– Hey, everybody.
Welcome to Sandals Church.
We are all about thisvision of being real.
And if you're wondering, how do I live out this vision in my life? I would love to invite youto check out our podcast where we give realanswers to tough questions with Pastor Matt, and all you have to dois go to debrief.
show to start listening today.
Thanks so much for joining us.
Enjoy the message.
(funky music) ♪ Whoo ♪ ♪ Ah-ha ♪ ♪ Hey hey Marjorie ♪ ♪ Hey hey Marjorie, yeah ♪ ♪ You know you do something to me ♪ ♪ You know, you know, you know ♪ ♪ Hey hey Marjorie, ha ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Da da da da da da ♪ ♪ Hey hey, whoo hoo hoo ♪ ♪ Ooh ooh ooh ♪ ♪ Ah ah ah ♪ – Good morning, Sandals Church.
(congregation applauds) Man, thank you so much for taking time to fill out that survey.
I don't know what it is about our culture but we hate filling outthings, we hate doing anything.
And I don't wanna talk toyou today about a survey, I wanna talk to you about a list in heaven that you need to sign up for.
The Book of Revelations saysthere's a book in heaven.
On the Day of Judgment, it will be opened.
And your name is eitherin that book or it's not.
And there are no mistakes, there's no errors.
It's a perfect bookwritten by a perfect God.
And the thing is your nameis written in that book based upon your choice.
And I've gotta be honest with you, I didn't sleep very well last night.
Any time I know that I'mgonna give an invitation, an opportunity forpeople to receive Christ, a get a little anxious.
And Ithink that that's a good thing 'cause if I was gonna dobrain surgery on you today, I would hope that you would think I would be a little anxious because a lot could go wrong in that.
But today it's not justyour life that's at stake, it's your eternal life that's at stake.
And we're in this seriescalled “Relational Remix” where we're looking athow to change the way we relate to ourselves, to our friends, to our husbands or wives, our kids.
And today I wanna talk to you about how to change the way you relate to God.
Because I meet people all the time who are not interested in church.
They're not interested in religion.
And they say things likethis, “Me and God are good.
” And they assume that they get to decide how the relationship is going.
You know, I've been married for 23 years, you've got to meet my wife last week, she was up on stage with me.
If you asked me, “How is yourrelationship with Tammy?” You know it's one thing for me to assume, it's another thing for me toask Tammy, “How are we doing?” She might have a different answer than me.
Amen, husbands? God might have adifferent answer than you.
You're like, “Me and God are good.
” And God's like, “Why don'tyou ask me how we are?” And that's what I wannaencourage you today.
Ask God how are you, because may be calling you to change the way yourelate to him forever.
So let's begin with a word of prayer.
God, we ask that your HolySpirit would be amongst us, God, that you wouldstrengthen, Lord, my voice, my heart, my spirit, God, and that you would just movein the hearts of us today.
And Lord, if there's somebodyhere today, even one, that needs to make a decision so that their name iswritten in the Book of Life, God, I pray that they raise their hand at the end of the service, they repent of their sins, and they believe in your son Jesus Christ.
So be with us today, we praythis in Jesus' name, amen.
I wanna share with youa seminal story for me in terms of my understanding of God and the vision of our church.
Why is Sandals soconcerned with being real? And this is one of thosestories that Jesus tells that helps us tounderstand why authenticity is so close to the heart of God.
Jesus tells this story.
“He told this story tosome, ” underline this, “who had great confidencein their own righteousness.
” And let's stop there, I don't wanna talk about the next part.
We live in a culture wherepeople have great confidence in their own self-righteousness.
You see, that's why youthink you don't need God.
Because you're good.
You've got this.
You don't need God, you don'tneed organized religion, you don't need Jesus, you'regood, you've got this.
We live in a world whereeverybody thinks they're good.
We're good in our core, our desires are all good, our actions are all good.
Listen to me, this ishow self-righteous we are as a culture.
75 years ago, all the Disneycharacters that were evil, now movies are coming out likethey're really not that bad.
I mean, some of you took yourlittle girls to see a movie called “Maleficent, “and the word means evil, and you're like, “Iknow what we should do.
“Let's take our little girls “to watch evil perform on stage.
” And now we've gotta learn the backstory 'cause evil's not that evil.
Well, let me tell you something.
The Bible says, “Evil'sevil and good is good.
” And Disney's trying to rewriteit but God already wrote it.
