Now That We Know | TBN

Now That We Know

Watch Now That We Know
May 27, 2019
27:30

Don Wilton

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Now That We Know

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  • male announcer: We can all use some encouragement
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  • and today you'll find it in the Bible-based preaching
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  • of Dr. Don Wilton right here on "The Encouraging Word."
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  • Dr. Don Wilton: You're going to need your Bibles.
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  • We'll be in the book of Acts and chapter 10.
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  • Now that we know.
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  • Now that we know.
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  • Well, these people that the Bible tells us about found
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  • themselves in exactly that position, so one can only
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  • imagine what must have gone on in their hearts
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  • and in their lives, having watched, listened, observed.
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  • These were the people that had seen the risen Savior.
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  • They'd looked at the empty tomb.
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  • A whole lot of them had met with Jesus on the road to Emmaus,
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  • on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
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  • You remember even on the shores of the Sea of Galilee Jesus told
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  • those fishermen to cast their nets on the other side of the
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  • boat, and he caught--they caught exactly 153 fish.
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  • That's what the gospels tell us.
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  • You ever wondered why the Bible takes the trouble to tell us
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  • that those disciples, when they did what Jesus told them to do
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  • on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, caught 153 fish?
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  • Well, the answer to that lies in the fact that in Jesus's day
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  • there were 153 nations in the world.
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  • Remember what Jesus said to those disciples
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  • right after that.
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  • He said, "Feed my sheep.
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  • Go out there and love people in Jesus's name."
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  • Who was he telling them to go to?
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  • The world.
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  • Remember, Jesus said, "Go into all the world and tell people
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  • about Jesus," so what have you done today, who are you,
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  • and what would you say if God came to you right now
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  • and made it clear to you that Jesus died for you?
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  • It's why I'm inviting you to give your heart to Jesus, so
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  • here we have in the book of Acts how this began to work itself
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  • out and in the book of Acts chapter 10 we have an incredible
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  • story that begins with a man by the name of Cornelius.
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  • Now, Cornelius was a Gentile. He was not a Jew.
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  • In fact, he came from Italy.
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  • He was rarely affiliated with the Romans,
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  • and he was a believing man.
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  • He prayed to God and the Bible even tells us
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  • he was very generous.
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  • He was like so many that I'm looking at today.
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  • He gave his tithes and offerings for the Lord's work.
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  • He was a good man, but in the eyes of the Jews
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  • he was not included in God's family, and so God sent Peter.
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  • Now, we all know about Peter.
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  • Peter was one of those that stood on the shore
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  • of the Sea of Galilee, and Peter understood
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  • what God's grace is all about,
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  • because he had denied Jesus right there
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  • at the foot of the cross.
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  • Jesus didn't even chastise him for it.
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  • Peter understood.
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  • Peter was there when Jesus ascended into heaven.
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  • Peter saw the empty tomb.
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  • He knew.
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  • Well, God sent Peter to Joppa, and he went to go
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  • and stay with a man by the name of Simon the tanner,
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  • and so Cornelius sent for Peter,
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  • and they went and got Peter, and they brought him from
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  • Joppa to Caesarea, which would be the same place where Paul
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  • later would go out with the gospel to all the nations.
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  • I want you to connect all the dots here, 153 fish.
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  • Peter, being told that all people are included,
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  • goes up to Caesarea to tell a Gentile what had happened.
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  • Let me read it to you.
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  • I'm going to be in Acts chapter 10.
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  • I'll begin at verse 30.
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  • "And Cornelius said, 'Four days ago, about this hour,
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  • I was praying in my house at the ninth hour,
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  • and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said,
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  • "Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms,"
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  • your giving, "has been remembered before God.
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  • Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter.
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  • He is lodging in the house of Simon the tanner,
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  • who lives by the sea."
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  • So I sent for you at once, and you've been kind enough to come.
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  • Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all
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  • you have been commanded of by the Lord to tell us.'
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  • So Peter opened his mouth, and
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  • this is what he said: 'Truly I understand now
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  • that God shows no favoritism,"
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  • God shows no partiality,
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  • "but in every nation anyone who fears him
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  • and does what is right and acceptable to him.
