Sermon Transcript: The End of the World as We Know It 6/13/2021 Jeff Schwarzentraub 50 min read - Doomsday predictions for the world are myriad. All you need to do is check out what people are saying online, media, movies, magazines, even ministries, all think that they have their hands around every single way it's gonna play out, and for many people, they get thrilled by trying to spell out exactly what's gonna happen and when it's gonna happen. But fortunately for us, we have the word of God, He's gonna tell us exactly what's going to happen and what we can be aware of. And the reason that this is so important for us is that we need to see that Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords is indeed gonna come rule and reign on this planet. And while we watch the world go into a tailspin, we can rest assured that Jesus Christ is in control over it. Last week, as we took a look at Revelation chapter 17, we talked about the end of false religion, and what that is gonna look like, chapter 18 really dovetails with that, and it's really the end of the world as you and I know it, the end of the world, as we know it. And it's not just an R.E.M song from when I was in high school either, right? I mean the end of the world, one more time about the world, we have to understand the Bible makes really clear that God so loved the world, God loves his creation of the world and our planet, He's not going to destroy our planet, as a matter of fact, what we're gonna learn through future chapters is God's gonna bring heaven to earth and we're gonna experience Christ here. God loves His world, His earth, He loves you because He created you in His image. What God hates is our world's system, He hates our world system that lives independent from Him, and antithetical towards what He wants. So when we're talking about the world we're talking about that domain. Sometimes when I hear my wife talking to one of her friends about a challenging week she had, or what was going on with our kids, and one of the other moms will say, "Well, welcome to my world." Or maybe when person goes off to boot camp and they meet their sergeant, and the sergeant very firmly says, "Welcome to my world, you're in my world now." Now by that he doesn't mean that he has dominion over the whole world, he's talking about that location, that place, that understanding of how the world's gonna operate in his or her locale. And here's what we're talking about this morning, we're gonna talk about the end of the world as we know, we're gonna talk about the end of this world system, the commerce, the economics, the politics, everything that's been going on since the creation of man is gonna come to a close and Jesus Christ is going to rule and He's gonna reign on the planet. So I'd like you to do this morning, is I'm gonna invite you to open up your Bibles to Revelation chapter 18, Revelation chapter 18. And as we unpack this, we're gonna take a look at four things we need to understand about this world for the future as it relates to Jesus Christ taking over, and what this world will become, and how this world will become what God wants it to be. These 24 verses will really highlight for us what end is going to be, and as we take a look at this last 30 days prior to the restoration period and Jesus setting up as millennial reign, we're gonna take a look at what it means for this world as we know it, the world that we live and that we breathe in and the world that we're so aware of. And the first thing you need to know about this is the world as we know it will come crashing down. This world as we know it, this world as you know it will come crashing down. Notice what He says in Revelation chapter 18. "After these things, I saw another angel coming down from heaven." I mean, how many angels have we seen in this book? They're everywhere, right? Just because you can't see them doesn't mean they're any less real, angels are everywhere. Here's another angel coming down from heaven having great authority. "And the earth was illumined with his glory." What does that mean? It means he was in the presence of the Lord. This angel is coming down and is so bright that the whole earth is illuminated with his glory, and he cried out with a mighty voice saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great." Fallen, fallen. Now when you see something repeated in the Bible, it's for emphasis, it's not just fallen, it's not just this fell down, it's fallen, fallen, this is help, I've fallen and I can't get up, fallen. This is down on the ground, fallen. Babylon the Great is falling, we'll talk a little bit about what this great city could be but whatever city it is is representative of our world's system that we currently live in, this world system that we currently live in. Now, what do I mean when I say that? Who does this world system center around? The unholy trinity of me, myself and I. I mean, you think about what frustrates you, you think about what makes you angry, you think about what makes you sad, usually it's because something didn't meet your needs, you have unmet expectations, people in your family don't understand you, your spouse was not responding to you, your kids don't appreciate you, why? Because we live in a world where we believe that from the time we're born that this world centers around us. Fallen, fallen is Babylon the Great, one day it's all going away, one day that understanding, that false understanding that the world was created only for you, and that the whole world spins around your axis is wrong. God declared that if we wanna keep the whole law what should we do? We should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and the second commandment was like it, we should love our neighbor as ourselves, who am I pointing at? If God's plan for us in this world is to love Him, and to love others. He said, "If you'll do that, I'll take care of you." And yet, what do we feel the tug in our lives to do all the time, center on who? Me, for a majority of you, you know, if you keep a schedule on your phone, or if you're old school and you have a day-timer, whose schedule is it? It's yours. Maybe involves a few other key people that can help you or maybe some that you're responsible for like your own children, but at the end of the day, you don't keep my schedule, you don't know where I need to be or what I should be doing, keep yours, why? Because the person that we tend to be concerned about the most in the system is ourselves. And here's what God says, "There's coming a day where you're gonna hear a mighty voice call out." And I love this, 'cause we said again, everything in the book of Revelation is loud, right? I mean, aloud voice, a mighty voice, a fallen fallen is Babylon the Great, she's totally done, why? She become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. She's a place for everything unclean, every evil spirit, every unclean spirit, every fallen angel. And when it says that she's a prison, it means that she's a haunt, or a gathering place for what, everything that's unclean, there's nothing good left. As our world continues to spiral out of control, and as our world continues to focus on self there will come a day where for those who have not trusted in the Lord, there will be such a dichotomy of those who know the Lord and those who don't, that those who don't will be spending their entire passions on themselves. Verse three, "For all the nations," all the nations, that's the entire world, "Have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the Kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality." What does it saying? All the leadership, all the commerce, and all the people who are profiting from it have all done it from a sense of immorality. And when this ends, there's going to be a crash that is unfixable. This week I thought of a nursery rhyme I hadn't thought of about in about 30 years, "Humpty Dumpty" do you remember that nursery rhyme? Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, you know this? All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. And so I looked it up online to try to learn about Humpty Dumpty, and it was like a guy that looked like an egg with overalls or something. Apparently he was sitting on a wall and fell off, and when the egg cracked, I don't know what the king's horses were gonna be able to do or what they thought they could do, but apparently they were of no help. And then all the king's men couldn't do anything either. In other words, when Humpty Dumpty fell, it was such a crash that he couldn't get fixed. When the world comes to its halt, when Jesus Christ puts an end to this world's system, not only of its false religion, but of its false commerce, economics, politics of everyone living in and for themselves, it's gonna come to a screeching halt and there's no one that's gonna be able to fix it. The brightest minds in the world won't be able to fix it. There is an game to what is coming. If you live for yourself, there's an end game for you, right? That's why he's making us crystal clear, Jesus wants us to know that there's an end to this. And why is it so important to talk about? Because we live in a world that's very different than how Jesus wants us to live. I mean, think about your own life for a second. We like to talk about upward mobility. If you don't have a house and you rent an apartment, what do we start thinking about? I would like to buy a house someday. If you have a house, what do you want? You want a bigger house and you call your current house what? It's a starter home, right? If you have a certain kind of car, you probably want a bigger car or a better car, right? We want upward mobility, we wanna know people, we wanna have greater influence, we want more things, we want more stuff, and we think by having all that that's gonna make things great. How did Jesus model anything different, was he upwardly mobile? He was just the opposite. What did he do? He became downwardly mobile. I was thinking about Phillippians in chapter two, where it talks about the humility of Christ in a very familiar section, of who Jesus is, right after it talked about doing nothing out of selfish ambition or empty conceit by in humility of mind consider others more important than your self, do not only look out for your own interests but also the interests of others. Then it talks about this is what Christ did. Notice what it says about Jesus in Philippians two verse five, "Have this attitude in yourselves, which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a born servant and being made in the likeness of men." Unbelievable. Think about us, we wanna meet people that are famous, or people that have influence, or people that have money, or people that can help us get somewhere, and when we get around them and we know that they're beneficial to us, we wanna hang on to them, or we wanna tell other people who we know, or we wanna name drop, or do all this stuff. What was Jesus and who is Jesus? The Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is eternal. The Father has always existed, the Son has always existed, the Holy Spirit has always existed, they're three distinct persons with one essence, meaning this, there's never been a time where Jesus Christ didn't exist, and yet He did not regard equality with God as something to be held onto, but what he do? He emptied Himself and became what? human. And some people falsely think that He only became human for the 33 years He was on the earth. Jesus Christ became human for all eternity. He died fully God and fully man, He rose fully God and fully man, He ascended fully God and fully man, and stay tuned next week 'cause I've been waiting for Revelation 19 since we started, He's coming back as fully God and fully man. Amen? And this is so important because if Jesus Christ ever cease to being human we have no connection with God. He's the way, the truth, and the life, there's one mediator between God and man, the man, Jesus Christ. He's our only connection to God, right? So what did Jesus do? He humbled Himself and became like us. And let me just tell you just so you know, there's a way further chasm from heaven to human, than there is from human to animal. And even if you are an animal lover, Lord bless you, but if you are, and you had the potential of becoming an animal for the sake of the animals, that's not even as humble as Jesus, God in flesh becoming human for us. And then what did Jesus do? I mean, it wasn't just that He became human for all eternity, but the text goes on and says this, "Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death even death on the cross." Friends, Jesus Christ is God, Jesus Christ was born sinless because he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ would have never died as a human, how in the world that he die? He died because God the Father put all of our sin upon Him and punished Him accordingly, so that he would die in our place for our sins. So not only did Jesus come on purpose to die, but He died the most cruel death He could have possibly died which is death on a cross. You know, it wasn't just like He collapsed because He ran too much one day and overheated, it wasn't like he was poisoned and ate bad food, no, He humbled Himself and He was whipped, and stripped, and beaten, and hung naked on a cross in shame for six hours on purpose because He was taking the punishment that your sin deserved. Was He humble, is He humble? Yes. So what is God saying? There's coming an end to the day where people put themselves first, because Jesus Christ wants you to know that He's King of kings and Lord of lords, and He deserves all of your allegiance, and one day, every knee will bow and tongue confess that He is God to the glory of God the Father. For this reason also it says, "God highly exalted Him and be stowed on Him the name which is above every name so the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father." what does this mean? What it means is that God wants us to be that way now, knowing that that's coming, God wants us to live for Him. I mean, John the Baptist said it like this in John three 30, "He must increase, but I must decrease." Now, we love the front half of that verse as Christians. I want God to be honored, I want God to be glorified, I want God to be elevated, we love that side of the verse. What did John the Baptist say, how was that gonna happen? "I must decrease." And in our culture, that goes against the grain of everything you've been taught from the time that you were young. Because even in our best efforts to wanna honor the Lord, even in ministry, even as a pastor, there's a pull to say, yeah, but I wanna be known too. I mean, I want Jesus to be elevated but I just like Him to know that it came through me. Who cares, who it comes through, right? I mean, even when it comes to church and we're gonna serve, but I don't wanna serve anonymously, I wanna have a badge or something, or at least want people to know that it was me that did that. I mean, we can't help ourselves, we have a hard time getting out of our way. He must increase, but we must decrease. So here comes the question, how does God want to increase through your life? What is God been prompting you to take a step of faith with, well what are those areas that the Holy Spirit's been moving you because for so many Christians, sometimes I listen to them and they're like, I just wish I knew what the next step was, I wish I knew what to do, here's your next step, listen to the Lord as to how you can honor Him more with your life, and tell the Lord you'll be willing to humble yourself and do anything so that he gets more elevated, and He'll answer that prayer. If you're bold enough and sincere enough to pray, Lord if I become less so that you can become greater, I'm great with that, Just show me what to do. Lord show me where I'm getting in the way of your greatness, show me where I'm trying to put myself on a pedestal, show me how I'm interfering with your greatness, how can I become less so that you can become greater? 