And we need to know this.
Not everybody's good, noteverybody's going to heaven.
Every funeral I do, everybody's going to heaven.
It doesn't matter how they lived.
It doesn't matter what they did.
It doesn't matter whatthey believed about, Jesus.
Everybody's in heaven, playing golf, out in glamor on the sand with Jesus.
Everybody's surfing withJesus, knitting with Jesus, which would be hell for me.
(congregation laughs) If I'm knitting, I'm inhell, I'm not with Jesus.
(congregation laughs) And literally what we've made, heaven is simply ourhobbies forever with God.
And Jesus says, “Listen to me.
“Broad is the road thatleads to destruction.
” It's 91 Freeway.
You already know what that's like, you wanna be there forever? Think about a traffic jam forever and nobody's fixing it and you're stuck.
“Broad is the road thatleads to destruction.
” Jesus says, “There's apath up through the hills.
“Narrow is the path that leads to life “and there are few that find it.
” So the world says we're all good, Jesus says, “No, you're not.
” No, you're not.
“Jesus told this story tosome who had great confidence “in their own righteousness, “oh and by the way, “and scorned everyone else.
” You see, when you're self-confident, it's because you're not focused on God, you're focused on people.
And that's why we don't feel bad.
We don't feel bad about ourselves because we're not looking atGod, we're looking at people.
You're looking at your neighbor.
You're looking at your friends.
Tammy and I went to Disneyland, and I'm not big into rides.
I'm old now, I get dizzylooking at rides spin.
I can't even look at theteacups, how sad is that? That's how old I am.
People on the teacups, “Ah!” I'm like, “I can't even look, I'll vomit on you right now.
” But I don't like to ride therides, I like to watch people.
And let's be honest, we don't watch people, we judge people, amen? Nobody goes bird watching, that bird needs to lose weight.
(congregation laughs) Nobody does that.
We judge people.
We look down, wow, thesepeople are out of shape.
We judge people, we're critical of people.
We look at people whoare lower than ourselves and it gives us confidence.
You see, we feel lifted upwhen we put others down.
The problem is you're notgonna stand before people on Judgment Day, you're gonnastand before Almighty God.
And suddenly the tables are turned.
I remember years ago I didmy first Ironman Triathlon.
And if you don't know what an Ironman is, it was literally invented bya bunch of drunk military guys in Hawaii who had too much beers.
And you had a swimmerarguing against a runner, who is the better athlete? And so they picked cycling, that way it would make it fair.
And so the swimmer raced the runner and literally they picked the longest distance in the Olympics.
They picked the longestrunning event in the Olympics, the marathon.
And they rode their bikes around Hawaii, Oahu, which is 112 miles.
'Cause they were stupid.
And apparently there's morethan just 10 stupid guys on earth and so a bunch of people started doing and now it's a sport.
So I decided I would do it.
(congregation laughs) I remember the weekendright before my race.
A bunch of people knew I was doing it, they were praying forme and encouraging me.
I trained real hard.
And this old lady comesup to me and she's like, “Pastor, I'm praying for you.
“And I was like, “Thank you.
” She says, “I hope you win.
” I said, “Win? “I'm trying to survive.
” (congregation laughs) And she said, “Pastor, you'rethe fittest person I know.
” I said, “Well, I'm not racing you.
” (congregation laughs) Listen to me.
You're not racing your neighbor.
You're not racing your brother.
You're racing Jesus.
He's the author and theperfecter of our faith.
He's the one that ran the race and won.
And you know what that means? That means Mother Teresa falls short.
That means the Pope falls short.
That means your pastor falls short.
That means you fall short.
But people are still arrogant because our stupidity knows no bounds.
You ever met somebody that'sso confident and you're like, you don't say this out loud butsecretly you're like, “Why?” (congregation laughs) Jesus says, “Two men wentto the Temple to pray.
” I don't care if you're a man or a woman, young or you're old, I don'tcare what your ethnicity is.
Every single one of you is gonna identify with one of these two people.
You're either gonna feel like you're totally separate from God and there's no way God canfix the mess you've made, or you feel like God's prettylucky to have you on his team.
He says, “Two men wentto the Temple to pray.
“One was a Pharisee, “and the other was adespised tax collector.
” Write in your notes, they're both brilliant.
One studies theology andphilosophy, he's the Pharisee.
Speaks multiple languages.
Has memorized the whole Bible.