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  • But as for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching the good
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  • news of peace through Jesus Christ (who is Lord of all),
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  • you yourselves know what happened
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  • throughout all of Judea,
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  • beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed:
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  • how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
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  • with the Holy Spirit and with power.
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  • And he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed
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  • by the devil, for God was with him.
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  • And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country
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  • of the Jews and in Jerusalem.
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  • And they put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God
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  • raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all
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  • the people but to us who have been chosen by God as witnesses,
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  • who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
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  • And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify
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  • that he is the one appointed by God to be judge
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  • of the living and the dead.
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  • To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone
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  • who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins
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  • through his name.'"
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  • Isn't that an incredible passage of Scripture?
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  • They knew that Jesus was alive. We know.
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  • I know. You know.
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  • We celebrate the empty tomb.
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  • Now that we know that Jesus is alive, what was it that happened
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  • as a result of that?
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  • Now that we know that Jesus is alive, number one,
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  • we see the level playing field.
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  • I've said many times and no doubt you've said the same
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  • thing: that when Jesus went to the cross
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  • he leveled the playing field.
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  • It's a beautiful thought:
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  • that God loves you, and he loves me.
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  • Many people who feel most unloved, you know,
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  • a lot of people who don't feel worthy of being loved,
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  • even more who by virtue of the sin in your life,
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  • of which we're all sinners,
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  • you feel that there is no way that God would love you,
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  • but Jesus went to the cross just for you and for me
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  • and for all who would know him
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  • and all who would believe in him.
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  • This message is for all people, and it's a beautiful thing
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  • to come to grips with.
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  • Now that we know that the tomb is empty, that the field has
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  • been leveled there is neither Jew nor Greek,
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  • neither male nor female, neither bond nor free.
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  • We're all one in Christ.
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  • Now that we know that Jesus is alive
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  • we understand God's divine purpose.
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  • Verse 36 there is really quite explicit.
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  • The Bible says, "As for the word that he sent to Israel,"
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  • that God's specific purpose is that through Jesus Christ
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  • the Word of God's peace to all people would be made known.
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  • So, what is God's purpose?
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  • We know his divine purpose is that people like you
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  • and I should have peace in our hearts.
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  • You'll never find spiritual peace, you'll never have peace
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  • with God unless through Jesus Christ our Lord,
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  • and you can have peace with God.
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  • You can become justified by grace through faith.
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  • That means you are declared just in the presence of God
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  • because the tomb is empty.
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  • If the tomb was empty--was not empty Jesus's death would have
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  • been meaningless, because it would have just been death,
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  • but he conquered death, and he left death behind,
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  • buried in the grave.
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  • And our sin, taking upon himself the sin of the world:
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  • every sin past, every sin present,
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  • and every sin future.
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  • Hard for us to come to grips with, but it's a beautiful
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  • truth, and Peter understood this, and he went to report to
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  • this Gentile by the name of Cornelius right there
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  • at Caesarea Maritima, right at the opening
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  • or the mouth of the spreading of the Good News,
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  • as it was beginning to be catapulted
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  • from Jerusalem to Judea and to Samaria
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  • and to the uttermost parts of the world.
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  • Yup, when we know that Jesus is alive we value the power of
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  • changed lives and that's what the Word here tells us about.
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  • For example, in verse 38 how that God anointed Jesus.
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  • He went about doing what he did and as a result of that
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  • changed lives in turn become witnesses for him.
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  • It's about planting seeds, sowing seeds, sharing the love
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  • of Christ, talking to people about their personal
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  • relationship with Jesus.
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  • Just recently, my wife and I were riding in a taxi,
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  • and I just began talking to the cab driver
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  • and very quickly asked him, "Do you know Jesus?"
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  • And it turned out he just erupted, and he did,
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  • and we were having a worship service driving
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  • in a motorcar down the road,
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  • with a taxi driver, and he was a wonderful man.
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  • And we were celebrating together,
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  • and it's like we were having church, and I had to look at him
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  • and pray that he was keeping his eyes on the road.
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  • We are witnesses of all that Christ does.
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  • Yes, when we know that Jesus is alive,
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  • we know the urgency of what needs to be done.
