Joining The OvercomersDr. Erwin W. Lutzer | March 23, 1997
Selected highlights from this sermon
When Christians stand before Jesus to receive their reward, their works will be considered. Our faithfulness, suffering, humility, and servanthood will be weighed, then privileges will be given.
We’ll also receive responsibilities as we rule with Christ forever. Some will rule over next to nothing, while some will oversee much. All of this is determined in this life by our behavior and our attitudes.
When Jim Warren of WMBI radio asked George Beverly Shea of the Billy Graham Team, “What would you like to be when the Lord comes back?” Bev Shea said, “On pitch.” (laughter) Well, I think that all of us would like to be on pitch when the Lord comes back. Our choir is always on pitch. And the Lord is going to come back and He is going to receive us, and the Scripture says, “His reward is with Him.”
This is the sixth and last of the series of messages on the Judgment Seat of Christ, the Bema, and the Apostle Paul says, “We shall someday all stand before Christ, individually, for a thorough evaluation, to give account for the deeds done in the body, whether good or bad.”
We’ve learned that when the reformers discovered that works were of no merit in salvation, the same idea was carried over into works that are performed after we are saved. So many of the reformers, whom we admire, nevertheless said that in heaven either all Christians are going to receive the same reward, or the differences will be due to God’s sovereign choice. Well if you’ve been here for these messages, you know that I disagree with that. The rewards, as we shall see in a moment, are certainly gifts of grace, but they are not given simply on the basis of God’s choice, but based on faithfulness here.
What I’d like to do in the next few moments is to give you five principles that will help us to understand rewards, principles that may review a bit of what we have learned, but build upon the previous messages. And we shall end by telling you as best as we know how what it will be like to reign with Jesus Christ forever and ever, and the final destiny of redeemed humanity. And what a destiny it shall be!
So if you have your pen or pencil ready, let us begin. Principle number one: rewards are not a payment. They are not earned in the sense that we generally understand the meaning of that word. Visualize with me a king who has a huge kingdom, and he is wondering whether his son will rule. Does he say to his son, “Now I want you to work real hard so that I can pay you by giving you this kingdom?” Of course not! What father asks a child to work for his inheritance? He doesn’t do that, but the king (the father) might say to the son, “I am very interested in having you rule, but I need to test you to see whether or not you are worthy.” That’s the point. Worthiness! Jesus used the word three times in two verses when He said, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. He who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me, and he who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” God is interested in worthiness. And this life sees whether He can trust us with the estate.
Take your Bibles and turn, for example, to Luke 16. And because we are drawing a number of different strands together today, I’ll ask you to turn to several passages. In many instances I shall simply quote the passages as we try to take all of what we know about rewards and condense it as we think about the end and significance of mankind. In Luke 16 Jesus is talking about money, which is one of His favorite topics. He speaks about it oftentimes because it is the clearest test of our relationship with the world.
He says in verses 10 and 11, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?” Money is unrighteous mammon. If you are unfaithful in the use of your money, what makes you think that God is going to entrust to you the riches of the world to come? That’s Christ’s point.
And then He says it again in the next verse. Verse 12: “And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?” What is He referring to? That which is another’s is what God gives us in this life. The money that we receive, either through inheritance or through work, or through fortune, happenstance or the stock market (if we’re into that) is not our own. It is not our own. God has entrusted it to us. In fact, nothing of what we have is ours. “Now,” says Jesus, “if you are unfaithful with that which belongs to somebody else (We usually take better care of things that belong to somebody else, especially if we love and respect the person whose goods we have), and Christ can’t entrust money to you, how are you going to receive the true riches of your inheritance? He who is faithful in that which is little will be faithful in that which is much. He who is unfaithful in that which is little will be unfaithful in the greater,” and this life is a test. As a friend of mine says, “We are formed, shaped and tested for reliability, and based on the degree of our trustworthiness in this life, we will be entrusted with the true riches to come.” So reward is not based on repayment. It isn’t a matter of payment or merit as we generally think of it. No one could work for the inheritance that awaits the children of God, but the question is worthiness. Are we worthy to rule?