Think about that, memorized the whole Bible.
Some of you don't evenknow where your Bible is.
Memorized the whole Bible.
Another person is a genius inmathematics and calculations, algebra.
Both geniuses, one with math, one with philosophy and theology.
One chooses to devote their life to being perfect before the eyes of God.
Another one chooses their life to rip off their neighborsand their friends because tax collectors in theday and age of Jesus Christ didn't just collect taxes, they stole money from people for Rome.
So imagine you'reneighbor, you're buddies, you went to school together.
You get conquered by a foreign power.
And your nextdoor neighbordecides to go work for them and makes you pay taxes and oh by the way gauges you and tells you youowe more money than you do and they put it in their own pocket and they get wealthy while you get broke.
Tax collectors are hated.
Pharisees are esteemed.
“One was a Pharisee, the otherwas a despised tax collector.
“The Pharisee stood by himself.
” Isn't it amazing howself-righteousness likes to be alone? That's why some of you don'tthink you need small group, you're good.
I'm good, I don't need a group.
“Two men went to Temple.
“One was a Pharisee, one's tax collector.
“The Pharisee stood byhimself, he prayed this prayer.
“'Oh I thank you, God, I'mnot like other people.
'” Man! “I'm not like these people.
“Cheaters, sinners, and adulterers.
“I'm not like these people.
” You see, this guy goes to church and he feels like he'sgotta take a bath afterwards 'cause he's been around fungus.
And then he points.
“I'm certainly not likethat tax collector.
” Let me tell you something, as you age, that's how you know you're getting old.
When you're young, youtalk smack about people and you just look at them.
When you're old, you point.
My kids are like, “Dad, you're pointing.
” I'm like, “No, I'm not.
” (congregation laughs) Oh.
Life always puts my finger down.
They say, “Don't point.
” And I'm like, “I wasn't.
” “I'm certainly not like thattax collector, ” he says.
“I fast twice a week.
” Some of you can't go anhour without a Snickers bar.
Oh I'm suffering for Jesus.
I skipped second breakfast.
(congregation laughs) This guy only eats five days a week.
Two days a week, he eats nothing.
Some Pharisees, listento me, in the desert ate no food and drank no water.
He says, “I fast twice a week.
“Oh, and by the way, Igive you 10% of my income.
” So one guy steals from people, another guy takes 10% of hisincome and gives it to God.
“But the tax collectorstood at a distance.
“He dared not even lift hiseyes to heaven as he prayed.
“And he beat on his chest in sorrow.
“He said, 'O God, be mercifulto me, '” underline this.
“I'm a sinner.
” You see, some of you, you think God's impressed with your life.
You know what the Biblesays about your life? It says your best words, your best works, your best day are filthyrags before the Lord.
And you know why that is? You've never met God.
You compare your sin to others.
You need to compare your sin to God.
Let me tell you howholy, how awesome God is.
Even the most holy angels, the seraphim, who stand before the throne of God, dare not look at God, theycover they eyes with their wings and they cover their feetlest they stand in the temple.
They won't stand on theground because it's holy and they won't look atGod because he's holy.
And you think one day you'regonna stand before God and he's gonna be impressedwith what you did? This is the same God whospoke however many years ago and told the Earth to sitand spin and it still does.
I can't even get my dogto sit for a minute.
And then some of you, you feellike you're so far from God, you're so part from God, there's no way God could ever save you, God could ever redeem you.
I want you to know you're wrong.
I'm reading a book right now.
It's an incredible book.
It's written by a homosexual man who sold drugs, dropped out of med school, and went to prison as a federal criminal.
He was lying in bed in prison and he looked at the bunk above him and scratched into themetal frame of the bed said, “If you're bored, read Jeremiah 29:11.
” Boredom kinda goes withprison, so he read it.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I knowthe plans I have for you.
” Plans for a gay man who's HIV positive, who's just been sentenced tofederal prison for crimes.
“I know the plans I have for you.
“Plans for a future.
“Plans for good and not for evil.
” I want you to know thatthere was a cellmate who's HIV positivesitting on the bottom bunk who's now a professor at a seminary who wrote a book that's touching my soul.
I don't care where youare or what you've done, God can change your life.
– [Congregation] Amen.
– That's the power of Jesus.
(congregation applauds) “Instead, he beat onhis chest and he said, “'O God, be merciful tome, for I'm a sinner.
'” He said, “I tell you, thissinner, not the Pharisee, “returned home justified before God.
