Priority #3 : Jesus is Alive and Within You

Chapter 20 - Believer's Norm

There is an awakening that the world has never experienced before. It's not confined to the walls of one particular church. God totally ignores those walls and those barriers. He looks at the needs and the hungers of the hearts and He looks at His plan and purpose. And He sees these vast areas of people and he says "I paid for them. I have so much invested in them, I want them." When he was telling me, what a beautiful thing it was to watch all of these Catholics to get together in these huddles and to pray for each other. I said this might surprise you but this is happening in the Episcopal Church, the Lutheran church, the Methodist church.


Some weeks ago when I received a message direct from the Lord by heavenly messenger, I was told when God founded his church it was like a beautiful pool of men and women living and bathing in the love and light that Jesus provided. But as people moved away from the center and each went his own way towards his own likings, they went into their own pastures and this pool was like a watering hole with fences running out like spokes away from it. And as a result each pasture is labeled now with what they happen to be. There's the Baptist pastor, the Methodist pastor, the Pentecostal pastor all different kinds. But this heavenly messenger said that what you are witnessing today is God by the power of the Holy Spirit and by his heavenly hosts are moving the sheep back to the pool where there are no fences. Doesn't that make you feel good? That's why in this congregation today, you're sitting besides people a few years ago, you couldn't have had good fellowship with them because you were fundamental and they were liberal, or you were a Nazarene and you were LDS. There's a little warfare that goes on between them but down in the pool there are no fences. We're here together this morning and God is doing such a beautiful thing. I believe that should the Lord tarry you could look forward to a great Catholic, Protestant revival meeting crusade. This priest that was here prayed about this very thing.


The normal Christian life is an awareness and the recognition of what the Spirit is doing. It is normal for the believer to experience the capabilities, gifts and the ministries of the Holy Spirit. The normal Christian walk is this kind of a walk. First Thessalonians 5, the apostle is pointing ahead to this day in which we're living. And if you wanted to put a title on this chapter, you can call it, last day guidelines, guidelines for your life, for this day. The Word definitely tells us we don't know the day or hour of the coming of Jesus but we can know the time and the season. "But of the times and of the seasons brethren you have no need that I write unto you for yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say peace and safety then sudden destruction comes upon them as travail upon a woman with child and you shall not escape. But you brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light and the children of the day. We are not of night nor of the darkness, therefore let us not sleep as others but let us watch and be sober, for they that sleep, sleep in the night and they that be drunk are drunken in the night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."


And if your interested in the times, the awful days of the outpouring of God's wrath that are definitely described in God's Word. It is something that is coming. If you're interested in that, He tells you as believers He has not appointed you to wrath, but He's appointed you something else. Those of you who are willing to put their faith in what Jesus has done will never face the day of God's wrath. He hasn't appointed us to wrath but He has appointed us to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us that whether we wake or sleep we should live together with Him. Comfort yourselves together and edify one another even as you do. Do you notice there's something here that's beautiful? The 18th verse of chapter four, he tells them to comfort one another because he's talking about the return of Christ. Here when he comes to emphasis on the return of Christ he says the same thing. The Spirit knew that there would be people trying to scare people half to death with the message of the second coming. I don't know how many millions of people there are in the United States alone when they hear that Jesus is coming they tremble in their boots, scared to death. Because they feel that their acceptance is based on how good they've been and how much of a performance they have and they're quite sure it hasn't measured up. Is there anybody here that has ever trembled when you thought of the coming of Jesus? Why, that's almost everybody, but he wants you to know that Jesus tasted death for you and already bore the penalty and because you've put your faith in Him you don't have to be afraid anymore. And this is why he said comfort one another, get a hold of your brother, get a hold of your children, let them know that they're not going to have to face God's judgment, or his wrath. Let them know. Kids are living with so much fear today. There's fear on every hand. God wants us to bring some comfort to the world.


Do you know why the Holy Spirit came, one of his purposes? Somebody says well, we know that word comfort means just being called along side to help. Quit showing how smart you are. True, you can make it say that, and if that one called alongside you to help you is one that comes there because he sees how bad you're feeling and comforts you, why then you're right. But whether you know the Greek interpretation or not, God said "I'm going to send you somebody to comfort you, to stand by you. Comfort one another, this is his work. Comfort one another, and edify one another. Build each other up in view of the fact that Jesus is coming. And we beseech you brethren to know them which labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you and esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake and be at peace with yourself.


The normal Christian walk is listed right here in this chapter. "Now we exhort you brethren warn them that are unruly." You young people or adults who are not behaving, if somebody warns you don't say those people are jumping on me, its normal Christian life. Expect it. "Warn them that are unruly. Comfort the feeble minded." If somebody wants to come and comfort you, don't take it wrong, maybe you need it. "Support the weak be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man but ever follow that which is good. Both among yourselves and unto all men. Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing make sure the lines of communication are up all the time." It doesn't mean to stay on your knees twenty-four hours a day; it means that you can get the signal through when you need to get it through. "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit." Don't deny Him, a place in your life. Don't stop Him from doing the thing that He wants to do for you. "Quench not the Spirit." Let the Spirit warm your heart, let Him fill you, let Him empower you. Let him cause the fruit of the Spirit to come forth in your life. "Despise not prophesying, prove all things, hold fast that which is good, and abstain from all appearance of evil. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly. And I pray God that your whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."