Well, there’s a second principle, and that is that rewards are based on character. I know that we emphasized this in a previous message when we talked about what Christ was looking for, but I want to remind you of how character goes to the heart of the issue. Here He is. He calls little children to Him, and He says, “He who humbles himself as this child shall be great in the kingdom of heaven.”
Humility! What is humility? Humility is submission to God. “I came not to do my own will,” said Jesus, “but the will of Him who sent Me.” That is submission. Sometimes we think that someone who is shy is humble just because they don’t want to talk a lot, or they may be embarrassed when they speak up. And we say, “Well, you know, he’s so humble.” Listen, that might be covering a very arrogant, independent spirit. Humility comes through what is sometimes called the word that you and I don’t like. It’s the word brokenness. Rebecca said to me the other day, “Why don’t you preach a series of messages on brokenness?” I’m not sure whether she felt that I should because the preacher needed the series. But I do know this: Usually we are not humble until God crushes us. And you and I have seen God chase people down alleys, up one street and down another through a series of failed relationships, through a series of difficulties, through all kinds of hardship and grief until He corners them. And they fight until in the end they say, “You win.” And that’s brokenness. That’s humility. That’s a crushed spirit that God cherishes. “And he who is least in the kingdom of heaven as a little child, he shall be great,” said Jesus.
Now listen. Think this through. Jesus becomes our model. What does it say in Philippians 2? It says He humbled Himself. He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore…. Whenever you see the word “therefore,” you check to see what it’s there for. Do you know what it says? It says He humbled Himself. Therefore God highly exalted Him and gave Him a name, which is above every name. Why? It’s because of His humility. Wow!
Let’s look at this from a different standpoint as we think of the characteristics of Christ. I invite you to turn to Mark 10. Now in order to understand what’s going on here in the text you must realize that Jesus promised the kingdom and rulership in the kingdom to the disciples. He said, “You who have been with me during this time shall be on twelve thrones, ruling the twelve tribes of Israel.” Now remember that Judas, of course, dropped out, and Matthias was substituted in his place, but Jesus had promised twelve thrones to the twelve disciples. That’s a pretty good promise.
What He didn’t say was which thrones they would sit on in proximity to Him, so we pick up the text in Mark 10, verse 35: “And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came up to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’” You know, children will say this: “Dad, do you promise to give me what I’m going to ask for?” Ouch! “You ask for it and then I’ll tell you!” Right? Jesus was smart enough not to fall into that trap so He said, “What do you want me to do for you?” They said, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”
Jesus had promised them the thrones, but they did not want to be far from Christ. They were not only interested in a throne. They were interested in the center throne, next to Jesus. They were into pecking order. Now interestingly Jesus did not really chide them for that, but He did say, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am able to drink, or be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they confidently said, “We are able.” Jesus said, “The cup that I drink you shall drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized, but to sit on my right or on my left, this is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
Now notice that what Jesus is saying to them is, “Because you are willing to suffer with me and for me (and the baptism is the baptism of martyrdom, I believe), yes, you shall be exalted, though I cannot tell you who is going to be sitting right next to me – to My right hand, and on my left.” Well, you can imagine that when the other ten heard of this, they were angry. They were indignant, and they were saying, “Why are you jockeying for this high position?” You think that your office is the only place where this kind of stuff goes on. It’s been happening for a long time.
Verse 41 says the ten became indignant toward James and John, and then Jesus answers them by saying, “Look, you know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them, but it is not so among you. Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.”
Please don’t overlook this. In the eyes of the world the more people you rule over, the more important you are. We’ve had presidential candidates who are willing to do practically anything to get elected. It has happened even in America. Why? It’s because if you could rule over 10,000, you are great. But if you can rule over 10 million, you are greater. And a hundred million and a thousand million, and if it could be the world, that is greatness. Jesus said, “For you, it is the opposite. The number of people you can serve is your ticket to greatness.” Opposite to the world!