'Cause for some of us, we end up pausing our Christian life on the way, because even while we believe in Jesus Christ and know that He's the substitutionary atonement of our sins we still falsely think that Jesus is dependent upon us to get the message up. No, Jesus is gonna use us, but He doesn't need to use us. How many know God can get done whatever He wants to get done without you? I mean He does, but yet He chooses to use us, He wants to use us. But not so that we get glory, and not so that we get fame, and not for any other reason than this, so that He does, that's what it's all about. So I love Romans chapter 12 verse two, it says, "Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world." What's the pattern of this world? The pattern of this world is you get credit for everything you do, and keep looking to get credit for everything you do, and when you get credit for it, make sure you and everybody else knows the credit you got for the things that you've done. That's the pattern of this world. There is a pattern of this world that tells you how to eat, what you should look at, what you should see, what you should go after, what your goals should be, all of those things there's a pattern. And if you wanna know what the pattern is just take a look at how 90% of our culture is following a certain pattern, and chances are if that's what 90% of the culture's doing, it's probably not aligned with what the Bible wants. And yet we go after all these things, there's nothing wrong with goals, we talked about it last week, there's nothing wrong with furthering your education, there's nothing wrong with getting a good job, and yet, no matter what field you're in, it seems that there's award ceremonies in every single field to see what your degree level is, or what your accomplishment level is, or what you've done. Even when I go to pastors conferences, one of the first questions is, what would you think it is? How big is your church? As if that matters. 'Cause some of the most faithful pastors is the pastor they're gonna be rewarded in heaven, or by vocational pastors that have 50 people in their congregation that are doing it correctly, amen. So at the end of the day, we get involved in all these things that God doesn't care about. God cares about us being faithful to Him, to put Him on a platform and to get out of the way so that when people see us, He's working through us in such a way where people I say, I see the way she is, I see the way he is, and boy, they definitely want the Lord to be elevated in their life. So the question becomes, how are you conforming to the pattern of this world? The Bible says don't conform, but what? Be transformed by renewing your mind, that means, think about how God wants this world to look, refresh yourself in the scriptures and let God take you to where He wants you to go. That's what it looks like. Because the end of this world as we know it, this world's system will come crashing down, make no mistake about it.Secondly is this, the end of the world as we know it will not escape the punishment for her sins. All the kings, the leaders of the world, the merchants, those buying and selling, and all living for themselves, doing whatever they can to go on this upward mobility track that have, you know, climb, quote unquote the ladder of success only to realize it's not leaning against a wall, only to realize none of the wrongs are attached to the ladder anymore, and there's a great crash, but not only will there'll be a great crash, they will not escape the punishment for their sins. Notice what verse four says, "I heard another voice from heaven saying, 'come out of her my people, you that will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues.'" God is so gracious to us, He tells us what's gonna happen, and then what does he tell his people? "Get out of that system, pull yourself out of that world, don't live that same way." That's what He says. The Bible tells us where to be in the world but what, not of the world. I mean, how many like boating? I like being out in the ocean, I like boating, I like doing, I mean, in Denver, maybe Cherry Creek Reservoir or something but... I mean, boating, it's fine to be on the water if you're in a boat, but not in the water, right? God said we're in the world, we're just not of the world, that means don't be consumed with the things of the world, because guess what? God's gonna punish the things of the world, you're gonna see in this text how the world's not going to escape. There's no passive indifference here. Well, hey, I was just living my life for me and hey, I was doing this and here's what God's gonna say, yeah, you're gonna be thoroughly punished for not elevating me in serving others, that's coming. So if you're a Christian, here's what He's saying, "Don't participate with how the world engages." That's all He's saying. Now what does that look like? It can look like that in any venue in your life. I mean, God tells us and gives us incredible scriptures in the Bible to tell us not to intermingle with the world. I mean, second Corinthians chapter six and 14 says, "Do not be bound together with unbelievers." Oftentimes we talk about that as far as marriage, okay? And I think that's a appropriate application. If you're single, and you're looking to get married, and the person that you're dating is not a Christian, here's what it means, break up today, don't marry them, even if she's hot, even if he's rich, break it off now. You say, well, I want to convert them, then convert them first then get married. Why? Because marriage has enough challenge in itself even when you're with a person that God wants you to be with, because you have two different genders, coming from two different families, with two different sin patterns, that's hard enough. You throw into that mix that another person doesn't believe in Jesus the way you do and you've created a living hell for yourself. So I'm telling you whether you're a young person, older person, looking to marry, remarry, do not marry somebody that's not a believer, that's walking in alignment with Christ the way you are, spare yourself, right? How about the business world? Here's what I would say, don't be bound together with unbelievers in business. You say Jeff, this girl, this guy, terrific girl, I know a lot of quote unquote terrific guys and terrific girls, but here's the problem, when you're yoked in such a way at some of the deepest places eventually you're gonna see things differently and it's gonna cause challenge, it just is. I mean, that's why the body of Christ is so important. So it's important that we're United with the body of Christ. Get out of immorality. Now for some of you, I know what you say, 'cause I would have said the same thing when I was your age. Some of you younger people, you're living immoral in your life but you say this, I know I'm saved so it's not that big of a deal, and pastor Jeff, when I get old like you then I'll probably start living different. And here will be my response to you, you're killing yourself, you're hurting yourself. you're setting yourself up for major pain that you don't need to experience and I wanna tell you this, if you walk with Jesus, there's the greatest joy, and peace, and righteousness that you can have, and yes, while God will forgive your sins as a believer who is repentant, you still set yourself up for a lot of consequences you don't need. So wherever you're living immoral now, don't think to yourself that's not a big of a deal, Christ forgave that, yes He did, but you don't need to continue to live in it, you don't need to continue to stay there, there's freedom in getting out of it. Don't partner with those who don't have your mindset. And there's a lot of people that think, well, you know, that stuff ever happened to me, that's not really gonna happen to me, it's usually when you say that's not gonna happen to you it usually happens to you, right? God is looking for our humility, not our pride. Look at what He goes on to say, He warn us, come out of her, But then he says what? "For her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities." Why? Because when you're unrepentant your sin doesn't go away. Only Jesus Christ can take care of your sin. Your biggest problem is your sin. If you're unrepentant and at lack of belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, it's as if your sins just continue to reach the heavens, they just pile up one on top of the other, and that's what's happening here. And God tells Him this, "Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much up for her." Give her a double portion, right? You reap what you sew, it's a spiritual truth. If you sew into the things of the Lord by trying to make Him great and trying to serve other people you will reap a harvest in that. If you sew unto yourself, you will reap punishment for that. What is God saying to the unfaithful unrepentant people on the planet at this time? Hey, give her a double shot, pour out breath, but poured out twice as much because there was such a lack of repentance and such a hardening in her heart. Make no mistake about it. There's no escape from God's judgment, you either get to accept Christ payments so that His judgment took care of all your sin, or you get to face God's judgment on your own, and I'm telling you on the authority of God's word you don't wanna face God's judgment on your own. Notice what it says in verse seven, "To the degree that she glorified herself and live sensuously, to the same degree gave her torment and mourning for she says in her heart, 'I sit as a queen and I am not a widow and I will never again, see, morning.'" M-o-u-r-n, I'm not gonna lament this, I'm not gonna weep, I'm a queen, I'm not a widow. How does the unrepentant community see themselves? I'm large and in charge. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want, and I don't have to answer to anybody, I'm not some poor dependent widow, I'm not one of those poor Christians that needs a crutch of religion to get through my life, I can do whatever I want. What's that called, what's it called, what sin is that? It's called pride. It's the root of all other sins. And what does Babylon talk about? What does it represent? The heart of humankind that says, I don't need God, I don't need anybody else, I'm not dependent upon anybody. What does our world promise you if you follow the world, you'll be what? Independent, you'll be financially independent, you'll be spiritually independent, you don't need anybody. Friends, there's no such thing. Make all the money you want you're still gonna get sick, you'll need a doctor. You still may get sued and need an attorney. I mean, there's all sorts of things, every time you say I don't need anybody, you're just naive. Because how many of us truly realize how dependent we are on other people? Maybe your thought back to how dependent you were when you came out of your mother's womb, you ever thought about how dependent you were growing up for food, you ever thought about how dependent you were for all the things you got? And what do we usually do? Instead of thanking those that brought something along to help us get where we needed to go, what do we do? We blame those for the three or four things they didn't do right, and tell them how they did everything wrong, or the coach that took time out of his or her schedule to come and pour into you, instead of saying, hey, thanks for this, and thanks for that, thanks for bringing those treats, and thanks for being here in the hot sun all summer long, teaching me baseball. What do we do? He's not very good, she's not very good, that coach was terrible, that was a worst season ever had. We blame everybody when they don't meet the religion and heart of me, myself and I. But the reality is there's not one of us that's not dependent. And the beauty of the church, Jesus Christ is the one who gives us all of our strengths and all of our weaknesses, did you know that? And I want to tell you this just so you can know so it'll help you, you have way more weaknesses than you do strength, every single one of you, no matter how talented and gifted you are you have way more weaknesses than you do strengths. There may be one or two three things you can do pretty well, but you're not great at everything, nobody is. And so why does God bring the body of Christ together? So that we'd recognize that we need one another, we'd recognize that I'm good at this but I'm really not good at these things over here, and I need your help. Well, I'm really good at those things, I like doing that, but I couldn't do this, that's great 'cause we're the body of Christ and we're depending upon one another. So being a Christian is not growing in your spiritual independence so you get to a place where you don't need other Christians, growth in Christ is more dependence upon the Lord and more dependence upon His people so that you can flourish in what God wants you to be. Is that a fact or what? And yet what do all of us try to do? We try to, I want to get rid of all my weaknesses, good luck on that, like good luck on that. And I wanna just accelerate my strengths. Why do we say stuff like that? Because we don't want to admit our need for dependence upon God and other people. Once you get comfortable talking about your weaknesses there's a lot of freedom in that. I'm just not good at that, that's just not something I'm good at and I'd love to help but I'm terrible at that stuff. That's why I don't do spreadsheets around this church, like ever. I just learned by the way, did you know Excel can add all the numbers up for you, if you hit a button? I Just learned that two weeks ago, it was awesome. So I didn't know. Yeah, somebody showed me that, that was... So I feel like I've really accelerated my gifting. But do you see what I'm saying? I mean, we're good at things and we're not good at things, and it's okay to not be good at things, it's just the way the Lord say, you need to trust me more for this and trust other people 'cause there's some other people out there that are really good at it. She says, I'm a queen, I'm not a widow, And notice verse eight, "For this reason in one day, her plagues will come, pestilence, and mourning, and famine and she will be burned up with fire for the Lord God who judges her is what? He's strong." That's kind of an understatement in the book of Revelation, the Lord is strong, He's mighty, He's gonna take care of all of this. So what's He saying here? He's asking us to be humble and to not get involved in the world system. In first John chapter two starting in verse 15, here's how he says it. He says, "Do not love the world." He's talking about the world system here. "Do not love the world nor the things in the world, if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in Him." If you're living for this world, God's love is not in you, if you're living for this world, you've missed a hallmark. Living for this world would be like being on the Titanic, after it hit the iceberg and saying, I set up deck chairs this is a long-term career for me, right? I mean the world's hit an iceberg. If you're living for this world you're gonna be extremely disappointed, and the love of God is not in you, why? Verse 16, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the father, but from the world. The world is passing away and also it's less,xx but the one who does the will of God lives forever." What's He saying? That the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, what's that? What I see and what I think I can get, I'm going after that, and that's what I care about the most, and I'm willing to sacrifice Jesus and other relationships to get what I need. That's called the pride of life. Those three things, the love of the Father is not in you, and there's consequences for living that way. As you said before just to be clear, nothing wrong with setting goals, nothing wrong with going for a great job, nothing wrong with having things, as long as those things don't have you. Jesus Christ needs to be central in your life, your love for Him and your love for others are paramount. So here comes the question that we need to be asking over, and over, and over, that God will answer if we ask, Lord, what's hindering my total worship of you, God, what's hindering my service to other people, show me where I need to change. If you're sincere, He'll show you. I'm getting to the age where I have people come to me that are about my age and here's what they'll tell me, "Hey, pastor Jeff, when I retire here's what I'm gonna do, once I get past this, then this is what I'm gonna do." Now if I know them well enough, I can give them this response, why are you waiting then? If God's prompting you today, why wait 15 years, you may not even be here in 15 years. I mean, God's prompting you, one day I will, why not today? Ask the Lord. Now there may be a reason that the Lord says, no, it's not now, it's not your season now, that's okay, I have you in this career path, or I have you in this season serving this way. That's wonderful. But if what's keeping you is, man I'm not taking that step of faith, I'm not choosing to do that, that would be risky, that would be tough. Here's what Jesus would say, "It's worth it, I gave my entire life for you, what's keeping you from giving me full allegiance, I don't want your scraps, I want it all. I want your heart, I want your life, I want your soul, I want everything in and through you that I gave you so that I can pour my life in and through you." Amen. It's something that we need to think about 'cause I'm not the holy spirit, so I don't know what He's saying to your life, I don't know how He's moving in your heart, I couldn't even begin to tell you what He's saying to you but I do believe that the holy spirit is living and active and we'll show you the areas in your life that need to be corrected or moved so that you can get to the place that God wants you to go. This is what it's talking about in the book of Revelation, how do we get out of that? How do we not experience that, because when the Lord comes in that one day, in that one hour, this will all come to a crashing halt. If you're living for the things of this world here's my expectation to you as a member of Brave church, stop it, stop it. Put the brakes on today, tell the Lord that you wanna redirect, and you wanna give your entire heart and life to Him for everything. That's where you're gonna find joy, that's where you're gonna find peace, that's where you're gonna find hope, and it all comes through your faith in Him. 