Last week I told you how that you could be preserved blameless. It's blameless in His sight. "Be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one that choose you and called you will do the job. Faithful is he who called you who also will do it. Brethren pray for us, greet all of the brethren with a holy kiss. I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you." You might remember to write last day guidelines. Now I know that there are people that are wondering because of the many different cults and breakdowns of religion. You're wondering "where does this fit into the picture, what about it?" What about that person who desires to be so spiritual that you cannot even hold a conversation with him? Did you ever meet anyone that you couldn't hold a conversation with because they were afraid they might lose their contact, fellowship? The reason why I'm saying this is I've had a number of you ask me about this. I've tried to talk to this person; all I can hear is praise the Lord.


God wants you to praise Him, but he also wants you to talk to people. God wants you to communicate and to be able to talk to people. I had one lady come to me, and she told me "Pastor Buck I don't know what I'm going to do for my husband." She said we used to have such good fellowship till I gave my heart to Jesus. And now she said I can't talk to him and he acts like he doesn't love me anymore. The more I try and love Jesus the farther away he seems to get from me." I said well what are you doing? She said "well I try and pray everyday and I get out nice bits of good Christian material and I lay it down where I know my husband's going to sit. I tell him good things and I try and talk the language of my spirit to him and try and talk about the Lord and so on. And I looked at this lady; her husband didn't know the Lord and I told her that she was developing into a great big fat spirit. Your spirit's so healthy and you're afraid to encourage or nourish any other part of you. All you are is a big fat spirit. Your husband has no way of relating to your spirit. He doesn't know the Lord. Your soul is shriveled up and it's dying. Your soul is your humanity. And your husband looks at your shriveled up soul and he says I didn't think I married that. You used to be able to talk about food, trips you've made, things that were of mutual interest. Now there's nothing you can talk about that he relates to. There's no way that you can relate to him. So I talked to her what a normal Christian ought to be.


God is putting people who are normal people in this building and in his body today, God is building normal wholesome people. Paul knew about it. He said "I pray that your whole spirit, your whole humanity, and your body be preserved blameless." God paid the price for all three. With out spirits we reach upward to God and we touch Him and His life pours down into them. With our humanity we reach outward to people. There's the spiritual, then there's the human. God's love and His life can not only occupy our spirits but can occupy our humanity too. God doesn't mind if you have a good sense of humor, He gave it to you. Wouldn't the world be a dull place to live if you didn't know anybody with a sense of humor? He gave you that personality. He gave you that radiance, that spark. He gave you certain gifts and talents, God gave them to you, that's your humanity.


So I told her, what does your husband like to do? Well she said he likes to fish, when it's not fishing season he likes football games, she said I detest football games. And she said I just have to sit and read the Bible all the time while he's watching football games. She said I don't know anything about it. So I told her, I'm going to pray for you but before I do I'm going to tell you something. I want you to get yourself all the information you can get on these football games that he's watching. I want you to learn what a tackle is. I want you to learn what a touchdown is. I want you to learn what a first down is. I want you to learn some of these plays. She said I don't want to do that. So I told her to do it anyway. She said "oh it's so carnal." I said you have to allow your humanity also to come back to life. If you want to have some fellowship and help that husband of yours, there's going to have to be something that he can relate to there and be yourself. And cook some of those good meals. Don't serve him just a can of soup or cold crackers. She just about quit everything you see because she didn't want to break the chain of her spiritual life. You don't have to be some kind of a nut to be filled with the Spirit and to be Christian today.


I believe that spirit-filled Christians should be the most normal wholesome people in the whole world. He wants us to be normal; He wants us to have that flow of His life. This lady gave me a good illustration to give to many, many others who have come. In their desire to serve God, in their desire not to do something to displease Him they have allowed themselves to become shriveled up inside their humanity. There's something that you can do, that you love to do. There are areas of your humanity that God wants to be developed. He wants you to be a real person to all of those people that you know. He wants people to be able to relate to you, to your kindness, to your love, to those deeds you perform, to just being a good neighbor, there's so many ways.


Well this woman came back. She said you just can't believe what this did. She said I've got my husband back again. She said we're happier than we've ever been in our lives. When I saw her again it was hard to even recognize her as the same one who came in so crushed and fearful. But now she was just radiating the joy of the Lord. Talk about a normal Christian; when you live the kind of life and let the Spirit live within you, you become wholesome in spirit, soul and body. And God has provided health for all three areas in the atonement. His blood was shed for your spirit, your spiritual needs. He was bruised and beaten for our grief's, that's the emotional part. And his body was broken and he received the stripes for our body, for our physical healing.


God has health for all three parts of our being. As you partake of this communion service today, I want you to remember the Lord's Body, that there was provision there for all of your needs. Ask God to help to make you that whole complete person in Him. I know that God is going to minister. There are some here who are sick in body; you're going to find physical healing during this service. There are some who are weighted down and depressed, you're going to find emotional healing. And there are some of you who have never known Jesus Christ. You're filled with fear because you know there's a day coming when you're going to be standing before God in judgment. But as you partake this morning and as you hold this morning the cup that signifies the blood of Jesus Christ and the penalty that was paid for your sins, as you hold in your hand that cup and you let God know by that token that you're not putting your faith in what you can do, what you have done but in what Jesus did. Something is going to happen to you. God is going to blot out all of the records against you. He wants you to put your faith in that blood.