Listen to the most serious, thought provoking words that a Christian could ever hear from the lips of our Savior.
Luke 14: 25-27, 33
"Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them. 'if anyone comes to me
and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters,
yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
So likewise, whoever of you who does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.'"
Those are heart searching, soul-stirring words.
Jesus said that unless you hate your father and mother and brothers and sisters and wife and husband and children,
and your own life also - you cannot be a disciple of Jesus.
Those are hard words.
Those are very difficult words.
Jesus is saying that He expects and deserves to be first in our lives.
How could any Christian deny that He deserves first place.
I believe that every Christian in this place would agree that Jesus expects to us to be sold out to him completely and totally.
Paul understood this. Paul said, "The love of Christ constrains me."
Paul is saying that the love of Christ controls him.
It masters him.
It over-powers him.
He is sold out to Jesus!
You and I must be sold out to Jesus.
Jesus deserves every minute of every day and every penny of every dollar.
He must have every ability and every skill that we possess.
After all - every thing that we have has come from God.
His love must master us, control us, constrain us -- we must be sold out to Jesus.
Jesus Only Uses Sold Out People.
Many Christians wonder why Jesus doesn't use them.
The reason many people are not used in God's service is that they are not sold out to Jesus.
Jesus only uses sold out people.
A Texas pastor once said, "God almighty can strike some powerful licks with a crooked stick, if God owns the stick."
Down through history, God has used some unlikely people to achieve unbelievable victories.
In a dark period of Israel's history, God came to a man named Gideon.
God told Gideon that he was going to use him to bring victory to Israel.
Gideon couldn't understand that and said that he was the poorest in all his country.
Surely, God couldn't use someone like him.
God told Gideon that he was the man that he was going to use.
The Lord told Gideon to get his army together.
Gideon gathered all the men that he could find and God said that it was too many.
Can you imagine that?
An army of a little more than 30,000 to battle and army of Medianites with as many as 150,000 soldiers.
Gideon believed that he needed more, not less.
The Lord told Gideon to tell his men that all who were afraid could go home.
22,000 left, and only 10,000 remained.
What in the world could 10,000 do against such a massive army.
Then God said, "Gideon, that is still too many."
Can you believe that?
God told Gideon to take the remaining men down to the river.
God told Gideon to watch the men, and to tell all who laped the water like a dog to go home.
Gideon was left with only 300 men.
What an army!
The Lord told Gideon that He was going to give Israel victory with those three hundred man.
That same night, God said that it was time to battle.
He had the 300 men and Gideon to take trumpets and pitchers.
The Lord said, "Arise, for Lord has delivered the camp of Midian into your hand."
He divided the 300 men into three companies, and he put a trumpet into every man's hand,
with empty pitchers, and torches inside the pitchers.
Gideon told the men to watch him and do as he did.
He told them that when he blew the trumpet that all of them were to blow their trumpets and break their pitchers.
On the signal, they blew their trumpets and broke their pitchers, and shouted, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon."
When they all stood in their place and shouted, the whole army of the Medianites fled.
What a tremendous victory!
God used an insignificant, small army to defeat a mighty and overwhelming force.
God uses those who are sold out to Jesus.
We don't have to have hundreds for God to give us great victory.
We just have to be sold out to Jesus.
Remember, when the armies of Israel and the Philistines were gathered to do battle,
and a giant named, Goliath, was taunting the Israelites.
Goliath shouted at them, "Why have you come out for battle? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me.
If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants.
But if I kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us."
Goliath went on to say, "I defy the armies of Israel this day: give me this day a man, that we made fight together."
When Saul and all Israel heard these words of Goliath, they were afraid for their lives.
The scene of Goliath taunting the armies of Israel went on for forty days, morning and evening.
While all of this was happening, a young man named David had been feeding his father's sheep at Bethlehem.
Then, one morning, Jesse asked his son David to take food to his brothers at camp.
Jesse also asked David to bring back news of how his brothers were doing.
So David did as Jesse had commanded him.
As he came to the camp, the army of Israel was fleeing from Goliath for fear of their lives.
The men of Israel asked David if he had seen this man, Goliath.
Not one man of Israel would fight Goliath.
David asked, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?"
David said that he would fight Goliath. So, Saul sent for David.
Saul told David that he was not able to go against this giant.
You are a youth, and he is a man of war.
But David told Saul that he had killed a lion and also a bear when they had tried kill his father's sheep.
Further, David told Saul that if God gave him the power to kill a bear and kill a lion, God would give him the power to kill Goliath.
So, Saul agreed.
Then Saul told David that he would need armor and a sword and a spear.
Have you ever noticed that the world is always trying to tell the church how to go to battle?
I don't believe that God intends for every church to have hundreds of members.
Thank God for our large churches with such great programs that reach so many people for Christ.
But some of the greatest churches on this earth have only a small number of people.
All any church or pastor should ever desire is what God wants.
After determining that David couldn't wear Saul's armor, David said that all he needed was God and his sling shot.
So David went to battle Goliath with only his sling shot.
Just a teenager and a sling shot.
