVAL
Continuous Revival 1
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
And, it’s very easy to say it because we’ve been talking about the kind of spirit that a Christian
has who is filled with the Holy Spirit. Now I just want to say that it is a Holy Spirit. Your
spirit, if it’s filled with the Holy Spirit, is a holy spirit. There was a girl seeking the baptism
of the Holy Spirit in Florida, and the person who had preached that evening came down to her and
asked her, “Have you laid your heart before God and have you let him cleanse your heart of
everything that is evil in it?” And she said, “You mean I have to have a pure heart to be baptized
with the Holy Spirit?” And he said, “Yes, of course you have. God gives the Holy Spirit to those
who obey him.” And then he quoted Acts 15:9, where you remember, Peter said, “God gave them the
Holy Spirit as he did to us, and cleansed their hearts by faith.” And she got up and went home,
because she wanted the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and she wanted the power of the Holy Spirit but
she didn’t want a holy spirit, and she didn’t want to have to give up some of the unholy thoughts
that were in her heart.
A number of us, I think, are aware, it’s no secret that this thing (Campus Church and Christian
Corps) is looking miserably like a success and that the nearer you get to success, the nearer you
get to danger. And the more of what Tom talked about, I prayed Tom, and God answered you know,
that somebody would share something like that tonight, that the nearer we get to success the more we
become involved in what Tom shared, the thing (the organization) itself becomes big in our minds.
Loved ones, even an evening service like this becomes enjoyable to come to. Now it is, if I were a
guy looking for a girl this is where I’d come. This is a nice place. I think it’s a nice place to
be on a Sunday evening. It’s just, we’re quite a pleasant bunch of creatures. And then when you
take the soda fountain and the restaurant and all the other things it’s quite nice. And you hear
Myron and see his slides this morning and it’s kind of exciting to think of it all. And loved ones,
I believe that a number of us have sensed that we need continuous revival to keep us from sinking
into institutionalism. Now loved ones, I just believe that.
Loved ones, I think we would be better to close this whole thing down, then that the thing would
ever become a dead letter. Remember Nee saying, “The tragedy is not that some great work of God
ceases to exist, but the tragedy is that that work of God will continue to exist – no longer
fulfilling the purpose for which it was created. No longer transmitting the life that was once
passing through it.” And loved ones, I think that’s the danger. I think it is so easy for us to be
concerned with Campus Church. It’s strange to me still to think of Campus Church as anything but us
here, a few brothers and sisters who love Jesus. But I know that the thing becomes massive, even
especially when some of you come into the office and say, “Ah this person comes to Campus,” and I
think, “Oh yeah, that’s a nickname for Campus Church,” and that used to be the little group of us
that met at Valley Pizza for coffee and prayed surreptitiously by saying a long grace. And I think
it’s very easy for Campus Church to become something that in our minds is real in itself.
Loved ones, do you see it isn’t real? Do you see that Campus Church will cease to exist or will
become the opposite of what it is in 70 or 80 years’ time? That it itself is nothing. This
building will become a department store or will be mowed down is 70 or 80 years’ time. Fish
(Christian Corps Businesses) is nothing, it’ll be a multimillion dollar monster in which nobody
thinks of God at all. Eventually loved ones, God has to take every work that becomes a tower of
Babel and destroy it. So, forget those things the only real thing is Jesus. The only real person
is Jesus. That’s why what Tom said is right. The only real thing is what is your attitude to Jesus
and do you care for him only? And that’s what a holy spirit is about, a spirit that cares only for
Now, why I share this is – I do think some of us see the need for a revival among us. I think that
many of us have begun to let unholy thoughts and feelings come into our hearts. I think we’ve got
easy going about how holy a heart has to be, that is filled with the Holy Spirit. And loved ones,
it has to be holy. That is if you have envy in your heart, you haven’t a holy heart, your heart is
not filled with the Holy Spirit. If you’re peevish, peevish because you don’t get your way,
irritated because somebody isn’t letting you have what you want, that’s an unholy heart. It’s a
work of the flesh that is operating in you. If you come here and are preoccupied with yourself, and
preoccupied with meeting the people you want to meet, and preoccupied with what you’re going to do
after the service, that’s an unholy heart. A heart that is not set apart from things that are not
God, and set apart to God. Now that’s what holiness is.
The old priest you remember, had holiness, ‘Holy to the Lord’ on their foreheads. And it meant they
were set apart from the ordinary uses of the world, and set apart to God for his uses only. Here
are two places where I’ve seen unholiness slipping into our hearts. I think some of us have begun
to covet our time. Now God knows who – I know he told me to say this tonight, so he knows who here
needs to hear this, but I think some of us are coveting our time as if it we’re our own. I think in
the old days’ in the middle particularly of the Jesus movement, it was our chief delight if we could
give somebody a ride and if we could get into a talk with him about Jesus. Now I think some of us
are reluctant to go out of our way for somebody who wants to hear about Jesus.
I think some of us are coveting our Friday evenings. May as well hit it right straight to you,
Friday evening is nine to midnight is the time when we know this whole operation depends on those
who are faithful. Really, as soon as the Father sees us avoiding prayer he will judge us, he will
just tear the thing apart. And Friday evening nine until midnight is that time. I think a lot of
us are getting used to thinking, “Well Friday evening is our own time. It’s up to us to do what we
want. That’s not too much to ask. Why should we set that time apart to God?” I think loved ones,
some of us are coveting our sleep on Sunday mornings, instead of getting up and being with the
Father in prayer at eight o’clock. This is especially significant if you realize that we’re about to
move into the greatest opportunity that we could think of God giving us, that (new property – Colony
Inn complex and Colony House residence on the University of Minnesota campus) situation.
And in a month’s time or so we’ll move on to a campus that is a pretty dead cold place at eight
o’clock on Sunday morning. I’ve been on that campus eight years, and it is a pretty miserable,
depressing, lonely, passive spot at eight o’clock on Sunday morning, and what it needs more than
anything else is to see that people actually are about some kind of business on a Sunday. There are
no lectures and yet here is a whole group of people that are about something that is important
enough to get them out on Sunday morning. Isn’t it significant that just when God is showing the
army a way to move in against the enemy that we are having our own troubles with coveting our time?
And loved ones those of you, you know, who maybe don’t feel terribly involved in this, Jesus can be
speaking to you as well.
Loved ones, I think we’re beginning to be unholy about our time. And time of course is like your
emotions it’s only a little symptom of a lot more besides. I think it could be that some of us are
beginning to covet our own lives, and the way we live them, and the way we want to live them. I
think some of us are losing the joy of abandoning ourselves to Jesus, and saying, “Lord, whatever
you want me to do today, that’s good.”
Loved ones, I think we may have scheduled God right out of the picture, really. And I’d ask those
of you who schedule your evenings, you know, if he has much of a look in, or if you have this whole
baby organized so that it just goes like that, and if the Holy Spirit disappeared from the earth it
would keep going like that. And that’s what we often said about the churches you remember, that
most churches would not miss the Holy Spirit if he left the earth, because they have such a program
set up that they can keep on bouncing there whether he’s there or not. And I think it’s possible
that some of us may be beginning to covet our time and pull back, just subtly pull back.
Have you ever thought that a holy heart is one that feels love the whole way down right to the
inside? A holy heart is not one that says, “Yeah, yeah, prayer, yeah I’ll be there. Yes brother
I’ll be there.” But a holy heart is one that rises to prayer and wants to go, and says, “Yeah,
yeah, I want to seek the Father. That’s the thing I want to do.” A holy heart is one that feels it
from inside. And loved ones, I think it’s easy for us to slip back from the message that God has
given us. And the message that God has given us – what turned off all of us from ‘church life’ –
was that it was all on the outside where they were surrendered, but on the inside they were a mess.
And that’s what put us all off church life. It was so double, it was so hypocritical. And it’s
very easy for us here to begin to learn the responses that people like to get from us on the
outside, but inside we can have that old heart that really says, “Ah, no I wish it wasn’t Friday
night. I wish it wasn’t Sunday morning at eight o’clock.”
Loved ones, a holy heart is one that is fired with the vital life of the Holy Spirit. And you don’t
need to womp that up, all you need to do is be obedient to what he’s showing you. So you may be
sitting there tonight and say, “Well brother, part of what you say I realize is in my own life, but
what do I do about it?” Loved ones, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you’re beginning to pull
back. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you were your beginning to turn like old Lot’s wife and look back
to those old days when you could run life reasonably comfortably. When you’re beginning to look
back, ask the Holy Spirit where you’re beginning to do that, and he’ll show you, you know. Doesn’t
matter if I’ve hit the things, it doesn’t matter actually what a speaker speaks, the Holy Spirit
will show you if you ask with all your heart.
And loved ones, I know those times when you need revival in your own personal life and I’ve known
those times myself, and I know the way to get it. I can tell you, look for the disobedience in your
life, that’s it. You don’t need more tongues, you don’t need more powers, you don’t need more
songs, you don’t need more preaching, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where there’s disobedience in
your life, where you’re beginning to ease back from the joy of the cross. And loved ones, there’s
no way to do any job but to go into it and just grab it and do that. If there’s anything that is
slightly unpleasant to your natural man, the way to get over it is just to grasp the thing. You
grasp the nettle [English stinging vine] and it doesn’t sting you. You go in and you lift that
cross on your shoulder and you walk down Calvary road. But if you start fiddling around feeling the
cross and then get some sand paper and try to smooth it down so that it won’t be so heavy or so
rough on your shoulders, boy you’ll never get to lifting that cross. Indeed you’ve lost the battle,
You’ve lost the battle even then because the heart doesn’t really want to carry the cross and the
only way loved ones, is to turn your back on all that self-concern, all that self-concern. You know
the disciples – they were dears, but they slept, they fell asleep, you know. They couldn’t stay
awake because they were so conscious of their own tiredness and they had to fall asleep. And it was
that same self-concern that made old Peter say to Jesus, “Lord, be it far from you. This should
never happen to you – that you’ll have to be crucified and you’ll have to die.” And Jesus said,
“Get behind me Satan.”
Loved ones, I think some of us are coveting our own time and are beginning to think of ourselves a
little. I don’t know about all of you, but I know my neck is on the chopping block on a Sunday, if
there’s any thought of me, what I Ernest O’Neil would like to do. I just have no chance. I
couldn’t get up here, it would just feel so hypocritical, I just could not preach. But loved ones,
do you see you’re in the same boat it just isn’t so noticeable when you step back from it? Except
that it’s as noticeable to the Father in heaven, because he had planned for his Holy Spirit of love
to reflect Jesus in all his enthusiasms through you, this day and you have just stepped back from it
and eased back. And, instead of positive life coming from you there comes just old dead, passive
you. You’re there you know, but it’s like just another body there. You’re filling a seat, or
you’re filling a space in the air, but there’s no beauty of Jesus coming forth. And loved ones, I’d
just press you once more on it, the beauty of Jesus is not something you have to create, it’s
something the Holy Spirit will pour through you, if you obey God. If you obey him about the things
he’s telling you.
The second place I saw we were stepping back was in faith. In faith! I saw that many of us are not
coming on Sundays exercising faith that the Father will come down and meet us, and touch us. But
that many of us have got used to it and we know the songs, and we know the preaching, and we know
the people will meet, and yeah we look forward to going there, it’s going to – you always feel
better after being there. But it’s ‘there’ [the meeting place / event] that is so precious to us.
It’s not the Father. We’re not going – exercising faith – expecting the Father to come down and
touch us. And loved ones, the moment you begin to do that, you begin to be part of the solution,
and not part of the problem.
If I could just share one thing – not as the preacher (that isn’t important) – as your brother.
This is what I do. Now some of you usher, some of you take care of the office, some of you sell
during the week. This is part of what I do so I’m just sharing it as a brother, not as a preacher,
not as the minister of the place, I don’t think that’s our set up. I’d think you’d agree with it. I
don’t think that’s our kind of church. There’s no clergy and laity, that’s what we feel. We feel
we are all ministers in Christ. But let me share with you, the fellow that stands up here – finds
that you are either conductors or insulators. You either conduct electricity or you insulate
others from the electricity.
In other words what we find often and I’m going back to old pastorate days, what we would have found
as pastors in the Methodist church, the Presbyterian Church, I presume in the Lutheran church, we’d
have found that some people began to know Jesus and they became the nucleus of the congregation.
And then it came to the cross bit – where they started to have to put themselves last, and put Jesus
first, and they began to step back from the cross. And they heard all this preaching of the cross
and they shouted Amen for a while, and then even that ‘Amen’ sounded hypocritical to them because
they weren’t for it. And so they kind of listened to it, and they began to feel, “Well we’ve heard
all this before,” because they weren’t moving into it, or obeying it. And so they’d sit in the
congregation and it was like working through a great blanket, before you got to the people who knew
they were sinners and were willing to receive Jesus.
Now loved ones, I’d share that with you for the fellow here, doesn’t matter if it’s me or whether
it’s Myron Kliewer ,or Leighton Carlson, or John Larson – it doesn’t matter who it is, but you and I
sitting out there, we become either conductors or insulators. We become either part of the solution
or part of the problem. We can become a huge damp blanket that is just not filled with life
ourselves and so the fellow sends out the word, but by the time it gets through all of us and we’ve
toned it down by our lives to the point where anybody could take it without being offended, by the
time it reaches the poor soul that needs it, it’s harmless anyway.
And loved ones, I can see that there’s a real need for us all to come Sunday morning and evening
expecting God to do a mighty work among us. Expecting him to heal dear ones, expecting him to
convict, expecting him to fill with his Spirit. And so I’ve sensed you know, that we’ve tended to
draw back from faith. And, oh one brother shared this past weekend, I don’t think this is true with
all of us, but I think he’s right maybe with some of us, that it’s very easy to sit there and to
watch the fellas and the girls out here, and the ones that sing, and the ones that pray, and the
ones speak, and it’s very easy to be satisfied with their spirituality kind of regarding it as a
surrogate for our own.
It’s very easy to look up here and say, “Ah yeah, I’m with the way Colleen sang that song, boy it
really sets forth Jesus. And I’m with the way Myron spoke this morning it really shows Jesus.” And
it’s very easy to sit there and be satisfied with all of that. And always feel by proxy that,
“Yeah, it’s me doing it.” And in a way it is ‘us’, you know, we’re a body and part of our love is
what enables them to do it up here, but it’s very easy to back off ourselves.
And so loved ones, I’d just share with you, you know, a burden that I’ve really felt this past week,
that it’s very important that we see it before it happens. And I would share with the elders, and
you elders – we know it already, we sense that God is speaking to us, are you drawing back at all?
Are you pulling back? Or, are you going ahead as indifferent to self as you were when you first
started? And was saying – I was joking with some of the brothers on Tuesday, you know, ‘Here look
at the beautiful carpet on this old stage, you know, we never had carpet like that in the Mormon
sanctuary, or in the dance theater. We never had seats like that in the Mormon sanctuary. We never
had carpet in our houses, our Christian houses. We couldn’t even afford cars, you remember, the old
junkers we all drove until they were just death traps. And a lot of things we didn’t have and now,
it’s interesting, we do have a lot of things, and we do have a lot of things that would make us
happy in some sense in themselves.
And loved ones, I think it’s doubly important that we see that the truth is, can you possess your
possessions and yet live as if you have nothing? That’s the issue. I think a lot of us got caught
out in the middle of the hippie movement and the Jesus movement, you remember, when the children of
God were so wild on this ‘abandon all’- I think a lot of us got caught out, and we were kind of
prepared to love Jesus when we had nothing of our own at all. And then when we began to get some
things, we didn’t know how to have those things and yet live as if we didn’t have them and as if we
had Jesus only.