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  • Just take a look at verse 42 of chapter 10.
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  • The Bible tells us, "And he commanded us
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  • to preach to the people and to testify that Jesus
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  • is the appointed one,"
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  • because we know that the tomb is empty.
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  • I think that Peter arrived in Joppa, and he knew--he just
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  • didn't know how to really come to grips with this
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  • until the Commander-in-Chief gave him Word.
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  • I think Peter, with all his bombastic ways, you know,
  • 00:14:23.270 --> 00:14:29.260
  • he had seen and heard, and he had denied Jesus,
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  • and he'd watched all of these miracles.
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  • You know, you got to remember Peter is the same man
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  • that walked on the water toward Jesus.
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  • Took his eyes off Jesus, began to sink, turned his eyes back to
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  • Jesus, and Jesus reached out his arm and lifted him up.
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  • This is Peter and right there at the home of Simon the tanner,
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  • on the beautiful shores of Mediterranean Ocean,
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  • right at the mouth of the Great Commission God gave to him
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  • this very clear picture that Jesus died for all people.
  • 00:15:08.010 --> 00:15:13.090
  • Yup, he knew.
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  • He had seen the empty tomb and what he knew most
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  • of all was that we celebrate forgiveness through his name.
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  • I think one of my most favorite verses in Scripture
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  • is verse 43 of chapter 10.
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  • "To him all the prophets bear witness," to Jesus.
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  • All the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes
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  • in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.
  • 00:15:47.100 --> 00:15:55.060
  • You might have heard of a man by the name of Clem Gauge.
  • 00:15:55.070 --> 00:16:01.220
  • Met him personally.
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  • In fact, he became a preacher eventually
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  • and was my father-in-law's predecessor in a church
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  • that he served in Africa.
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  • Tell you about Clem.
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  • Clem in his younger days was a very, kind of,
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  • extremely arrogant man.
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  • Filthy mouth.
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  • I mean he could string together the worst words
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  • one could possibly imagine.
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  • Well, it came time for the Second World War
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  • and like most young men his age off he went.
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  • The problem with Clem was that he got captured by the Germans.
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  • They put him in a prisoner-of-war camp
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  • and conditions were very bad, very, very harsh and our
  • 00:16:52.040 --> 00:17:00.260
  • understanding, according to the testimony, was that the prison
  • 00:17:00.270 --> 00:17:04.250
  • guards would make things so difficult for those POWs,
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  • and they treated them very badly.
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  • One of the things that they did was they would just simply get
  • 00:17:15.190 --> 00:17:19.150
  • the prisoners of war to stand around and start digging holes
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  • and on one occasion that's exactly what they did.
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  • They just got them, gave them a shovel, and started digging a
  • 00:17:30.100 --> 00:17:33.030
  • hole, and they dug this hole deeper and deeper and deeper and
  • 00:17:33.040 --> 00:17:35.250
  • deeper and eventually it was so deep one of the guards looked
  • 00:17:35.260 --> 00:17:41.120
  • over at Clem and said to him, "Clem,"
  • 00:17:41.130 --> 00:17:44.270
  • by whatever number he was, "you go and dig."
  • 00:17:44.280 --> 00:17:50.040
  • Clem took a look at that hole, and he knew that the next
  • 00:17:50.050 --> 00:17:53.160
  • prisoner of war to step into that hole most likely would
  • 00:17:53.170 --> 00:17:57.290
  • never come out alive.
  • 00:17:58.000 --> 00:18:01.190
  • The hole was so deep in the ground, that harsh European
  • 00:18:01.200 --> 00:18:06.090
  • soil, and already the walls were beginning to crumble, and Clem
  • 00:18:06.100 --> 00:18:12.050
  • took ahold of that shovel, and he stepped with fear
  • 00:18:12.060 --> 00:18:16.110
  • and trembling in all his anger and hostility.
  • 00:18:16.120 --> 00:18:21.290
  • And he was about to take the rope that would let him down
  • 00:18:22.000 --> 00:18:25.200
  • into the bottom of that hole, and he knew probably the moment
  • 00:18:25.210 --> 00:18:29.240
  • he shoved that shovel into the ground at the bottom
  • 00:18:29.250 --> 00:18:33.130
  • that all the walls would come crumbling down
  • 00:18:33.140 --> 00:18:35.220
  • on him and would suffocate him to death.