'Cause as we talked about this world as we know it will come crashing down, there's not as an escape for the punishment of sin, and then notice this, "The world as we know it will weep and mourn at their great losses." If you live for the world there's coming a day where you will weep and mourn, you will lament the losses that are going to come. There's a huge section here, we're gonna read it pretty quick 'cause what you're gonna see is the commerce, you're gonna see the kings of the world, you're gonna see that the merchants, you're gonna see the sailors, you're gonna see people who are buying and selling and what is gonna happen here is they lament for Babylon. Notice this verse nine, "All the Kings of the earth who committed acts of immorality and live sensuously with her will weep, and lament over her when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance because of the fear of her torment saying, whoa, 'whoa, the great city Babylon, the strong city, for in one hour, your judgment has come.'" And they say, well, that's just the kings of the earth, I mean, that's not really me, no, it's all who lives sensuously. Now what does sensuously mean? It means those who live to indulge themselves in this world, that's what it means. If you're living and your satisfaction is coming from something in this world other than the Lord Jesus Christ, you're living in a way that's antithetical to what He wants you to be. It doesn't mean you can't experience blessings. If God's given you a spouse, enjoy the blessing of marriage, if God's given you children, enjoy the blessing of children, if God's given you a job, enjoy the blessings of a Job, just don't make that your foundation for where all your happiness comes from. Don't make it your foundation. I remember reading a devotion from Oswald chambers in My Utmost for his Highest, I used to read it every day, many years ago. And in one place, he talked about how both the Devil and Jesus will try to take you to the high places. And we know that's true because we remember when Jesus was tempted by the Devil, what did the Devil promise Him? I'll give you all the kingdoms of the world, if you just bow and worship me. I mean, the Devil was gonna give Him stuff, the Devil tries to take you to high places, Jesus tries to take you to high places, here's the difference, when Jesus takes you to a high place you just kind of hang on to Jesus and He can give and take away, and everything's good. When the Devil takes you a high place he will use some vehicle to get you there that you'll have to hang onto for the rest of your life, because if you ever let go of that, you'll never have what he promised. God doesn't want you to hang on to anything except for Him. And what's going on here, the kings of the world are weeping, I mean, they're crying tears, they're lamenting because they built their house upon the sand, and they're weeping now. And notice verse 11, talks about the merchants, the amazon.com and all these people. "The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore." No more selling online, no more buying in the stores. "Cargoes of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and every kind of Citron wood, and every article of ivory, and every article made from very costly wood, and bronze and iron and marble. then here comes spices and food, and the cinnamon, and spice, and incense, and perfume, and frankincense, and wine, and olive oil, and flour, and wheat, and cattle, and sheep, and cargoes of horses, and chariots." And notice this one, "And slaves and human lives."Now let me pause there, in the original here's how this would read, okay? It would read, "Bodies in human souls." It means our current economic status sometimes subjugates lives and human souls. It means that our current political and economic world system of me, myself and I, sometimes doesn't put what God puts first which He created on day six, which is humankind and the soul that he placed in them as primary. Because if we really cared about human lives and we cared about people's souls, we would make different decisions in our culture. There would be no sex trading, there would be no slavery. We would have discussions and believe that since God created life, and that every life matters, and every life has a soul, and every life is a body, we would take seriously the command of God to protect it. Do you see what I'm saying? Our system subjugates certain people that we deem less valuable than other people, God values every single life the same, God values every single person, the same. That's why we need to take care of it because there's coming a day where Jesus says, hey, I'm putting an end to all this, because all of your trade and all of your commerce and everything that you've done has put people and their souls in jeopardy to accomplish what your sensuality wanted to have. And here's what he talks about what the fruit of it, verse 14, "The fruit you have longed for has gone from you, and all the things that were luxurious and splendid have passed away from you and men will no longer find them." Friends if you're living for the splendor of this world, it's going away, it's temporary. Our life is but a vapor, it's gone, you live for this world, you've missed out on everything that God has promised to you. "The merchants of these things who became rich from her will stand at a distance because of the fear of her torment weeping and mourning, saying, whoa, whoa, the great city, she who was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste, and every ship master, and every passenger, and sailor, and as many as make their living by the sea stood at a distance and were crying out as they saw the smoke of her burning saying 'what city is like the great city.'" Now we need to be clear when we're talking about Babylon the Great fall, and we're talking about the heart of our world system and what it is, but in chapter 17 and verse 18 it keeps referring to a city. There's gonna be some city that's the center point of all of this commerce and different Bible interpreters have different opinions as to what city that is, is this really Babylon which was where the tower of Babel was in modern day Iraq, is that gonna be reconstructed, is that gonna be the great city? Is it Rome, because chapter 17 talked about the city on seven hills that Rome is gonna play a big part in the end, Psalmxx, and I think there's great validity to this, talk about Jerusalem being the great city, is that where antichrist is gonna set up his rule and reign in the last three and a half years, and all of the apostate Jews at that time that aren't living for the Lord until Jesus brings them back into the fold, is that where it's gonna be? I'm telling you as your pastor, I'm still learning the book of Revelation, I don't know. Those who were living on the earth at that time will know that there's one city that will be representative of everything that's going on in the world, and this city is gonna fall to the ground and it's gonna fall to the ground fast. And all of the people in the world that have made profit off this world system are gonna weep and lament when they see this. How many of you are alive and remember where you were at on September 11th, 2001 in the morning. I remember exactly where I was, why? 