And so loved ones, I would just encourage you, you know, to ask the Holy Spirit, “Lord, are you as
real in me as you were when you first came in, or do I need revival? And if I do need revival, Holy
Spirit, show me where there’s disobedience in my heart?” And you know, if I’m reading you all
right, you’re the same as me, you want life, and you want any life whatever way you can get it, “And
it doesn’t matter Lord, what I have to do – I’m going to get that life. And so you give me half a
hint Father, of where I’m stepping back in my life and I’ll blast right forward.” But loved ones,
I’d share with you – that it means you give everything.
Certainly God gives you everything, but you have to surrender everything to him. It takes
everything a man has. You can give very little to God, but it takes everything a man or a woman
has. You have to give it all to him, and no holding back. I’d pray that you would rather burn out
than rust out, I would pray you know that I would do that and that I would continue to be to you the
kind of example that Jesus is to me. But I would ask you to be the same in your office, and in your
home. You can’t go any less than that, loved ones.
And you dear ones in the houses [Colony Inn and Colony House complex] “Oh, well I might have to pay
a $110 (monthly rent), all of us at Ontario House pay $45 ( per month), and we can own our car and
condominium in Florida.” We joke about that because Ontario pays very little rent and now they are
going to have to pay $110. Be careful, be careful. If you see any tendency to hold back, to hold
back, would you remember Lot’s wife. Remember Lot’s wife, that you can’t even afford to look back
to the old way we used to think and the old way we used treat one another and treat others. The
spirit that the Holy Spirit brings within us is a holy spirit, clear of sarcasm, clear of criticism,
clear of gossip, clear of envy, clear of jealousy. You live well above the law, you don’t fiddle
along on the edges, you’re right in the middle of the freeway, you’re well above it. But loved
ones, that’s where Jesus wants us to live, that’s the highway of holiness, you know. Let us pray.
Dear Father, we would pray now and ask you to deal with us, each one, and Lord, if you see any
holding back in any of us, that is making us part of the problem instead of the solution that you
have brought to the world Lord, will you convict us right here, tonight. Just show us right here
what we’re doing, Lord. If any of us are playing around with sin Lord, will you show us? Put the
unclean thing far from you, have done with it. Lord, if any of us are playing around with our own
time thinking, “This is my time, I can do what I want with it.” Lord, help us to see that we cannot
expect the Creator of the universe to come down and touch us, and spread revival throughout the
world, unless we’re prepared to give everything we have, whatever little that may be.
Lord, help us to see this night, that eternity is so much compared with the mere 70 or 80 years we
have here, and so much compared with a couple of hours an evening. Lord Jesus, help us to see you
walking down the Calvary road with that cross on your shoulders, and help us to see you hanging
there bleeding, and looking down the centuries to us, and saying to your Father, “Father forgive
them, for they know not what they do.” And then Lord Jesus, enable us to see that no sacrifice is
too great or inappropriate for us to make to you. Lord Jesus, enable us to deal with you tonight,
and to let everything go, if only we can possess you, dear Lord. Amen.
A Revived Spirit Sustained - REVIVAL
Continuous Revival 2
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
I’d just like to share briefly loved ones for maybe 10 or 15 minutes on revival. And you remember
last Sunday evening I shared that I sensed that we needed to be careful that we didn’t find
ourselves in the same position as the Jews who were coming back from the Babylonian captivity to
their own land and they were amazed at all the material provisions that were set before them and it
was then that one of the old prophets- Ezekiel – you know (Ezekiel 36:24-28), prayed that God would
revive them in their own hearts. And it’s so easy for us to be in that position.
It’s so easy for us to see how much we have and become ‘settled in Zion’ – kind of thing. And oh,
that is a deadly peace, you know. It is the peace of death when you settle down and are complacent
and satisfied that here we are all together brothers and sisters bound for heaven – saved, and
sanctified, and petrified, and ready to be just taken up by Jesus. And ah, it is just death loved
ones and we can’t, we cannot go down onto campus in that spirit and that’s why I shared with you
last Sunday some of the things that God had laid in my heart that I felt that some of us were
coveting our time and we were beginning to look upon our time as our own, and we were beginning to
possess it as our own, and use it as our own, and resent having to give it to Jesus.
And I think some of you sensed that God was speaking to you on that ground. And then you remember,
another was that we’re coming to services too often to get something, too often to receive and not
enough coming expecting God to come down and touch everybody there, even everybody but us. Too
little faith and expectancy. And loved ones, I really think that that’s part of our problem, you
know, and that’s part of the weakness.
Now, you might have been in the same position as I have been. I’ve been in a position at times
where there was a deadness inside of my heart. I knew it was there, I just knew it was there, I
felt dead inside. I knew those verses that the Holy Spirit was to be ‘like a fountain of living
waters’ coming up from deep down within me, but I didn’t feel any living waters rising. I knew that
when I came to church I was to be filled with a sense of praise for God but I found myself trying to
pump it up from inside as they would sing the songs. And I found that there was no life rising up
inside me, and I found that there was a flatness and a deadness inside.
Now this was apart loved ones, from the times when I thought some people were being a bit emotional.
I can discern I think, when a person is being a bit emotional and therefore isn’t too like me and
so it’s an utterly unfair comment that I’m making and where other people have real life and I do not
have real life and there is not a rising up within me.
Now loved ones, I’ll tell you what I’ve found all the time has been my trouble and what I needed.
Some people would say, “Brother, what you need is more power.” And another would slap me on the
back and say, “What you need is tongues.” And another would say, “You better praise God more.” And
loved ones, I’ll tell you what I’ve always found, the verse that was used in the back of the
bulletin or was used as the verse that old Finney comments on, ‘Break up your fallow ground! – I
found that I’ve settled down in Zion and some ground deep down in my heart has become fallow ground.
It’s become hard and stomped on so that it’s hard and the Holy Spirit is continually dropping the
seeds of God’s word in but the seeds don’t go down. And if they do go down at all, the rain of his
Spirit fails utterly to percolate through the ground and make the seeds bear fruit.
And I’ve found that what I needed to do was just get down to the down to earthy business of
‘breaking up my fallow ground’. And loved ones, I’ve just got down to it as old Finney says in that
book ‘Revival Lectures’. I don’t think the color is like this now but it’s ‘Finney On Revival’- I
think and he just says, “I get down to looking at my own life, and looking at the sins that have
grown up in my own life.”
Now, I know some of you loved ones, just hate that, and I know you say to me, “Oh no, no I get all
depressed.” Well, I’ve found what I need is a good dose of depression if that’s depression. If
there’s fallow ground in my heart, if the Spirit of Jesus is not bubbling up from inside me, if I
don’t sense a praise to God, it’s because somehow or other I’m grieving the Holy Spirit. Because
loved ones, the truth is if you’re a Christian, if you’re a child of God, the Holy Spirit of God is
inside you and that Holy Spirit is like mad trying to get up to God in praise, and love, and joy.
And if he isn’t able to get up it’s because of that fallow ground, it’s because you’re grieving him
in some way and what you need to do is get down to the business of getting an ax, or a spade of some
kind and breaking up that fallow ground.
And that’s what I’ve often down with my own life. I’ve just taken these things and I’ve said, “Okay
Lord, where is there sin in my life? Where have I begun to grieve you so much that I’m even blind
to the fact that I’m grieving you?” And loved ones, when you begin to do that, you find the Holy
Spirit begins to bubble a little inside, and just bubble a little, and then begins to rise inside
you, and before long there’s a fountain of living water pouring from inside.
Loved ones, God will do that. God will supply you with the positive life if you get down to the
business of getting rid of the negative sins. Now that’s it dear ones, you don’t need emotion, you
don’t need a lot of tongues, you don’t need a lot of happy songs, you just need to be honest with
God about the things that he has shown you are wrong in your life and as you deal with those, the
Holy Spirit will begin to rise within you. Now that’s it, and you know, I would tell you brothers
and sisters, never have I found that it was something other than that in my life. Honestly.
Now, if you say to me, “Brother, even when you weren’t baptized with the Holy Spirit did you find
that?” That’s right, whether I was baptized with the Holy Spirit or not, the problem I always found
when there was lukewarmness in my heart, or there was a sense of deadness in my spirit was due to
sins in my life that I had got used to accepting and allowing to grow there. And I would encourage
you, you know, to get down to it. And if you say, “Brother, it just depresses me to bits,” look it
only depresses you if you want to hold onto the sins. It doesn’t depress you if you look at the
sins and say, “Lord, I’m cleaning that stuff out. I’m finished with that.”
Bible studies in the mornings, it will depress you if you want not to get up in the morning and you
want to forget that you’re not doing Bible study. Then of course, it will depress you to think of
your neglect of God’s word. But loved ones, it won’t depress you if you ask yourself, “Lord, how am
I doing in regard to your word?” Well, I’d ask you, you know, are you hoping for a spirit of
spontaneous praise and joy in your life and yet you never read his word? Or, if you do read his
word, you do a quick five minutes. Finney has a good word, he says, “Some of you read his word in
such a manner that you can’t remember the next day what you’ve read. Indeed, in order to remind you
where you were reading the previous day you have to put a strike in your Bible.” And he says, “How
interested were you in it if you have that amount of trouble remembering where you read the previous
But loved ones, I would just ask you about your Bible study, your daily Bible study. Why go through
all kinds of complex deep spiritual explanations if the explanation can simply be found in your
neglect of God’s word day-by-day. I would put it to you, you know, when do you do your Bible study
and do you do it every day, or do you make a point of remember the days that you happen to do it so
that when this question is put to you, you can say, “Wednesday, that’s when I did it.” Do you
neglect God’s word?
I’ve found it’s been a blessing to me to see that I wasn’t facing all kinds of subtle deceptions, I
wasn’t facing all kinds of moves of antichrist, I wasn’t possessed by a demon, I wasn’t obsessed by
a demon, I was just a downright sinner when I began to examine my prayer life. And I’d just look at
it and say, “Lord, did I make the resolution to be with you at six o’clock and I cannot remember
when I last met you at six o’clock? Did I make a resolution Lord, to spend half an hour or an hour
with you and I cannot remember when I last spent half an hour or an hour with you?” Would you just
examine your own life in regard to your prayers, in regard to whether you’re keeping your
appointment with God?
Here’s the truth, the Father can send dynamite into you. Loved ones, that’s it, the Father can send
dynamite into you if you will be serious with him. But do you see how it appears to him if you make
an appointment with him in the morning and then the alarm goes off and you, without even looking at
him, you simply decide, “I will stay in bed.” Loved ones, do you see how that would come home to
any friend of yours, if you made an appointment with that friend and then fail to meet the friend,
not even calling the friend to explain, not even feeling deeply sorrow at not meeting them? But do
you see how that comes home to the Father?
Now that’s why you and I have trouble maybe at a praise service sensing a spirit of praise. It’s
because you’re not keeping the appointments that you make with the Father. Oh, you know, how much
do you care about your relatives who don’t know Jesus? How much do you care about your friends who
do know Jesus? How much time do you spend concerned about what state they are in spiritually? I’d
ask those of you who are elders too, you know, how much time do we spend on our knees grieving, and
toiling, and laboring in prayer for the spiritual health of our brothers and sisters? And then you
know, don’t let’s say ‘it’s the elder’s job’, it’s our job – us too.
Really loved ones, just how much time do you spend being concerned about the spiritual state of
those sitting around you here tonight? Now the thing is don’t allow this to beat you over the head
and then feel punished suitably for it. Decide tonight, “Lord, that’s right I am sinning through my
neglect of care for either the heathen, or my brothers and sisters in Jesus. I am living a selfish
life preoccupied with my own spiritual state and interested very little in anybody else’s.” And
loved ones, I’d just ask you, you know, because it’s easy to smooth over that one, how much time say
each day do you spend praying for others of us in the body, or for your relatives?
Now, God sees that as a sin because he put in your heart when you first met him a love for your
relatives, a love for your friends, a love for those who do not know Jesus and now you’ve stepped
back from that. And I think that’s what we do. I don’t think any of us mean to, but I think
subtly, and gently, and blindly we step back from some of the stands we took when we first knew
Oh, Finney is just good you know, because he’s very real about things. He says, “Examine yourself
about the normal attitudes that you ought to have in your life about gratitude to God. Examine
yourself on ingratitude. Have you ever thanked God for all the many events that he has brought into
your life that has made you aware of him? Have you ever thanked him for the home he gave you, for
the school he gave you? Have you ever thanked him for the present situation you’re in at work?
Have you ever thanked God for all the things he’s done for you?” And he points out that ingratitude
to God has the same effect upon God as ingratitude would have among us human beings.
And loved ones, that’s what I’ve found has been a blessing in my life, getting down to it, breaking
up the fallow ground. It’s so easy to get lost in all the spiritualism you know. It’s so easy to
get lost up there, “Am I sitting with God in the heavenlies? Am I waging spiritual warfare? Am I
exercising faith against the power of the enemy?” Loved ones, the Holy Spirit will do all those
things through you if you will just deal with the things that are wrong in your life, get rid of
them, the Holy Spirit will come through you like dynamite and will begin to beget in you an
overwhelming love of Jesus.
Now I would remind you again, that I can’t escape it too much because if I come out here on a Sunday
and it is not bubbling up inside me, I could not do the act. I couldn’t pretend. I couldn’t do
that stuff. And I think you know I couldn’t. But you kind of get away with it because you kind of
keep quiet and you just say, “Well, well Lord, thank goodness I don’t have to teach a class today,
or I don’t have to witness to anybody. I’ll just sit this one out.” But loved ones, every time you
put up with less than the overwhelming bubbling enthusiastic love of Jesus coming through you in
praise and joy, you get used to death. You normalize a situation of deadness and sin and really
loved ones, you’ve to tackle every day as I’ve to tackle it and as others of us have to tackle it
who are in ministry every day.
You’re either a minister of Christ or you’re an enemy of Christ. Do you see that? Do you see that
it’s not enough to go into the office each day and avoid swearing, or even as Sis said, avoid
slandering somebody? If you do not go into the office or the school bubbling over with a sense of
Jesus’ presence and with a sense of his joy and his love in your heart, you are not a witness to
him. And those in that sense, who are not with him, are against him and you know it yourself. I
mean, I’ve often entered a faculty room like that and unless you’re sitting in that faculty room
with a sense of the presence of God inside you, and a sense of joy bubbling up inside, you’re part
of the deadness in that faculty room. You are.
You may not be slandering somebody else in the office when they’re all criticizing each other, but
loved ones if you’re just dead and neutral you’re part of the enemy of Jesus in that office. And so
there’s only one safe way to be you know, and I used to look at those crazy Pentecostals and think,
“Oh, they’re mad,” or, “You wild Baptist who are always enthusiastic,” and sometimes I felt, “Oh
boy, that would wear me out to be like that all the time. I’m glad I’m a quieter type, just more
peaceful.” But oh loved ones, it doesn’t matter whether you’re quiet and peaceful or whether you’re
a noisy extravert. God intends you to have a joy and a love bubbling up inside all the time. And
oh you know, I’d just point you to that, maybe you’d look at it, it’s Revelation 3 and it is one of
those hard pieces that we read and we like to think, “Well, we have nothing to do with that.”
But it’s Revelation 3:14, and those of you know it recognize it as the Laodicea church, you know.