“For those who exaltthemselves will be humbled, “and those who humblethemselves will be exalted.
” I wanna change the way you relate to God.
Every single one of us, when we relate to God, we need to come to God with this in mind.
Write this down: I'm a sinner.
I'm a sinner.
Last week I preachedwith my wife on stage, which, husbands, that'salways a dangerous thing because you never knowwhat your wife's gonna say.
And so here's how it works, guys.
What you're gonna share, you've gotta get permissionfrom the wife to share.
Wives don't have to askpermission, they just share it.
(congregation laughs) So we're on stage and my wife just shares that we had sex before we got married.
Boom, my mom and dad are on the front row.
(congregation laughs) My kids go to church.
I'm like, “Hey, let's call grandma, “let's get them all here.
” (congregation laughs) It's embarrassing.
But it's true.
I'm a sinner.
I'm a sinner.
One of my friends came, brought his mom to church, and that's always dicey whenyou bring them to Sandals.
(congregation laughs) She told him she said, “Ithink the pastors shared “they had sex before they got married?” He's like, “Yeah, mom.
” She's like, “I don't thinkthey should share that “from stage.
” (congregation laughs) And you know why that is? Because we've made thechurch the one place on earth you can't tell the truth.
Ain't that sad? The church is the one placewhere you should tell the truth and nothing but thetruth so help you, God.
Amen? Why does the courthouseget to demand that? (congregation applauds) Why can't it be the church? I'm a sinner.
Underline this, “For everyone's sinned.
” That's you, that's Mother Teresa.
It's the person you're dating.
It's the person you're married to.
It's the boss you work for.
It's the person you'resitting next to in church.
“For everyone has sinned, “and we all fall short ofGod's glorious standard.
” You wanna know the truth? I can't even meet my ownstandards, much less God's.
The Enneagram is a personality assessment and it's one of the fewthings left in our culture that talks about sinoutside of the church.
Nine personality types that are beautiful.
You're created in the image of God.
God has blessed you withenormous talents, gifts, and you are marked by sin.
And it affects you invery, very different ways.
We all sin but we don'tall sin the same way, and so you know what we do? We make our sin less eviland everybody else's more.
So the nine personality styles is a way to understand yourself and understand the sinthat you struggle with, so we're gonna start off with the one.
'Cause the truth is you'rebetter than the rest of us.
It's just true.
Last service a woman shouted out, “Amen.
” (congregation laughs) “Amen.
“Preach it, pastor.
” The Reformers wanna makethe world a better place.
Some personality books on the Enneagram call you the perfectionist.
You've gotta get it right.
You know what the problem is? You can't.
You never can, no matter how hard you try.
You're never gonna be perfect.
And so the Reformer's core sin is anger.
And you're like, “That'srighteous anger, pastor.
” (congregation laughs) There's a guy in theBible whose name is James.
And in James chapter three, verse one, he says this.
“Human anger, ” and you can pray about whether or not you're human.
(congregation laughs) He says, “Human anger does not accomplish “the righteousness of God.
” You know what your anger is? It's like milk, you leaveit out, it goes rotten.
You know why I thinkJames writes about anger? Some of you don't know who James is.
James is the half-brother of Jesus.
Wouldn't that be lame? Can you imagine growing upwith him as your older brother? James, why can't you bemore like your brother? (congregation laughs) James, look at how Jesus makes the bed.
(congregation laughs) James, why don't you ask yourself, WWJD, what would Jesus do? Girls knock on the door, they're not there to see James.
They're there to see Jesus.
Can you imagine howhard that must've been, to have been James? To grow up with the Savior of the world? The Reformer's core sin is anger.
The two, the Helper.
Man, you mean well.
You wanna help.
You wanna make the world a better place.
Oftentimes you know the needs of others before they know it themselves.
But here's the problem: you'renot the savior, Jesus is.
And oftentimes you just trying to help actually makes it worse.
And here's your struggle, and let me say, if you're a two, I love you.
But you're the hardestperson's sin to identify because it's pride.
Here's the thing that's funny about pride.
Some of you are like, “Yeah, I don't struggle with pride.
” That's actually a prideful statement.
(congregation laughs) Pride is so hard to see.
That's why the devil struggles with pride.
His art is camouflage.
Ain't pride funny? Some of you, your pride willlead you straight to hell 'cause you don't think you're that bad and you don't think you need to be saved.