'Cause I saw a great city under attack, and watch two major buildings collapse right before my very eyes. Friends, this isn't gonna be two buildings that collapse, this is gonna be the entire city go xx just on fire. It's gonna be unbelievable. I mean, unbelievable, we I can't even imagine what this is gonna be like. Now what's God talking about here? Wealth is not the problem, 'cause sometimes we sit in church and it's like, yeah, it's all those wealthy people out there, okay, so let me just help you and correct your thinking a little bit. If you're sitting here today and you make over $2,000 a year, or your family does, guess what? You're in the top 10% of the world's wealth, which means every single person sitting here is rich. So you are the rich, so when the Bible talks about rich people that don't have a heart for God, He's talking about you, He's talking about me, just so we got that clear, right? But wealth is not the problem, right? Again, I'll tell you it's not wrong to have things. The question is, do things have you? I've met people very poor, I've met people very rich, I've met righteous rich people, I've met righteous poor people, I've met greedy rich people, I've met greedy poor people. It doesn't matter how much you have it's how much does that stuff have you. And let me just tell you about a sin that goes on in our culture you may not even be aware of, it's called and materialism and hedonism. If you don't know what that is, it's okay, 'cause you swim in it that's why you don't know what it is. I had the privilege of talking to a young girl in our church this week who's 19 years old, who just came back off the mission field, who has been gone for about a year and she's doing this whole reverse inculturation back into our culture, and she's seeing the materialism and hedonism, and she's asking me all these questions about what's right and what's wrong. And it's interesting because I thought about a study I'd read a few years ago which stated for people that make somewhere between 10,000 and $150,000 a year, it's pretty wide stretch of cloth between 10,000 and $150,000 a year, they ask them the question how much more do you need to live? And whether you making 10,000, 20,000, 55,000, 105,000, everybody said about 11,000 more and I'd be fine. Ain't that interesting? 'Cause how much more do you need? Here would be your answer, just a little bit. Just a little bit more and we'd be okay, right? You don't need a little bit more. God provides for all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Now, you may ask the question, how do I know if what I have is too much? I'm gonna give you two words that God wants you to be and if you'll apply these two words, wealth have it's hook in you. First word is this generosity. Generous means I'm not calculated, everything I have in the bank, everything I own, every article of clothing, any house, any car, everything I have belongs to God. So if God wants me to steward that anyway it's not a big deal to me 'cause He owns it all anyway. So someone has to borrow my car, they wanna use my house, I'm gonna go before the Lord and ask is this what you want me to do? And it doesn't matter to me because it's all belongs to God anyway. And all the money that I have is all God's anyway, and so when God prompts me to give generously I'm just giving lavishly 'cause that's what God wants. That's called generosity. Second one is just like it, contentment. Now you don't know what that means 'cause you're American so let me explain what it is. Contemptment is this notion that I have everything I need right now and if I never have anything else I'm fine. I don't need something else, I have it all right now. I'm totally content 'cause God's my provider and He'll meet all my needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. So I'm content, but I'm also generous with everything that I have. You live those two principles, It won't bother you, life won't bother you, it won't bother you if your pastor asked to raise money, why is he always asking for money? I'm not, 'cause when you're generous like I just wanna see the kingdom of God advance, I wanna see it stewarded, who needs help, how can I help? I'm content in who I am. I mean, at some point in time, we as Americans should probably start thinking about where do we put a lid on what we need and then give the rest away, what's that look like? If we're generous and content, that's what God does. Now, here's a principle and I'm not teaching prosperity gospel here but this is reality, you can't out give God, did you know that? You cannot out give Him, and when God sees your generous heart and He sees your contented heart, He'll pour more back into your life, but He's not gonna pour it in so you have more, He's gonna pour more in so you can give more. That's what God does, that's what generosity looks like from God's economy, 'cause God looks down and sees a servant, says, seriously, you're gonna give more away, I'll give you more, you're gonna give more way, I'll give you more. That's what God does. God, doesn't give us things so we hold it, God gives us what we give so we can steward it.And do you realize no matter who you are, down to the final penny you're gonna give an account your life, with everything you have? praise God for His grace, right? I mean, all of us have done dumb things with money. All of us have been selfish at times. That's okay, God forgives, but God wants us to live with a generous spirit, with a contented spirit. And I know, I mean, there's just hooks in this isn't there? there's just an allurement. A few years ago, I was watching a show on TV, it was called like, xxso I won the lottery,xx or something like this. And I'm watching the show, and I'm watching the extravagant lifestyle this person that was buying new homes and all this stuff and I don't play the lottery, but I looked online and the Colorado Lottery or some lottery at that time was like $795 million. And so I started got to thinking, and 20 minutes just flew by. I mean, I used to do financial planning, I was calculating out how much I would bring in every two weeks, and what I was gonna do with it and all this stuff, I mean, within 20 minutes I was living in Maui, I had my own private jet, I was gonna fly to Denver on the weekends to preach, I mean, all these things. You know what never crossed my mind? How much I was gonna give to the Lord. It didn't even cross my mind 'cause I was so caught up in it, wouldn't it be awesome, that could be great, we can invite people out, and then I'm like, okay Lord, that's why you're not giving me $795 million, I can't handle it, right?And so at the end of the day God's not gonna give us things to choke us out because having more money may or may not be a blessing to you, it may hurt you. God wants us to be content in what we have, be faithful with what we have, be generous with what we have, and then as He pours more into our life continue to grow in our faithfulness, generosity, and our contentment, Amen? And that's what God has for us. And what the world system says is no, no, no, no, no, we're gonna live totally for ourselves, for all the wealth we can get, and they're gonna mourn when that's gone, in one day, in one hour, gone, never again. Everything you live for, He talking about devastation. You built your whole life upon what you thought was solid only to find that it was sinking sand. And the kings of the earth, and the merchants of the earth, and everyone that's profited off all this stuff it's live completely independently of Jesus is gonna weep, and mourn, and wail, and lament, because they realized they built their house upon the wrong foundation. How devastating. Now I got good news for you too. Don't you like that the last point it's a good point? I mean, as I was reading this week there's gotta be some good in here. Here's what you need to know, the world as we know it, while all these things are going on, while people are weeping and mourning, while the whole world is crashing down before our eyes, while people are being punished for their sins, here's what you can know, the world as we know it, will end with just justice as the righteous rejoice, we will rejoice when this happens. Notice verse 20, "Rejoice over her, oh heaven, and you saints, and apostles, and prophets, because God has pronounced