  • 00:18:35.230 --> 00:18:40.210
  • And as he stepped to take that hole all of a sudden a big hand
  • 00:18:40.220 --> 00:18:45.240
  • came on his shoulder, and he spun around, and he looked
  • 00:18:45.250 --> 00:18:51.280
  • into the face of Jock the Scotsman.
  • 00:18:51.290 --> 00:18:58.170
  • Jock the Scotsman was known by most of the men
  • 00:18:58.180 --> 00:19:01.200
  • in that prisoner-of-war camp.
  • 00:19:01.210 --> 00:19:05.020
  • He was an outspoken believer who loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and
  • 00:19:05.030 --> 00:19:12.200
  • Jock came from the highlands of Scotland, and Clem hit his hand
  • 00:19:12.210 --> 00:19:20.050
  • away and said to him, "Get out of my way, man."
  • 00:19:20.060 --> 00:19:26.030
  • And Jock said to him, "Oh, no, Clem.
  • 00:19:26.040 --> 00:19:30.260
  • I'm not going to allow you to get into that hole."
  • 00:19:30.270 --> 00:19:37.140
  • Clem said to him, "I'm going into that hole.
  • 00:19:37.150 --> 00:19:41.000
  • Nobody loves me.
  • 00:19:41.010 --> 00:19:43.250
  • I have nobody.
  • 00:19:43.260 --> 00:19:45.090
  • I don't care."
  • 00:19:45.100 --> 00:19:49.240
  • And this big man, Jock the Scotsman, forcibly removed Clem
  • 00:19:49.250 --> 00:19:53.130
  • back, took the shovel, turned to Clem and said to him,
  • 00:19:53.140 --> 00:19:57.110
  • "Clem, I cannot allow you get into that hole,
  • 00:19:57.120 --> 00:19:59.250
  • because you are not ready to die."
  • 00:19:59.260 --> 00:20:06.270
  • And Clem Gauge tells the story of how they watched Jock the
  • 00:20:06.280 --> 00:20:11.010
  • Scotsman be lowered down into that hole and with the very
  • 00:20:11.020 --> 00:20:14.230
  • first thrust of that shovel all four walls came crashing down
  • 00:20:14.240 --> 00:20:21.230
  • on top of Jock the Scotsman.
  • 00:20:21.240 --> 00:20:27.200
  • Clem said in frustration and anger and fear he and the other
  • 00:20:27.210 --> 00:20:32.190
  • in--POWs fell down, began to dig and dig and dig
  • 00:20:32.200 --> 00:20:37.050
  • and dig and dig and dig.
  • 00:20:37.060 --> 00:20:39.070
  • And, finally, they came to his head and then they got the sand
  • 00:20:39.080 --> 00:20:42.150
  • away from the top of his head and his ears and, finally,
  • 00:20:42.160 --> 00:20:45.190
  • his eyes and his nose, and Jock was looking up,
  • 00:20:45.200 --> 00:20:54.290
  • but he was stone dead.
  • 00:20:55.000 --> 00:20:58.070
  • He'd suffocated to death.
  • 00:20:58.080 --> 00:21:03.190
  • And some years later the American allied forces liberated
  • 00:21:03.200 --> 00:21:08.280
  • that camp, and Clem boarded a ship across the English Channel.
  • 00:21:08.290 --> 00:21:18.250
  • With alcohol in one hand and anger and hurt in another he
  • 00:21:20.080 --> 00:21:25.010
  • found his way up to the Scottish Highlands, found a little croft
  • 00:21:25.020 --> 00:21:30.030
  • cottage in which a young widow and three little children lived
  • 00:21:30.040 --> 00:21:34.230
  • waiting for their daddy, Jock, to come back.
  • 00:21:34.240 --> 00:21:40.200
  • And he walked all the way up that cobble stone and as he was
  • 00:21:40.210 --> 00:21:47.290
  • about to knock on the door he just couldn't do it, and he
  • 00:21:48.000 --> 00:21:54.110
  • turned around, and he left, and he went back to London, and he
  • 00:21:54.120 --> 00:21:59.150
  • saw a big sign that said, "Come to sunny South Africa,
  • 00:21:59.160 --> 00:22:07.020
  • where there is work and warm weather and beaches."