Revelation 3:14, “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the
faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.’ I know your works; you are neither
cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor
hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” And it’s so easy in a body like this to ride along on the
wave, you know. And really in your own heart not to be contributing to it at all but to be actually
lukewarm in yourself.
And then you know the attitude you have at that time, “For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and
I need nothing; not knowing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. Therefore I
counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, an white garments to clothe
you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, that you
may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.” And the Holy Spirit
speaks, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will
come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
So if you feel a deadness inside it’s because the Holy Spirit is not flowing freely through your
life and what you need to do is just get down in a very practical way and deal with the things that
you know are not right in your life. And loved ones, I think for many of us it is things as
obvious, you know, as a real want of love to God. Just a want of love and we’ve never repented of
him to that. We’ve never repented of that. Or, a want of self-denial in our own lives. We come to
the place where we just aren’t prepared to inconvenience ourselves for Jesus at all. We work out a
life that enables us to walk the Calvary road in comfort and that I where we begin to grieve the
And ah, you know, I’d encourage you to bring yourself up to it. I thank God that I haven’t needed
somebody to preach to me, I’ve just dealt with my own heart according to the words of scripture and
according to the kind of thing that old Finney talks about, you know. I’ve just brought myself up
to it. I’ve sensed, “Alright God, if I wait for the Holy Spirit to fall upon me I may wait till
doomsday. Lord, if I wait for somebody to waken me up here I may die before I’m wakened up. So
Lord, I’m going to get down to the business myself and break up my fallow ground and I’ll make it
soft enough for you to begin to plant your seeds, and plant your crops.”
And loved ones, I know it will work with you, you know. I know it will. So, I just sympathize with
those of you who are kind of feeling a deadness, you know, and a coldness. Well I’d ask you deal
first with the personal Lordship of Jesus over your own private life. Deal with that and before
long, as you bring yourself up to that, the Holy Spirit will begin to work in you.
Now, I wanted to preach for about 30 minutes, but I think you’ve got the message. I’ll show you
some of the things that old carnal man- just those you know, just bring yourself to it on sins of
omission and sins of commission. Our job – loved one, we can’t bring the Holy Spirit down – God
must send the Holy Spirit to us, but we can get out our lives the things that the Holy Spirit has
shown us are grieving him and we can deal with those. And I’ve just found that every time I was
honest with God about those things, the Holy Spirit came down and filled me with himself.
And again, they will depress you if you want to hold onto them. They’ll depress. You if you want
to hold onto them and have the Holy Spirit as well, they’ll depress you because it is an absolute
contradiction. It’s a spiritual and ethical impossibility. You can’t have the fullness of the Holy
Spirit, and cherish, and treasure, and endure those things as well. But if you’ll deal with those
and just bring yourself before God, you know, in a down-to-earth practical way, then the Holy Spirit
will begin to come into you and will begin to fill you with that enthusiasm, and that love for
Himself. So I’d encourage you to do it, you know, and it’s not hard.
[Question from congregation: If we are aware of others people’s faults in different circumstances,
and draw attention to it – is that evidence of something like that in our life? ]
Well I think since censoriousness is just what in fact, Sis was talking about in the faculty room,
just a spirit of criticism. You know, a spirit of criticism towards others and I think many of us
allow it to creep up on us so gently and so gradually that we don’t sense it and we make little
quick comments about somebody and at the beginning it’s a kind of joke and then it gets just a
little heavier and a little heavier. And we have a spirit of criticism that is such a negative
thing it fills our whole hearts and before we know it every time we get together with certain people
then we’re into slander – which is just the expression of that in words, you know, and we begin to
talk about people.
But I noticed it in my own life, that if you allowed anything negative to come into you about
another person before long there was no joy of the Holy Spirit in there at all. You know, he had
just gone. Loved ones, the Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He is a gentleman and he will not brook
being in the company of those who criticize people that he loves. He will not. It’s a very
straight deal – loved ones – spirituality is no mystery. Enjoying the presence of God is no mystery
– it’s a straight deal. The Holy Spirit will not stay in the same room as someone who is
criticizing or hating people whom he loves and the Holy Spirit loves all whom Jesus loves and that’s
And ah, I just think in a body like this I know some of you have already had difficulty with it.
You know, you just get into that experience of being critical of others and at the beginning it
seems kind of superior and you feel kind of, “Well, I can see something that they can’t see.” And
at the beginning it seems, “Well, I’m just putting them right. Well, it’s important for me to
judge, you know, and to discern spirits.” Before you know it – it’s just refuse and garbage and
it’s become the ruling spirit in your life when you meet people. Yeah.
Do you see loved ones, it is no chance that one person can meet another and love can pour out to
that person and another person can meet that person and there’s a deadness. See the truth, if
you’ve slandered that person behind their back, or you’ve had a critical spirit to them privately,
then when you come before them the Holy Spirit will have nothing to do with hypocrisy so he does not
come out in love to them. That’s why you can’t love them.
And of course, it’s a real failure to see your own miserable state. It’s a real failure to see that
you are the worse of sinners. That if they could see the things in your heart that you know are
there they would have far more cause to tear you apart than you have them. Yeah. Ah, yeah, it’s
just satanic, you know – the criticism.
Shouldn’t you add to the list fear and depression? Because I think a lot of us live with fear and
think, “Well, that’s my cross and I’ve got to bear it.” And we do not see that perfect love casts
out all fear and that if we really trust the Father we would have no fear.
Instead of repenting it seems to me, of not trusting the Father, we almost console ourselves that we
are fearful people. And it’s the same loved ones, with depression. It seems to me that depression
is a direct declaration, “Lord, we do not believe that we have been raised and made to sit with you
in the heavenly places far above all rule, and authority, and dominion, and power. Lord, we do not
believe that you are in charge of the universe. We do not. In fact, we sense that Satan may be in
charge of this situation and may be overwhelming us in it.”
Now loved ones, we tend to have cossetted ourselves about depression and said, “Oh well, that’s my
cross.” But loved ones, it’s downright sin, you know. It’s a reluctance to trust God. And
sometimes, I say it lovingly to you, but sometimes – loved ones – I think you’re comforting
yourselves in your sin. You know, I think you are. I think instead of dealing with the thing and
seeing, “Lord, I am not trusting you,” and repenting of your lack of trust, you’re comforting
yourselves in it. And then of course, the next step is into self-pity and before you know it,
you’re all bound up with the terrible situation you’re in. And loved ones, it’s just no trusting
the Father you know. It’s not trusting that he is working out all things according to the council
of his will.
[Question: What are some sins of omission, or commission? ]
Sure, sure. The loved ones in London, you know, and Amsterdam, and Mike and Sue in India will be
listening in. Sins of omission, ingratitude, want of love to God, neglect of the Bible, neglect of
prayer, want of love for souls of our fellow men, neglect of self-denial. And then sins of
commission, materialism, that’s just an oh, increasingly concern with our possessions, you know.
Loved ones, those possessions stick to your fingers. Murray McShane said, “We should sit loosely by
our possessions.” You know, they creep in upon you. It’s upon you before you know it and somebody
damages a stereo, or somebody asks you for the loan of something and then suddenly you realize how
dear your possessions have become. And pride, and envy, and censoriousness, and slander, and
levity, and lying, and hypocrisy, and bad temper.
Oh, Tom was talking – we were talking before the service and he had the same difficulty as I had, I
wanted everybody to think well of me. So, I thought that lying was just telling a lie and I never
really saw that it was giving a better impression of myself than was true. It was trying to
persuade somebody that I was better than I was, or trying to draw attention to myself in some way so
that they’d notice my good points but they wouldn’t see the bad points in my life. And loved ones,
any of that, do you see that sin it is defending yourself instead of believing that God will defend
you. That’s what it is.
It’s defending yourself instead of believing, “Lord, here I am what I am let them despise me, or
look down on me. Lord, my future is in your hands not mine.” And then suddenly you’re free to be
what you are, you know. That’s what was good about Dennis’ song, he shared it at Fish on Tuesday
morning, that one of the problems he had was the old inferiority complex. Just who was he to pray
out loud, who was he to speak? He was nobody. He wasn’t as good as all these people and all the
rest of the people. And loved ones, do you see the sin of that is that you’re comparing yourself
with other people instead of seeing that you are the Father’s child?
Your Father is proud of you. He made you with great care. He made every wrinkle in your face. He
made every shape in your body. He made everything that you have and your Father looks down on you
and is proud of you, as proud as any dad is of his baby and you insult him, you throw that back in
his face when you start saying, “Yeah, but I’m not like so-and-so.” He wants you to look at him and
be glad and thank him for the person you are. And so it’s really a lot of the things that we think
are personality weaknesses, loved ones, they’re downright sin. They’re just ingratitude to the
Father you know, not trusting the Father. And oh, when you get it in that clear light and see it is
sin and get rid of it, you know, put the unclean thing far from you, then the Holy Spirit begins to
be able to deal with you.
But while you’re cossetting these things to yourself and saying, “Oh poor me, poor me, I’ll have to
work myself gradually out of that.” The Holy Spirit says, “You never work yourself gradually out of
sin, you have done with sin. Then I’m able to fill you with the beauty of Jesus.” But loved ones,
when you do that then the body becomes beautiful. Then all of you are minsters of Christ. Then you
come here on a Sunday with the Spirit of Jesus bubbling up and flowing inside you.
I think I shared with you, you know, it was so good when I found one day I was driving the car and I
was smiling like mad and just enjoying Jesus. I’d never done that before, and you know, I thought
that was a bit dumb ever to do that, after all you smiled when you were with people so that they
would see the joy. But it was so good, you know, to experience that bubbling up inside. And loved
ones, that is a spiritual movement of the Holy Spirit within you in response to your obedient life.
God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey. It is not emotion. And I’d encourage those of us who
have been on the journey a long way, loved ones, it never ends and if it does ever end us elders,
those of us who think you know, “Oh we’re old hands at this,” if it ever ends in us there’s
something wrong. There’s something wrong if there’s not that newness of spirit, if there’s not that
bubbling up of the joy of Jesus then it’s because we’ve sidestepped God in some area of our lives,
Okay, let us pray. Dear Father, you have promised if my people who are called by my name will
humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from
heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land. And Father, we believe that that is a
promise that you will revive us again, and you will fill us with that spirit of enthusiastic love,
and joy, and peace that we had when we first met you.
Father, we thank you that you are calling for an army of people who are filled with Jesus to go back
onto the campus. Lord, you do not want a group of lukewarm, half dead, half alive Christians.
Father, there is no such thing. Father, the only people that are really yours are those who are
zealous and enthusiastic for you. And Father, we see why that is, because you’re the King of the
universe, you’re the Lord of lords, you’re the Creator of the whole universe and Father, we see that
if we’re enthusiastic about anything it must surely be about you.
Know Lord, I would pray for my beloved brothers and sisters here tonight and Holy Spirit, I would
ask you to give to each of us a clear view of any sins in our lives, anything that we’ve got used
to. Lord, if some of us have allowed prayer and Bible study to disappear from our lives, will you
show us that we can’t have you and that kind of disobedience? Father, that we can’t have the
fullness of the Holy Spirit and continue to live that kind of heartless indifferent life.
Father, will you deal with us through the Holy Spirit about the things that we need to see? Lord, I
pray for myself that I will see the things that you want me to walk into. And then Lord, I pray that
you will give us all a great sense of confidence to put these things from us and to see that they’re
nothing, and they’re not worth holding onto, and we’ve lost nothing when we’ve lost them and yet
we’ve gained the whole world. Father, I trust you to bring that home to each one of us, that our
body here may move in a Spirit of revival for your glory.
Now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with
each one of us now and throughout this coming week forever more. Amen.
Commitment Service: Give God Your all - REVIVAL
Commitment Service: Give God Your All
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Will you turn to Psalm 37:5. “Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in him and he will act.” The you
see verse 7, “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Fret not yourself over him who
prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices.” And if you turn back the Psalm
begins with that one word, “Fret not yourself.”
I sensed this morning as I was about to look over the sermon that God had given me that there were
many of you here this morning who needed to take again the stand that you took probably a year ago
when we had a kind of commitment service. It was a commitment time when we came up to the front
here and kneeled and committed to God certain things that we should have committed long ago to him;
certain things that we should have gotten out of our own hands long ago. And if you remember it was
an opportunity to take a stand together against some of the things that we’ve allowed ourselves to
become fretful about.
I’ve sensed that God wanted us to take that stand again this morning. So presumably it’s for some
of you here, even if it’s only for two or three of us, though I think it’s really for more of us
than that. I’d just emphasize to you, loved ones, the two steps that we took: first, commit your
way to the Lord. That means the whole direction of your life, that’s what “way” means; commit your
way to the Lord, the general direction that things are going in. Stop fretting about the big things;
commit your general way to the Lord; the way things are going in your job or the way things are
going at home, or the way things are going in your own academic career or the way things are going
in a certain relationship. Stop straining about it. Stop wishing it were different. Those are the
things that make us fretful; where we’re not willing to commit our way to the Lord. Where we’re not
willing to say, “Lord I surrender my life and its direction to you. You know best and what is
happening may not be your perfect will, certainly it’s your permissive will and if you’re happy with
it at this moment then Lord so am I.”
Loved ones, it’s committing your way to the Lord. What some of us do is we worry about the big
things and we do nothing about the little things. And actually God’s plan is “commit the big things
to me and you take care of the little things. You take care of what you’ve to do today and what
you’ve to do tomorrow. Don’t be passive about those but stop trying to do my job as far as the
direction of your relationships is going, as far as the direction of your career is going, as far as
what’s happening in your home. It may not look good to you, but I know about it; it’s exactly right
for you – for you – you don’t have to worry whether it’s good for somebody else, that’s not your
job. I’m God, I look after their lives, you don’t but its right for you and I want you to live free
from trying to do my job for me.”
So committing your way to the Lord, loved ones, is not being passive about your day to day life, but
it’s refusing to try to be God over things you can’t do anything about; the general direction of
things. God will take care of those if you will take care of the little things that are your
responsibility day to day.
Now I think where Satan gets some of us is he says, “Oh, but you mustn’t be passive.” No, you
mustn’t be passive about the things you can do something about but let’s not all sit here and fret
ourselves because it’s not raining and you want to make it rain – you can’t make it rain. You can’t
make the sun shine. You can’t do other things with the general direction of your lives so stop
fretting about those. Stop straining between yourselves and God. Stop wishing they were different,
start thanking God for them. Commit your way to the Lord, that’s what it means.
I think what happens with many of us is that the dirt that we gather under our feet is not really
sin, sometimes it is, but often it’s not sin. It’s just that we begin to become more and more
burdened about certain things; about a daughter who isn’t a Christian, about a husband who doesn’t
love God, about our financial future. About our marital plans and bit by bit we become burdened
about these and before long they are in our hearts and they become a burden upon us and we wonder
where the beauty and the light was when we first committed our lives to God.
Well it’s because we’ve tried to usurp his place in our lives. We’ve tried to take on some of the
burdens that aren’t ours at all. So loved ones that’s the first step in committing your way to the
Lord, “Lord, am I willing for these things to be going the way you want them to? Am I willing to
step back from wishing they were different and am I willing to say ‘have thine own way, Lord?’ If
it’s going this way and you’re pleased with it then I’m pleased and you change it when you want to
change it.” And loved ones remember, don’t let Satan deceive you by saying that’s passivity – no.
