Introduction Albu van Eeden
We greet you this morning and are happy to see you. We are filled with gratitude that we can gather for this service today. I recently thought that being a believer is like living in a desert. God’s word is fire, and it is both fire and water in a desert. This world is a desert for the believer. It has nothing that will bring life to us. Whatever it offers - fashions, music – it is just a desert. It does not feed the soul and neither does it draw us closer to heaven. I trust that we desire to drink of this water today and that we came this morning with a thirst for the living water of God which will quench our souls. If you are unaware of the fact that we live in a desert and we need God’s word to remain alive, you are not on the right way.
I greet you, brethren. We thank God for such opportunities. We thank the Lord Jesus who has the answer to every question that man may ever have. He who is seated on the throne says, I make all things new – I am the Alpha and the Omega. Although you may be thirsty, He can quench that thirst through knowing Him. It is heart breaking that sometimes a person suffers unnecessarily. Jonah, for example, was sent with a living message to a lost people, but he chose to board a ship, and eventually he reached the point where he chose death rather than take the message to people in need. Can a man’s heart become so hard and rebellious against God that he prefers death in the ocean, to taking the message to the people God had sent him to? There was no preacher like Jonah who preached once and a whole nation repented but how stubborn and unwilling he was to take that message! The people he was sent to were people who did not know God – they were heathen idol worshippers with no knowledge of God, but when they heard the word of God they recognised that God was speaking and they repented in sackcloth, dust and ashes but the one sent by God was rebellious and despised Him.
Let me ask you a personal question: What kind of language should be spoken so that you reach the point where you give your life to the Lord? You may be in the service, but you have not taken a step to draw nigh to God and recognise that God is speaking.
Remember the disciples in the boat on the sea when that storm arose. The wind and waves buffeted the ship, and it seemed like they would be swamped, but the wonderful thing was that Jesus was in that boat fast asleep. We are in that boat and there is a storm but is Jesus there?
Let us not deceive ourselves, there is a battle between light and darkness from the morning until we put our heads on the pillow at night. If you have not realised it yet, I doubt you ever will. In Revelations it is told of the war in heaven between Michael and the dragon. Heaven is a wonderful place of peace and joy but war broke out. Sin and rebellion originated there. Heaven could not tolerate someone like Satan and he was therefore cast down to the earth. Notice what has been happening on earth since then and how evil is on the increase. Satan realises that his time is short and he is doing his utmost to deceive everyone. The Bible says that our battle is not against flesh and blood. There is this battle in the heavenly realm between light and darkness. Satan was dissatisfied with what had been entrusted to him. He was jealous and envious and wanted more. Even that which had been given to him as a gift, he took as his own.
There may be people among us who do not realise the privilege of being under God’s word and protected by it; being in the company of the brethren and protected by that. They want to go out, have a nice time, and fulfil their desires. Young people feel imprisoned by the boundaries their parents have put in place. They ask why this? Why that? Why can’t we dress like this or that? Why can’t I listen to that music? You feel oppressed but you are being helped. You put on an outward show as if all is fine and you are a child of God, yet you are a hypocrite and your heart is as black as pitch. You are evil and sin reigns. It will eventually become evident who is victorious in this war between light and darkness. Could you have ever imagined that things in the world would get into such an evil state? The lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh are the prime things that keep people from a knowledge of God. Although there is nothing new on the face of the earth, no new sin, but the degree in which it is being poured out and the extent to which it is being committed, has never been like this before.
Let us remind ourselves that sin separates a man from God. There are people who hold this against KSB because KSB always preaches about sin. What else should we preach about given that sin is as rife as it is? It is almost as if there is nobody who will be saved. Today you cannot even trust a father alone with his daughter. Such a disgrace. When a father is so ruled by sin that he cannot be trusted with his own daughter. I’m not even mentioning one young person with another young person, just a parent and his child. Darkness has taken over to such an extent. People fail to distinguish evil from good.
Satan was cast from heaven upon the earth and he brought chaos. Things are happening which you cannot believe are possible but when you go into it, it is true. Faithfulness is a wonderful quality but there are very few people who are faithful anymore. People have lost the fear of God and they do whatever they like. A child rebels against his parents which has become the norm. It is fashionable for children backchat their parents and stiffen their necks. They want their word to be the last. If you are a child and have parents, you need to submit to them. You may be highly educated, even be a professor but you must submit to your parents. The flesh wars against the spirit. Which one is victorious and which one helps you – the flesh or the spirit? May God help us to find the answer where we have been confused by Satan.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. Romans 6:1-7
If we are united with Christ something happens. In Corinthians it says that the old has passed away, the new has come. Brethren, the crux of the matter is that we must get to know this Saviour. Do you know Him? Do you know this Christ? Do you know the answer to all the questions you have? If you know Him, how you know Him? You cannot know Him, but nothing happens in your life. You cannot meet Him and there is no change, no difference - that is an impossibility. Those who know Christ have received life and it is evident to all to see. Everybody will see without a doubt that this is a child of God. Even if that person says nothing, it can be seen. When he speaks, his tongue will say things that are worthy of a child of God. Since you have met Jesus, what has happened in your life? Have you been set free or do you still tell lies? Have you been delivered of that evil, lustful eye? If that has not happened, you have not even begun with the “A” of Christianity.