judgment for you against her." So, what are saints? Some people think saints are like relics or stone creatures, or something that happens to somebody after they've been dead for 300 years they get deemed as saint. Let me tell you what a saint is according to the Bible. A Saint is someone who's repented of their sins and trusted Jesus Christ for their salvation. If that's you, you're a Saint, you're a holy person, you're one has been set apart by God to serve Him, you are a Saint. So He tells the saints, He tells the prophets all those who've spoken for God on His behalf, and the apostles, the original apostles that provided the gospel and sent the gospel out, or others who have taken the gospel out, who are in heaven now because the rapture will have already occurred by this time we'll already have resurrected bodies in heaven, and God is saying, take a look at this, because I'm judging her for you. You lived in the world and you liveD for me, and justice is now coming. Now, here's the good news, God's the one who brings justice, we don't get to bring justice. God says, vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. God is going to bring justice. We don't wanna pray for justice, we wanna pray for mercy, we wanna pray for God to pour out his gospel, but you need to know that God will right every single wrong. Humor me this morning, how many by show of hands have seen anything in this world that's just devastating, and disgusting, and wished it hadn't happened? All that's gonna be made right. Justice is coming, and Jesus is gonna say, "Hey, look down, see this, see what I'm doing, I'm making it all right, I'm punishing people for their sins, those who didn't trust me, those who didn't take my justice." And you can either do one of two things, you can either receive God's justice for your sin, or you can accept God's justice through the sacrificial atonement of His Son. One way or the other justice will be served. On my behalf, Jesus Christ served justice for me, I banked my entire eternity on the fact that Jesus Christ died for my sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried and He rose on the third day according to the scriptures, and He paid my penalty for me, and that's the only reason I'm a pastor, and that's the only reason I preach, and that's the only good news I have. If you choose to accept that, justice has already been served, you're free to go. If you haven't, you need Jesus in your life today more than you've ever needed Him in your entire life. Because if you're living at this time or you die apart from Jesus, justice will be served but it's justice apart from Christ in hell for all eternity for your rebellion against Him. Notice what He says in verse 21, He says, "Then a strong angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea saying, 'so will Babylon the great city be thrown down with violence, and will not be found any longer.'" Millstone, does that ring any bells for anybody in here? Remember when Jesus was talking about how much he loved humility, and how much he loved children? Matthew chapter 18 starting in verse four, He says, "whoever humbles Himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such as this child in my name receives me." Why? Because Jesus loves humility, Jesus just loves downward mobility, Jesus loves making ourselves less, when you're saying I'm a queen I don't need anybody, versus I'm a dependent widow, you miss out, because why? Because James four says, God opposes the proud but gives grace to the who? The humble. Jesus wants us to look like Him, He wants us to be less concerned about us and more concerned about Him, and He said, "Whoever receives a child like that receives me." But notice verse six, "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for Him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." Jesus said, "If you're gonna take a humble child, and you're gonna teach them to live opposite of me, let me tell you something, it'd be great to take a stone about the size of the stage tie it around your neck and be thrown off into the deepest sea so that you would plunge to your death over time than it would be for you to lead a little child astray from me." What do we see here? Babylon the Great city as it plunges to its death, the whole city's going down quickly, it's going down fast and it will be remembered no more. That's what's going on, why? Because Jesus takes holiness, and righteousness,, and truth seriously. So I talked to people in church and they're like, well, what's my next step, what's my next step, what's my next step? Here's the answer for everybody, humble yourself and figure out how to make God greater, see what's getting in the way of that, and then serve other people, see what's getting in the way of that, and then be willing to be obedient and put into practice how God shows you to do that. And by the way when He does, here's what you're gonna feel on the inside, I can't do that, I don't wanna do that. How come they don't have to do that? I'm not even qualified for that. And here's what you'll hear God say. God doesn't ask for a qualifications He asks for obedience, He cares about your obedience, He wants you to be faithful to Him to serve others. Back to the text in Revelation verse 22, "And the sound of harpists, and musicians, and flute players, and trumpeters, will not be heard in you any longer, and no craftsman of any craft that will be found in you any longer, and the sound of the mill will not be hurting you any longer, and the light of the lamp will not shine in you any longer." I mean, what are you hearing? This whole idea of celebrating commerce, and great commercials, and this is all about you, and look what you can have, and all the social media that promises you all this, and all the songs and singing and food that go behind, it's all gone, there's no more of them. And the voice of the bridegroom who is Jesus, and the bride who is us will not be heard in you any longer, why? 'Cause we're not here. There's no more Christian witness any more at this time, this is the end, we're done. You had your chance. Christians, we have our chance. The one opportunity we have in this world is to live as lights for the Lord, and to share the good news is we get opportunity, and to live for Him 'cause there's coming a day when we're removed and we're in the presence of Jesus, that's not gonna happen anymore, that's not happening here. "For your merchants where the great men of the earth because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery." And notice the last verse, "And in her was found the blood of the prophets, and of the saints, and all who have been slain on the earth." There's justice coming for God, why? Because there's a world since the time of the Garden that has tried to live outside of what God has designed the world to be. Certainly even when Jesus came, there were people that didn't wanna live for Him. Certainly in our day, there are people that don't wanna hear what God has to say. When I look around our world, I think to myself Hollywood doesn't want to hear it. I think when movies are made, I don't think anybody's taking their Bible out and saying, man, I wonder if this aligns with the word of God and this is gonna help advance Christ course. I don't see that. I don't think DC and our politicians wanna hear it. I don't think they wanna hear it here in Colorado, I don't think they're opening their Bible and saying what does God value the most, and how can we elevate Him the most, and how can we serve other people the best. I don't think Wall Street wants to hear it. I don't think they wanna hear how to be more generous, I don't think they wanna hear about how to be more content, I don't think they wanna think about how to take the wealth that we have and give it away so that everybody can benefit. I don't think Mardi Grasxx wants to hear it. I don't think people are down at Mardi Grasxx with their Bibles out saying how do we honor the Lord over these next three days? But personally, I mean, this is where I live, I don't think Denver wants to hear it. I mean, it's easy to stand and point fingers at other people, they don't know it, they don't believe it, they're not there, but all it takes is opening our eyes right where we are and seeing that the fields are white into harvest and there's all sorts of people right around us that don't want