God says “Be active in what you do day to day, be active about the little things, and be active
about the things I’m presenting to you day by day. But I want you to be happy children. I want you
to enjoy life, I want you to enjoy playing in your sand boxes the way you used to when your Mom and
Dad looked after the big things. Now I look after the big things and I want you to play in your
bigger sand boxes. People pay you now to play in them, but that’s alright, I want you to enjoy it.
But I don’t want you to be involved in your sand box worrying about things that only your Dad could
take care of. So I want you to commit your way unto me; the big plans, the big things, the things
that you’re fretful about, commit them to me.”
Loved ones I would ask you what is causing strain in your life at the moment? What makes it a wee
bit hard to sleep at night? Can you think? What do you find yourself preoccupied with when you
know you should be loving your dear ones? What do you find yourself being anxious or worried about?
Those are the things you should commit to God. Now some of you may say you know that’s true, but
why should you come up to this stage and do it? I always thought the same, why do it physically
like that, why can’t I make the step in my own heart. Well it is amazing; God has always given us
helps to our faith.
You notice the way Jesus would heal a leper to encourage him to see that God was real. And it seems
to me that God has given us physical things and there is something beautiful in coming up the aisles
and kneeling down for a few minutes and leaving it here. Just rolling all the cares of your life
into God’s hands and leaving the burden here in his house where he will bear it. There is something
that helps your faith when you know that on that Sunday you left that on the stage at Campus Church;
you left it in God’s hands.
So I think there is a help to many of us and I would not be backward about coming forward and I’m
going to make some commitments as I sit here. I think it’s good just to come up, you don’t need to
spend a lot of time, in fact the last time we did it if you spend too long, there are hoards of us
waiting to get up. So I’d appreciate if you come up, commit it to God, then go quietly back to God
and leave it with him. Now I think some of you will want to make bigger commitments, and some of
you will want to give your lives to Jesus for the first time and I would suggest that you then would
go to the prayer room if you want and there will be loved ones there if you want to do that. But
those of you that want to commit your lives to Jesus or want to pray a little longer, maybe you
could just slip through that opening and the prayer room is right there. But the rest of us who
need just to get something out of our hands that is sticking to our fingers and is causing us
fretfulness and anxiety, we just need to make the commitment.
Then you remember the second part of the verse is, “trust in the Lord.” Now let me explain that,
otherwise you’ll trip tomorrow morning. Trust in the Lord means leave it in his hands even if it
doesn’t look as if it’s in his hands. Because you see God has a different way of dealing with these
things than us and it may look tomorrow morning that he’s not acting much. Satan will get to you and
say, “Look, the thing’s as bad as it ever was – nothing’s happening.” Satan is tempting you to walk
by sight. Refuse. Say “No, I give thanks to God in all circumstances for this is the will of God for
me in Christ Jesus.”
Loved ones, walk in faith tomorrow, that’s what trust is. Walk in faith, don’t walk by sight. So the
loved one who needs healed tomorrow may be just as sick as he ever was – he may appear to be as
sick. But our job is to believe God that in Jesus he resolved all these things; he healed all of us,
he brought all circumstances into line with his own will and our place until we see him face to face
is to believe that and to thank him for that. Loved ones the others may not let it take place in
their lives, but our place is to believe him so that he can do a great work in our village if he
chooses to. So tomorrow, trust him, and the next day and the next day and this time next year let us
be found in a position where we’re thanking God that he is taking care of this thing that he has
taken into his hands whether we agree with it or not.
We believe him that he is bringing it into line with his will. Now loved ones do you see those two
steps then? I really do believe that some of us have let something stick to our fingers and we’re
walking more heavily than we need to in these days and we need to just commit these to God. And
tomorrow we need to walk in faith that he’s working his plan out. So do you know what to do?
Because it’s important for us to have times like this when we don’t have the television cameras on
and when it’s not just me speaking to you, but it’s you speaking to God himself and us as a people
going to him and putting these things into his hands.
I would suggest that we have maybe fifteen or twenty minutes, then I’ll close about ten minutes
after noon so that you know that we’ll sing the last song about ten minutes after noon. So we have
about fifteen or twenty minutes just to put things in God’s hands and what I would suggest is as you
feel God telling you, then come up and pray here, then it would be good if you would go back to your
seats so that others can come up. Let us pray.
A Restored Life - REVIVAL
Revival: What Can I Do?
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Loved ones, we’re studying revival these Sunday evenings through the summer. We really do hope to
keep doing it for most of the summer. And I would just remind you again what real revival is. It
is a mighty sovereign act of God and you remember, when we talked of the revival in the Hebrides in
the ’40s and the ’50s, you remember, we talked of how the preacher was on his way home and thought
nothing was happening and then you saw the lights of everyone’s cottage lit up and he found that
people were out on the front door step confessing their sins to God and crying out to him for mercy
and forgiveness that for ordinary people to do that kind of thing there must be a whole atmosphere
of awareness of God’s presences.
And it’s the same in the 1905 revival in Wales, you remember that Evan Roberts would at times come
to a room like this that would have been filled from about three PM, or four, or five PM in the
afternoon with hundreds of people and he would climb over different people to get into a spot, and
then he would get up and say, “Let us pray,” and then he was never heard from for the rest of the
eight or nine hours, because the meeting would go on into the early hours of the morning and God
would move among people and convert loved ones to Jesus, and fill others with the Holy Spirit, and
So you can see revival is a mighty sovereign act of God, it isn’t something that preachers produce
or even that people produce. It isn’t a technique or a way of witnessing to Jesus, it is a might
act of God’s Spirit whereby he seems to be able to saturate the air with his own presence so that
everybody is vitally alive and alert and knows that Jesus is right here among them.
So loved ones it is an act from heaven and it is a sovereign act and in that sense it is something
that man cannot control except that God has given us a great promise, you remember, and it’s that
promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14. And it’s the promise that God made to Solomon after building the
temple. He said, “If ever there comes a time when in fact my presence will disappear from the
temple, or if there ever comes a time when people will pass by and nod their heads and say, ‘Ha,
what has the Lord done to this house and to this people?’” If there ever comes a time when God’s
house becomes a byword among the nations, then God made this promise 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my
people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their
wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
So loved ones, God says, “I will act from above. I will forgive their sin and I will heal their
land from above vertically by a mighty act of my Holy Spirit if on the horizontal level my people
will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways.” So the Father
has promised that if we fulfill certain conditions he will come down in revival power.
Now loved ones, that is what is needed when a land gets into the state of our present land. If your
read the New York Times today, you saw that the crime rate in New York is not really going up, it’s
been going up for years, but the arrests now are not following it. The police can no longer control
the rise in the crime rate in New York and where New York goes the rest of us follow. And the
incredible thing about our nation at the moment is, that we have a whole lot of religion and we have
all kinds of churches that are filled to overflowing, and all kinds of new churches that have
started, but the crime rate continues to rise.
And you remember, what happened of course, in the revival in Wales- it went like this – “The social
impact was astounding, for example, judges were presented with white gloves, not a case to try, no
robberies, no burglaries, no rapes, no murders, and no embezzlements, nothing. District councils
held emergency meetings to discuss what to do with the police now that they were unemployed. In one
place the sergeant of the police was sent for and asked, ‘What do you do with your time?’ He
replied, ‘Before the revival we had two main jobs to prevent crime and to control crowds at football
games. Since the revival started there is practically no crime so we just go with the crowds.’ A
counselor asked, ‘What does that mean?’ The sergeant replied, ‘You know where the crowds are, they
are packing out the churches.’ ‘But how does that affect the police?’ He was told, ‘We have 17
police in our station but we have three quartets and if any church wants a quartet to sing they
simply call the police station.’”
It changes the way people live and it changes the way the society operates. And what we need in
America is revival, not movements among churches, not increases in church membership, not wonderful
methods of building up churches, but loved ones what we need is revival. God’s spirit coming down
and making us as vitally aware of him as they were in the days of Pentecost. And you remember,
there was a kind of hush that constantly was upon them all in the days of Pentecost. There was a
sense they said of fear everywhere because of the mighty acts that God was doing among them.
Now that is revival and it comes when God’s people seek him with all their hearts and are prepared
to make the changes that he asks for. Now, the key loved ones to the changes is found in a parable
that we have often read and it’s Matthew 13 if you’d like to look at it. Matthew 13:3-8, and it’s
called the parable of the sower but it really is the parable of soils, the different kinds of soil
and the soil is your heart and mine. And Matthew 13:3, “And he told them many things in parables,
saying, ‘A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds
came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and
immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were
scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the
thorns grew up and chocked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’”
And then they asked him to explain it and in Verse 19 he explained, “When any one hears the word of
the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his
heart; this is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who
hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures for
a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls
And then Verse 22, I thought that was many of us, “As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who
hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves
unfruitful.” And I wonder how many of us here maybe are like that ground. Where either the cares
of the world or the delight and riches have grown up and choked off our first love of the Savior and
our first desire above all to obey him the moment he spoke. And I think a lot of us like to think
we’re not rich and yet we all have most things that we need and it is very easy for the things that
we have to become the chief source of our joy and our delight. And it is easy to begin to depend
more and more on either the cokes that you can look forward to or the records that you can play on
your stereo, or the car that you can look forward to driving, and it is very easy for your delight
in life to move off the Savior and to move onto other things.
It’s very easy for the cares of this world to choke our love of Jesus. Our little worries and
anxieties, the sheer job of making ends meet, and of making life work, and of meeting the practical
requirements that we have to keep life going. It’s very easy to find your days filled with those
things and you who first met the Savior and every moment were thinking, “Lord, what do you want me
to do? What do you want me to do next?” You begin to be concerned with other things than Jesus and
you don’t have time to listen does he want you to speak to somebody in the office, you’re so busy
getting your work done and you’re so busy getting your work done because you planned all kinds of
things to do with the money that you get from that work.
And it’s surprisingly easy for God’s dear children to allow the cares of the world and the delight
maybe not in riches, but the delight in things that we own and things that we have, delight in
friendships that we have. I know this sounds terrible, but delight even in our dear wives or our
husbands. Delight in even our dear friends, or our guys, or our girls, or even delight in the loved
ones here in the body, it is very easy to begin to delight yourself primarily in people and in
things, and not so much as you did at the beginning with your Savior.
Now as you do that the soil of your heart gets harder and harder, and the Holy Spirit comes along
and where before he could say, “Open your mouth and I will tell you what to say.” Now he has to
chop a bit at the soil and even then it gets more and more difficult for him to get in. And you
resist him when he tells you to do something and that piece of soil goes harder and then you resist
him again when he tells you to get up and pray every morning at five or six and that piece of soil
gets a little harder. And then he prompts you to give a little more money than you’re giving and
you resist again and you don’t even know you’re resisting but gradually you’re saying no to him more
often than you’re saying yes. And the soil of your heart gets harder and harder, and then you
wonder why you come to church and somehow don’t get the movement, or the stirring in your heart you
used to before and you wonder why you can sing the old songs, and why you can read some of the
books, and somehow your heart doesn’t rise with excitement. And it’s now a long time from you sense
the presence of the Lord in your own heart.
Now loved ones, that’s because the soil of your heart is getting harder and harder because you’re
resisting God more and more on the things that he commands you to do, and the one thing that you and
I can do in that situation is do what Josiah said, “Break up your fallow ground.” You can do that,
you can break up that fallow ground, that ground that has become fallow, that has become so dead and
dry that nothing grows in it and that no seed can pierce it, and that no water from the Holy Spirit
can soften. You yourself can break up your fallow ground.
I know because I’ve done it and the way you break up your fallow ground is you look at your own life
and you see where there is disobedience in it and where there is sin. Now loved ones, Satan has
brought about a great myth among us over these past months and years, and it is this myth that
self-examination is introspection, and introspection leads only to depression. Now introspection is
looking in to see if you feel a love for God. That’s introspection. Introspection is
transcendental meditation where you try to quiet all your mind and make it absolutely passive so
that no thought passes through it. That is introspection.
Introspection is trying to look at Jesus and then trying to look into your heart and see what it
feels like as you look at Jesus. The moment you take your eyes off Jesus you’re no longer looking
at him, you’re looking at your heart and it’s [Finney 14:48] says, it’s like trying to look at an
object with your eye and at the same time look at the retina of your eye to see the image of that
object in it. It’s impossible. The moment you take your eyes off the object you’re no longer
looking at it so when you look at the retina of your eye you see nothing there, no image at all.
That’s what introspection is, it’s looking inside to see if you feel the presence of God.
Loved ones, that is utterly different from self-examination. Self-examination is essential if
you’re going ever to know how you stand before God. And I urge and encourage you to see that there
is a vast difference between introspection and self-examination and the only way to break up you
fallow ground is to begin to examine your own life. And that’s what I did when I saw a coldness and
a dryness developing I decided I will look at my own life and I will deal with my sins. That I can
do, I can deal with my sins. I can look at the things that are wrong with my life and I can change
them, then it’s up to God the Holy Spirit to bring revival. He can bring it or he may not bring it
but it’s up to me to break up my fallow ground.
Loved ones, that’s where it begins. It does not being with wanting, or yearning, or hoping, it
begins with examining your own life with breaking up your own fallow ground and set about it in a
workmanlike manner. And you know, God is so good he gives us dear human beings something that we
can do. We can’t bring down the angels from heaven, we can’t create the kind of atmosphere that he
creates in a land, but we can deal with the sins in our lives and we can turn from those sins.
First of all, look at the sins of omission. Are there any sins of omission in your own life? And
be real and honest about them because those are places where you have been resisting the Holy
Spirit. You see, one of the problems with many of us when we get into a time of dryness is we say,
“I don’t know why it is. I don’t know why it’s happening. I do feel dry. I haven’t witnessed to
anyone for months. I haven’t led anyone to Jesus for a year. I don’t like prayer meetings. My
heart is cold. I hate the Bible study that I have to do every day. I try to keep away from prayer
meetings. I try to keep away from spiritual things. I try to pretend I’m a Christian even though I
don’t feel like a Christian, but I don’t know what’s wrong.”
Loved ones, then look at the sins of omission in your own life. Are there any sins of omission?
And if you read old Finney’s book you know, you remember how he says ingratitude, ingratitude to
God, have you thanked God for the blessings he’s given you in your own life? Have you thanked him?
And not have you thanked him months ago, or weeks ago, but have you thanked him today? Do you thank
him each day for not only the material blessings he’s given you but for the spiritual patience he’s
shown to you over the years? Is there ingratitude in your own heart? Has there grown up in your
heart and attitude of that’s what God is for, that’s his business, that’s what he’s supposed to do,
he’s supposed to give me those things?
Is there any warm gratitude in your heart to your Father? And you know, if you say, “No there
isn’t.” There is a way to begin, begin to list the things that he has given you and begin to thank
him for those things. Is there a lack of love for God in your heart? Do you know what it is to
love a person? It’s amazing how many of us have trouble thinking what it is to love a person. It’s
strange how many of us don’t really know what it is to love a person. We know what it is to need a
person, or appreciate a person, but we don’t really know what it is to lose yourself, to lose all
sense of yourself in your love for somebody else. Now, do you ever love God? Do you ever sit
before him in prayer and just love him, just love him and tell him that you love him.
And I wonder how many of us must appear to our Father as people who just think he’s a kind of slot
machine, or a gift machine that we put our prayers into and we expect to get something back but we
don’t ever treat him as a dear Father and we don’t ever tell him we love him. Do we lack love for
God? If we do old Finney would say, “Note that down, it’s a sin that we need to repent of and we’ve
to turn from, and we’ve to change our way of going from this time on.” Do we lack a love for the
people who aren’t saved? How much time have you spent today praying for somebody who isn’t saved?