Here is the answer. Jesus is in the boat. Here is the Alpha and the Omega – the answer to everything. When you are delivered from sin, you are satisfied. When you are helped and sanctified, sin ends because you are brought closer to the holiness of God.
What shall we say then? This may be asked by the one who wants to know more about God, who wants to live for the Lord – how do things continue? Such a person can be advised and directed. Such a person never separates from the word of God which brings life. There are many people who love this way, who want to walk the walk of faith and who love the Lord Jesus. I love people who ask when they meet up with circumstances. There are two ways to go, which should I choose. Blessed is the one who has such questions, who wants to grow in the Lord and go forward. There are others who grow up but they never learn to ask, they do their own thing. They take for themselves. They do not ask their parent if they may take this or that. Children open the fridge and help themselves. They do not ask. Asking has never hurt anyone. On the contrary if you ask it shows how well you have been brought up and what kind of family you come from. Even if you feel you have a right, ask nevertheless and you will see how that will help you in your future.
There are people who want the word of God to be their nurse to always protect them. Should we continue in sin that grace may abound? They use the word of God to justify their sin. ‘The word of God offers me grace. I can confess my sin afterwards and receive forgiveness. I don’t have to live so circumspectly,’ or ‘well, if I have sinned, I will just confess it and receive forgiveness.’ If that is your attitude you have not met the Gospel, you have not met the Lord Jesus. You cannot take the grace of God in a flippant manner and cheaply, ‘I can just sin and go and confess it again.’ God’s word says, by no means, how can we who die to sin still live in it? In other words, if I have lived in the flesh and then received the grace of God and forgiveness, I cannot cheapen the grace of God. Like someone on their computer who says, ‘I was on this site and then there was something that caught my attention. I was curious so I quickly looked at it…’ The person looked at it and fell into sin but says, ‘I will just confess it again.’ Such a person makes the grace of God to be of no effect.
We all love to be forgiven. The Bible says that if we have sinned, we have an advocate, the Lord Jesus Christ who intercedes for us before God the Father. But that does not mean because you have an advocate you can play around with sin. Once He has pointed out the sin to you, you ought to repent and forsake it with tears and a broken heart because you have remorse, not like one who confesses his sin with a smile on his face. No wonder you are what you are. Today you confess a sin, tomorrow you return to it. Have you ever had remorse over that sin? Why does the flesh have power over you? Why does the flesh have authority in your life? If you meet with the Spirit of God, He delivers you from that sin. The grace of God saves us that we do not return to our sin but live for God. How do you live? The grace of God is powerful, the Lord is waiting for us to come to Him. Your heart should be broken, and you should feel ashamed of your sin. If you come to the Lord with a broken heart, you will receive forgiveness and that will become a boundary to you which will stop you from returning to that sin because it would break the Lord’s heart. When temptation draws you, you will say, ‘How can I sin when the Lord Jesus has given His last drop of blood for me? How can I ever return to that sin?’
If we have died with Him, if we have been united with Him, we have also been raised with Him in newness of life, how then can we fall back into sin again? The death of Christ has destroyed the power of sin so that it will not reign over us. All those who believe in the Lord Jesus have been united with Him in His life. Sin brings about death and enmity. It separates us from heaven and fellowship with God in prayer when you realise that you are before the Lord and He will answer prayer. Do you have that fellowship with the Lord Jesus? Are you one with Him? When do you speak to Him? How do you hear Him? There are some people who don’t even read their Bible or pray. They do not even pray before they eat. How much time do you have for the One who died for you on Calvary? How much time do you give Him? How much time do you spend with Him in prayer? There are people who have no time for the Lord but plenty of time for their own conversations. They chat from morning to night but if you measure how many valuable and upbuilding words they have spoken, there might be two or three amongst all of them. The Bible says we will have to give account for every idle word we have spoken. All who have been united with Him in a death like this, shall certainly be united in resurrection. We need to have fellowship with the Lord Jesus on a daily basis. There should never be an interruption of this fellowship. If there is, sin has entered.