That's not very good odds.
After all, what can a teenager do?
So, David took his staff.
He went to the brook and chose for himself five smooth stones, and put them in his shepherd's bag.
Then, he approached Goliath.
Goliath saw that David was only a teenager.
Goliath shouted to David, "Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?"
Then Goliath cursed David.
Goliath said, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beast of the field!"
David said, " You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin.
But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.
And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beast of the earth,
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear;
for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands."
Goliath began to move toward David for battle.
David ran toward Goliath.
Then David stopped and put his hand in his bag, and took out a stone.
Notice, he only needed one stone.
He whirled the sling around his head and let it fly.
It struck Goliath in the forehead.
The stone struck Goliath with such power that it sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face -- dead.
So, David defeated Goliath with a sling and a stone.
Then David ran and stood over Goliath.
He took Goliath's sword and cut off Goliath's head.
When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.
Just one teenager in the hand of God was enough to bring victory to all Israel.
Never underestimate what God can do with you.
There may be those who would say that you are too young,
or that you do not have enough education or that you do not have enough experience.
Don't listen to anyone who would say those things.
God will do His work as it pleases Him.
God will use anyone who is sold out to Jesus.
A Boston shoe clerk by the name of D. L. Moody heard a preacher of the gospel preach
that it remained to be seen what God could do with a man or a woman or a boy or a girl
fully dedicated to the cause of God. D. L. Moody said, "By God's grace,I'll be that man."
History has recorded that D. L. Moody personally led more than 150,000 individuals to know Christ as their Savior.
This does not count all of the people who were saved in his revival meetings.
That is astounding!
I stand here to tell you that its still yet remains to be seen what God can do
with a man or a woman, a boy or a girl that is thoroughly dedicated to the cause of Christ.
I pray that every Christian here in this service will declare now, "I'll be that man!"
"I'll be that woman!" "I'll be that teenager!" "I'll be sold out to Jesus!
First Corinthians 1:26-29 declares:
" For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise,
and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;
and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen,
and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence."
It doesn't matter who you are.
It doesn't matter who you know.
It doesn't matter how little or how much you have.
It doesn't matter how educated you are.
If you want God to use you, you must be sold out to Jesus.
The Tragedy Of Souls Going To Hell Demands All That I Am And All That I Have.
Do you really believe that people without Jesus as their savior is going to hell?
Do you really believe that your mother and father, brother and sister, husband and wife, uncle and aunt,
friends and neighbors, who are without Jesus as their Saviour, is really going to spend all eternity in an eternal hell?
The Bible tells us that anyone without Jesus as their personal Saviour will die forever in a devil's hell.
God's Word tells us in Revelation 20: 15: "And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire."
The Bible tells us that to have our name written in the Book of Life we must be born again
by trusting in Jesus as our Saviour and Lord.
The Bible tells us in Romans 3: 23: "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 6: 23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
John 3: 18: "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already,
because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
The Bible clearly states that anyone who has not received Jesus as their personal Saviour is already condemned.
On their way to hell!
Forever and forever!
Dying forever and forever.
Misery forever and ever!
Without hope forever and forever!
Torment forever and forever.
There is no way out of hell forever.
Is this what we want our loved ones to experience for all eternity?
Do you want to be separated from those you love for all eternity?
Do you know if your loved ones are going to heaven or to hell?
Have you ever asked your loved one if he or she has ever accepted Jesus as their personal Savior?
Do you really believe that people outside of Christ are lost?
If we do, we don't act like we do.
When was the last time you spoke to your loved one about his or her relationship with Jesus?
When it was the last time you prayed for them?
Probably, there are Christians here who have gone for weeks, months, and even years
without ever speaking to their loved ones about Jesus.
We say that we love them. Do we?
If we do, how can we not tell about the most important matter of their life in time and eternity?
Do we not want them to go to heaven with us?
Do we really care?
Paul said that he went to house to house preaching Jesus.
Paul also said in Acts 20: 26: "... I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men."
Can you say that?
That is a question that all of us must answer.
Christ commanded us to go into all the world and tell everyone the good news of Jesus.
If we have not been doing that, then we have sinned against God.
We cannot be in a right relationship with God, if we have not been witnesses.
Have you ever attended a funeral service of an individual who was not a Christian?
Some years ago a lady and our church called me to come to her home.
After arriving at her home, she informed me that her brother had died, and that she would like for me to conduct his funeral service.
I knew her brother's reputation, and I had mis-givings about doing that, until her next sentence.
She told me that everyone knew that her brother was not a Christian, and that she didn't want to me to indicate that he was.
She wanted me to preach the plan of salvation so that others would not follow him into hell.
As family and friends viewed his body at the funeral home, I could see the look of sadness on every Christian's face.
I heard their final words.
They would never see him again.
How sad! How tragic!
It is a possible that you and I could wake up tomorrow and get the news that one of our loved ones has died without Christ.
If we have not been faithful to tell that one about Jesus, then the blood of our loved one will be on our hands.
How could we live with our conscience?
We must get busy!