  • 00:22:07.030 --> 00:22:13.230
  • Clem didn't have anything to lose, so he boarded a ship, and
  • 00:22:13.240 --> 00:22:18.270
  • he sailed for Cape Town, South Africa, found his way to the
  • 00:22:18.280 --> 00:22:26.010
  • Eastern Cape of southern Africa, found his way then
  • 00:22:26.020 --> 00:22:32.110
  • to a little village called Stutterheim,
  • 00:22:32.120 --> 00:22:37.130
  • not too far from where I used to live.
  • 00:22:37.140 --> 00:22:42.240
  • And there he made personal acquaintance with as much
  • 00:22:42.250 --> 00:22:47.190
  • alcohol as he possibly could, leading a raucous,
  • 00:22:47.200 --> 00:22:54.240
  • foul life of anger and frustration and hurt.
  • 00:22:54.250 --> 00:23:01.170
  • And one night a young nurse from the Stutterheim General Hospital
  • 00:23:01.180 --> 00:23:08.110
  • was on her way to begin her night of duty at the hospital,
  • 00:23:08.120 --> 00:23:13.240
  • and she looked down on the street, and there lying in the
  • 00:23:13.250 --> 00:23:17.130
  • street in a pool of vomit was a pitiful form of humanity.
  • 00:23:17.140 --> 00:23:27.140
  • And she took compassion on this man, and she dragged him
  • 00:23:28.070 --> 00:23:34.270
  • right to the hospital, where he lay in a coma for a long time,
  • 00:23:34.280 --> 00:23:42.120
  • and she nursed him and finally he opened his eyes,
  • 00:23:42.130 --> 00:23:50.120
  • and he said, "Where am I?
  • 00:23:50.130 --> 00:23:53.200
  • Where am I?"
  • 00:23:53.210 --> 00:23:55.240
  • She looked at him, and she said, "Sir, the question I need to ask
  • 00:23:55.250 --> 00:24:04.090
  • of you is were you ready to die?"
  • 00:24:04.100 --> 00:24:09.070
  • And that nurse led that man to Jesus and the two of them fell
  • 00:24:15.130 --> 00:24:24.050
  • in love and Mr. And Mrs. Gauge surrendered their lives to Jesus
  • 00:24:24.060 --> 00:24:34.000
  • and spent the next six decades preaching, teaching, bearing
  • 00:24:36.160 --> 00:24:43.210
  • witness to the empty tomb, telling people that Jesus
  • 00:24:43.220 --> 00:24:49.260
  • is alive, that he shows no partiality,
  • 00:24:49.270 --> 00:24:56.040
  • that he brings peace and joy and forgiveness.
  • 00:24:56.050 --> 00:24:59.110
  • Britt Dillard: Oh, and the exciting thing is that peace,
  • 00:25:03.050 --> 00:25:05.040
  • that joy, that forgiveness is available
  • 00:25:05.050 --> 00:25:06.230
  • for you and me, as well.
  • 00:25:06.240 --> 00:25:08.140
  • Maybe your life has been like Clem, it's been way off the
  • 00:25:08.150 --> 00:25:10.180
  • rails, or maybe you just realize you've not been following God
  • 00:25:10.190 --> 00:25:14.020
  • and tonight not what Dr. Don has said but what the Lord has said
  • 00:25:14.030 --> 00:25:16.260
  • through him has reminded you there is a way home.
  • 00:25:16.270 --> 00:25:20.070
  • There is a way back.
  • 00:25:20.080 --> 00:25:21.240
  • Boy, I would love to pray with you
  • 00:25:21.250 --> 00:25:23.100
  • as you say yes to Jesus Christ.
  • 00:25:23.110 --> 00:25:24.210
  • It could be a simple prayer. You can repeat after me.
  • 00:25:24.220 --> 00:25:27.040
  • Lord God, I realize I've messed up.