When I did that first Ironman, I only practiced swimming in the pool.
That was a mistake.
And so I did my first open water swim and that day a storm blew through Idaho, it was freezing cold.
They almost canceled the swim because the waves were so high.
But they met with the fire department and decided we're Ironmen, we can survive.
(congregation laughs) So they told us before therace, “If you're in distress, “all you have to do is raise your hand “and someone will come save you.
” But I'm not just an Ironman, I'm a man, which means I'm a fool.
And so I got about 200yards into this swim, five minutes into a 12-hour race, and I knew I was gonna die, I was done.
(congregation laughs) Butwould I raise my hand? No.
Admit that I need help? Never.
And so part of the rules of the Ironman is they have rescue boatsall over the places.
And by boats, they're really kayaks.
You swim to a kayak and here's the rule, the kayak can't drag you'cause that's cheating but you can hang on it, that's called living.
(congregation laughs) And so I swam over to the kayak, grabbed the boat, pulledmyself up, vomited on the boat, and I looked into the eyesof a 12-year-old girl scout who's serving volunteer hours (congregation laughs) and she has her life preservervest on and she says, “Do you need to be saved?” (congregation laughs) I kid you not, I'm not proud of this, I just let go of theboat and was like, “No.
” (congregation laughs) I would rather die thanbe saved by a girl scout! (congregation laughs) And that's how some of you are.
Jesus' like, “You wanna be saved?” You're like, “Nah, I'll go to hell.
” (congregation laughs) It's not that hot, I live in Riverside.
(congregation laughs) We have the three, theAchiever's core sin, it's lying.
You're so about success and what that means isyou're never about the truth.
Do you know why I was so botheredwith what my wife shared? It's not because she didn't tell me, it's because I care about what you think.
And here's the truth, sometimes I care more aboutwhat you think than God thinks 'cause I'm a three.
God already knows whatwe did and didn't do.
Why is it that I caremore about what you think than what God thinks? 'Cause I'm a three.
And let me tell you something, threes, here's what Jesus says.
Jesus says the truth comes out.
And let me just share this with you.
Judgment Day is an unfortunateday for that to come out.
Every day before Judgment Day, good day for the truth to come out.
Judgment Day, bad day! It's a bad day.
Jesus says the secrets thatyou forgot will come out.
Some of you are like, “Oh!” It's coming out.
The Achiever's core sin is lying.
The Bible says God hates lying.
Why does God hate lying? How many of you ever beenlied to, ain't that fun? It sucks, it's terrible.
Then we get the Individualist.
And just by definition, if you're a four, there are less fours inAmerica than any other number.
You are by definition the most unique and here's what's tragic about your sin.
Your sin is envy.
You're so focused on whatothers have that you don't, you fail to see what God has given you.
You know why envy's dangerous? Envy can make you do crazy things.
It's why I think people areso quick to tear people down on social media, because we'reenvious of their success.
We're jealous of their position.
Man, you know how many emails and texts I got this week about Kanye West? (congregation laughs) “What do you think, what do you think?” And the truth is a lot of people are just jealous of his success and they wanna tear him down.
But I want you to hear me.
It was envy that made people kill Jesus.
It's right there in the text.
In the Book of Mark itsays they were envious because of the crowds that followed Jesus and they said, “We've gotta kill him.
” How sad is that? Next we have the five, the Observer.
Look, God made you brilliant.
You're a genius.
You just understand the world in a different way from the rest of us.
But your core sin is greed.
Let me just share this.
What good is informationif you don't share it? You see, we think ofgreed as wanting more.
The actual sin of greed iswanting to keep what you have.
And so what the five doesis you withhold emotion, you withhold thoughts, you withhold affection.
You are not generous.
And Jesus says, “It is betterto give than to receive.
” And you're like, “Nah, well, I don't agree.
” And so you constantly live for yourself.
And listen to me, fives.
One day God's gonna hold you accountable for the brain he gave you, and if you only used it for yourself, he'll hold you accountable.
Then we have the sixth, the Loyalist.
Your core sin is fear.
Everybody always wants to be a six.
I just struggle with fear.
Because we feel like fearis the best of the sins.
Nobody wants to be angry, nobody wants to admit envy, nobody wants to be greedy.
And we haven't even gotten to lust.
You're like, “I just, I struggle with fear.
” Well, you know, Jesus tells a story about three individualsthat are given gifts.