And I know your heart probably misses a beat because it probably is incredible isn’t it how many of
us here today not only haven’t prayed for somebody who isn’t saved but it’s not quite a new thought
but it’s a strange thought to us, we don’t have much time for praying for people who aren’t saved,
we’re so busy praying for all the things we need. Well that’s want of love for the heathen, it’s
want of love for the unsaved and where Jesus’ Spirit moves he moves with a constant love for all who
do not know him.
Do we have a lack of love for our relatives, and our fathers, and our mother? There’ll come a day,
surprisingly soon, for many of us when they will be beyond our care and beyond our concern. Do we
love them and do we pray for our parents, and for our brothers and sisters, and for our sons, and
daughters every day, or have we in our own hearts a hard and cold lack of love for those whom we are
supposed to love with all our hearts? Do we pray every day? Do you pray, do you seek God in prayer
Oh, I don’t know how your heart is but it was such a relief to me when I began to see some of these
things because I saw I can do something about it, I can do something about it. And if your heart
wants more of God and you’re not praying every day, loved ones start there. Start praying every day
and confess that sin before God, that you have not sought him in prayer, that in spite of Jesus’
clear example that every day a great while before day he went into the mountain to pray, if you
haven’t followed that example, “Early in the morning will I seek thee,” if you have ignored those
parts of God’s word, loved ones, you’re ignoring plan commandments that God has put in black and
white for you.
If you’re not – revival will never come to your own dear heart. In fact, you don’t really want
revival if you’re not seeking God daily in prayer. And I would urge you on it, you know, because I
know how clever, or I thought I was clever with myself, you had it every third day, or every fourth
day, or you did it every day for two minutes, or once in a while you did 10 minutes. And loved
ones, it’s not the way you treat the king of the universe. This is our God, this is our Creator,
this is the one who has given us all we own. Do you pray to God every day? Do you read his word
And do you see that if there is a lack of life in our hearts and our lives, if there is a lack of
revival spirit in us and we’re not reading his word, then no wonder. We’re simply not obeying the
plainest commands of God, that he thy law will I meditate day and night, and if you do that you’ll
be like a tree planted by rivers of waters. And you wonder why you’re not like a treat planted by
rivers of water, why you’re not blossoming with fruit and with leaves every day, and why you’re not
giving shade to all kinds of other people from a noonday sun. It’s because you’re not mediating on
his law day and night.
And if you say to me, “Well, it isn’t the book? Aren’t the books good?” The books are good but his
word is his word and he has promised that he will make his word living in our hearts if we will
study it and mediate upon it. Do you study his word? Until you study his word he is not able to
bring life to your dear heart. And then Finney says, “Do you attend the means of grace?” And that
means communion, and then it means the preaching services in the mornings and the evenings each
Lord’s day. And then it means the prayer meetings and Sunday morning down at Colony Inn and the
prayer meetings on Sunday evenings, and then it means the prayer meetings on Friday, and then it
means the fellowships on Wednesday.
And you know many of us have fallen into gross laziness because we think we’re not an ordinary
church and thank goodness we don’t need to go to all these kinds of things to make people think
we’re members. But loved ones, that’s not the importance of those things, those are all means of
grace. They’re all means that God has of giving grace to your life and your heart. And I remember
putting out, you remember, a monthly checkup and it listed all the means of grace that we had here
in the body and I asked you to go down it and to note the ones that you did not come to. And I know
it was very easy to think, “Oh you mean, if I come to all these I’ll get into heaven?” But really,
the purpose of it was to bring before our dear hearts that there are things that we can do to get
right with God.
And so often you know, you would sit there and say, “Yes, my heart is dead, and dry as a husk but I
don’t know what to do.” Well loved ones, you can do these things. You can examine your attendance
at the means of grace and you can start coming to those and you can start attending them. Is there
any sin of omission in your life? And you yourself will know other things that you’ve omitted to
do. It’s when the Holy Spirit says to you, “Do this,” and you don’t do that. That’s a sin of
omission. When the Holy Spirit tells you to do something extra and you don’t do it, it’s a sin of
And then sins of commission, are there sins of commission in your life? Is there pride in your
life? And a man or a woman can look at their own life and can see if there’s pride. Do you ever
wonder is so-and-so looking at me? Does so-and-so see what I’m like? Do you ever put on a dress or
put on clothes and think primarily of how much it will make other people appreciate you rather than
how well you will look in your Father’s eyes? Is there pride in the things that you do? Do you do
a think and then look around to see who has seen you do it? Or, are you concerned less people miss
what you have done? Do you find yourself somehow bringing it round in conversation, what you have
done, so they will appreciate you?
Loved ones, that is you with Jesus here on the cross and you standing in front of him like that,
covering him up so that the world cannot see him. That’s what it is. It’s a silly miserable little
poverty stricken creature with rags of righteousness falling off their body standing in front of the
king of kings in his golden gown and saying, “Look at me, look at me, don’t look at him. That’s
sin. Pride is sin because it’s drawing eyes to you rather than drawing them to Jesus.” And then is
there envy, do you ever have envy in your heart or your life? And too many of us say, “Oh yes, I
have envy but everybody has envy.” But loved ones, envy is the desire for a position that God at
the moment has given someone else. Envy is the desire for some looks, or some possession that
somebody else has, or some talent that somebody else has.
It’s crying out to the Lord God of the universe, “I should have had that. You’re an unjust God, I
should have had that. I want that.” It’s challenging God. It’s saying to God, I want to be God.
I want to redistribute these gifts and talents, and that is sin against the maker of the universe
and he cannot dwell in a heart that has envy in it. Or, do you experience selfishness, a desire for
things to be right in your own life, an unreadiness in fact for things to be better in somebody
else’s life than in yours? And you know so often we say, “Oh thank goodness that didn’t happen to
me.” And we really do mean that.
We’re far from Moses, you know, who said, “about the children of Israel then wipe me out from your
book”, or from Paul.” We’re rather saying, “I’m glad I’m in his book. I’m glad it isn’t me.” And
many of us are selfish, we are always looking for our own advantage. How many of our dear lives,
you know, are filled during the day with thinking, “How does this affect me? This action that is
taking place in work, how is it going to affect me? This thing that they’re now going to do at
church, how is it going to convenience me or inconvenience me?” Do you find yourself looking at
everything from your own point of view, from your own selfish point of view? That’s sin and it’s
something you can stop.
You can stop that. You can. You can stop that loved ones. You can stop thinking always of
yourself. You can, ordinary people – dear ones, Socrates, Plato, the noble heathen, the noble
pagans, they lived unselfish lives. You can live an unselfish life. This is falseness, you know,
where we all say, “Oh no, the only way I can live an unselfish life is if Jesus comes in.” Jesus
will only come in if you’re willing to live an unselfish life. He alone can enable you to live a
fully Christ centered and God centered life, but you yourself can turn from your selfishness. And
Finney would say, “Note down the things in your life where there is selfishness. Note down the
times when you’re always thinking of your own comfort.”
Finney says, “Is there a desire to avoid self-denial in your life?” And I think he puts it maybe
better than I can when he talks about it– he says, “There are many of us that far from avoiding
self-denial, we reject it as un-reasonable. There are many Christians who are willing to do almost
anything in religion that does not require self-denial. But when they are called to do anything
that requires them to deny themselves – that is too much. They think they are doing a great deal
for God and doing about as much as He ought to ask in reason. If they are only doing what they can
do about as well as not, but they are not willing to deny themselves any comfort or convenience,
whatever, for the sake of serving the Lord. They will not willing suffer reproach for the name of
Christ, nor will they deny themselves the luxury of life to save a world from hell so far are they
from remembering self-denial is a condition of discipleship that they do not know what self-denial
is. They never have really denied themselves a pinch for Christ and for the gospel. Some are
giving up their abundance and are giving much, and are ready to complain that others don’t give more
when in truth they do not give anything they need, anything that they could enjoy if they kept it.
They only give of their surplus wealth.”
Now loved ones, when we’re living that way we’re missing revival. We’re beginning to shave down the
cross to the point where it’s bearable to carry it and it no longer is pressing us into the ground
and into the tomb where alone resurrection takes place and this cross presses down to the point
where the Calvary life can come out.
A Serious Choice Explained - REVIVAL
The Original Keswick Message
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Partly we’re getting ahead of London that I thought we need to hold a little on Ephesians sermons
and partly too because I found this was one of the books that had water damage and was on its way to
the garbage. It’s “These 60 Years” and you may have heard people talk at Keswick, and most of us
know it’s a town in Lake District. But for years in England it stood for probably what we could
call a victorious life, or entire sanctification. That’s really what it stood for in England over
Now, as the years have gone by it has suffered the same thing as everybody suffers, a tendency to
dilute the message, or to make it just one part of other messages, and I don’t know exactly what
Keswick really teaches or preaches now at all. You might be interested love, to know I remember
starting SCM, there was an Intervarsity fellowship in every university in Trinity College, but when
I went to Trinity College there was no SCM. SCM was the Student Christian Movement and SCM, believe
it or not, was the liberal Christian operation. You know, it was the one that tended to be
concerned with social things and that sort of thing. And I think I felt that the Intervarsity stuff
seemed to me such dead evangelicalism that I thought, people needed to think about Jesus.
But anyway, the SCM originally started from Keswick and obviously ended up rather the opposite of
what it turned out to be. So Keswick, down through the years, I’m sure has faced that kind of
dilution. But I thought it was valuable for us just to listen to the story of the very beginnings
of Keswick, partly because the men and women that experienced the truth of deliverance from self,
talk about it at times in slightly different terms to the ones we use, and yet many of them are the
But it might – through God’s Holy Spirit give you some light. I don’t know, really, I do not know
where each of you stand in it. I don’t know what your testimony is directly. I have some idea of
where you are but I don’t know exactly what each of you would testify to in regard to entire
sanctification or having your heart cleansed by faith through the Holy Spirit. And I think it’s
been very important because of our close relationship in life, and in home, and in work, it’s been
very important to maintain the dignity of enough space for you each to walk your own journey.
But there’s no doubt that God has one dream for each of us and one ideal for which Jesus died, and
that is that we each one would live above known sin, would live free from known sin and that if we
ever do evince as I evinced yesterday, if we ever do evince unkind words, I’ll put it that way, then
that would be a major crisis to us and we would sue for forgiveness and get back into the grace of
sanctification and of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Now I don’t know how you all treat yourselves in that way but it seems to me that the whole message
of Watchman Nee’s book is that the normal Christian life is a life that is free from sin, free from
known disobedience to God’s commands and God’s will. And that if we do sin we have an advocate with
the Father, but the implication is that that is an emergency, that that is not the norm. And
certainly it seems to me obvious that if we are living in continual and habitual sin, that is if we
have repeated and continual bouts of selfishness, or of depression, or of resentment, then it seems
that we are not in the fullness of grace that God has for us and we need to seek that with all our
So anyway, it’s to that end that I want to just share with you some of the beginnings which will
surprise you because of some of the names that will crop up. But this was on Saturday, August 29,
1874 so obviously Keswick has been going now about 120 years or so. “It as on Saturday, August 29,
1874 that the convention commenced and during the 10 days,” – I’m sorry I’m reading the second
“On May 1, 1873, a small company of some 16 people met in a room at Curzon Chapel, Mayfair, London.
And two who were present that day were afterwards to become widely known as the channels of God’s
blessing to many of their fellow Christians. The Reverend Evan Hopkins and the Reverend E. W. Moore
were deeply touched in heart at that meeting and in the following year in the large convention at
Oxford – Mr. Moore spoke of that occasion as follows. ‘I was pressed to go and hear and address on
this subject,’” I presume the subject is sanctification or the fullness of the Spirit.
“I had disliked some papers in The Christian,” which must have been a magazine that was popular in
those days, “I had disliked some papers in The Christian and laid it aside and refused to take it
in. However, I went expecting to hear some new doctrine. The speaker said great blessing had come
into his life through deep searchings of heart and unreserved surrender and trust in Jesus.” So
it’s quite interesting, that’s just the simple way it was put.
“The speaker said great blessing had come into his life through deep searchings of heart and
unreserved surrender and trust in Jesus.” That’s pretty good description of the victorious life,
you know, of the crucified life of being filled with the Spirit. “Great blessing had come into his
life through deep searchings of heart and unreserved surrender and trust in Jesus. I said, ‘Search
me – O God,’ he showed me things I had never seen before and I yielded them and myself to Him. I
ventured a fortnight after with bated breath to say that it did seem as if the Lord Jesus, had come
and taken the throne of my heart.”
What of course impresses you is the gentle mild humility in which they speak and of course there’s a
tendency for us to get the terminology right and the experience wrong. And it’s interesting – it’s
touching I think the way they put it, “I ventured a fortnight after with bated breath,” you know,
not to say, “I thank the Lord, that I am justified and sanctified,” or, “I’ve been filled with the
Holy Spirit,” or, “I’ve spoken in tongues,” but, “I ventured with bated breath to say that it did
seem as if the Lord Jesus had come and taken the throne of my heart.” “Mr. Hopkins too went home
from that meeting to tell Mrs. Hopkins that he was like one looking out on a land wide and beautiful
flowing with milk and honey, that it was to be possessed and that it was his.”
Now let’s pray for a minute. Dear Lord, give us grace to read this properly so that we may hear
your word and life your life. Amen. “The first to be helped through him into this fuller
experience of the Lord’s saving power was Mrs. Hopkins herself. And so husband and wife went a way
of fuller life together. It was the wonderful and abounding message ‘God is able to make all grace
abound unto you, that ye having always – all sufficiency in everything may abound unto every good
work’ 2 Corinthians 9:8. Which, came at this time to Mr. Hopkins’ heart in a new way.” It was that
verse that came to his heart in a new way.
“And the grace of God as unfolded therein became the basis and the power of his after life and
ministry. The writer still has in his position a copy of Dr. Boardman’s Higher Christian Life
published in the year 1860 and given to his mother about that time. It was the year of Mr. Hopkins’
conversion and a copy of this book came into his and soon after the light of God’s salvation first
broke upon him. He read it with great interest and he sometimes wondered in after days why he had
not then yielded completely to the Lord and trusted him fully. He spoke to a clergyman in whom he
had confidence and he was warned against the teaching which was said to be quite exotic and
So there were years of a more or less wilderness experience to be traversed before the fuller light
came and actual entrance into the land of promise was found. We have already referred to May 1873.
As a further indication of how wonderfully God was working at that time we may mention that it was
in the following June that D. L. Moody landed in Liverpool to commence his ministry in this country,
a ministry which resulted in the widespread and far reaching revival which can never be forgotten by
those who lived through it.
The writer can recall a meeting in the drawing room above Mrs. Evan Hopkins’ old home, Manor House,
Hampton on Thames on the 1st of January 1874 at which both Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Moore were present
and the address was given by the Reverend William Haslam. On January 20th and 21st of that year a
two day’s conference was held at Mildmay for the promotion of spiritual life. In an account of the
meetings which appeared in the Pathway of Power for March we have a description of the condition of
those who came to attend these meetings which is worth recalling.
Thoroughly grounded in the assurance of salvation, clearly apprehending their oneness with Christ in
resurrection in the grace and purpose of God, many of the fruits of those blessed truths were
manifested in their lives. And yet some among them have been led to inquire of late years whether
there was not presented to them in scripture the standard of an available life of practical victory
over all known sin and of maintained communion with their Lord which they had not grasped.”