School children, what do you speak about in your dormitories every day? There are people who are very up to date with world affairs but when it comes to the word of God they do not know anything. They can give you the name of the minister of electricity, but they cannot say anything about the word of God. The old has passed away and if you have not started yet, you must begin there. The old is taken and thrown into the deepest part of the sea. The old must pass away, and the new must come because we have been born again. It must be seen by the life that we live that the old has disappeared. I no longer love lies; I love the truth. I do not gossip about others in their absence because the old has gone. Jealousy is gone. Following women with my eyes is gone. Sending messages are gone. Looking at porn is gone. Now when I wake up, I have a new attitude, ‘Lord, what do you have for me this day? What is Your will for me this day? Lord, help me that I may know your will and be obedient wherever you send me.’ You no longer live according to the flesh, your own will, by what you see with your eyes, but you have a desire and a willingness to be sent by God. The old has been replaced by what is new. Where the old was, grace has abounded. Is it like this in your life? The answer is available to you in God’s word. It is there for those who do not want to live according to the flesh, but according to the word and Spirit of God.
May we know what to do when we leave here. If you realise that you fall short and something is lacking in your life, you know what to do about it.
I advised someone ‘to die to sin’ and he asked me to please explain how to do that. I explained in detail. It is incredible that a believer did not understand what it meant to die to sin. You possibly also do not know what it means because sin rules in you and has not been crucified yet. Instead of Jesus reigning in your life, sin does but you call yourself a child of God.
I explained it using a snake. If you strike a snake on its head it dies but if you strike its tail it does not. If you want to get rid of a tree, you do not just chop off the branches. It will grow again. Unless you uproot a sin in the same way a tree must be uprooted, it will always trouble you.
When you confess your sin, you confess that you are stubborn, you tell lies etc, but you do not explain it. ‘I am troubled by stubbornness and this is how it shows in my life. These are the lies I have told, that is why I have a grudge.’ You will never be delivered from that sin unless you expose it as it is. This is why God sent revival to that small group of people who sought Him. They confessed their sins exactly as they were. David did not confess his sin by blaming it on the devil and saying, ‘The devil tempted me. He made me look at that woman.’ David did not do it that way. The prodigal son did not say when he returned, ‘The devil deceived me. He made me ask for my inheritance and that is why I left.’ A person may say, ‘I am troubled by lust.’ But how? ‘I have bad dreams.’ But he never explains his dreams. ‘I look at bad pictures on the computer.’ You have not reached the root of that sin. David said, ‘I confessed my sin and the Lord forgave me.’
There are people who say we should not preach about sin. They want to tear pages out of the Bible including the verse about confessing your sin one to another. Go to your father and say, ‘I stole from you.’ Explain what you stole. How much money you stole and which items you took. There are many young people who are still in bondage to sin because when they confess their sin, they only scratch the surface. You call yourself a Christian, but you have bad dreams. You do not overcome it. You always watch porn. You never overcome your anger or that lustful eye. You say, ‘It was the devil.’
We were worked on, like you work a piece of skin and wring the water out of it. We confessed our sins in the right manner, and we were helped. Jesus entered our lives.
When you experience that grace of the Lord Jesus, it teaches you to fear God and part from sin. How can you return to it when it has been eradicated from your life?
A man told me that he submitted his CV to various places for a job. His sister followed him and told the people not to accept him for any job. He said he hated her and had a grudge against her. He would never forgive her. I told him to read Mark 11:25,26. I asked him if he wanted prayer and he said that he did. Later he phoned and told me that the grudge was gone. Then I gave him another verse from Mark 11:24. He said that through that verse, his prayer was answered and he got a job at a school.
We should pray but when you pray your prayer is not answered. You still live with sin which has not died in you yet. If you have not died to sin you are not like the person who struck the head of the snake. You no longer need to fear the snake if it has died. If the serpent is still alive we are in grave danger.
Why should you lust after a woman? What causes you to say, ‘If my wife passes away, I want to marry that woman.’ You bury your wife while she is still alive. If you want to marry a particular young man or woman in the choir, you have not died to sin. If you can say, ‘If my husband would only die, I would be free of a burden,’ you have buried your husband already. You have not died to sin. Cry for deliverance.
My father beat me but after conversion I loved him. If a man can say, ‘I don’t love my father anymore.’ Why not? ‘I don’t know,’ he says then Satan and his demons have been let loose in your life. Hit the snake on its head, make sure it is dead. Look at your life. You say, ‘If you feel it is wrong, I apologise.’ You do not see what you have done wrong. That demon will grow in your life and make you do things you never imagined.
Finally, God’s word says, fear the Lord Jehovah. If a person continues doing what is evil and wrong, he does not fear God. If you still commit sin by looking at pictures on your computer/phone, you do not fear God. Pray and ask, ‘Lord, create within me the fear of God.’ Ask the Lord that when you confess your sin you will do it in such a way that you will be freed from it. Allow God the freedom to work in your life. If God convicts you of sin, confess it and you will see how God will help you. Peter said that we should not be like the dog who vomits and returns to it.