One is given five talents, one is given two talents, and one is given one talent.
The one with five doubles the investment.
The one with two doubles the investment.
And the one with one buriedhis gift in the field.
And Jesus says, “Why did you do that?” You know what he says? “Because I was afraid.
” And Jesus takes what he has and gives it to the one with five and he takes the servant whodid nothing with their gift because they were afraid and he throws them intothe outer darkness, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Fear is not a reason to not serve God.
Jesus says this.
“Only be afraid of the one who can kill “the soul and the body, and his name is God.
” That's it.
Fear'll make you do crazy things.
Lash out and hurt people.
Next we have the Enthusiast, right.
Whoo, yes, yes! Drank some coffee before you came in.
I love you, sevens.
But you know why bear comes in a six-pack and donuts come with 12.
Why stop at one? You wanna get everything out of life that life has to offer, here's the problem.
If you want to save your life, you must lose it, sevens.
You see, the way you say yes to Jesus is you say no to yourself.
And the world says, sevens, God would never give you a desire if he didn't want you to act on it, and that's because those people have never read the scriptures.
To be a Christian is towrestle against your desires, and to say yes to God oftentimes means saying no to yourself.
We've got the Challenger.
God made you strong, you're powerful, and your core sin is lust.
You're like, “Great, “I'm never going tocommunity group again.
” It doesn't mean sexual lust.
All of the types can struggle with sex, they just struggle withit for different reasons.
The eights struggle with lust.
Lust is a desire forthings that are not yours.
Eights struggle and want more power, more control, more position, more freedom.
You focus on gainingthings that are not yours rather than being accountable for what God's already given you.
And then we have the nine, the Peacemaker.
You're like, “How could a peacemaker sin?” Your core sin is laziness.
Do you know all evil needs to win is for good people to do nothing? You know, when Jesus Christ was tried and Pontius Pilate said, “Do you want me to killBarabbas or Jesus?” The crowd shouted, “Give us Barabbas, ” and the nines said nothing.
You see, there are twotypes of sin, nines.
There's the sin of commission, that means you committed it.
And there's the sin on omission, it means you knew what wasright and you ran from it.
And God will hold youaccountable for both.
Here's the thing you need to know.
Some of us, we just struggle with sin.
And by the way, ifsomebody doesn't believe they're a sinner, thenthey're calling God a liar.
1 John 1:10 says this, “Ifwe claim we have not sinned, “we are calling God a liarand showing that his word “has no place in our hearts.
” The world doesn't think sin is serious.
God thinks it's veryserious and here's why, write this down.
My sin separates me from God.
It separates me from God.
In the Bible, death doesn't mean the end, death means separation.
So when your loved one, yourhusband, your wife dies, they are separated from you.
In the Book of Revelation, there's a thing called the second death.
It's the second separation.
It's where sinners who havenot given their lives to Jesus are eternally separated from God forever.
Here's the thing.
You're gonna live forever somewhere.
With God, or apart from God.
And if you're a Christian, here's the good news.
Life right now is at the closest to hell you're ever gonna get.
If you're not a Christian, listen to me.
This is as close to heavenas you're ever gonna get.
And you need to make a decision today.
Romans 5:12 says this.
“You know the storythat Adam landed us in, “the dilemma we're in.
“First sin, then death, “and no one is exemptfrom either sin or death.
” Underline this.
“That sin disturbed relationships with God “in everything and everyone.
” Why is there disease? Why are little kids born with diseases? Sin.
Why is there divorce? Sin.
Why are people molested? Sin.
Why is there cancer? Sin.
Why are there typhoons? Sin.
That's what the Bible says.
Sin entered the world, itaffected all of us and everything.
And people today tend toblame one of two things.
They blame the devil, itwasn't me, or they blame God.
We should blame sin.
And I've prayed with so many people who've lost a loved one to cancer and they end up hating God and not sin.
God didn't kill your loved one.
That's what sin does.
It kills, it destroys.
The Bible says we have these desires, and when they give birth, they lead us into temptation, and temptation leads to action, and that action causes sin, and sin always brings death, regardless of what the world says.
Psalms 51, and I wanna encourage you read the whole psalm thisweek, I've edited it.
It's one of the mostpowerful psalms in the Bible.
And it's David who's justreally, really wrestling with who he is.
David's a king, he'sthe most powerful man.
David is described as a man who loves God with all of his heart.
And yet David comes to thevery reality of who he is.