Today or tomorrow could very well be our last opportunity to tell our loved ones that Jesus loves them
and died for them and will forgive their sins and give them life forever.
It is urgent that we tell them we want them to be in heaven with us.
The Tragedy Of Souls Going To Hell Truly Demands All I Am And All I Have.
Only Absolute Surrender Is Worthy Of A Blood Bought Salvation.
I don't have a testimony of how I was converted from a sorid past.
I was never in jail.
I have never been arrested.
I have never been on drugs.
Yet, at the age of nine, I realized that I was just as lost as the worst sinner on the face of the earth.
I received Jesus as my Saviour when I was just nine years old.
I wish that I could say that I had always pleased Jesus.
I'm sorry that I cannot say that.
I was always in church services whenever the door was open.
I attended every service.
Every member of my family and every person who knew me would say that I was a good boy.
What they didn't know was that Christ was not first in my life.
I knew that He should be.
This haunted me for years.
Our relationship with Christ is not what it should be, if He is not first.
First Corinthians 6: 19-20:
"Do you do not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you,
whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in the your body and your spirit, which are God's."
These words disturbed me constantly.
Come with me, and see Jesus and his disciples as they enter into the garden of Gethsemane.
Jesus tells his disciples to watch and pray with him lest they enter into temptation.
Then, he takes Peter, James, and John with him further into the garden,
and urges them to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation.
Jesus leaves them there, and he goes further into the garden alone.
All of the disciples fall asleep.
Jesus prayed as Luke 22: 42-44 states:
" Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done...
and being in agony, he prayed more earnestly. Then his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Can you imagine the intensity of his prayer?
He was praying that, if there was some other way to save the souls of men other than the cross, then let it be.
He was praying to God, that if there was some other way to save the souls of men, then let it be.
If there is some other way to save those people in Palm Beach County, then let it be.
If there is some other way to save Harold White, then let it be.
But then Jesus prayed, "Not my will but Thine be done."
And Christ seems to look at us and say, "You have no right to your own plans. You have been bought with a price."
Then they came for Him.
Judas comes with his kiss of betrayal.
The religious leaders and soldiers armed with swords and spears come to arrest Jesus.
They take him away to be questioned, humiliated, and tortured through a long horrible night.
During this night of agony, A Roman soldier takes a scourge which is used to torture Jesus.
A scourge is composed of a handle about two feet long and with long leather strips
with bits of metal and glass embedded in the end of each strip.
As a soldier would whip that scourge across the back of Jesus, deep gashes of raw flesh would be ripped from the back of Jesus.
Many died when punished in this manner.
As the blood from Jesus' back splatters on the marble floor, Jesus looks at you and me and says,
"You have no right to your life. You have been bought with a price."
The soldiers of the governor took Jesus with the whole garrison surrounding Him,
and they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
They twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head and put a reed in His right hand.
And they bowed before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
Then they spit on His lovely face.
Then they struck His face until it was swollen and blood-shot.
And he looks at us and says, "You are not your own. You have been bought with a price."
The soldiers took the robe off of Jesus, and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to be crucified.
A weakened and tortured Jesus struggled to carry his cross through the streets of Jerusalem.
He struggled and fell beneath the load of the cross.
The soldiers compelled a man named Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross of Jesus.
Then, they come to Calvary and laid Jesus down on the cross.
A soldier takes a long metal spike and places it in the hand of Jesus and drives it into his flesh
and the blood splashes on the ground - excruciating pain shoots through his body.
Then, another spike is driven into his other hand, there is more blood and more unbelievable pain.
Another spike is driven into his feet.
The terrible pain sends shock waves throughout the body of Jesus.
Fever and convulsions rage in His body.
Then, they lift the cross of Jesus and drop it into the ground causing the body of Jesus to go into spasms.
There He is suspended between heaven and earth with the weight of His body held by the nails in His hands and His feet.
Oh, what suffering!
Jesus cries out, "My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me."
Think about this: as your sins and mine are laid upon Jesus, God the Father cannot bear to look upon His Son.
Jesus looks at you and me and cries, "You are not your own. You have been bought with a price."
When you or I give Jesus less than our best, we must sit beneath Calvary and remember how Jesus died upon that cross for us.
When we do this, we will declare that only absolute surrender is worthy of a blood bought salvation.
This is the day when you and I must determine that we will be sold out to Jesus.
"I had walked life's way with an easy tread.
Had followed where comforts and pleasure led.
Until one day in a quiet place,
I met the Master face to face.
With station and rank and wealth for my goal;
Much thought for my body, but none for my soul.
I had entered to win life's mad race
When I met the Master face to face.
I met Him and knew Him, and blushed to see
That His eyes full of sorrow were fixed on me;
And I faltered and fell at His feet that day
While my castles melted and vanished away.
Melted and vanished and in their place
Naught else could I see but the Master's face.
And I cried aloud, " O Lord, make me meet to follow
The steps of Thy wounded feet.'
My thought is now for the souls of men.
I have lost my life to find it again.
Ere since that day in a quiet place.
I met the Master face to face."
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org