And what is the great example? Next verse: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many.”
What is Christ looking for? What are rewards based on? They are based on character, humility, suffering and servant-hood, and to be able to serve in obscurity, without feeling hurt because you are not recognized. Faithfulness in that which is least is the key.
Michelangelo used to say that every block of marble had an angel in it. What God does is He takes just a block of clay (he takes you and me) and then He begins to chisel. And what’s He looking for? He’s looking for Christ.
So, first of all, we notice that rewards are not a payment. Secondly, rewards are based on character. Thirdly, they are described in the Bible as privileges. That’s one way to describe them. Would you take your Bibles and turn one more time to the book of Revelation, chapter 2, where we have a series of promises to overcomers? We do not have time to look at them all. I only want you to sample them, and then on your own you can read the letters to the Seven Churches, and you can see all of the privileges that are given to overcomers.
For example, in chapter 2, verse 7 it says: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.” How do you interpret that? Do you think that this means that those who are in heaven are constantly going to have to eat of the Tree of Life, and if not, they will lose that gift of eternal life and it will wear off? No, that’s not possible.
When you have expressions like that in the book of Revelation, it is a reference to intimacy. You know, the Middle Eastern idea of hospitality was so important. And what Jesus is saying is, “to the person who overcomes I shall grant him that sense of oneness and eating together and participating joyfully in heaven.” Now there are some people perhaps in the second chapter who weren’t overcomers. They had left their first love, and Jesus gave them a warning. And to the whole Church He said, “Unless you repent, I will remove your candlestick from your place.” But to those who overcame, there were special privileges.
With your Bibles still open, look at chapter 2, verse 17, another example. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” What is the hidden manna? We’re not sure, but manna is something that you eat. And what is the stone? Well, we know that stones were given to the winners in the Olympic games, but what is written on the stone? Jesus said, “No one knows what is written except the one who receives it.” Well, you can understand that Bible commentators have speculated as to what is on the stone. Theologians always are trying to pry open that which God has closed, and solve mysteries that He has not seen fit to reveal the answers to. But do you catch the intimacy, the oneness that you and God have a secret? The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him. That’s another reward to overcomers.
We shall have only one further one, and that is chapter 3, verse 12. “I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem.” You will be there in the Temple in the very presence of God, and that’s where you will be. It’s symbolism, of course. Of course you will not be a literal pillar, but you will be in the inner relationships of God forever and ever. Those are the overcomers. So rewards are sometimes described as privileges.
Fourth, rewards are described sometimes as honors that are given. You keep your Bible open to the book of Revelation but I want to remind you that in the Bible there are various designated crowns that are given to the faithful. And it’s just a symbolic way of talking about those who are honored and given special privileges because of faithfulness. Shall I quickly list them for you? There is the crown of rejoicing. That’s people led to Christ. In 1 Thessalonians Paul says, “Who is my joy and my crown of rejoicing? Isn’t it you at the appearing of Jesus Christ, the people into whose lives we build?” Those are the ones who will become our crown, as it were.
The crown of glory! Here’s one I want to read for the elders of Moody Church, and that includes the pastoral staff and really the whole executive committee. Now everybody listen if you are a deacon, an elder or a pastoral staff member.
“Therefore I exhort the elders among you as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ and a partaker of the glory that is to be revealed. Shepherd the flock among you, not under compulsion but voluntarily according to the will of God, not for sordid gain, but with eagerness, nor as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. And when the chief shepherd appears, you will receive an unfading crown of glory.” Wow! A crown given to faithful leadership in the church!