He says, “I was born a sinner.
” Some of you, you hold your little infant, and you're like, “No way.
“There's no way this little, beautiful, perfect baby “could ever do anythingthat would hurt me.
” Give them time.
Man, you wait 'til that little perfect, innocent, cooing, cuddlingbaby is two years old and is demanding the deathof everyone in your family because they have not had enough crackers.
“I was born a sinner.
“Yes, from the momentmy mother conceived me.
” He says, “Create in mea clean heart, O God, “and renew a loyal spirit within me.
” I want you to circle that word, loyal.
Here's what sin is, ultimately.
It is rebellion against God.
And some of the smartest peopleon earth that are scientists are nothing more than rebels.
Rebelling against the God who made you.
Rebelling against the Godwho sent his Son to save you.
He says, “Create in me a loyal heart.
” You know why God says that? 'Cause we're not loyal.
Every single day, even as a Christian, when you wake up it's a struggle to say no to yourself soyou can say yes to Jesus.
He says, “Create in mea clean heart, O God, “and renew a loyal spirit within me.
” He says, “Don't banishme from your presence.
” That's hell.
You say, if God is soloving and God is so good, why is there evil in the world? Listen to me, God createdyou as a free moral being.
Even Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, there had to be an eviltree, do you know why? So they could choose.
And listen to me, just likeAdam and Eve had to choose, so do you.
So do you.
You have to choose.
You have to decide.
This is your soul, this is your life.
And I know everybody says, “Everybody's going to heaven “and all religions are the same, “all roads lead to the same place.
” And Jesus says, “No, they don't.
” Write this down.
Only Jesus Christ canmake me right with God.
1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God.
” How many gods? “There's only one God.
“And one mediator who canreconcile God and humanity, “and that's the man Jesus Christ.
” Do you know why Jesus is perfect for you? Because Jesus was fully man and fully God and he represents both perfectly.
Hebrews 9:14 says, “Christoffered himself to God “as a perfect sacrificeto take away our sins.
” Here's what the Bible says, listen to me.
“The wages of sin is death.
” So many of you are thinking, “I'm gonna stand before God, “and God's gonna weighall the good things I did “and he's gonna weigh all the bad, “and I'm hoping that thegood outweighs the bad.
” Here's what the Bible says, here's what you'veearned apart from Christ.
“The wages of sin is death.
” Eternal separation from the Holy God.
And here's the thing aboutJesus that's so amazing.
I was watching “Good MorningAmerica” this weekend, they were celebrating one ofour World War II veterans, and there's so few of them that are left.
He received multiple Medals of Honor because multiple times in the battlefield he threw himself on a grenadeto save his fellow soldiers.
And he's been interviewedmultiple times and he was asked, “Why did you throwyourself on the grenade?” And here's what he said.
“To save my buddies.
” That's pretty incredible.
But do you know Jesus didn'tthrow himself on a grenade to save his buddies? Here's what the Bible said.
Jesus died to save his enemies.
You're a rebel.
You're an enemy of God.
And Jesus died not to save his friends but he died so you could be his friend.
And it's very different.
Christ offered himself as aperfect sacrifice for our sins.
But here's the thing.
Luke 5:32, Jesus said, “I've come not to call thosewho think they're righteous.
” If you think you're good, listen to me, there's no hope for you.
There's no hope for you.
He said, “I've not come to call those “who think they are righteous.
” He said, “I've come to call those “who know they're sinnersand need to repent.
” Don't be like me.
You know you're drowning.
I would rather drown thanraise my hand to be saved.
Just raise your hand.
Just raise your hand.
Here's what Jesus wantsyou to do to be saved.
To be saved, you've gotta do two things.
Number one: I've gotta repent for my sin.
You guys, sin is serious business.
It's serious business, it's not a joke.
To repent is two actions.
To repent is to turn away from my sin and to turn to God.
It's saying I'm no longergonna live for myself I'm gonna live for God.
Jesus says it this way.
“If any man or woman would come after me, “let them first deny themselves, “pick up their cross, and follow me.
” That's what it means to repent.
About 26 years ago I was sitting right where you are sitting, living in a life of sin, and I knew I needed to be saved and I knew I needed a change in my life.
Listen to me, God won't make you change.
But if you raise yourhand, he'll help you.
He'll save you.
If your hand goes up, God's hand comes down.
Here's what the Bible says.
“Whoever calls upon the nameof the Lord shall be saved.