So it might be good, you’ve heard it a thousand times before, but it might be good for me to read
that compound sentence again that these were not people who were backsliders, or people who were new
to Jesus. These were ministers and ministers’ wife and presumably missionaries thoroughly grounded
in the assurance of salvation.
So they didn’t own their salvation, “Grounded in the assurance of salvation clearly apprehending
their oneness with Christ in resurrection,” so even perceiving, you know, their union with Jesus.
“In the grace and purpose of God many of the fruits of these blessed fruits were manifested in their
lives.” So people would have thought of them as outstanding Christians, “And yet many among them
have,” this was being written in the present tense, “Have been led,” “Many among them have been led
to inquire of late years whether there was not presented to them in scripture the standard of an
available life of practical victory over all known sin and to maintain communion with their Lord
which they had not grasped. Again the account runs on possibilities of Christian life unconceived
before – have dawned on many and there is a wide and deep feeling not only that there remaineth much
land to be possessed but also that the Lord is able to bring us into it. And finally we are told
what was distinctive in these meetings and what gave them their power was the urgent pressing in the
most incisive forms of the responsibility and the privilege of the believer for definite and
immediate full consecration to the Lord with the accompanying entire trust in the promises of the
And that’s what came home to my heart, that it was possible now to be fully consecrated. That it
was possible to bring an end to a continual failure, to the continual falling short, to the
continual falling into depression, it was possible to bring an end to that. There could be a
definite end and that’s what he says you know, “What was distinctive in these meetings and what gave
them their power was the urgent pressing,” and these were Englishmen these weren’t Midwestern
misters, “And what gave them their power was the urgent pressing in the most incisive forms of the
responsibility and privilege of the believer for definite,” and that’s in italics, “For definite and
immediate full consecration to the Lord with the accompanying entire trust in the promises of the
And it is undoubtedly God’s will that we would go in possess the promised land. They tell later,
and I mind as well tell it to you, he tells towards the end of this chapter of a Frenchman, Thomas
Manon who became a great leader in the movement at this time and he apparently spoke, continued to
speak with a French accent but as he says he had the clearness of mind and the gift of auditory that
is characteristic of his nation. Then he tells of course, of one illustration that Thomas Manon
often used and I think it’s appropriate to mention at this time when I mention definite and
immediate full consecration, his illustrations were always simple.
They had a touch of restrained humor in them and they were often most incisive. “Seeking done day
to warn people against the danger of listening to teaching without acting upon it, he told them of
an incident in connection with the first exhibition in Paris. A lecture on aeronautics was
delivered in the hall in the exhibition grounds and at the close the lecturer said that his hearers
could now accompany him in an assent in a captive balloon but the audience said, ‘Let us have
another lecture.’” And I think that one has to be careful that one does not continue to say, “Tell
me it again,” you know, “Describe it to me again.”
There comes a time when you have to get in the balloon or our saying, you know, is you ‘fish or cut
bait’. “But in the most incisive forms the responsibility and privilege of the believer for
definite and immediate full consecration to the Lord with the accompanying entire trust in the
powers of the word.” And each of us know what happened to the Israelites, when they paused –
outside the promise land, Caleb and the other man – Joshua came back with the grapes of Eschol and
said, “The land is filled with milk and honey but there are giants,” so the people said, “No, we
cannot possess it,” so they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness.
[And it’s important it seems to me that we do not fall into that passivity, you know, of looking
continually into the land, to describing it – in all its wonderful colors – even sharing all the
great books with all the world about this and ourselves failing to enter in and possess it by what
he says definite and immediate full consecration to the Lord. “Following this, similar meetings
were held towards the end of February at the Hanover Square Rooms , London; Mr. Hopkins speaking on
Romans 6:13 on pardon and acceptance but in the degree of pardon and acceptance, you see of
forgiveness. A Holy Presence, if while we claim to belong to – Henry Varley – testified that whilst
the last year of his utter sinfulness apart Christ from all that defiles.”
And of course it’s the all sin spoil – that we are still our own, only part of us is given to him.
Thomas Monroe, you know, is the one that wrote, “Oh the bitter shame and sorrow,” – the hymn ‘Oh the
Bitter Shame and Sorrow’ that runs, you know, ‘All of self and none of Thee’. And then the last
verse is, “None of self, and all of Thee.” You know, and of course, often we think, “Well some of
self and some of thee,” but it’s not so. When it’s some of self it’s really all of self and none of
thee but we keep pretending, you know.
So that’s the point here, “It was thus manifest in the early days of the movement that on the one
hand salvation from sin was not sinlessness,” and we often said that that surely you make mistakes,
certainly you’re overcome by certain infirmities or sickness, certainly we will do things that our
emotions will overwhelm us, and so on. It’s not simply salvation – it’s not for sinlessness, and on
the other hand – to be really saved from sin does mean a holy life, because it is a life of
constant fellowship with the Holy One and a life of growing likeness to Him. The river of blessing
was flowing with increasing fullness but not only in London but in many large centers meetings were
being held in which the fullness of salvation was widely proclaimed and in Dublin, Manchester,
Bristol, Nottingham, Leicester, Paris, and other cities the servants of God gathered together
desiring to share in the fullness of life that was being spoken of.
A small but very interesting conference took place at Chamonix in the summer of 1873. Evan Hopkins,
E. W. Moore and R. Pearsall Smith were there and 10 days were spent in continued waiting upon God.
At the time it was anticipated that much would result from these quiet hours and in after years it
was felt that the great gathering following soon at Oxford and at Brighton and eventually Keswick
itself had their beginnings mentioned in connection with the meetings held at the time in Hannover
Square rooms. At his own hospitable home, Langley Park, Norfolk in June 1874, he and Lady Beecham
entertained a large number of guests including the leaders of the new movement. The circumstances
were remarkable as the kind host had been informed shortly before by his doctor that he would
probably not live more than six months and he actually passed away during the autumn.
This week proved to be one of deep waiting upon God the conviction came that the time was right for
a more public effort and this purpose was carried out during the autumn at Oxford and that again led
onto the beginning of Keswick. But before we reach the time when the movement came fully into
prominence, one other most important source must be referred to. This was the remarkable conference
held at Broadlands in Hampshire. The home of Mr. Temple afterwards Lord Mount Temple went about how
a hundred persons gathered for six days in the latter half of July 1874.
Those who came together there were not by any means all of the same mind and outlook. If we mention
the names of Canon Wilberforce, George McDonald, Andrew Jukes, John Postberg, Theodore Manon, and
Edward Clifford 22:28, also Ms. March, Madam Antoinette Sterling and Mrs. Amanda Smith as being
present it will be seen that this was a gathering,” Amanda Smith was an ex-slave you know, “That
this was a gathering somewhat different in composition than those already referred to and yet a
wonderful unity of purpose was realized.
The spiritual atmosphere during these days was of a very intense character. All hearts were drawn
into a closer relation with God and a fellowship with one another was experienced such as many who
were present had never known before.” One who came from outside to join in the fellowship was
Thomas Manon, you know and then there’s another interesting one that I thought I’d read you just
because you know of it. Oh someone says, “In summing up the results of the meetings at Broadlands,
the pathway of power for August 1874 contained the following, ‘No description could convey the
wonderful sense of the presence and power of God which attended these six days of waiting upon the
Lord. Something of what it is to be filled with the Spirit was realized and many minsters and
others present acknowledged that they had stepped out and found firm footing on great passages of
scripture which had always before seemed beautiful and possibilities for them. A new range of the
possibilities of faith opened up to them with the confidence that they should hence forth not merely
admire the way of holiness but by faith walk therein.’”
“Then R. Pearsall Smith,” I thought this would interest you, “Was the leader of the meetings and he
and his greatly gifted wife author of The Christian Secretive Happy Life took a large part in the
speaking as their united influence was so central in the early years that we have been describing,
this may be the place to tell something of their history. It was Mrs. Pearsall Smith who first
entered into the fullness of the life of Christ and this after she had known the Lord as her Savior
for some years. She had a very hungry heart as she herself expressed it to be a child of God and
yet unable to act like one was a very pitiful condition.
Going one day to a meeting she listened to the testimony of a woman who was a factory hand and she
heard her tell how she had been occupied with herself until she got such a sight of her Savior as
brought her down in deep humility before him. This reached Mrs. Smith and in returning home she
entered into her diary that night, ‘I find there are some Christians who say that by receiving
Christ by faith for our sanctification just as we received him by faith for our justification all
that I long for is accomplished. I begin to see that the Lord is worthy of my boundless
confidence.’ This was the commencement of a new condition in her life which became one of
remarkable blessing and power.
Then for a time Mr. Pearsall Smith held back but at least he saw in Romans 6:6 the way of
deliverance and stepping out in faith upon the word of God he too found the way of freedom from sins
which had marred his past experience.” And of course eventually later on they finally describe the
experience as an experience of scriptural holiness, you know, and that they were called to spread
that and of course those were Wesley’s own words 200 years before, “The methods are raised up to
spread scriptural holiness throughout the length and breadth of the land.”
And it’s obvious to anyone who reads the newspapers that our land, you know, and most lands now
today except maybe ironically enough some of the backwards lands, but most of the western lands are
shot through with a so-called Christian religion that seems to be filled with sin and failure. And
of course the need is obvious and plain, you know. But really the need is first our own to walk in
this ourselves and that requires honesty ourselves with Jesus and honesty about each other and a
holding onto God for each other wherever we see inconsistencies because the only way that Jesus’
sacrifice will be fulfilled is if we each one live a life of victory over sin, you know. And once
again you know that we’ll read those verses about his birth where the promise is you shall bear a
son and his name will be called Jesus which is Josiah in Hebrew and means ‘salvation’ for he will
save his people from their sins.
Probably the thing that comes home to all of us as we face the dreadful picture of our president’s
behavior is we feel that same lying and mendacity and lack of trust runs through our whole society
and is the cause of the breakdown of the marriages, and the home, and the family life, and all that
kind of thing. But really, those big national sins each one in the nation has to repent of these.
We have to be responsible for our lives though and I think you can see that when Jesus fills
all-in-all then here’s nothing, there’s no place left for sin. And if you’re in any doubt about the
heart of it, it seems to me the heart of it is that the intractable self, the carnal self that we
find we cannot improve or we cannot change, that self has been crucified in Christ and as soon as we
see that and agree with that the victory of Christ becomes real in us and that’s why they say, you
receive sanctification by faith and not simply by willpower.
Willpower and discipline are needed after the heart is cleansed but the actual cleansing of the
heart, the actual destruction of the old self can take place only by us seeing and accepting that
that has actually been done in Christ. In other words, by faith the self is put to death and of
course as long as we avoid that truth and that fact, that it’s something Christ has done and
something the Holy Spirit will immediately make real in us if we see it, and accept it, and are
willing for it the moment we see that that moment the fullness of the Holy Spirit becomes real in
us. Until then we’ll just keep tampering and tinkering with the old self, and praying for
forgiveness, and trying again. But the heart of the experience of sanctification is that it is
experienced by faith. By faith that you have actually been crucified with Christ and that you no
longer exist and this life is his alone and you are willing for that and accept it.
Let us pray.
Meeting God involves Letting Go - REVIVAL
Communion Forsaking All Sin
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
We have suffered for years in our own lives and in our church lives from hypocrisy, religion that
was religion in words but wasn’t religion in life. You know, the kind of thing, and it just put us
off completely, off God and off Jesus and all that. Now brothers and sisters, there is no
Christianity that doesn’t show itself in our life, you know. If it doesn’t show itself in our lives
it isn’t Christianity that we have, you see, it’s something else and that’s what Jesus is bringing
home to us here in Matthew 7:15. And he points out that people who do not live what they preach are
really false prophets you see, they’re really sent to deceive us not to lead us.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So,
every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil
fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and
thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. Not every one who says to me,
‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in
heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast
out demons in your name, and do many might works in your name?’
And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’ Every one then
who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the
rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it
did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine
and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain
fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great
was the fall of it.” May God help us to be like the man who built the house on the rock and be
cleared from hypocrisy this morning in our own lives.
I think a lot of us Sunday-after-Sunday have been coming and are in that position that I described a
few weeks ago, you remember, when I said many of us have listened and wanted the kind of life that
we talked about, and that we have seen in some others here at the theater, but somehow we never seem
to be able to get into it. We really feel more and more that we’re kind of like ‘snow bunnies’ who
dress up for the whole Apres Ski deal and just settle around and look beautiful and don’t really do
any skiing. And we feel that very often we’re that kind of spectator. It’s a kind of spectator
game for us and we kind of watch it all and we think, “Yeah, it would really be good but oh he just
has a kind of optimistic personality, or she just is sort of naturally bright and I’m naturally just
a more passive quieter kind of person.”
And we’ve looked at it and wished that it could be better and more real for us. And we believe it
all, I think a lot of us in the theater here, we believe it all – we believe all about Jesus and all
about God loving us and all that kind of stuff but it hasn’t become real for us. And it isn’t real
for us, and God isn’t real in us and we find when we go home after the service on Sunday mornings
that we’re just back in the old depression or we’re back in the old work – a – day world, and all
the glory that we felt when we’re singing a certain song with somebody else or praying here in the
theater has faded and we’re back to the grind. We don’t seem to carry the glory away with us because
it isn’t real in us.
We feel it while we’re here with others who really experience God but when we’re away from them we
don’t actually experience God ourselves. Now brothers and sisters do you see that the way to
experience God is very, very simple. It honestly is. And it’s simplicity I think that has led a
lot of us away. Do you see that for God to be made real to you, you just have to take God
seriously? That’s it. If you want God to be serious with you and to show himself to you as he has
shown himself to many of us, then all you have to do is take God seriously.
You know, if you push me and say, “Brother, do you mean that that’s the only difference between me
and somebody who really knows God?” Yes loved ones, honestly it is. Honestly it is. It isn’t
because they’re more mystical than you, or because they’re more emotional than you, or because they
were brought up with needs you haven’t got. It isn’t. It’s because you really don’t take God
seriously, you know. You treat him as you treat the latest theory that you heard in philosophy
class. You treat him as an idea and at times you even treat him as a principle, but you don’t take
See, He keeps telling us, “Your sins have killed my son. Your sins have killed my Son.” And you
won’t believe that, see. That’s it, you won’t believe it. It’s as if you met me during the week
and you joked with me and said, “Oh well, I know you don’t mean any of what you say on Sunday and
you tore into a whole lot of swearing and a whole lot of dirty stories, and you just didn’t take me
seriously.” Then no relationship can exist between us, you can see that. I would love you but I
would have to say, “Look, you’re not treating me as I really am.” Now do you see that is what God
is really in with you? You’re not taking him seriously.
See, he says to you, “Your sins killed my son, will you admit that they’re in your life and will you
stop doing them?” And you keep saying, “No, no, no they’re not in my life and I won’t stop doing
them.” That’s it. Loved ones, that’s it honestly. It’s that you won’t look at the things in your
life that are destroying God and his Son and therefore He is not able to make himself real to you.
That’s it, you’re not taking Him seriously, you’re playing a game with Him.
I think one of the problems is many of us don’t want to admit a thing is wrong in our lives because
we still have the old idea that God only accepts us if we’re good enough. Brothers and sisters, do
you see it isn’t so? God accepts you now as you are, he sees all your sins. Brothers and sisters
he sees all the things in your life that you think are so secret. He sees those things and he loves
you despite them because he is accepting you because his Son died for your sins. God knows full
well you deserve to die. He knows more about you than you know about yourself. He knows you ought
to be destroyed but he accepts his Son’s destruction in place of yours so he accepts you because of
his Son’s blood.