Oh, I know, you say, “Well, you know, I’m not an elder so what am I going to do? I can’t get that crown.” Well, that may be the case, but don’t feel badly. There are other crowns. Let me challenge you to get this one. How would you like the crown of righteousness? You say, “Well, what do I have to do to get that?” The Apostle Paul said, “I have fought a good fight. I’ve kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge will give me at that day, and not just to me only, but to all them also who love His appearing.” So you love the appearing of Christ. You anticipate His coming, and you’ll get the same crown – the crown of righteousness.
There is the crown of life given to those of you who are overcoming excruciating trials and temptations. And sometimes when it comes to temptation, we do not emphasize the fact that temptation is a trial. You know what it’s like if you are falling habitually into the same sin, the awesome power of that temptation. Well James says, “Blessed is the person who endures under this kind of a trial because when he is tried he will receive the crown of life,” which also is given in the book of Revelation to martyrs, sometimes referred to as the martyrs crown.
Now why am I emphasizing that? Well, it’s just to remind you that there are many different ways to serve God to be rewarded. There are many different acts of righteousness that one can do. Commensurate with where you are in your spiritual journey you can be a part of those who are crowned.
Now there are many ways to win a crown. There are also many ways to lose a crown. And right here you take everything that we gave in that message on what we can lose at the Judgment Seat of Christ and you put it right here because the Scripture says, “Make sure that no one steals your crown.” The devil is a good thief. Well, there is no good thief. He’s good at being a thief, and he wants to steal people’s crown, to lead you down a path of sin, and hopelessness and carnality so that in the end you will not receive the crown that you could have had.
Now there are people who say, “Well, you know we’re going to cast our crowns before Christ, so what difference is it going to make?” That’s based on the 24 elders in the book of Revelation. It says that they cast their crowns before Him. Yes, I want you to know that we might cast our crowns before Christ. I’m sure we will, but Christ will give them back to us because we will rule with Him forever and ever.
And this leads me to the fifth and final principle, and the most dramatic and the most mind-boggling. Look at how far we have come. Rewards are not based on merit. They are based on character. Then are described as privileges. They are also described as honors. That’s where we emphasize the crowns. And now finally, rewards involve responsibilities.
And I hope that your Bible is still open to the book of Revelation where we turn first of all to chapter 2, and then to chapter 3. Revelation 2:26-28: “The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star.” Those words are words of Christ, who is going to rule the nations and even dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. “And he who overcomes, to him I shall give that kind of authority.” Wow! That’s what comes to my mind.
Now one more passage – Revelation 3:21! And this now is the apex and the final significance of redeemed humanity. “The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” Think of the responsibility given to those who overcome.
Now let’s talk about ruling with Christ. First of all, we have in the coming future what is known as the millennial kingdom, which lasts a thousand years. There will be ruling in that kingdom. That is where the 12 apostles will exert their responsibilities, ruling over the 12 tribes of Israel. But there will be other positions as we come with Christ to the Mount of Olives and we rule with Him on the earth, it says in the book of Revelation. On the earth! But eventually the millennial kingdom comes to the end, and after it comes to the end, you have the Great White Throne Judgment where the unconverted dead of all the ages gather together and they are thrown into the Lake of Fire. What a contrast! Unthinkable contrast!
And then what happens is, the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven from God, and in that New Jerusalem, which is not on the earth now, it says, “And they shall reign with Him forever and ever.” At the end of the millennium two changes occur. Rather than ruling with Jesus Christ just on earth, we now rule with Him in heaven and in the heavens. And instead of ruling for a thousand years, we now rule into the ages of the ages, as the Greek text says. Forever and forever!
Now you think about that for a moment. In previous generations when the greatness and the vastness of the universe were discovered, scientists concluded that the earth was not the center of the solar system. And then they concluded that the sun was the center of our solar system, and that the solar system is only a part of the vast unthinkable distances that we call the universe – 20 billion light years. Now you think about the fact that the sun’s light gets here in eight minutes, and the sun is 93 million miles away. I mean, that light is really hustling to get here in eight minutes. Don’t you think? It’s not stopping along the way. It’s zooming pretty good – 186,000 miles a second! Boom!