  • 00:25:27.050 --> 00:25:30.100
  • We've all messed up, but I also realize that you
  • 00:25:30.110 --> 00:25:32.260
  • are pursuing me because you love me.
  • 00:25:32.270 --> 00:25:35.270
  • You died on the cross for my sins.
  • 00:25:35.280 --> 00:25:37.260
  • I believe you are Jesus, you are God, and I accept you
  • 00:25:37.270 --> 00:25:41.290
  • as my Savior and Lord.
  • 00:25:42.000 --> 00:25:43.170
  • In your name I pray. Amen.
  • 00:25:43.180 --> 00:25:45.280
  • You know, Dr. Don reminds us it's not about the specific
  • 00:25:45.290 --> 00:25:47.270
  • words you say, but it's about your heart.
  • 00:25:47.280 --> 00:25:49.190
  • If your heart is ready to affirm that Jesus is God
  • 00:25:49.200 --> 00:25:52.040
  • and you wanna change your life, let us pray with you.
  • 00:25:52.050 --> 00:25:54.060
  • Let us put some free resources in your hand
  • 00:25:54.070 --> 00:25:56.040
  • by giving us a call.
  • 00:25:56.050 --> 00:25:57.210
  • The number is available not just now but 24 hours a day.
  • 00:25:57.220 --> 00:25:59.250
  • Jot it down. Store it in your cell.
  • 00:25:59.260 --> 00:26:01.130
  • We are here to encourage you.
  • 00:26:01.140 --> 00:26:03.150
  • Until next time, take care and God bless.
  • 00:26:03.160 --> 00:26:05.230
  • female announcer: Satan is alive and is on the move
  • 00:26:06.260 --> 00:26:09.150
  • in the United States.
  • 00:26:09.160 --> 00:26:11.110
  • He is actively engaged in all aspects of our government,
  • 00:26:11.120 --> 00:26:13.290
  • in our educational systems, and in the lives of our children,
  • 00:26:14.000 --> 00:26:17.060
  • the next generation.
  • 00:26:17.070 --> 00:26:19.020
  • Never forget Satan has been defeated by the Lord Jesus
  • 00:26:19.030 --> 00:26:22.000
  • Christ, and this victory enables us and the next generation of
  • 00:26:22.010 --> 00:26:25.250
  • believers to stand victorious in the presence of the enemy
  • 00:26:25.260 --> 00:26:29.050
  • unwavering and unafraid.
  • 00:26:29.060 --> 00:26:31.100
  • This month, as you give a gift of $20 or more
  • 00:26:31.110 --> 00:26:33.190
  • to "The Encouraging Word,"
  • 00:26:33.200 --> 00:26:35.050
  • you will receive a powerful message series
  • 00:26:35.060 --> 00:26:37.040
  • by Dr. Don Wilton, "Satan: The Defeated Enemy Among Us."
  • 00:26:37.050 --> 00:26:41.110
  • Plus, you will receive a copy of Dr. Wilton's inspiring book,
  • 00:26:41.120 --> 00:26:45.040
  • "Defying the Odds," to help encourage you
  • 00:26:45.050 --> 00:26:47.080
  • through all of life's challenges.
  • 00:26:47.090 --> 00:26:49.140
  • Request this empowering resource set today as you support
  • 00:26:49.150 --> 00:26:52.270
  • "The Encouraging Word" with your ministry gift.
  • 00:26:52.280 --> 00:26:55.100
  • Write to us at post office box 2110, Spartanburg, South
  • 00:26:55.110 --> 00:26:58.220
  • Carolina 29304, or call us toll free at 866-899-WORD,
  • 00:26:58.230 --> 00:27:04.290
  • or visit online at theencouragingword.org.
  • 00:27:05.000 --> 00:27:08.120
  • Your generous support enables us to bring the uncompromised
  • 00:27:08.130 --> 00:27:11.260
  • and life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ
  • 00:27:11.270 --> 00:27:14.110
  • to where people are around the world.
  • 00:27:14.120 --> 00:27:17.250
  • Britt: Thank you again for joining us.
  • 00:27:18.100 --> 00:27:19.190
  • Stay connected online at TheEncouragingWord.org.
  • 00:27:19.200 --> 00:27:22.210
  • We would love to connect with you.
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