But do you see, you and I won’t admit our sins because we keep on believing the old lie that God
only accepts us if we’re good enough? And therefore you know what we do, we keep up that
repression. You know full well you have things that are wrong in your life, you know that. You
know there are things wrong in your life but you keep ignoring them, you keep pretending they’re not
there. You keep sort of smoothing them over or rationalizing them.
Now loved ones, do you see that God sees them anyway? And there just comes a great openness between
you when you at last admit they’re there and say, “Well Lord, it is there. It’s there. Yes, yes,
Lord I do gossip. Yes I do spend a lot of time on just evil, morbid, lustful thoughts. I do and I
know it’s wrong.” That’s a big step loved ones, when you just identify the thing as wrong. But do
you see you can’t get anywhere with God if you won’t admit his judgment on the things that you’re
doing in your own life?
You know, a lot of you are criticizing, you know. You’re criticizing your friends, you criticize
your parents, you criticize me, you criticize everybody but you will not nail criticism as something
that killed Jesus and yet God is nailing it as that and that’s where you see, he has a controversy
with you. So it’s a tremendous step brothers and sisters allowing God to become real to you if you
accept that the thing is wrong. I can’t tell you the relief it is, you know, it was a great relief
in my life when I stopped having to try to pretend that I was good. It was such a relief when I
stopped trying to pretend I’m good, or I’m pure, and I started to accept the things that I saw in my
life and to confess them to God and say, “Yeah, I know they’re there.”
Now loved ones do you see a lot of you have strain in your faces because you’re trying to repress a
lot of those things. That is so. I mean, the kind of approach that we’ve taken today has
encouraged it. The psychologists have kind of encouraged us to look away from those things. Loved
ones, bring them right out and say they’re there. That’s the first step. The other thing is stop
doing it. Stop doing it. If you masturbate, stop masturbating. If you criticize, stop
criticizing. If you have lustful thoughts when you look at pictures in books, stop looking at the
books, stop thinking those thoughts. If you’re lazy and indolent, stop being lazy and indolent.
Now brothers and sisters, the world has tried to persuade us that you cannot do that. The world
today has tried to persuade us that no you can’t change you just have to rearrange the circumstances
to suit you. Loved ones, you can change, you can stop. God wouldn’t command you to stop sinning if
you hadn’t the power to stop sinning, or if he wasn’t willing to give you the grace to stop sinning.
Now you see, you can stop sinning if you choose to.
Now you know it fine well, if you discovered you were on the last legs in cancer through smoking,
you know you’d stop smoking. I mean, we will stop a thing when we see that it’s absolutely
necessary to stop it. Now brothers and sisters, God knows that you see, and that’s why he expects
you to stop doing the things that kill his Son in your life. And dear ones, he won’t take us
seriously until we do that. He won’t honestly. While you keep on saying, “No, no, no I have
nothing wrong in my life. I have nothing wrong, my Lord. Just keep looking up, keep looking up, I
have nothing wrong in my life.” While you do that he can make nothing with you. While you keep on
saying, “Well, I’ve tried, and I’ve tried to stop but I can’t stop. Lord, just be patient with me
while I’m trying to stop.” He knows you’re bluffing him you see.
Now dear ones, that’s it and that’s what you need to do to receive Jesus this morning. Jesus will
really come into you in his Spirit and will create a new dynamic life inside you as you take this
bread and wine, if you will admit that the things that are wrong in your life are wrong and if
you’ll stop doing them. And that’s it. You know, I know there are older brothers and sisters here
but I know you younger brothers and sisters, those of us who are at school, at college, you know
we’re doing this. I mean, we know this is the way we’re living our lives. We’re saying, “Oh I’m
going to try harder, try harder.” But in the midst of all the trying hard we’re bluffing ourselves
that we’re not as bad as we really are. And then we’re persuading ourselves that we can’t help
Now loved ones, that’s death you see. Get the thing right out into the open. Say, “That’s wrong
and I know it’s wrong Lord. I know it’s destroying your Son in my life. I know it’s wrong and I’m
going to stop doing it whatever it costs me.” Now that’s it dear ones, and that’s the only thing
that will deliver us from hypocrisy. Do you see that? You know, if you say what really draws us
all together here in the theater? I’ll tell you, I really think it’s that we believe we’re each one
being honest about the whole business. We’ve seen so much hypocrisy that we’re fed up to here with
it and it’s just so good to see some people who seem to live as they say they live.
Now loved ones, do you see that’s the key to it? Be really honest about the things that are wrong
in your life and stop doing it. That’s it. Dear ones, could I press once more because I do think
Jesus wants me to say this? If you’re in and out of bed with some fella or some girl to whom you’re
not married, or if you’re pushing your courtship too fast too far, then stop it. Stop it now. You
know, just stop it. Just say to your loved one, “Love, let’s get this out into God’s light. Let’s
get it back onto the main road so that we don’t need to blush when we’re before God together.” You
know, just stop doing the thing.
Loved ones, if you’re being dishonest at work, just stop doing it. That’s it, just stop it, you
know. But don’t keep on pleading, “Oh Lord, you won’t show me yourself.” It’s because you won’t be
real with God, you see. Will you think about it dear ones, and during communion would you deal with
those things, you know? Loved ones, a lot of you come to me and ask, “Pastor, how is it not real to
me?” Loved ones, it always comes down to this thing that I’m talking about, you know. I mean,
after you’ve settled the intellectual side through reading the books, then it comes down to this.
It comes down to just not taking God seriously yourself.
So will you consider now that as the bread comes around and the wine, it’s the body and blood of
Jesus. The body was broken and the blood was shed because of your sins. Now, if you continue to
commit those sins you’re continuing to share that blood and to break that body you see, and that’s
why that body can’t be real in you. It can never come together. But if you’re really real with God
this morning, you’ll find a new spirit coming inside you just as you take the bread and the wine,
just a new clean spirit. A new feeling that you’re walking in God’s eyes and in God’s light and
it’s just different, it really is. It takes all the concealment and the stealth away, it just
enables you to be an open transparent person. It really is good, you know.
Now you know, I ask you all to stand so that nobody will feel out of the thing, but you have only to
take these words to yourself if you really mean them – dear ones. You see these words, and you’ve
only to take communion this morning if you’re really ready to identify the things that are wrong in
your life as wrong and to stop doing them. That’s what God asks. Otherwise, you drink damnation
onto your own soul, you see. Okay, will you stand?
You that do truly and earnestly repent of your sins, and are in love and charity with your
neighbors, and intend to lead a new life following the commandments of God and walking from
henceforth in his holy ways, draw near with Faith and take this holy sacrament to your comfort and
make your humble confession onto all mighty God. Let us pray, let us be seated.
Dear Father, we want to be honest with you this morning. We don’t want to play act, we don’t want
to be hypocrites, we don’t want to be people who are washed on the outside and unclean on the
inside. So Father, we want to be honest about the things in our lives that are destroying you and
your son. And Father, we trust you by your Holy Spirit now to point them out to us. Will you
reveal to us now if there is anything in our lives that is destroying your Son and that is causing
you both the pain and torture you endured on the cross?
Lord God, especially those things we have been rationalizing and that we have been pretending are
psychological shortcomings. Lord God, we would call sin – sin – this morning and not try to be
sophisticated and philosophical. And Father, we tell you we intend now to turn from these things.
We’ve tried hundreds of times but Father, we tell you we do not simply intend but we are turning now
from these things. We are stopping this sin of word, or act, or thought this very moment. Father
we’re making a break now, we’re putting these unclean things far from us.
Father, we’re regarding them now as things we are not going to touch in our lives whether it be
eating, or whether it be drinking, whether it be our thinking, whether it is our sleeping, whether
it is our indolence, whether it is our aggressiveness. Father, we confess these things now before
you and we turn from them now. We’re not going to wait for grace, Father, to turn from them we’re
going to turn from them now. We’re exercising our own wills this moment and we declare them now an
anethema to us and we intend no longer to have anything to do with them.
Lord God, we trust you to fill the vacuum that those things will leave. We trust you to give us the
strength and the grace to live a positive life in place of these negative things. Now Father, we
trust you to give us that sense of cleanliness as we receive Jesus this morning, and if we’re having
any trouble experiencing that we trust you to show us why it is and what it is we have not confessed
or turned from.
Now Father, we trust you to give us the grace of truth as we come to Jesus’ table. We do not
presume, most merciful Lord, to come in our own righteousness, but only in the light of thy mercy,
for thy property is always to have mercy. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, so by faith to receive
thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. That the bread which we break may be unto us, the communion of his
body and the cup of blessing which we bless may be the communion of his blood and that we may
evermore dwell in him and He in us.
Life Beyond our Expectations - REVIVAL
The Key to Fulfilled Living
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
There are probably 99 percent of the 3.5 billion of us here in the world that feel that when we come
down to breakfast in the morning. And yet it’s kind of interesting, you know, the words, “And when
I wake up in the morning with my hand down and my eyes and she says, ‘Hi.’ And I stumble to the
breakfast table while the kids are going off to school goodbye, and she reaches out takes my hand,
squeezes it and says, ‘How you feeling hun?’ And I look across at smiling lips and see my morning
sun.” And it’s interesting that probably all of us who listen to that this morning who aren’t
married say, “Ah, that would really be great.” And then probably those of us who are married say,
“Yeah, that sure would be great.”
And probably all of us you know, would love to kind of – we come down in the morning and we kind of
love to receive that tender love and affection that old Tennessee Ernie Ford was singing about. And
we dream of that and we think, “Yeah, that would be great.” And I often wonder how many marriages
have a real hard time and are looked upon as failures by their partners because they don’t seem to
be living up to those ideals that we all have formed in our minds for the marriage. And I think it
would be great but it’s kind of tough on the girl, isn’t it? I mean, that poor soul she has to be
up from four AM getting the old pancakes going, and getting the lipstick on, and looking good, and
practicing holding out her hand and squeezing ours. And it is hard, you know, we guys we’re such
big babies we think, “Yeah, yeah, that’s what we deserve. If she’s a real wife that’s the kind of
thing she should do.”
And it’s even tough you know, on the guy here who does receive that kind of treatment because it’s
very easy for him to kind of just waft out through the door on cloud seven, you know, and into the
car, and onto the freeway and just expect to waltz into the office and there the boss comes to him
on a pink cloud of euphoria, and stretches out his hand and squeezes it and says, “How you feeling
hun?” And when that doesn’t happen, when people don’t treat us the way we think they should treat
us, I don’t need to describe to you the resentment that comes up. I don’t need to describe to you
the hostility that you feel towards them. I don’t need to describe to you the whole critical
backlash that comes out from your heart when somebody doesn’t treat you the way you feel they should
And loved ones, that’s probably the way the greater part of the world lives, it really is. And I
don’t know how many of us here but I would dare to say probably the way the greater number of us
live here. And deep down as we kind of laugh at the thing, and smile, and kind of think, “Yeah,
well it would be great.” Yet deep down a lot of us live our lives looking to other people for the
support, and for the recognition, and for the encouragement, and for the affection that we feel we
need. And that is one way to live life, it really is.
It’s one way to live life. You can live life looking at every relationship, wife, roommate, friend,
looking at every experience, at your job, your home, your vacation, looking at everything that you
can get your hands on and you can look at those people, and those experiences, and those things, and
you can say, “I’m going to get from those the security, and the stability, and the sense of
recognition, and the sense of peace and happiness that I need. I’m going to get those things that I
need from those people,” and you can live your life that way, you really can.
And I would suspect that more of us here this morning do than care to admit. And you can live your
life depending on people. Really, what we’re trying to do you know, is get a good experience in
there. If we could only get a good experience of wholeness in our mind we think we’d be happy. If
we could see everything how it’s supposed to be, if we could get everything organized so that we
feel we have it under control, we feel we would be happy here and so we use our mind to try to get
all the things that would give us that kind of security in there. And it’s the same, you know,
we’re after a good experience in our emotions. We feel if we could only get a sense of oh just
happiness in there, that’s what our aim is and we ought to try to get that happiness through the
experiences that we pass through.
That’s why so often, you know, we’re after a different kind of vacation than last year. Maybe it
will do the trick, maybe it if were a little bit longer than last year we’d find more of the peace
that we needed. And it’s the same with our wills, you know, we want to have a sense of just the
will ruling, and the will being important, and us being significant, or gaining recognition from
other people and we use our will to try and get that from other people. And most of us loved ones,
I think, and you could disagree but I honestly believe that most of us are probably involved in that
kind of sucking life where we’re trying to get these good feelings in here, in what the Bible calls
our soul really, but it’s the psychological part of us, we’re trying to get them from people, and
from situations, and from things. And that is one way to live life. I mean, the greater part of
the world is living that way.
There is another way to live life, the best presents that you have ever received have come from
someone that you’ve never seen. Now those fingers are incredible, those fingers that you have on
both hands are incredible creations. When you think of all the things that those fingers are able
to do, and those were given to you free. Now you couldn’t buy fingers like that. It doesn’t matter
how much money you give, you couldn’t buy fingers like that. The best that we can do when you lose
your fingers is some kind of mechanical device that you know is hideously clumsily, and very, very
slow and there’s no sense of touch in it.
And that skin there, that’s the best self-sealing system that you could buy. In fact, you can’t buy
one like it. When it begins to leak it closes up again. The red stuff starts to come out, the old
body self-seals. Now that was given to you, you couldn’t buy that kind of thing. But then what
about all the little things that you’ve experienced that nobody else in this auditorium has? What
about the corny little butterfly, or the corny little insect, or the corny little dog that you
played with and you can remember that day that you played with it as a child and nobody else just
had the fun that you had out of that little thing. What about the sunset that you’ve looked at and
given your feeling inside that nothing else could give you?
Now loved ones, those are all presents to you from somebody who really loves you. From the Creator
who made you, he gave you those presents because he’s trying to say to you, “I am your Father. Just
as I was Jesus’ Father I am your Father. I want you to love me as your Father, and I want you to
get to know me. That’s why I gave you the presents. Not so you could worship the creation, or the
creature instead of the Creator, but so that you’d begin to see that I love you and that you’d see
that I am what you need. You don’t need the security, and the stability, and the peace, and the
sense of recognition and significance that my friendship gives you. You need me, myself. And when
you’re trying to take the qualities of my friendship and get them from other people, and things, and
experiences, you’re getting only the superficial shallow meaninglessness of me. What you really
need is me. That’s why I made you, so that you could be my friend, so that I could love you and you
could come to love me.” And that’s what Jesus says loved ones.
Jesus explained that that was exactly the situation. That most of us are involved in trying to get
from people, and experiences, and things security, stability, peace, happiness, sense of
recognition, sense of appreciation, sense of significance, from everything around us here in this
world and we’ll never get enough because what we really need is God himself who is our Father. We
really need to have a living personal relationship with him. And so loved ones, you do live one of
the two ways, you know. And I think a lot of you here this morning are quite clear about that. I
think a lot of you see, “Well yeah, I know that. I know that I’m trying to get from people the
reputation and the sense of worth that I’ll only have if I know the person who made me. I know
that. I know that I can’t keep wandering around this world of his avoiding him. I know that that’s
dumb. I know that he has some purpose in making me and it certainly wasn’t so that I would be
running away from him for years. I know that.