And now scientists are telling us that the universe is 20 billion (with a b) light years in diameter. And I say I can’t grasp it. I can’t take it in. I can say it but I can’t think it. Do you think that there is so much as one individual star that is created that is not to be brought into subjection and ruled over? Unthinkable! Let me tell you why. First of all, because the Scripture says regarding Christ, “God has brought all things under His feet.” Now we could read that and say, “All things under Christ’s feet – huh! How do we know really that it’s all things?” You know the good cynical questioning Bible reader says, “How do we know that it’s all?” So we go on reading. That’s what you always do when you are reading the Bible. You go on reading. It says, “Christ has all things under His feet and there is nothing that has not been made subject to Him.” Could that be clearer? Do you actually think that God would create a star out there that would spin around a hundred billion years away somewhere, and it would be spinning around and playing no part in magnifying His name because nobody even knows that the thing exists? I don’t think so. If the heavens are to declare the glory of God, I think eventually every part of the heavens will declare the glory of God.
Now scientists, when they discovered how big the universe is, said to themselves, “Well, you know, man is so insignificant. He is like a speck in a jungle because the universe is so vast and the earth is so indescribably small. We are nothing.” And all the articles came out in the journals and newspapers saying, “We are really nothing because the universe is so vast.” Well, I want you to know that there is a different way to look at this, and I want you to take this home with you, and I want you to think about it. And I want you to contemplate what I am going to say now.
There’s a different way to look at this. Have you ever thought of the final significance of man ruling on Christ’s throne in a universe that boggles our minds? The Bible says that we shall rule over the angels. That’s incidentally why you are not supposed to go to court with another Christian. This is a parenthesis here but a necessary one. Do you know why Christians shouldn’t go to court? Well, the Scripture says that we shall judge angels. The word really means that we shall rule over the angels, which is really what got Satan so worked up – the fact that fallen humanity is going to have a position above him in the final destiny of man.
And so the Scripture says, “Don’t you dare go to court with another Christian.” Christians say, “But you know we have to bring justice to the situation.” That’s because they don’t believe that God will do it, so they have to. But here’s the point now. If we are going to judge and rule over the angels, and if all things have been made subject to Christ, including the trillions of stars that are billions of light years away, what does that do to us? It means that we have the privilege of ruling over the universe, created by God in accordance with the responsibilities that God gives angels, and who knows what else? And we’re going to do it forever and ever, and actually conquer, as it were, galaxies for God, and rule this vast universe that boggles our minds.
Now do you understand why there are going to be tears in heaven? Do you get it now? We always think there are going to be tears in heaven because everybody is going to feel so bad about the people who didn’t make it to heaven. That may be part of it. But I think the tears are going to be tears of regret. We didn’t look after that which wasn’t our own, that was entrusted to us. And who then is going to entrust to us the true riches? “To him who overcomes shall I grant to sit on the throne!”
You say, “Well, are there some Christians who are not going to rule?” I don’t want to go that far. I do want to say with deep conviction that there are some Christians who are going to have a very, very small rule (if you look at the parables of Jesus), if any at all. Why? It’s because they blew it. Why? God gave them money and they thought it was theirs to keep, to spend, to invest, to enjoy, to pass on to their relatives. And they never once asked God, “What do You want to do with that which You have entrusted to me?” And they were faithful in that which is least. They were unfaithful in the unrighteous mammon, “And who will now entrust to them the true riches?” says Christ. You answer that question.
God gives us time. He gives us ability. He gives us churches in which to work, in which to use our talents. He gives us needy people who need our help and our hospitality. And He gives us Bible teaching that can help us overcome our sins. And He gives us all that and we grudgingly, because of some petty anger perhaps in our heart, hold it all in, and say, “It’s all going to be mine, and I’m going to live the way I want to live.” No wonder some of us (Maybe I will be included) are going to cry in heaven and say, “Oh God, how we blew it!” because now the Father looks at us and says, “You lazy slave. Should you not have taken what I gave to you and invested it and did something with it?” And Jesus will be talking to us and will say, “Who now can entrust to you that which is supposed to be yours when you couldn’t look after somebody else’s stuff?”