Jesus either. And that should not discourage us, that should encourage us that what we have is so great. And God wants us to live so differently, and why does He want us to live differently? Because here's the deal when you live differently, than the world that's when they see your witness. I didn't understand that my first few years of being a believer, I didn't know how to walk with Christ, I didn't know what it meant to be part of a church, I didn't know what it meant to be discipled, I knew I would say but I couldn't walk it out, you ever had that experience, where you know, you love Jesus but you don't see anything changing in your life? I live like that. But when I started to change, that's when God started to use my life. When I went to University of Illinois, if you would have known me back then, and I would have told you I'm a Christian, and then you would have watched my life, you would have said, I'm not so sure. But I was definitely a Christian, I just didn't know how to walk it out. But about my fourth year in school I started learning how to walk it out. And when I walked it out and I looked different than all my friends, they would call me on Friday night or Saturday night and say, man, we're going out again, but be there at 11, you coming? I'm like, no, I'm doing Bible study in my house, you wanna come over? And they didn't come over. But they started asking, now why are you doing Bible studies, and how come you're not coming out with this anymore, why are you living like this? And then I had a witness. Then I started leading people to Christ. You know what the false understanding of Christianity is? That you can be some sort of cool Christian, who's nothing more than just an unholy sinner that's been saved by God living like all your pagan friends, and they see nothing different in you thinking you're gonna lead them to the Lord. You're not leading anybody to the Lord, you're just helping them get to hell faster. God wants you to live as holy and set a part in righteous and different so that when they see your good works they'll give praise to your Father who's in heaven, right? And that's for somebody who's here today that's living in the world thinking, yeah, I have a witness, I'm not like one of those holy people. You don't have a witness at all. If you're not living for the glory of God and you're not setting yourself apart to live for Him, you're kidding yourself. I remember I had a campus crusade for Christ Leader when I was telling him how spiritual I was in college, his flat out asked me, he's like, well how many people here in your fraternity have you led to the Lord? And I'm like, well, that doesn't really matter, you know, I'm an evangelist, I'm doing my best, he's like, no, he goes, you're kidding yourself, move out, see what God does. And through a series of events, God moved me out, and I started leading several of my friends to Laurenxx I started walking with Him. Friends, there's joy, and hope, and peace, in living for the Lord in a different way. And notice that final verse verse 24, "All in her was found the blood of the prophets and saints and all who have been slain on the earth." Because the world doesn't wanna hear it, it's gonna grow more and more hostile, it's just a fact, nothing to fear, it's just a fact, you just need to be aware of it, I mean, think about John, the Baptist, he was slain for calling out Herod and his immorality. Stephen was slain for calling the Pharisees stiff neck murderers. Jesus was slain for claiming He was the Son of God, Paul was slain for his religious testimony, people have been slain for the gospel for years and years and years. And even if you're not slain not every one of us is gonna be a martyr, maybe nobody in here will be, I don't know. But even if you're not, you're gonna face persecution, you're gonna face challenge, you're gonna face the world telling you you need to do this, or you better do that, or you have to do this, and if you don't do that, you don't fit with us anymore, that's gonna become greater and greater on a grander scale, will you stand firm in the Lord? Will you stand firm in the Lord? Because you can't wait until a situation like that comes and then decide, yeah, I think I'll do that now. Character is built long before those things happen. That's why I'm encouraging you as your pastor. If you're a believer, you won't be here for any of this, I've got good news for you, you won't. But I'm telling you as a believer in Christ now, that doesn't give us a chance to take our foot off the face pedal, God wants us to step fully into Him, as much as we can for His glory now. So here's my question, how are you living for the Lord? How are you doing what the Lord wants you to do? How's the holy spirit been meddling in your heart this morning and showing you the areas in your life that He says, hey, this needs to change, I want you to be different, I want you to look different, I want you to act different, I want you to speak different, I want you to grow in your generosity, I want you to grow in your contentment, I want you to grow in your faithfulness, I want you to separate from that, I want you to align more this way, because those are the things the holy Spirit's doing in your life because of the great love with which He loves you. And so the way I wanted to end this sermon today is by what centers us all together and that's the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Teaching through Revelation has been a challenge, but we've learned from the very first chapter that it's the unveiling of the Lord Jesus Christ. The unveiling of Jesus, He's giving us this book so that we understand who He is so we can live more in alignment with Him. And I got news for you, I've waiting to preach Revelation chapter 19 since we started, you do not want to miss next week. With all that you've been through, and all of the challenge, and all the wrath, and all the punishment, come Lord Jesus, I mean, next week you are gonna absolutely love what we get to see the Lord do upon His return. And so I want you to be here, I want you to see that. But today here's what I wanna do, I just want us to take a moment, just pause. And I want to take the time to celebrate the Lord's Supper, if you've been given those elements, just hold them in your hands so you can begin to open them up, I know it's kind of hard to do, It takes a little dexterity with these. But as you hold these in your hand today, I want you to think about the great love with which Christ loved you. This meal is open to anybody who's trusted the substitutionary atonement for Christ for the forgiveness of his or her sins. If you've repented and trusted Jesus, this meal is for you. But instead of just diving in and just going through the motions, I want you to take about 30 seconds or so. And I want you to think about all that Christ has forgiven in your life and all He's done through you to bring you to Himself. So take about 30 seconds, just bow your head. Lord, we come before you as a congregation, Lord, we know you've gathered us here not because we're perfect. You've gathered us here because you love us. You've gathered us here because you offer forgiveness. Lord forgiveness is not us trying harder, it's not us becoming a better version of ourselves, it's not working our way out of things, it's not changing bad habits, forgiveness is our declaration that we're in need of you completely. Forgiveness is that we believe the only place of forgiveness is your shed blood on the cross for us, and that you rose from the dead. Before we take this meal, if you're here today and you've never trusted Christ now's a good of time as any. And here's how you can pray, Jesus I know I'm a sinner, I know I'm separated from you, but I believe that you're the God of the universe, that you died on the cross for my sins, and that you rose from the dead. Right now I wanna repent of my sins, I wanna turn from my sin, and I wanna welcome you into my life. Come into my life, Jesus, and be my Lord and savior. And for those of you that know Him, you know He's forgiven all your sins past, present and future but perhaps today there's a lingering sin that's been out there and you need to know, it was paid for on Calvary by Christ. And when you call out, it's already forgiven. He'll remember it no more. God do a walk here this morning as we remember you, in Jesus name.