” That's what it means.
I've gotta repent of my sin and I've gotta believe in Jesus Christ.
You know why I've gotta believe in Jesus? Because when I standbefore God on Judgment Day, listen to me, my repentance is not enough.
It's not enough.
It's not enough to be sorry.
It's not enough to try to be righteous.
The only way I survive the Day of Judgment is because Jesus standswith me on Judgment Day.
And you know what he's gonna say? He's gonna say, “Father, Matt'srighteousness is not enough.
“Matt's effort is not enough.
” But he says, “Dad, “mine is.
“And I died so Mattdoesn't have to forever.
” You have two choices on Judgment Day: to stand on your ownor to stand with Jesus.
I strongly suggest, I beg you, I plead with you to choose Jesus.
To choose Jesus.
A couple of years ago, some friends of mine asked me to go out to lunch with theirrelative and he was scary.
He rode motorcycles, wore leather chaps.
I shop at Nordstrom Rack.
(congregation laughs) I have no tattoos.
He was covered in tattoos andhe had a teardrop on his eye.
And he said this, we were at Starbucks.
I don't think he'd everbeen to a Starbucks before.
He said, “Do you think I'm a sinner?” I wanted to say, “No.
” (congregation laughs) I said yes.
He said, “You think God would save me?” I said, “Absolutely.
” Listen to me, I led him toChrist that day in a Starbucks.
Don't clap, because he waskilled on his motorcycle six months later.
He's the toughest dude I've ever seen.
He barely fit in his casket.
I don't think he fit, I thinkthey shoved him in that thing.
Even the strongest men die.
I don't know how much time you have.
This may the last time Godgives you to get it right.
Make a choice today.
So I'm gonna ask you to do two things.
If you wanna repent of your sin and you wanna believe inJesus Christ in just a second, all I'm gonna ask you todo is raise your hand.
And then at the end of service, here's what I want you to do.
And I want you to come forward and I want you to signup for baptism next week.
And here's why.
Jesus said, “If you deny me before men, “I will deny you before my father.
” He wants you in frontof your friends, family, people that you work with, he wants you to invite them to church and he wants you to show themyou've repented of your sin and you've placed your faithand trust in Jesus Christ.
Baptism is like a marriage ceremony.
Don't miss next week, it is phenomenal.
Just like marriage doesn'tmake you love someone, baptism doesn't save you.
It simply declares that you love them.
In just a second I'm gonna askthe worship team to come out.
But I just wanna know.
No heads bowed, no eyes closed.
If you need to be saved, if youneed to repent of your sins, would you just raise your hand? Let's start over here, is there anybody here? Look, right here.
Anybody, clap for him, guys, come on.
(congregation applauds)Anybody, anybody? Over here? How about right here in the middle? Anybody, raise your hands.
Right here, right here.
In the back, I see your hands up there.
How about over here, anybody? Come on guys, cheer.
The Bible says, “Heaven is going nuts.
” Right here, right here, right over there.
Anybody back up over there? I see you guys.
Listen to me, I see you, guys.
(congregation applauds) Listen to me, man.
Heaven is going nuts right now.
Heaven is going nuts right now because Jesus died so you could live.
Jesus died so you could live.
And your life changes now.
I'm gonna pray for you right now.
So you raised your hand, the next step is to pray, and then I want you to comeforward at the end of service so we can get down your information and we can get you in a small group and we can get you baptized next week.
It's repent, believe, and be baptized.
That's the formula thatthe Book of Acts gives us.
Let's just pray, amen, church? Heavenly Father, we thank you for every person who raised their hand.
God, you know their hand, you know their life, you know their story.
And God, you sent their Sonto die for them on the cross.
Lord, I pray that theirrepentance is real, I pray that their faith is real.
And right now I ask thatfor Holy Spirit, Lord, would just come into their lives and change them and seal them.
Lord, empower them andgift them to follow you and trust you for the rest of their life.
I pray this in Jesus' name, amen.
God bless you, guys, I love ya.
– Here at Sandals Church, we really do believe that this vision of beingreal can change the world.
Because Sandals Church is a nonprofit that operates from donationsfrom people like you, because when you donate yourmoney goes to creating places for people to be real all over this world.
So man, I would love foryou to be a part of that, and you can make a donation today by clicking the link on thisvideo or going to donate.
So join us and join what God is doing through this vision of beingreal, and have a great day.