You say, “Well, are we going to be envious in heaven?” You know we’re going to look around up there and we’re going to see people above us with more responsibility. No! I think that Jonathan Edwards was right when he said we’re going to have such a pure conscience that we will rejoice in those that are above us as if we ourselves were in that position. No envy in heaven! We’ll rejoice when we see those who are more faithful than we are, but we’ll always know that we could have served Christ and gotten that crown. We’ll know it! But there’s no evidence in the Bible that you can move in rank once you get to heaven. Maybe there is, but there’s no evidence of it. Where you are slotted into the Kingdom, the area of responsibility granted to you, will be commensurate. Everybody in heaven will be happy, everybody serving God, everybody given something to do, but not everybody having overcome.
I love to tell that story about the wealthy man with the great estate who had a son whom he dearly loved. He was his only child. He loved this little boy, and the little boy’s mother (which is to say this man’s wife) died. In order to make sure that the boy was cared for, he got a housekeeper who could take care of some of the duties of raising this little boy. And eventually the little boy died. And this man was so heartbroken. He owned so much but he died probably of a broken heart. No will! What do you do?
Well, as you know, the government makes a will for you if you don’t have one. Everybody has a will. You either have made it out, or some attorney has made it out for you. So what they decided to do was to auction his personal effects off to the highest bidder and at least get rid of those. And this housekeeper who had come to love the little boy as if he were own went to the auction, not because she could afford the antiques and the beautiful furniture and the rug and all those other things. That wasn’t why she was there. She wanted a picture of the boy that hung in the living room. So when the auctioneer came to the picture, she bought it for a few cents.
She took it home and she noticed on the back there was a piece of paper that was stuck onto the picture. In the man’s own handwriting it said, “I will all of my inheritance to the person who loved my son enough to buy this picture.”
He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things.” Sit on His throne, even as He overcame and sat on the throne of God! God says, “There’s nothing that I will withhold from you except deity itself.” “If you love my Son, if you learn to hate what He hates, and love what He loves, and care about the people that He cares about, and do with what He has given to you, with that which is His,” God says, “I will exalt you. And if you are faithful in that which is least you will be shocked how I’ll trust you in the life to come.”
And so I end this series today with some verses that come to us from one of the most blessed books in the entire Bible, the book of the Revelation. “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”
Christ says, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done. The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
Let us pray.
Father, we are reminded of the poem that says:
How Thou can think so well of me
And be the God Thou art,
Is darkness to my intellect,
But sunshine to my heart.
We have not understood all that we have said today. We have tried to but we cannot. We only ask, Father, that in grace you might make us faithful. For those who need to repent of a worldly spirit, cause them, Father, to repent. For those who need to give up relationships that are stealing their crown, we pray that they may do that. For those, Father, to whom you have entrusted much of these world’s goods, who hold on to it tightly, bring them, Father, to the point of generosity and faith.
To each who heard this message, to me, to those on the platform, the choir, to those listening by radio, you are saying something different, but we pray, Father, that you might speak, and that You might keep speaking until we hear. And chase us until we submit and say, “You win.” Do that, Father, we pray.
And now before I close this prayer, what is it that you need to talk to God about? Are there those of you who are here today who say, “Pastor Lutzer, based on this series of messages, I know that I have to make changes in my life, and by God’s grace I’m going to make them.” Would you raise your hands right now if you fit into that category? How many of you say that? Some of you in the balcony, are you raising your hands? If God has spoken to you, whatever it is that He asks you to do, do!
And for those of you who do not know Christ as Savior, you will not be in this judgment. Only a percentage of humanity will be exalted. Flee to Christ who can forgive you and make you one of God’s people.
Father, do in us all that you desire. For Christ’s sake we ask this, Amen.