I know that I shouldn’t depend on others for my recognition or for my sense of worth. I know that I
shouldn’t depend on my friends and my peers for my sense of value. I know that, but there’s
something inside me that cannot depend on God. I don’t know what it is. I come to times when I
know I do something and I do it well, and I try to look up to God and I say, ‘Father, I know that
your approval alone matters in this.’ But everybody comes up to me and says what a good job I did
and before I know it my whole personality is sucking up all that praise that I’m getting from them.
And indeed it’s not long before I resent those who are not praising me.” And so I think many of us
here this morning, you know, would say, “Yeah, I agree I know that’s the way I should live but
there’s something in my personality here that will not work that way.”
In other words loved ones, you remember we shared it before, there’s something in us that should
receive all this from God, you know. We should receive all this security, all this happiness, all
this significance from our friendship with the Father. Really, it’s a deeper thing than friendship
because he calls us sons and daughters. But we’re meant to receive that really from God who made us
and yet many of us who have tried to operate that way find that our personality has got into such a
rut that it seems to operate only in one direction. And loved ones, that’s what you’re up against,
you know, when you have those moments.
You know you have them. At home when the loved ones doesn’t do what you think she should do, supper
isn’t on time. Or, he doesn’t do what you think he should do, he doesn’t show enough interest in
you, doesn’t show enough concern about the home or the family. Or, with roommates you know, they
just don’t take care of the place the way we take care of it. Now loved ones, at that moment we all
know that we shouldn’t depend on them to do everything to make us feel good. Apart from anything
else it makes our own security a very tentative thing utterly dependent on them. They can destroy
us in a moment by just not doing something we want them to do.
We know that but at that moment when you know you should love them whatever, don’t you find your
whole personality seems to work the other way. You want it to work from God down into you so that
you can love them but somehow it works back that way. You’ve got so used to taking from them to
taking from experiences, isn’t that true. When you have a bad day you know – God says, “Greet it as
pure joy when you enter into various trials.” You know what you feel like after a bad day. “How
was the day?” “Well, it was okay.” You know, boy no joy, you don’t greet it with joy, you’re just
worn out and it’s because your personality is used to depending on experiences to make it happy.
It’s used to depending on what people think of it to make it feel good. It’s used to depending on
how many things it receives to make it feel secure.
Now loved ones, everybody down through history has tried to change that personality. Including
Hitler – they were after that with the SS troops, with the ideal of the Arian man, with the ideal of
the Chinese society they were trying to change. Mohammad with the legalism was trying to change it.
All the great religious leaders have been trying to change that intractable, perverted, twisted
personality. All the psychologists with their theories, their self-help theories have been trying
to change it and no one has really succeeded.
Now loved ones, God alone has done something about that. God alone has taken that carnal nature of
yours, that’s what it is a carnal nature. A nature that has an attitude that depends on people
outside and around, and situations around for its happiness. God alone has taken that carnal nature
of yours, that twisted, perverted personality that insists on depending on people for your
reputation rather than God, on people for your sense of worth rather than God. He has taken that
and destroyed it in Jesus on Calvary.
That’s really what that verse means, you know. Romans 6:6 reads, “Our old self, that old self that
used to depend on people, that used to depend on things, that used to depend on experiences, that
has been crucified with Christ that we may no longer be enslaved to sin.” Now that’s what God did
on Calvary loved ones and that has been destroyed there and it’s finished with and if you are ready
to believe that and to accept it and then to begin to turn to God after the death, after dying with
Jesus to other people and their love of you, to other things and their effect on you, to other
experiences and their effect on you, after joining Jesus on the cross and saying with him, “Lord, it
doesn’t matter what these Roman soldiers are doing to me. I don’t care what the Jews think of me. I
don’t care if my own mother really is rejecting me. Lord, it is your approval that counts.”
After joining with him in his death to that, you’ll find that God gives you victory over that
selfish personality of yours and if you turn to God himself, you’ll begin to come into a new birth
experiences where you’ll begin to regard him as your dearest and closest friend and the person who
is closest and dearest to you and he’ll begin to flood into you a sense of his love and a sense of
his life, and there’ll be a Spirit of his will come into you loved ones. A different Spirit, just
a different Spirit will come into you, a Holy Spirit of his own life and you’ll begin to feel like
you’re a new person completely. Now that’s what it is to be born again, you see. It’s to have that
old twisted personality that depends on people, and things, and experiences for the security,
significance, and happiness that it needs, it’s to have that destroyed with Jesus. Absolutely
turned around and reversed and then begin to receive from God.
Now loved ones, just two very brief comments to some of you here who may want to do something about
this, because I think there are some of you who say, “Well, I do believe that. I’ve listened to it
for weeks and I do believe this is the way to go and I do want to change my life.” Loved ones, the
first step is joining Jesus in death to other people, and experiences, and things as the source of
your security, and your happiness, and your sense of significance. That’s the first step.
Now loved ones, that’s what the Bible calls repentance. It’s a Greek word “metanoia”,
“meta” is to turn and “noia” is mind. You’ve heard of [inaudible 19:24] and that kind of word in
psychology. “Metanoia” is changing your mind, that’s what repentance means. It means, “No longer
am I going to depend on other people, and other situations, and other things for my security, my
significance, and my happiness. I’m going to depend on you Lord.”
Now loved ones, that’s the first step and you can take that step. If it weren’t that your old self
was crucified with Christ you could never get rid of that twisted, practical, atheism that is built
into your personality, because it is, it’s a built in atheism, you know. It’s a built in practical
atheism that gets from the world what you should be getting from God. Now, you couldn’t change that
yourself. By all the autosuggestion in the world you couldn’t do it. But because God has destroyed
it in Jesus you are able to accept that and say, “Yes, I want that Lord,” and then the power of that
change that took place on Calvary works in your own life. Now the first step is to take that, make
Now loved ones, I’d encourage you to make it complete. Some of you have got into trouble because
you’ve continued to sip poison. That’s right, there are loved ones here who think of themselves as
Christians and they’re still sipping poison. Here’s what I mean, they still want the approval of
their peers, or they’re still all cast down if somebody doesn’t show the right kind of love to them,
or they’re all depressed if somebody is harsh or critical to them. Now loved ones, don’t you see
that means you’re – it’s as if you’re on the cross with Jesus and you’re saying, “But please
Centurion, please say something good about me. Say something good about me. Please, you who spat on
my Savior here, please praise me. I can’t be without your praise. I know my God loves me, approves
of me, but I want your praise.”
Loved ones, that’s what you’re doing and the new birth won’t be real if you continue to sip poison.
So, you know, today decide, “Father, you’re the only one that counts. All these loved ones in this
auditorium are going to be dead in 50 or 60 years.” Loved ones, even if they weren’t what does it
matter what they think of you? And say to God, “Lord, it’s your approval alone that counts. Lord
Jesus, I want to die to this sucking selfish personality that I have that is driving my wife crazy,
driving my friends crazy, driving everybody crazy because I can never get enough attention from
everybody. I can never get enough happiness from all the things that I’m doing. Lord, I’m willing
to die to that.” And loved ones, take a stand on that, you know.
Now you know the trouble spots in your own life. Different ones of you here have different
problems. Some of us guys, you know, we’re all caught up with our wives think we’re something
worthwhile and we’re great providers. Some of the others of us have pride in our jobs, you know,
and we’re all offended if somebody doesn’t approve of us. Some of you sisters, you’re in the same
kind of situation, you depend on what other people think of you for your happiness. Loved ones,
this morning take your place with Jesus on the cross, involve yourself in real repentance and say,
“Lord God, I’m finished with that life.” Now that’s the first step loved ones.
Now the second step is getting to know your own Maker. Getting to know your Maker. A lot of people
who think they’re Christians here this morning think that you receive the Holy Spirit from God by
some kind of autosuggestion. They do. They think, “Oh, God said he would give me the Holy Spirit
if I asked him. Okay, I’ll ask him, I ask you to give me the Holy Spirit. No? Did I ask him right?
Okay, I’ll ask him again. Okay, give me the Holy Spirit. Now I’ve asked him and he hasn’t give me
him. Yes he has, I have to take it by faith. Okay, take it by faith.”
Now loved ones, that’s dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. It’s not that kind of game. It’s not that kind of
game. I’m more like my wife now after 15 years of marriage than I was when I first married here.
She’s more like me. Any husband and wife after they’ve travelled together a little while rub off on
each other in some ways. That’s one of the beauties of marriage. Now, that’s how you allow the
spirit of God to begin to come into your own life, through companionship with God.
In other words, the first step this morning is, “Lord, I’m willing to turn from other people and
things for all those qualities that you alone can give me and that you alone know the meaning of.”
And the second step is, “Lord, I’m going to start believing you. God, you’ve seemed to me very far
off and distant. I’ve never actually spoken to you before but God I’m going to believe that you
are, that’s what the Bible says, ‘Anybody who comes to God must believe that he is a reward to them
that diligently seek after him.’” Say to God, “God, I’m going to believe that you’re there and I’m
going to start talking to you. Now, I don’t know how you talk back to me. I don’t care whether you
do it verbally, or through my thoughts, but Lord I’m going to step out on faith here. I’m going to
start treating you for real.” And do that, take that first step.
And then loved ones, tomorrow begin to get to know God, your God. This book here was written by men
who were moved by the Holy Spirit. That’s the Spirit that is going to come into your life and give
you the power of dynamite to live differently. This book was written by the Holy Spirit. Now as
you read this book, the Bible each day, the Holy Spirit of God is able to come through to you. Now
honestly it is a miraculous book loved ones. I can’t understand it fully myself but somehow as you
read about God in this book, the Holy Spirit through this book is able to make Him real to you.
Now that’s what I suggest you do, you know. I’m thinking loved ones, you who are old Christians,
and I hope you’re not really old Christians, but you who have been Christians, you have your own
funny little ways of doing this but I want to speak to those of you, those loved ones here who are
like me who never went to a Billy Graham crusade, who don’t quite know how to start this kind of
life. I’m talking to you loved ones, and I’d say the first step is ‘will’ this morning to stop
looking to people, and experiences, and situations for your security, significance, and happiness.
And then turn to God in faith.
Just inside you know, when we pray this morning – just close your eyes and just even mouth with your
lips, “God, I hardly even know you but I want to start and I want all this old personality that has
substituted everybody else for you, I want that destroyed and I accept that you’ve destroyed it and
now I want to get to know you.” Then tomorrow morning loved ones, begin a daily walk with God. And
if I were you, I’d take something like the gospel of John here – either Matthew, Mark, Luke, or
John, but John maybe is a good one and read maybe a chapter. You know, get up a half an hour
earlier than you normally do. Get up half an hour earlier and read a chapter of John and then just
think about it and think, “Is God really like that? What does this show me about God? What kind of
person does this seem to say he is?”
Then close your eyes and for about 10 minutes, you know, if you can take 10 minutes for about 10
minutes just start speaking to God as if he’s right there in the room with you. That’s what faith
is, it’s believing that God is what he says he is. And loved ones, you may say, “Ah, look that’s
kind of mumbo jumbo stuff. That’s silly.” But loved ones, God sees you doing it. God sees you
being real. He sees you diligently seeking after him and he will reward those who diligently seek
after him so do it, you know. And if you say, “Well, what do I do?” Well, I’d remember a verse
that you read in John and I’d repeat the verse once or twice, and then I would thank God for what he
has done for you in Jesus, and then I’d thank him for the other things in your life, and then spend
at least two or three minutes just enjoying the thought that he’s your Father. Just enjoying the
thought that the Creator of the universe is your Father and just looking at him just as you would
with somebody you love. And that gives Him a chance to speak through your thoughts back to you.
But loved ones, that’s what it means to be born of God. Now you know, there are lots of loved ones
here who say they’re Christians and they have no daily living relationship with God at all. Really.
They’ve given up Bible study and prayer long ago and they don’t really practice it, and they still
claim, you know, they’re Christians. Well, the life has almost squeezed right out of them. Loved
ones, you can’t be alive to God unless you have a living daily relationship with him and so that’s
what I wanted to stress today, you know, that it’s not just making a decision this morning that
you’re going to go this way but it’s changing your way of life daily and beginning to allow this
dear person to become your primary friend.
Now, I could help you in a few other ways loved ones. Some of you will find that it’s helpful to
have some – we call them Bible study guides, Bible study books that help to explain the Bible to
you. Though, I’d remind you, don’t get wrapped up in just an academic study. If you keep looking
to God and saying, “Lord, this is your word will you explain it to me?” Actually, you’ll get a lot
more out of it if you do treat it like that. But loved ones, there are some and I’ll just mention
two that I think are good. Search the Scriptures is really good for helping you if you’re just
beginning to read the Bible for the first time. Search the Scriptures and it covers the Bible in
three years. It covers maybe about 15 verses a day and has maybe about three questions on those
verses and they’re kind of stimulating questions, you know and they do motivate you to think about
the thing. And then there is another book that I use in the evening because it just has one verse
and then has an explanation of the verse and it’s called My Utmost for his Highest. And both those
books are in the bookstore and you can get them after the service. And then those of you who are
just beginning to learn how to pray, you know, and just hardly know how to start I would recommend
that book, it’s one of the simplest, and just one of the best, How to Pray by Torrey.
Now loved ones, that’s really the way to begin to turn your life around and it does involve a daily
commitment, you know, of half an hour preferably in the morning before you go out to work. And then
it involves a definite negative attitude towards getting anything more from people, you know. It’s
an attitude that says, “Lord, I’m willing to stop sucking from people, and experiences, and things
all my security, and significance, and happiness.”
Now loved ones, here’s the beauty of it, if you begin this you’ll find that other people become
dearer to you. You’ll find at last that you’re on the offering end of relationships instead of the
demand end. You’ll find that your marriage breaks into just a new richer experience. You’ll find
that your roommate relationships, your business relationships break into a new realm completely
where suddenly you find that these are rich dear people that you’re living with. Do you know why
this is? Because you’re no longer expecting from them superhuman things. You’re no longer looking
to them for what you should get from God who made you and you’re beginning to give to them. And
then some morning it will be beautiful, you’ll come down to the kitchen and you’ll be the one and
you will stretch out your hand and you’ll say it to the other person and that’s the beauty of it.
When you get a world filled with that, then that is a world that is like heaven and that’s God’s
will for your life and for mine. So, I’d encourage you, you know, to step into it this morning.
Let us pray.
Dear Father, I would pray for my brothers and sisters here who have never taken a step in becoming
related to you as a son or a daughter and yet who believe in you and believe all the things they
have heard about your Son Jesus and about you Lord Jesus being their Savior. Father, I’d pray for
them now that you’d make it clear to them the two steps to take, the one step onto that dear cross
with Jesus – dying to people, and experiences, and things for our security, our significance, and
our happiness. No longer looking for outside people and outside things for what we are to receive
from you alone.
And Lord, I’d pray that each loved one here, especially those who have been Christians and have been
sipping the poison and have wondered whether their life still is abundant, who have still been
depending on what others think of them, or how others treat them for their happiness. Lord, I’d ask
you to give them grace to take a strong stand this morning and accept what you did to us all on
Calvary, you destroyed us and destroyed our old selfish sucking personalities on Calvary. Thank you
Lord. Then I trust you to enable each loved one to take the second step of turning to you now Lord,
and speaking to you and telling you that we’re going to look upon you as our Father from this day
And then Father, I pray for each one tomorrow morning that we get up half an hour early and read a
piece of your word and speak to you for five or 10 minutes so that as we go to the office and as we
go to the classrooms tomorrow, we will go filled with peace and a sense of identity to give love to
others and no longer take from them. We ask this in Jesus’ name – Amen.